1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 279-5939, farinabakery.com. Breakfast daily.
They may have both been the victims of recent trends, but otherwise there is no comparing the cupcake—a splodge of fat and sugar, squeezed into a paper shell by a ham-handed wastrel—to the macaron, which is an airy disc of delight that pleases the eye as well as the palate. Expertly made in a small, charming, wood-paneled bakery, Laura Farina's confections have a slight firmness to the tooth that gives way to a moist interior and the lightest, creamiest fillings we've ever tasted. We prefer the brightness of the fruit flavors, like the incandescent Meyer lemon ($2), to the understandably popular chocolate and caramel ones. But sweetness, both in flavor and appearance, is best exemplified by the raspberry, whose top is adorned with a dainty string of hearts.