A South Beach Quest for Ladurée

Ladurée is famous for its sweet and colorful macarons. They have nine U.S. locations, primarily in California and along the East Coast in Washington, D.C., and New York City. There is a hidden Ladurée gem, though, in Miami. As a belated Valentine’s Day outing, Brett and I decided to head down to the Bal Harbor mall in Miami to pick up some sweet treats.

But First, Some Shopping

We had intended to go to Ladurée and then venture elsewhere in town to explore. However, when we realized Ladurée was part of a huge outdoor shopping mall, we decided to wander through the shops.

It was a beautiful day — sunny, breezy, and not too hot. Clearly, we had not been the only ones with the idea to go shop, because it was pretty busy. The mall walkways were pretty spacious, though, so it didn’t feel too crowded.

There was a nice J.Crew and — one of my favorites — an even better Madewell. I splurged on a couple t-shirts from both, including this super cute white tee with a rainbow collar.

There was also a gigantic Sephora, but I resisted the urge to go in and buy all the things….

Lots of Steps to the Beach

Brett and I wandered from the start of the Bal Harbor shops all the way to the ocean. Walking on the beach was nice, especially with the breeze coming off the water.

The beach was pretty popular, with lots of umbrellas and little tents. It looked like they were setting up for some kind of festival, too. We couldn’t figure out what the event was for, though.

After walking on the beach for a while, we headed back towards the Bal Harbor shops for lunch.

When I put my shoes back on, I realized that Jack Rodgers might not have been the best idea. I underestimated how far we would be walking. According to my Apple Watch, we walked over four miles throughout the day!

Paper Straws & La Rubia

We stopped for drinks earlier in the day and then for lunch after walking on the beach. Both places provided paper straws, as opposed to plastic. Miami Beach has been phasing plastic straws out. According to the Miami Herald, the ban on plastic straws is supposed to go into effect this month. Brett and I were pretty impressed. We’ve both been making an effort to reduce the number of disposable plastic straws we use.

Lunch was a light, which was just what we needed after a day walking in the sun. There were a number of interesting dining options along the Bal Harbor shopping mall. We stopped at the Cafe at Books & Books because it looked like it had good options for both of us (read: vegetarian/pescatarian options).

The Cafe was pretty cute. Besides the outdoor seating along the mall walkway, there was a small area of “indoor” seating. The indoor seating was really in a breezeway between the mall and an actual book store. Evidently, the book store and Cafe have author talks and other book events throughout the year.

Wynwood Brewing Co La Rubia Blonde Ale, served at the Cafe at Books & Books in Miami Beach, Florida.

With lunch, Brett and I both imbibed with a Wynwood Brewing La Rubia Blonde Ale. We both enjoy craft and local beers, and tend to try to choose local when a good option is available. I’ve tried a couple of Wynwood’s beers before and I think this is my new favorite of theirs. La Rubia was a nice, light ale. It seemed like a good choice for a day out on the boat or by the pool, too. We would both get it again, for sure.

Macarons, Macarons, & More Macarons

After lunch, we made our way to Ladurée — our entire reason for driving the nearly hour south from where we live. The shop was pretty low-profile. If you weren’t looking for it, it would probably be easy to overlook.

Ladurée macarons in a variety of flavors and colors.

The shop itself is small but has a great selection of teas and chocolates, along with the obligatory macarons. As I write this, I realize I regret not picking up a package of their Marie Antoinette tea.

I picked up a number of my favorites — rose, pistachio, Marie Antoinette tea, and caramel — and some that are new to me — namely, strawberry marshmallow.

Ladurée macarons in a variety of flavors and colors, primarily the Marie Antoinette tea flavor in blue.

Pro tip: keep the macarons in the fridge to make them last longer! I’m very excited to savor these treats for the next few days! I’ll definitely try not to eat them all tonight.

Do you have a favorite dessert pastry or treat?