Where would you go for macarons on the Champs Elysees?

 The woman's fuchsia jacket and shoes match the Laduree storefront and brighten a grey Parisian day.

There's a place that I know on the Champs Elysees where you can eat caramel macarons and sip hot chocolate while doing a bit of people watching. Nope, not Laduree, one of the best known makers of macarons in the world. I'm sorry to say that their flagship store is closed indefinitely while they repair the damage that was caused by a fire last week.

Walking past Laduree yesterday, I noticed that some of the upstairs windows of the gutted building were broken. The shades were drawn on the ground floor, a sign said that "the premises are being repaired after an incident" [strange that they didn't use the word fire], and a security guard was busy directing the disappointed tourists to the two other Laduree shops in town.

Where would you see a display case filled with yummy pastries like these maracrons, lemon tarts, and Paris Brest?

The place that I'm thinking about is on the opposite side of the Champs Elysees from Laduree and starts with the letter "M". Let's see - what other clues can I give you. Golden arches, Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets and Macarons! That's right. You guessed it. It's McDonald's.

My selection of 6 macarons for 5 Euros ($7). No, I didn't eat them all at once!
After dragging a surprised Stephane into McDonald's to buy some macarons last Saturday night, I decided that it was necessary to pay a visit to their flagship store yesterday to do a bit more research.

I was disappointed that the McDonald's on the Champs Elysees doesn't have these sleek machines for customers to place their own orders like the McDonalds on Rue de Rivoli does. In actuality, I really wanted to test the machine and not the macarons.
Judging from the number of different languages that I heard being spoken, it seems as if
people from all over the world like to go to McDonald's for a quick, inexpensive meal.
The long lines at 3:30 pm on a Thursday were a bit of a surprise.

To get a quick idea of the cost of living in one country versus another, expatriates often use the price of a McDonald meal as a reference point because they're fairly standard around the world. While standing in line, I jotted down how much you would pay for these items in Paris:

Big Mac menu-Euros 6.10 ($8.41), Filet-o-fish menu-Euros 6.30 ($8.70), 6 chicken McNuggets-Euros 6.60 ($9.10), Caesar salad-Euros 6.40 ($8.83), Happy Meal-Euros 4.00 ($5.52), cappuccino-Euros 2.00 ($2.76). How do these prices compare with the McDonald's near you?

Sitting at the counter facing the window on the second floor is a great spot for people watching.

So, what were the results of my research? With the exception of having a McCafe area serving pastries and fairly good macarons, McDonald's in Paris is just about the same as it is anywhere else in the world. The big plus in Paris is that I didn't have to pay for ketchup for my french fries like I had to in Switzerland.

If you're feeling disappointed that you won't be able to visit the Laduree on the Champs Elysees and wondering where you can get some macarons to take home, there is a small Laduree boutique in the international departure area of Charles de Gaulle airport. The saleswoman told me that the price is the same as at the Laduree stores in town, but they end up being less expensive because there isn't any tax on them. That's a sweet deal!

McDonald's on the Champs Elysees is open 7 days a week from 7:30-2:00 am.

Otherwise, McDonald macarons offer a fairly good alternative.

Comments

  1. I just cannot fathom paying for ketchup. Wow.

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  2. You mean that display case is IN A McDONALDS? I am incredulous. And impressed.

    The prices for the food is very high, I'll try to hop into a McD's downtown here later today to see the prices. I know the McRib is $1.98, and expect everything else to be fairly cheap as well.

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  3. OH, I forgot to post on the fire. How did our intrepid reporter not get photos of said event? C'mon, get out of the 16th when these things happen and speedy to the scene.

    But really, how shocking--it must have been a major fire to cause problems between floors. Well it gives them to opportunity to come back even better.

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  4. Bridget, When they gave me two (!!!) free packs of ketchup in McDonald's yesterday, I felt as if I had won the lottery. In Switzerland, the ketchup costs 20 Swiss centimes (about 23 cents) for a tiny little packet. And to make matters worse, I'm fairly sure that a McDonald's meal is more expensive there.

    Joseph, The McDonald's cafe does offer an impressive array of sweets. In an attempt to gain an even larger share of the French market, they're going to start offering fresh breakfast baguettes with artisanal jam. I'll be curious to know what a McDonald meal costs in Chicago.

