Cupcakes have reigned as the supreme dessert the past few years, but slowly we’ve seen a particular colorful French cookie taking up precious real estate in bakery stands.  Whether you call it macaron or macaroon (because they’re both correct), you’ll be glad to know that you won’t have to drive all the way to LA’s famed Bottega Louie to get your nibble on these chewy, French confections. We have some tasty ones right here in the OC with kid-friendly flavors such as chocolate ganache, coconut, strawberry, and passion fruit. Next time, instead of that chocolate chip cookie or cupcake, have the kids try the trendy macaron!

Bon Epi Patisserie & Café
Located in the bustling Diamond Jamboree Plaza of Irvine, Bon Epi has recently added some colorful macarons to their offerings. These are fluffier and slightly bigger in size compared to most macarons, and they come in a variety of flavors including white chocolate white peach, blue velvet, amaretto orange blossom, white chocolate passion fruit, chocolate ganache, and vanilla bean. Be sure to check out their pastries and lunch offerings: pick up some chocolate croissants and korean bbq tacos while you’re there.

Good to Know: Spacious bathroom, casual ambience and convenient parking, it’s a good place for a quick in and out stop to pick up macarons and pastries on the go. They also offer a good selection of freshly baked cakes for birthdays and special occasions.  Although the parking lot is spacious, the parking lot does get crowded at peak lunch times from noon to 1:30 pm and dinner times from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. So plan ahead to avoid those peak hours with the kids.

2750 Alton Parkway
Suite 101
Irvine, Ca
949-251-0070

Layer Cake Bakery
This bakery was one of the first to offer macarons to Irvine residents. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be greeted by their cupcakes and macarons display. They offer the classic flavors: strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and pistachio just to name a few. Take them to go or enjoy them with the kids in the casual café seating area. It’s a good place to bring coloring books for the kids while you enjoy some reading.

Good to Know: It’s never too crowded and with a spacious and easily accessible bathroom and spacious tables, it’s a good spot to bring coloring books or crafts for the kids while you enjoy some reading. Breakfast sandwiches, French toast as well as lunch items are offered if your stay goes past a few macarons.

4250 Barranca Parkway
Suite 1
Irvine, Ca
949-786-0223

Paris In A Cup
Located in the heart of Old Town Orange, this cute tea café is also a great place to score some yummy macarons. It’s casual enough for the kids to sit down and enjoy the yummy confections while you sip on some tea.

Good to Know: If you’ve been wanting to take your kids to a casual tea time, this is a great place to start. It’s fancy but casual and friendly enough for the kids to dress up and dabble in the art of tea. Walk-ins are welcome but it’s better to call ahead and make reservations. Be sure to mention that you will be having little ones in the party so that they can accommodate you accordingly.

119 South Glassell Street
Orange, Ca
714-538-9411

Rocq Café
A casual café located in a spacious strip mall in Lake Forest brings heart-shaped delicious macarons created by master chef Eddy Rocq. These macarons were so good that they were once sold on the Williams-Sonoma website. Now you and the kiddos can enjoy these delectable treats in the comforts of a cozy but kid-friendly storefront.

Good to Know: It’s a small café so keep the stroller in the car, but it’s usually not crowded which is good news for the kids. It’s a good place to change up your routine and catch up with a mom friend over coffee while the kids nibble on an afternoon macaron.

22722 Lambert Street
Suite 1702
Lake Forest, Ca
714-488-6258

Sweet & Saucy Shop
A recent addition to the Crystal Cove shopping area this past fall, this fancy dessert shop bakes up just about every dessert that’s popular under the California sun. Be sure to try their salted caramel and Nutella hazelnut macarons. They also offer custom designed macarons for birthdays and parties.

Good to Know: With mouth-watering displays of every dessert imaginable, your little ones will be mesmerized with the “I’m in a candy store” spell. Order at the window and pick a seat to enjoy the desserts with the kids. After dessert, take visit the kid-friendly Newport Beach Library that is only a short drive away.

7922 East Coast Highway
Newport Beach, Ca
949-715-0920

‘Lette Macarons
‘Lette grew out from Paulette’s Macarons in Beverly Hills, a very well known macaron establishment. The interior and macaron display is reminiscent of Sprinkles cupcakes with simple designs to enhance the color and beauty of their delicious masterpieces.  Perfect in shape and texture, these are some of the best in town. Be sure to taste the salted caramel, mint chip, sweet wedding almond, and carribean chocolate.

Good to Know: It’s more of a to go, pick-up kind of place, and not a sit-down café. It’s a good place to stop by, especially after shopping at Fashion Island, to pick up dessert on the go or have the kids pick out flavors for a teacher’s gift.

1131 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, Ca
949-706-8299

Have you tried these tasty little treats? Which of these spots is your go-to when it comes to macarons?

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–Sommy Rhee

photo credit: Cuc Crystal N. via yelp, Kelley U. via yelp, All other photos taken by Sommy