I recently wrote an item on the best macarons (馬卡龍, mǎkǎlóng, or 馬卡紅, mǎkǎhóng) in Taipei. It was a short piece and really just an excuse for me to gorge myself on macarons until I almost died from sugar poisoning. Reporters at my newspaper pay for work expenses out of our own pockets, so this macaron mission was self-funded, to the detriment of my bank account. Those little things are expensive! But it was well worth it.
My findings are that the best macarons in Taipei can be found at the French-Japanese confectioner Sadaharu Aoki in the newly-opened Bellavita shopping center and La Douceur Patisserie, an adorable little cafe around the corner from Yongkang St. Macarons at the former cost NT$85 each, which is outrageous, especially considering that the starting fare for a taxi ride in Taipei is NT$75. But they are very good and come in unusual flavors like peche cannelle, citron (or grapefruit) and black sesame (my favorite).
La Douceur Patisserie is a great alternative. They have as many flavors as Sadaharu Aoki (including passion fruit and chocolate, violet and a very accurate balsamic vinegar), the macaron shells are equally crisp and airy and the ganache filling just as rich, but their prices are more affordable. Macarons are sold by weight for NT$38 per gram (six set me back about NT$360); you can also buy them packaged in very pretty, solid gift boxes.
I also tried macarons at Paul next to Eslite Dunnan at 1o7 Renai Rd Sec. 4 (台北市大安區仁愛路四段107號, 02-2771-3200). Their specialty is giant, palm-sized macarons in basic flavors, like chocolate and vanilla, for NT$250. I thought Paul’s version, however, was oddly moist and chewy, almost like a brownie. It wasn’t bad, but moist and chewy aren’t what macaron lovers look for. The macarons at boute de bijoux (No. 19-1, Ln 33, Lishui Street, 台北市麗水街33巷19之1, 02-3322-2461) were fine, but not extraordinary. Their other desserts, however, are much better, especially a raspberry mousse with a slice of tender stewed pear in the middle. Boute de bijou doesn’t have seating, so I recommend a trip to their cafe, Bunny Listens to the Music (兔子聽音樂) just down the street at No. 15, Ln 6, Qingtian St (台北市大安區青田街6巷15號, 02-2395-9388). They also serve a very good afternoon tea and meals.
If you know of any other great macarons in Taipei (or disagree with my conclusions), please let me know!