At Ladurée SoHo, sugary dreams come to life. Opened just last year, this elegant tea salon is where you can catch a civilized tea break on the most hectic of New York days. There are many places to enjoy a cup of tea in the city, but if you want to savor an artful bite of Parisian tradition right here in the U.S., this is the place to be.
What I love most about anything Ladurée is that it literally makes you stop in awe and delight. It’s not just a tea shop, it’s a tea salon. It’s not just a cream puff, it’s a religieuse. And they aren’t just cookies, they’re macarons–airy, whimsical delicacies filled with a host of luscious fillings. Attention to detail is second to none at Ladurée, and for that reason alone this a fantastic place to take a tea break.
This space is so Versailles-like that you can easily imagine Marie Antoinette herself nibbling on a few pastries here. But instead of iconic 18th century French queens, at Ladurée SoHo you’ll find polished mesdames et messieurs eager to sink into some much-needed moments of leisure. Classic menu items like the Ladurée Club Sandwich and Croque Monsieur make this spot a must-try for brunch lovers.
The last time I was in Paris, I bought a box of Ladurée macarons only to end up not eating half of them. Why? Because they were literally too beautiful to eat. Months later, after finally figuring out how to whip up a half-decent looking macaron, I pulled the preserved beauties out of the fridge for comparison. The world around, Ladurée is the gold standard for macarons, which is why you should always indulge when the opportunity presents itself.
At the pastry case, embarrassing mispronunciations of the French language are easily solved: a gentle point through the glass and voilà–you’re good to go. Look up and you’ll find 19 varieties of Ladurée teas, including my absolute favorites, the Chinese green tea blend Roi Soleil and the company’s signature tea, Mélange Ladurée (delicious iced!).
Here’s a glimpse of the store from front to back. In the first room, you’re greeted with graceful marble statues and purple tasseled menus. This is a nice location to people watch or to genuinely appreciate the pâtissier’s masterful pastry work.
The next room has the darkest and boldest decor of the tea salon. You’ll find blue velvet finishes and kelly green wall coverings here. The room is inspired by Madeleine Castaing, the renowned French interior designer. This is a plush and richly decorated room, complete with leopard print carpet.
The back room, inspired by Madame de Pompadour (Louis XV’s mistress), happens to be the room that I enjoyed tea in. It’s bright, airy, and ballroom-like, lined with ornate crown mouldings and heavenly blue and green pastels. The highlight of the space is this art piece, part of Ladurée U.S. copresident Elisabeth Holder’s family collection. Just across from the artwork in the same room, you’ll find the most gorgeous tapestries–heavy, woven drapes with intricate sewn details of florals and butterflies. This room leads into the garden terrace out back, a unique feature at Ladurée SoHo.
The garden at Ladurée SoHo is an ideal place for larger (or louder) get togethers. Rows of trees provide plenty of shade, and the full-service bar creates glorious drinks like the Rose Macaron Cocktail. If you love cherry blossoms, come in the spring to enjoy afternoon tea under an umbrella of soft pink blooms.
Here’s the good news: soon, Ladurée macarons might be available via mail order here in the U.S.! Tea and macarons arriving in those vibrant boxes at my doorstep in California? It’s a fabulous prospect. I’ll be ordering the Pistachio, Earl Grey, and Framboise…which flavors will you be ordering?When in New York, do as the Parisians do and head over to Ladurée SoHo for a generous dose of joie de vivre. Art, history, and tea culture collide at this palatial Downtown Manhattan hideaway. It’s a luxurious experience, one that’s best enjoyed with a few extra New York minutes. A sincere thanks to Jason Noda of Celine Kaplan PR for arranging this charming visit to Ladurée SoHo.
398 West Broadway
10012 New York, NY
646.392.7868 (for reservations or to order tea!)