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On March 20, join Vancouver's best patisseries and cafes in a celebration of the beloved macaron
Vancouver’s love affair with the French macaron is about to hit a milestone: March 20th marks the city’s fourth annual Macaron Day, an occasion for which local bakeries and patisseries bring out their “Best In Show” each year.
It’s thanks to Parisian Pastry Chef Pierre Hermé that we dedicate an entire day to the petite, pastel-coloured treats that have become the emblem of French delicacy. Not to be confused with the coconut cake-like macaroon, traditional French macarons are made from a rich ganache sandwiched between two lightly sweetened meringue-like biscuits.
Modern bakeries have taken the pastry across the entire flavour spectrum, moving beyond the customary raspberry or chocolate into the realms of matcha, black sesame, champagne, rose, saffron and even black garlic.
If you’ve been hoping for an excuse to sample the best of these melt-in-your-mouth confections, there’s no better time, as many bakeries are donating proceeds to charities this year.
Click through to find out where to celebrate this year’s Jour du Macaron
Soirette is the pride and passion of Chef Shobna Kannusamy, who completed an engineering degree prior to earning a Diplome de Pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. Macarons and handcrafted pastries are her daily tribute to her love of baking. Needless to say, great celebrations will be had at Soirette on Macaron Day: customers are invited to visit the shop or the company’s pop-up location at Holt Renfrew and try a special Macaron Day Macaron in exchange for donations to Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.
Tip: Make the storefront your destination of choice if you’re a real tea-lover – you won’t want to miss the chance to try Soirette’s line of specialty loose-leaf teas.
1433 West Pender Street
Macaron Day celebrations are already in full swing at Sweet Bake Shop, where owner Tessa Sam has created a special limited-edition macaron in honour of the occasion. Triple Berry Delight is a playful and vivid temptation for both the eyes and the tongue, a complement of raspberry, strawberry and blackberry that you won’t want to pass up. All sales from this brand new flavour will be donated to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation – but if you’re sweet tooth is still singing, try the butterscotch vanilla, wild cherry or other rotating flavours.
1141 Mainland Street
This quintessentially Parisian patisserie brings the best of French pastry to Mount Pleasant, and they’ll be hosting quite the fete for le Jour de Macaron. Step inside and you’ll find a rainbow parade of macarons big and small, immaculately crafted in 15 flavours. The moment you so much as mention Macaron Day, the staff will present you with one of these creations, on offer by donation (they suggest $2) while supplies last. You will also have the chance to watch and learn how macarons are made as the “French-from-France” chefs prepare them, tray after tray, all day long. Donations and part of all sales on Macaron Day only will go to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, so you can treat yourself to some good karma and delicious pastry at the same time.
To celebrate Vancouver’s fourth annual Macaron Day, Faubourg Paris has cut the price of their exquisite macarons in half to entice even the least adventurous Vancouverite into sampling their traditional French pastries. As if this wasn’t incentive enough, the company will also match the dollar value of every macaron sold at their three locations, and donate all of the proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society. What better excuse to pop in and try their signature white chocolate macaron, filled with a sumptuous passion fruit ganache? Or the vividly pink, black-speckled strawberry black pepper? Faubourg may have recently retired their lemon, hazelnut and pistachio flavours, but with orange thyme, red currant orange blossom, and grapefruit rosemary standing in, no one’s complaining. Grab a cup of tea or a rosetta-patterned latte while your there for a perfect pairing.
2156 West 41st Avenue; 769 Hornby Street; 792 Main Street, Park Royal South, West Vancouver
Elegance and refinement convene at West Georgia and Howe Street, where the chefs and sharply dressed staff of Bel Café serve immaculately plated fare to customers for whom quality is paramount. And nothing exemplifies the marriage of class and craftsmanship better than their macarons. Available for purchase in illustrious Bel Café boxes, these brightly coloured creations come in nine flavours, from carrot cake and PB & J to manjari & raspberry and cookies & cream. In honour of Macaron Day, pastry chef Wayne Kozinko will be introducing a new coconut cream pie macaron to the menu, and donating partial proceeds from macaron sales to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Make sure you come early so you can soak up the atmosphere before the crowds descend.
801 West Georgia Street
Continuing on with the spirit of benevolence, Thomas Haas is the place to be if Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is close to your heart. To celebrate Macaron Day, the fourth-generation pastry chef will donate 100 per cent of macaron sale proceeds from both North Vancouver and West Broadway locations to the local charity. So if you can’t choose between passion fruit or pistachio, coffee or cassis, no matter – on March 20, they’re only $1.90 each, and all for a great cause.
2539 West Broadway; Unit 128-998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver
If you didn’t already know it was voted “Best Desserts” and “Best Pastries” in Vancouver, one visit to Thierry Café will embed the titles firmly in your mind. Your taste buds, meanwhile, will revel in the blissful sensations of pastry chef Thierry Busset’s perfectly airy macarons. The cranberry and lemon varieties play a bright tune on the tongue, while the salted caramel and maple pecan impart a warmer, richer tone. On Macaron Day, 10 per cent of all macaron sales will be donated to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, so you can enjoy 100 per cent indulgence in good conscience.
1059 Alberni Street
There’s always an irresistibly delicious reason to step inside Butter – the name alone promises real bona fide goodness, just like mom used to make – and Macaron Day is no exception. In addition to rolling out the usual array of made-from-scratch muffins, scones, cakes, cookies, pies, and more, the Butter team will be presenting their favourite macaron flavours, including raspberry, coffee, pistachio, vanilla, and coconut. They’ll also be featuring the Wagon Wheel macaron (pictured above-bottom), a customer favourite made with graham macarons filled with marshmallow and raspberry jam, finished with a rich chocolate coating. Everything, even the marshmallows and jam, are made from scratch in-house, so you can count on the same superb quality throughout.
4907 MacKenzie Street