The Mandarin Oriental Shop (Paragon) 

Who: Renowned for their luxurious afternoon tea sets and quality pastries, Mandarin Oriental Shop has long been favored by hi-so ladies with fussy palates, and the aging Siam Paragon branch has now been given a refurb.
What: With its slightly more down-to-earth new look, the shop still offers a great variety of baked goods and pastries. The fresh vanilla mille feuille (B125) are made daily at the Oriental Hotel’s central bakery kitchen. Other petit treats include, macarons (B49 each), chocolate truffles, and pralines (starting B98 for a box of two).
We like: The pastry here is good, but not massively superior to most five-star hotels. What we really like are the scrumptiously refreshing classics, like the caramel nougat éclair (B130), and an intense coffee caramel nougat (B155).
G/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-659-9000. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Siam


Who: With over 400 chains worldwide, and recipes dating from even before the 1900s, Paul is one of the most well-known boulangerie chains in the world. 
What: Classical breads such as baguettes (B75), pain de champagne (country bread, B125) and fougasse Provencale (similar to focaccia, B100). There are also plenty of French pastries (starting B65) and desserts such as eclairs (starting B145), mille-feuilles (B160) and lemon tarts (B150). Paul is also a sit-down afternoon café and bistrot, where you can eat comforting treats such as croque-monsieur and paillasson champignons (traditional French mushroom pancakes, both B290).
We like: Baked fresh daily, the breads here are crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. This is one of the few places in Bangkok to sell sweet rhubarb tart (B160).
1/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-001-5160. Open daily 8:30am-10:00pm. BTS Phloen Chit


Who: Founded in 1862, Ladurée now has more than 40 stores worldwide. It cranks out thousands of little double-decker treats every day, making it the gold standard against which other macarons are measured. 
What: Macarons, and lots of them. At B120 for a single macaron, they’re not cheap, but that hasn’t put people off. With its Versailles princess theme, Ladurée Thailand has become an afternoon tea hangout for rich young ladies or ah-sia wanting to impress their girlfriends. As well as macarons, they also offer traditional teas such as Earl Grey and Darjeeling (starting B230), and ice cream for an eye-popping B440. If you have the budget, you can take home chocolate truffles (B1,700 at 160g), candy berlingot (B180) and nougat (B650). 
We like: The fragrant rose petal macaron. If you consider yourself a macaron connoisseur, it won’t kill you to try just one piece. 
M/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-0599. BTS Siam

Issaya La Patisserie 

Who: This sweet outlet from chef Ian Kittichai’s much-loved Issaya Cooking Studio adds playful Thai twists and flavor combinations to classic French treats.
What: The prices are rather hefty, but the Thai-inspired macarons (B65 a piece) in flavors such as the smoky kao mao, refreshing tub tim krob, uniquely aromatic vanilla tien oob, tamarind and prik pao chocolate are proving very popular, and for good reason. Other intriguing offerings include the Monsieur Kimhun (choux pastry with sticky tapioca flour, pandanus cream and chunks of sweet mango topped with mascarpone whipped cream, B360).
We like: On top of the must-try Thai-inspired macarons (B65 a piece), we adore the kluaykeak éclair set (B330), which gives a traditional Thai caramelized banana twist to the traditional éclair—one of the city’s best desserts.  
5/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-160-5636. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Phloen Chit 

Pierre Hermé 

Ladurée? Non, Parisians in-the-know get their macarons from Pierre Hermé. Tongues are already wagging about its imminent arrival in Bangkok—even if the last thing we need is more stores selling colorful macarons. It should open the same time as Emporium shopping mall unveils its major refurbishments, scheduled before the end of 2014.
Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Rd.