Vancouver’s Best Macarons

Macarons might originate from France, but these Vancouver pastry chefs have made them all their own by incorporating West Coast ingredients and teasing local palates with whimsical flavour profiles

Vancouver is in the throes of a heated love affair with macarons. Here’s where to get the most mouth-watering of these bite-sized French confections

Made with sugar, egg whites and ground almonds, macarons resemble delicate sandwich cookies with a thin, crisp shell protecting a soft, creamy centre, often a ganache or fruit-based purée. They come in assorted pastel colours, usually matched to complement the flavour, which can range from the typical chocolate, pistachio or lemon, to the more adventurous such as truffle oil, bacon or black sesame. And, bonus, they’re gluten-free!

Macarons also make great gifts. Because of their unique shape and unparalleled fragility, most bakeries package them in beautiful macaron boxes, making them even more of a delight to get (I mean, to give).

Vancouver is rife with talented pastry chefs dedicated to creating the perfect macaron. These bakeries, cafés and tea salons serve nothing but the most decadent, indulgent and flavourful macarons. So while Vancouver may be swimming in a pastel-coloured sea of sugary delights, use this guide to navigate your way around the city to find the very best!

Kitchening & Co

The name Kitchening & Co might sound unfamiliar, but if you’re a macaron aficionado, you’ve most likely had one of its luscious creations, available at grocery stores, specialty boutiques and farmers’ markets.

Kitchening & Co’s main focus is on making exquisite food, but a close second involves investing in its community. It works with local epicurean partners, such as Republica Coffee Roasters in Langley, whose Dark Angel roast is used in the espresso chocolate macarons; and SalonTea on South Granville, whose exotic teas inspire a rotation of tea-infused flavours such as The Romantic (green tea with jasmine).

Also, Kitchening & Co uses only all-natural flavours and colours. So that pretty pale pink macaron you’ve been eyeing? Its pink comes from beets, so it’s practically good for you.

This spring, look for these new flavours: lemon ginger, mandarin strawberry with white chocolate drizzle, and vanilla lavender.

Kitchening & Co’s macarons are available at Urban Fare (various locations), the Gourmet Warehouse, Edible Canada, Stong’s Market, and other retailers. See the website for a full list or to order macarons online.

French Made Baking

French Made Baking's macarons (like everything else in the bakery) are made in-house from scratch by a team of French bakers, including chef Alicia, who is a third generation pastry chef from France.

All of its macarons feature a ganache filling, except for the salted caramel which has a buttercream centre. "We like how the chocolate reveals finer, more delicate flavours than buttercream. Although macarons are supposed to be sweet, our goal is to find the right balance between the sweetness of the cookie and the intensity of the filling."

It uses organic ingredients whenever possible and all-natural flavourings and extracts. No preservatives, shortening or artificial flavourings here. It also uses imported premium chocolate from Cacao Barry in France, and quintessentially French essences such as violet and lavender extracts.

It normally carries 12-14 different flavours, but often runs very low or sells out close to end of day. Some of its classic flavours include Earl Grey, dark chocolate with yuzu, and salted caramel. Later this spring it plans on unveiling a few new flavours such as piña colada, black sesame, and honey with lavender.

Macarons are sold individually for $1.75 each, and in boxes of two ($4.10), six ($10), and 12 ($19).

French Made Baking, 81 Kingsway (@ Broadway), Vancouver


While Thierry café is still relatively young, the word is out, and that word is, “Yum.” Chef Thierry is a master at what he does, and everything he does is stunning and delicious. His macarons are perfection and his rotation of flavours is both maddening and delightful. Just when you get attached to a particular flavour, he’s moved on to his next inspiration.

If you come by past 3 pm, though, the macaron selection will be severely diminished, so if you had your heart set on a specific flavour, get there early.

This spring, look forward to flavours such as coconut, lime, lemon and also a spicy pineapple. Macarons retail at one for $1.95, seven for $13.45; and 12 for $21.95.

Thierry, 1059 Alberni St, Vancouver


Leonidas might be an international brand, but its macarons are made fresh locally and easily compete with its better known Belgian chocolates. Chef Paulin, a native of Provence, France, makes these delectable pastries, featuring fresh, top-quality ingredients and a variety of staple and seasonal flavours, each filled with a ganache, buttercream or marshmallow centre.

Of course, chocolate is Leonidas’ strength, but Chef Paulin doesn’t rest on these laurels. There are always 16 flavours available, 12 of which are part of its regular lineup, with four flavours left to Chef Paulin’s whimsy. Currently the seasonal flavours include truffle oil, myrtle flower, and red bean.

