The Upper East Side Embraces Its New French Neighbor

Ladurée - the luxury, French pastry shop has opened its doors on the Upper East Side.

Having opened on August 30, 2011, the craze for Ladurée macarons has been insane!  The line wrapped around the corner of E. 71st street and ends inside the shop. A typical wait is 45 minutes to over an hour or two. Never have I seen such a wait for sweets like this in New York, only in Japan.  I always thought I would never subject myself to waiting 45 minutes to over two hours on a line for a cake or pastries from a famous maker after seeing people in Japan do it patiently and calmly.

Upon reading the news about the opening of Ladurée, I was determined to visit the place.  I love sweets, macarons especially, so I had to go. Seeing that the line outside Ladurée at 3:45PM on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend was half the block of 71st street, I almost gave up and went to yoga early instead.  I became one of the many waiting for two and a half hours to get in.  Yes, 2.5 hours. I am insane.

Besides the delicate, delicious, and delightful macarons, Ladurée also sells handmade chocolate, tea, and ice cream. They also carry eco-friendly totes, candles, and home fragrances for sale. At $2.70 a piece, a macaron here is the most expensive in the city yet very well worth the price.  You can purchase them by color and design of box in six, twelve, twenty-four, and probably other multiples of six.

The macarons are shipped by boat daily from France since they’re so fragile, and because there is no pastry chef here yet to make these beauties.

There are only two cashiers available inside - one for cash, the other credit. Credit takes a bit longer because they must make a carbon copy of your card to in order to charge you. I hope they update their CC system. The sales attendants were very nice and helpful, but still need to cope with the volume of customers flooding the store. Well, they are new and probably did not expect to be overwhelmed once opening. 

I bought a 24-piece pink box of macarons that day.  All 14 flavors with a few doubles.  After a wait that long, I felt I should sample all flavors and take more home with me to share with my family. My favorite flavor is the Cassis Violette. Oh, how I love, love cassis.

I can’t believe how patient I was during that wait! Good thing,I had a book with me to read, but that only distracted me for so long, hahaha.

Next, I’ll have to see how tea at Ladurée measures up to that of Mariage Frères.  (Mariage Frères needs to open a tea salon in New York as soon as possible. I’ll be ther first to go).

Will I return?  I braved the wait the first time, so I’ll endure another wait.

Maison Ladurée
864 Madison Avenue (bet. E. 70th & 71st streets)
New York, NY 10021
(646) 558-3157