Ask me where the best burger or pizza slice in NYC is and I have trouble answering the question. I’m overwhelmed! Too many options! There are so many incredible places! New ones pop up every month! Can I name my top 5? Even that’s hard! Gah, this is almost as impossible as being asked to name my favorite book!
Now, ask me where the best chocolate chip cookie in NYC is and I’ll reply nonchalantly,
“Levain Bakery. Best chocolate chip cookie in New York City. GO! Post haste!”
That’s as nonchalant as I get…
I’d heard the near mythical hype of this cookie for years, years I tell you! I kept meaning to go and eat Levain’s famous chocolate chip cookie ever since I moved to the Upper West Side in 2009!
But…but..ugh, there was always a huge line out the door….and #NewYorkCliche: locals hate waiting in lines.
Another thing that took me this long to get my mouth on one of these amazing chocolate delights? Levain Bakery closes at 7PM! So many times, this has happened: “Let’s get dessert after dinner! We’re right by Levain Bakery! Perfect! Wait. Fuck. They close at 7. Never mind.”
Well, last Sunday I finally tried the best chocolate chip cookie in NYC. I can now assure you (unlike silly rainbow bagel trends), Levain Bakery lives up to the hype. It’s worth waiting in the long line.
The line actually moves surprisingly fast. I timed it. I waited 15 minutes for my cookie on a January Sunday afternoon at 4PM. After waiting on the line for the Pixel Forest in the snow – this little cookie line was nothing!
Best part of the Levain Bakery line? The entire wait smells like chocolate. The whole street smells like chocolate. That’s some Willy Wonka level sweet sorcery, that is.
Part of the reason for the line is that the inside of the bakery is tiny. Tiny but warm, cozy, and full of delicious things.
No getting overwhelmed by choice here. They have 4 cookies to pick from. (Breads and pasties as well, but it is very clearly quality over quantity). The Chocolate Chip Walnut is the most popular.
“Funny looking cookies.” You might say. I brought mine outside and someone asked me if it was a scone. Nope, it’s a giant mound of cookie!
The minute you bite into it, any scone comparison flies out the window.
The thickness of these cookies (and how they get them that thick is a well kept secret) allows for multiple textures. It’s delightful and will settle any debates between the Chewy VS Crunchy camps of cookie enthusiasts. The bottom is crisp and perfectly brown, the top is a crunch into gooey, chocolate deliciousness. You’ve never had a chocolate chip cookie like this. Plus it’s warm, right out of the oven, perfect for a cold winter afternoon. A recipe for the perfect Valentine’s day beauty look: chocolate-all-over-my-face.
Guys, I don’t usually like walnuts in my cookies, but in this cookie, they are some how perfect! (Unless you’re allergic to nuts…in which case, sorry.) The walnut adds a tiny extra crunch and dimension to the cookie. Ugh, it’s so good.
I couldn’t finish the whole thing. I saved half for later and I’m happy to report it’s still a fantastic cookie even when it’s not fresh from the oven.
If you find yourself on W 74th and Amsterdam, or in Harlem at 117th and Fredrick Douglas (I bet the line is shorter there!), make your life a little sweeter and get one of these cookies. Yes, it’s pricey for a cookie at $4, but it’s worth it. Share it was a friend. Plus Levain Bakery is a local business started in NYC by two women! That’s icing on the cake!
What’s your favorite cookie? Do you have a secret chocolate chip recipe? Do you usually hate walnuts in your cookies? Have you been to Levain Bakery, and what did you think??