Leonidas, #29-1055 Canada Place (Vancouver Convention Centre West), Vancouver

Thomas Haas

Thomas Haas sells about 6,000 macarons every week. A good portion of its flavour selection remains constant throughout the year, including favourites such as raspberry, pistachio and cassis. But if you do happen to go on a regular basis, you’ll be rewarded with weekly specials that reflect the changing seasons as well as fun and creative ingredients. Right now (early spring) it's offering two special flavours: chocolate ginger and hazelnut praline. Next up: rhubarb!

All of Thomas Haas’ macarons feature either a ganache or light Italian buttercream filling made from scratch with natural ingredients. There’s no room for extraneous flavourings or extracts here.

Macarons are one for $1.80, six for $10 and 12 for $19, and they are beautifully packaged in clear boxes so you can make everyone jealous effortlessly.

Thomas Haas has two locations (the Broadway location is larger and has a greater selection): 2539 W. Broadway Ave, Vancouver; and 128-998 Harbourside Dr, North Vancouver

Ganache Patisserie

Ganache Patisserie has been a pastry mainstay in Yaletown for nearly 10 years, and its macarons have graced countless weddings, parties and other celebrations. Some weddings have even opted for a towering display of macarons as an alternative to a traditional wedding cake.

Give Ganache a pre-order and owner and pastry chef Peter Fong will whip up any configuration of macarons you desire. You pick the flavours, colours and packaging.

Contact Ganache Patisserie for options and pricing. 1262 Homer St, Vancouver

The Urban Tea Merchant

What could be a better accompaniment to a cup of fine tea than a macaron? At The Urban Tea Merchant, you can have both. As the exclusive Canadian distributor of TWG Tea (The Wellness Group), it carries luxury teas and fine pastries. TWG Tea supplies the macarons, which are flown in directly from Singapore.

TWG Tea has been producing tea-infused macarons since 2007 and has just unveiled two new flavours to augment the original eight: Matcha tea, filled with a Matcha-infused ganache, and Vanilla Bourbon tea & kaya, a coconut jam common throughout Southeast Asia (both macarons are pictured above, top right). These brilliant jade-green and turquoise coloured delicacies were years in the making, perfected by TWG Tea’s legendary executive patisserie chef, Philippe Langlois.

One of chef Philippe's challenges in developing the perfect macaron for TWG Tea’s primarily Asian clientele was to find a way to make them less sweet. Today, TWG’s macarons contain one third less sugar than most conventional macarons. Chef Philippe obviously knew what he was doing, as TWG Tea sells over 6,000 macarons every day in Singapore alone.

TWG Tea macarons at The Urban Tea Merchant retail for $4 each. Signature yellow boxes are offered free of charge for any purchase of six or 12 macarons, and more ornate gilt gift boxes are offered in seven vibrant hues for $5 each with any purchase of 24 macarons.

The Urban Tea Merchant, 1070 W. Georgia Street, Vancouver (entrance also from Alberni Street)

Bel Café

You really can’t go wrong with anything that comes out of David Hawksworth’s kitchen, and the macarons at Bel Café are no exception.

Fan favourites include cookies’n’cream, passion fruit and the classic vanilla bean. But keep an eye out for two new flavours debuting this spring: key lime, featuring a light graham wafer crumb shell with a tart lime ganache filling (pictured above, centre right), and strawberry & lemon, which boasts a luscious vanilla buttercream with lemon paté de fruit between two strawberry shells.

Macarons are $2 each or $16 for eight in a box.

Bel Café,801 W. Georgia Street (located in the lobby of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia)

Macaron Day, March 20, 2013

On March 20, in celebration of Macaron Day, many of Vancouver's macaron makers are offering sweet deals for charity. Here's how you can turn your sweet obsession into a charitable act:

  • Kitchening & Co will donate up to $10,000 worth of macarons to collect money for charities that do work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Go to its Macaron Day website, place an order for macarons along with your donation (min $10 for a 12-piece box, a $24 value), choose your pick-up location, and on March 20, enjoy your sweet treats knowing 100% of your donation is going to a very worthy cause.
  • Last year, French Made Baking made 2,000 macarons for Macaron Day and was sold out by mid-afternoon. This year it's going to more than double its efforts. All donations and part of its sales will go to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. All customers on March 20 will receive a free macaron and be invited to make a donation.

  • Cafe Thierry will create a special macaron flavour just for the day. “Cherry Blossom” features a honeybush tea shell, honey buttercream, and Chef Thierry’s signature cherry jam in the centre. 10% of all macaron proceeds on this day will be donated to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation.

  • In celebration of Macaron Day, for the entire month of March, Leonidas is offering a sweet deal: three macarons and a premium loose leaf tea for $5. 15% of sales on Macaron Day will go to Vancouver’s A Better Life Foundation.