“Macarons Matter” is a favorite mantra.
Two years ago our busy family of five was derailed off track and hit with some pretty heavy stuff: a cancer diagnosis being only part of it. As you can imagine, many phone messages and emails went unanswered. One person in particular was especially persistent in trying to reach me. It was Denver arts patron Kari, the chair of the debutante ball for the upcoming Le Bal de Ballet events that support the Colorado Ballet and other dance companies in Denver.
Her message: “I have an important question, please call me back.” After receiving several voicemails to this effect, I called back. Her important question was, “I saw your daughter listed macarons are her favorite food, I just needed to know what flavor?”
Macarons are a Metaphor for the Delicate Balance of Life
From that moment on, macarons became a metaphor and Kari became a close friend. When you have a tough day at the office; a tricky diagnosis, a bad grade on a test, a complicated set back…remember…macrons matter! In other words: appreciating small things matters. Treating yourself to something good matters. Recognizing the delicate balance of life matters. A beautiful waltz in a big white puffy dress matters. Small, beautiful, carefully crafted, delicious macarons in the most creative flavors possible matter!
Macarons are the Perfect Way to Say Happy Valentine’s Day
Macarons are special and always relevant. They are perfectly made with a lot of care and effort and are the ultimate treat to say, “I Love You,” on Valentine’s Day!
If you want to present your cutie with a box of Valentine’s macarons, no need to go to Paris, although as Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.” Denverites know some of the best macarons in the world are right here in the Mile High City!
One more note about macarons: they are worth every penny! For those of us who have attempted to make macarons on our own, we know macarons are not something you can easily whip up at home. I am speaking from experience and from about 20 to 30 failed batches over the years.
As Kalli Sarik, the head baker for HappyBakeshop in Denver’s Highlands, explains
Macarons are definitely more time consuming and finicky. Sometimes it even depends on the weather and if it is a dry day instead of rainy day to make them come out just right.
While these bite-sized delights are relatively expensive given their size, I appreciate treating myself to something I really can’t make myself!
Denver Macaron Love
So, if you want to get your Valentine something special that really matters this Valentine’s Day….check out all the local love at these macaron shops around Denver!
Cost: $2.00 each/ $24 per dozen
Contact: Chef and Owner, Heather Carpenter (303) 915-1952, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bella Macaron is a local find. With homemade custom macarons for every occasion, Valentine’s Day is of course a big deal in chef and owner, Heather Carpenter’s world. If you want to impress your cutie with something special, Bella Macaron offers lots of fun and creative possibilities: a carton of mini conversational macaron hearts (as shown in the featured photo above), white chocolate raspberry hearts, cherry cordial flavored macarons, salted caramel heart macarons, cherry vanilla with Valentine’s sprinkles and more! If you aren’t following Bella Macaron on Instagram, you should! Talk about an uplifting feed!
Where: 494 E 19th Ave, Denver, Colorado
Cost: $2.25 each
Contact: Make a reservation through Open Table or walk in for a macaron fix to go from the desert case. Chef and Owner, Keegan Gerhard (303) 861-4710.
D Bar serves up perfectly crafted macarons along with some of the best deserts this side of the Mississippi! D Bar prepares its macarons offsite in partnership with Füdmill, a collaborative effort of great chefs in Denver including D Bar’s owner and celebrity chef, Chef Keegan Gerhard. Chef Keegan is a big deal not only in Denver but worldwide. When you visit the desert take out counter at D Bar be sure to see Chef Keegan’s face displayed in Legos. D Bar Denver hosts one of Denver’s most spectacular Valentine’s Day celebrations: an absolute to die for desert buffet on February 14th. Will there be macarons on the dessert buffet? Oh yah there will!
French for Sugar
Cost: $3.00 each
Contact: Owner and Chef Michelle Weekly, (303) 522.6886
French for Sugar is fun local bakery off of Colfax and Marion that is all dressed up for Valentine’s Day. This cute store and event space has a festive pink glow year round, so Valentine’s Day is an extra big deal with hearts dangling from the ceiling and the cutest window display ever. French macarons are always available at French for Sugar, but the store is offering special flavors for Valentine’s Day like pink champagne and chocolate covered strawberry. French for Sugar is also well stocked with cute Valentine’s items to go with the macarons like stuffed animals, heart themed novelties and other whimsical gifts.
Where: 1160 Speer Boulevard, Denver CO 80204
Cost: $20 for a package of 5
Contact: Michelle Rasul, Head Pastry Chef, (303) 376-0070
Every holiday and special occasion sparkles brighter with special goodies from Gateaux. If you have been following Denver I Love for any amount of time, you know how much I adore this bakery! There is no better way to spread sunshine than by bringing someone a box of treats from Gateaux. Valentine’s Day at Gateaux is extra special! While they don’t offer macarons in the case year-round, they do for Valentine’s Day! Of course like everything Gateaux prepares, the macarons are absolutely perfect and gorgeous!
