Once a cozy ladies' tea salon on the rue Royale, Ladurée has been a national treasure of France since its delectable macarons first made a splash in 19th-century Paris. Today, the beloved bakery has 16 international outposts and functions as a benchmark in the world of delicious gifts.
Now we can enjoy the famed Parisian treats stateside, as the maison of the macaron has just opened its first American shop on the Upper East Side.
Lingering over the gleaming cases of strawberry-mint, Madagascar chocolate and almond-cherry macarons ($3 each), we found offerings for every sweet tooth: black-currant cupcakes, miniature chocolates, even candles in ranges of rose and rice powder for those wanting to enjoy without the calorie cache.
Look for seasonal items like ice-cream macarons, pumpkin pastries and, in December, a holiday window display that will look good enough to eat.
Ladurée, 864 Madison Ave. (btwn 70th and 71st sts.); 646-558-3157