Where to Find Macaroons (and Macarons) in Boston

Find the perfect coconut confection—or pistachio pastry—for National Macaroon Day.
Homemade coconut macaroons

Homemade coconut macaroons. / Photo by Kelsey Cronin

Tuesday, the world celebrates National Macaroon Day, which is simply the perfect excuse to snag some sweets at one of Boston’s great bakeries. But while you’re out indulging, it helps to know what separates a macaroon from the French macaron, because more divides the two than a missing “o.”

Macaroons are flourless treats, often made with shredded coconut or slivered nuts. Italian in heritage, they are typically quite sweet, with a dense and chewy texture to sink your teeth into. This is much different than the meringue-based, cake-like sandwich cookies of the French macaron, which require more preparation to bake. Both treats come in a variety of different flavors ranging from raspberry, to chocolate, to almond, and pistachio. Here’s a helpful guide to parsing all the differences between the two pastries.

When May 31 rolls around each year—or anytime your sweet tooth aches for a fix—revel in our roundup of the best macaroons (and macarons) Boston-area chefs have to offer. And if you decide to opt for a macaron on National Macaroon Day instead, your secret is safe with us.

MACAROONS

Bova’s Bakery

Have you ever dipped a macaroon in chocolate? Lust no further than Bova’s in the North End, where $8 gets you a pound of chewy heaven. Bova’s macaroons come in almond, pistachio, and cherry flavors.

Bova’s Bakery, 134 Salem St., North End, 617-523-5601, bovabakeryboston.net.

Almond macaroons at Flour Bakery & Cafe

Almond macaroons at Flour Bakery + Cafe. / Photo provided

Flour Bakery + Cafe

Flour offers decadent macaroons in flavors like almond and chocolate chip for $2 a pop. If you need a testament to how good these cookies are, owner Joanne Chang recently received a James Beard award for Outstanding Baker.

Flour Bakery + Cafe, locations in Copley Square, Central Square, Fort Point, and the South End, flourbakery.com.

Mike’s Pastry

As you might expect, there’s no shortage of macaroons in the North End. At Mike’s, there are coconut, raspberry, almond paste, pistachio nut…the list goes on. With more than 10 different flavors at two—and soon, three—locations, it shouldn’t be difficult to find something that hits the spot.

Mike’s Pastry, 300 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 617-742-3050, 11 Dunster St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-661-0581, mikespastry.com.

Modern Pastry

Modern Pastry’s sweet, signature macaroons come in flavors like raspberry and pistachio. And if you like what you taste, you can purchase a pound of them for $14.

Modern Pastry, 257 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 617-523-3783, Salem St., Medford, 781-396-3618, modernpastry.com.

Neighborhoods Coffee and Crepes

If you’re west of the city, grab a coconut macaroon at this Fenway bakery for just a dollar per cookie. The cafe also has an extensive menu of coffees, teas, and other baked goods to choose from.

Neighborhoods Coffee and Crepes, 96 Peterborough St., Fenway/Kenmore, 617-262-7700, neighborhoodscafe.com.

Thinking Cup

Thinking Cup’s three locations across Boston have you covered for gluten-free, coconut goodness in Back Bay, Downtown, and the North End. Don’t think twice about pairing your treat with some fresh-brewed Stumptown coffee while you’re there.

Thinking Cup, 165 Tremont St. and other locations, thinkingcup.com.

Macarons from Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. / Photo provided

Macarons from Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. / Photo provided

MACARONS

Café Madeline

Raspberry, vanilla, rose lychee, caramel, strawberry poppyseed, pistachio, lemon—$2.50 gets you one of these flavorful French delicacies at this South End bakery.

Café Madeline, 517 Columbus Ave., South End, 857-239-8052, cafemadeleineboston.com.

Formaggio Kitchen (Cambridge)

Head baker Alice Southcott has spent nearly 30 years perfecting her recipe for French macarons at Formaggio’s Cambridge location. These cookies are color-coded and baked in three different varieties—chocolate (brown), pistachio (green), and raspberry (pink). Arrive early or call ahead for these, because the bakery tends to sell out.

Formaggio Kitchen, 244 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-4750, formaggiokitchen.com.

L.A. Burdick 

L.A. Burdick’s has long been a destination for assorted chocolates, but chocolatier Michael Klug’s mission to keep his confections natural led him to create a line of macarons free of all artificial colors and preservatives. When they launch this spring, these new treats will come in flavors like blueberry and apricot, and incorporate the store’s signature chocolate into each cookie.

L.A. Burdick, 220 Clarendon St., Back Bay, 617-303-0113, burdickchocolate.com.

Macarons at Menton

Macarons at Menton. / Photo provided

Menton

After a meal at Menton, round out your night with a complimentary bowl of miniature macarons. The varieties of these bite-sized cookies change every week or two, with flavors ranging anywhere from passion fruit to goat cheese.

Menton, 354 Congress St., Fort Point, 617-737-0099, mentonboston.com.

Paul Bakery

Stop in after a day of shopping at Faneuil Hall or the Assembly Row Mall and grab an $18 dozen of macarons, including six different flavors like chocolate ganache and raspberry. But if you only want a cookie or two, you can also purchase each individually.

Paul Bakery, 201 Washington St., Boston, 617-725-2713, 631 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-440-1049, paul-usa.com.

Praliné

Most of this list has remained inside the Boston bubble, but a visit to this quaint Belmont bakery is worth leaving the city for. These macarons come in 14 different flavors like espresso, mandarin, and orange blossom, and are also available in bundles of six or 12.

Praliné, 203 Belmont St., Belmont, 617-932-1131, pralineconfection.com.


Alex Wilking Alex Wilking, Contributor at Boston Magazine awilking@bostonmagazine.com