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Sweet Lobby macarons
Sweet Lobby macarons
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A Dozen Standout Macarons, Mapped

These French treats are made to please

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Sweet Lobby macarons
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In recent years, many people have argued that French macarons are displacing cupcakes as the trendy sweet treat. And why not? These diminutive treats are smaller, gluten-free, and come in a wide variety of flavors. They're also becoming easier to find, with many bakeries doing a brisk business selling them alongside other pastries.

In theory, these sandwich cookies are stunningly simple to make: they are just egg whites beaten with sugar—meringue—with ground almonds folded in. But they are surprisingly tricky to make well, to which many troubleshooting guides on the internet can attest. A poorly-mixed meringue can leave air pockets that yield hollow cookies. The wrong temperature can make cracked tops. The list of possible problems can go on and on.

So what makes a "perfect" macaron? The glossy shell on the outside should be smooth with a light sheen, providing the thinnest veneer for soft chewy interior. Each cookie should have a "foot"—that thin little ruffle going around the bottom. The ratio of cookie-to-filling should be between 1:1 and 2:1. And the filling itself? Ganache fillings should be smooth and jams shouldn't be cloyingly sweet; the goal is to not overwhelm the flavor of the cookie.

While macarons can now be found in places like Starbucks or the frozen foods aisle of Trader Joe's, finding a good one can be a challenge. Here are the places to look for D.C.'s best examples. And soon, get ready for French macaron experts Laduree to open in Georgetown, though they haven't given an estimate for the timing of their arrival.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bakers & Baristas

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With a rotating menu of desserts, there is usually an oversized macaron option on the menu. Previous flavors have included passionfruit and pistachio

Bakeshop

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Bakeshop has a daily rotating set of flavors, including fun options like thin mint, tiramisu, and funfetti. Want any icy treat? Get a macwich with an ice cream filling between the two almond cookies.

Buttercream Bakeshop

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Find flavors like marshmallow, raspberry chambord, chocolate mint, and Nutella at Buttercream.

Kafè Leopold

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This little Austrian cafe features a variety of patisserie, and among them are macarons in lemon, pistachio, cherry, banana rum, and tiramisu.

Lavande

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Find lavender, rose, and bergamot alongside traditional mac flavors at Lavande.

Le Caprice DC Café Bakery

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Find playful flavors like kiwi and banana among the 19 options at Le Caprice.

Macaron Bee

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Macaron Bee sells its macarons through Lady Camellia Pastry and Tea Room, including seasonal flavors like cherry blossom, white peppermint chocolate, and spiced pumpkin.

Olivia Macaron

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Count honey lavender, fruity pebbles, and salted caramel among its 11 signature flavors, and black sesame and pumpkin spice among the seasonal options at Olivia Macaron.

Panorama Bakery

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Along with a stall at Union Market, Panorama Bakery sells its baked goods at many local Freshfarm markets. They offer a variety of flavors that can include salted caramel, blueberry, lime, and banana.

Praline Bakery & Bistro

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Count cinnamon roll and apricot among the many flavors available at this Bethesda cafe and its Mosaic District and Glen Echo Park locations.

The Sweet Lobby

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Along with creative flavors of macarons include roasted apricot with rosemary and white balsamic, black sesame pumpkin, peach saffron and, vanilla violet, The Sweet Lobby offers mactops—cupcakes with macarons on top.

Tout de Sweet

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Tout de Sweet specializes in macarons with 12 flavors available daily out of a rotating set of 30. They include unusual options like lime-basil, green tea and lychee, and hibiscus.

Bakers & Baristas

With a rotating menu of desserts, there is usually an oversized macaron option on the menu. Previous flavors have included passionfruit and pistachio

Bakeshop

Bakeshop has a daily rotating set of flavors, including fun options like thin mint, tiramisu, and funfetti. Want any icy treat? Get a macwich with an ice cream filling between the two almond cookies.

Buttercream Bakeshop

Find flavors like marshmallow, raspberry chambord, chocolate mint, and Nutella at Buttercream.

Kafè Leopold

This little Austrian cafe features a variety of patisserie, and among them are macarons in lemon, pistachio, cherry, banana rum, and tiramisu.

Lavande

Find lavender, rose, and bergamot alongside traditional mac flavors at Lavande.

Le Caprice DC Café Bakery

Find playful flavors like kiwi and banana among the 19 options at Le Caprice.

Macaron Bee

Macaron Bee sells its macarons through Lady Camellia Pastry and Tea Room, including seasonal flavors like cherry blossom, white peppermint chocolate, and spiced pumpkin.

Olivia Macaron

Count honey lavender, fruity pebbles, and salted caramel among its 11 signature flavors, and black sesame and pumpkin spice among the seasonal options at Olivia Macaron.

Panorama Bakery

Along with a stall at Union Market, Panorama Bakery sells its baked goods at many local Freshfarm markets. They offer a variety of flavors that can include salted caramel, blueberry, lime, and banana.

Praline Bakery & Bistro

Count cinnamon roll and apricot among the many flavors available at this Bethesda cafe and its Mosaic District and Glen Echo Park locations.

The Sweet Lobby

Along with creative flavors of macarons include roasted apricot with rosemary and white balsamic, black sesame pumpkin, peach saffron and, vanilla violet, The Sweet Lobby offers mactops—cupcakes with macarons on top.

Tout de Sweet

Tout de Sweet specializes in macarons with 12 flavors available daily out of a rotating set of 30. They include unusual options like lime-basil, green tea and lychee, and hibiscus.

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