Where: 3621 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Cost: $2.00 each
Contact: Owner Amber Watson, Head Baker Kalli Sarik, (303) 477.3556
A visit to 32nd Street in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood always lifts the spirits. The attractive array of local shops and one of a kind eateries makes the street one of Denver’s best blocks. It is only fitting that an original treasure like Happy Bakeshop would be located on 32nd Street. Happy Bakeshop’s macarons do not look like other macarons. They are big and bright, and they look so happy they seem to actually be smiling up at you through the pastry case.
Le Delices de Paris
Cost: $19.90 per bag of 12
Contact: (303) 320-7596
This authentic French patisserie sells macarons by the bag. They are not Valentine’s themed, but they are exceptionally good tasting! Pretty much everything in this petite patisserie is très délicieux! Stop in for lunch and try one of the totally amazing mini quiches to go with your macarons.
Mall Macarons: Lollli & Pops & Kseni Mademoiselle Macarons
Cost: $29 a 6 pack at Lolli & Pops
Contact: Lolli & Pops (303) 390-5701; Kseni Mademoiselle (303) 526-0484
For a quick macaron fix, Lolli & Pops and Kseni Mademoiselle, both in Cherry Creek Mall, have very pretty macarons at the ready. At Lolli & Pops you can also fill your bag or box with a fabulous assortment of red and pink candies.
Olive & Finch
Where: Uptown at 1552 E. 17th Avenue, Denver, CO 80218 and in Cherry Creek at 3390 E. 1st Ave. Denver, CO 80206
Contact: Cherry Creek (303) 955-0455 | Uptown (303) 832-8663; Head Chef Roger Meier
Olive & Finch has two great Denver locations at which to find special baked goods and precious macarons. Olive & Finch is one of the few macaron bakeries where you can sit down and enjoy a delicious latte with your macaron treat.
The Macaron Shoppe, LLC Denver
Where: Homemade in Denver where you pick up your order from the baker. Orders in Advance Only.
Cost: Classic one flavor dozens are $30/monthly variety boxes and specialty flavors $35 a dozen
Contact: Deviny Shenise: Owner + Baker, (720) 938-0325; on Instagram @macaronshoppedenver
The Macaron Shoppe offers made to order small batch custom orders. In order to try these delicious hand crafted macarons you will need to order in advance and pick up form the baker herself. Delivery can be added to orders for $5 to $15. The Macaron Shoppe offers over 70 different flavors in every color and creative design and combination possible. Definitely worth the extra effort to make macaron arrangements.
Sur La Table – Make Your Own at a Valentines Day Macarons Cooking Class
Where: 121 Clayton Ln, Denver, CO 80206
Contact: (303) 780-7800
When: February 14th at 9 am. The Cherry Creek location in Denver.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a do it yourself fun and festive morning activity. Learn how to make jewel-toned macarons delicately piped and filled with buttercream and white chocolate ganache at Sur La Table Cooking School in Cherry Creek. What’s on the menu: almond macarons with raspberry lemon buttercream and gold-dusted vanilla bean macarons with white chocolate rose ganache. Register online.
Woops, Flat Iron Crossing
Cost: 2.95 each / $30 dozen
Contact: Deb Evans Owner, (832) 334-6664
I discovered this amazing macaron shop right in the middle of Flat Irons Crossing, and I’m loving it so much! Not only does Woops have adorable boxes for a Valentine’s splash, this small shop between Denver and Boulder sells some of the best tasting macarons ever. I personally tried 6 flavors, and can attest first hand to how delicious they are! The fun macaron towers Woops prepares are another great way to say, “I love you!” Woops impressed me with their friendliness and expertise. Rachel helped us pick out the macarons, and she was such a wonderful dynamo telling us all about how they are made. This excellent customer care come from the top and Woops’ owner Deb Evans seems to really understand, “macarons matter!”
Whole Foods Macarons
Where: 2375 E 1st Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Cost: $2 each / $18 dozen
Believe it or not, Whole Foods does macarons really well and you can’t beat the convenience of the self serve refrigerated case! In rating some of my favorite macarons, I would definitely put the Whole Foods macarons toward the top of the list. They always have them on the ready, and the flavors never disappoint. This is one of my best party prep go tos, along with Whole Foods’ Chantilly Cake in the case, when I don’t get my act together early and still want things to look special.
Last but not least
I add Poeme macarons at the end not because they aren’t top of my list but because us Denverites have to drive a little further to pick up these miraculous macarons in Fort Collins. You need to order Poeme macrons online. I absolutely love looking at Poemme Macarons Instagram! I mean: how can you not feel good when you see the description, “musically inspired macaron shop!” Come on – could there be anything better?
Poeme Macarons is named after a violin piece with the same name, written by french composer Ernest Chausson, but wait…the story gets even better. Poeme Macaron’s owner, Sandra Zupanski is a professionally-trained violinist, a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a dedicated passion for baking. Who else but an awesome Wolverine could combine music and French pastry in harmonious euphony. Sandra was a third-prize winner in the American-protégé International Music Competition, which allowed her to play in Carnegie Hall. Go Blue! Sandra, I love your awesomeness!
I know this story only scratches the surface here for Denver’s amazing patisseries. Please let me know where you find your favorite Denver macarons! I always love hearing from you. Email me at email@example.com or message me on instagram @denverilove.