    Yeah, I know that I'm a slacker. When I saw the news of the fire on my Twitter feed I considered going to take pictures but couldn't work up enough enthusiasm to actually do it. Part of the reason is that I figured that they would have already blocked off the street by the time that I got there. But can you imagine the smell of roasting macarons? I'm wonder if the Champs Elysees smelled like s'mores.

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  5. I visited McD's while in Paris mainly to use their wifi, and I was pleasantly surprised by their appealing dessert spread. And now they're going to offer fresh baguettes? Good for them, at this rate they'll turn into a regular French chain!

    Too bad about the fire at Laduree. By the way, they just opened one on Madison Ave here. I indulged today and they were ridiculously good! Now, I just have to wait for the McD's here to bring on the competition. :)

    -nycgirl

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  6. nycgirl, It was seeing the pictures of the macarons on your post on Any Port that made me drag Stephane into McDonald's last Saturday night to try them. I didn't know that McDonald's was in the macaron business before that.

    Glad that you got to try the Laduree macarons in NYC. They're yummy!

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  7. Sounds like the cost of cappuccinos at McDo's has gone up, or perhaps it just costs more on the C-E? In 2010 at "my" McDonald's on Rue du Faubourg St. Antoine/Ledru Rollin (11th-12th border) (and also at a couple of others I have visited) charged 1.60euros. Good people-watching also from the McD's near the Hard Rock Cafe. -- Maddietravel

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  8. I did stop in a Loop Chicago McDs the other day, the prices: a Big Mac was 3.49 and a Quarter Pounder was 3.75. A Double Quarter Pounder was 4.48. Each burger though came with the option of the Value Meal, which is what most people order I think and for an additional two bucks or so you get a soda and "fries with that".

    The shocking thing: "There will be an additional charge for extra condiments." I couldn't believe it. I don't know what the charge is, or what they give you to begin with as I didn't buy anything--but there it is.

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  9. Maddie, I wouldn't be surprised if the prices at the McD's on the Champs Elysees aren't a bit more expensive than at their other stores. When I used to drink coffee, I used to go to the McD's in the town where we lived in Switzerland because it was so much cheaper than at the surrounding cafes. Plus, their coffee isn't so bitter. I've never been to the Hard Rock Cafe in Paris. I'll have to keep it in mind for when I'm craving onion rings.

    Joseph, What? McD's is going to start charging for extra condiments in the States? That's almost akin to Bank of America saying that they were going to charge $5 per month for people to use their debit cards. Wow! I'll be curious to see how this new policy is received.

    So, a Big Mac Meal costs $5.49 in Chicago versus $8.41 in Paris. Many thanks for checking the prices, especially since you didn't eat anything at McD's. If they would have had macarons, the temptation may have been harder to resist.
    November 6, 2011 7:44 PM

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  10. hey! me and my friends have to do a presentation of the macaron and his expansion around the world.
    we were wondering how the other country (we’re french) see the macaron and if you like it , what’s your favorite flavour and if you don’t like it why ?
    also do you often eat macaron?

    Thanx for all of your answer it could really help us!

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  11. It would be a pleasure to answer your questions about macarons.

    How do people in other countries see the macaron - I'm American and have found that Americans who haven't traveled to France think that a macaron is a coconut cookie because that's what a macaron is for us. For those who have been to France and have tasted one of your macarons, they all seem to love them. The people in New York city were very happy when Laduree opened a boutique in October.

    Do I like macarons? Yes!

    Even though it's maybe a bit boring, my favorite flavor is still chocolate, although I've seen that there are lots of new flavors like wasabi and black sesame. Oh, I also like the caramel ones.

    Take a look at these posts if you want to see some macaron shoes, and a macaron Eiffel Tower.

    Oh! And here's apost about macarons in Boston. They're called Luxembourgers there because the chocolatier learned to make them in Switzerland and that's what they're called there.

    Good luck with your project!

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  12. thanks you so much Mary Kay !

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  13. Mary Kay, just curious, how much are macarons in McDs in Paris?

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  14. This is really late but i chanced upon your blog and was hooked (i'm preparing for my first trip to France come Summer :) ) so i decided to start reading from the archives!

    Anyway, a big mac here (in Singapore) is about $3 USD cheaper approx. but strange that the mcNuggets cost more

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