Gooey, Chocolate Chip Cookie Heaven Visiting Levain Bakery NYC

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!”

best cookie nyc levain bakery

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.


levain bakery nyc wait

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.

levain bakery nyc 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.

inside levain bakery nyc

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.

levain bakery nyc best cookie

“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!

levain bakery nyc uws

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.

levain bakery chocolate chip

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??

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

19 thoughts on “Gooey, Chocolate Chip Cookie Heaven Visiting Levain Bakery NYC

    1. EW! the day after birthday dump- what a shithead. Ugh, but obviously you were better off. ..sounds like a story that would be a fun read just saying. ALSO your comment made me feel like a dick for how gluten-centric this post is…(sorrrrryyy)

  1. This looks amazing – I wish there were places like this in Birmingham… And we wouldn’t mind standing in line – us Brits are used to it haha!

    1. I’m imagining a little old Birmingham lady who has an Aaaaamazing cookie (biscuit?) recipe just as good and just needs the funds to start such a shop! 🙂 But hey, if you have a chocolates craving when you visit NYC now you know where to go!

  2. I looooove Levain! Totally worth the wait in line and even the trip to the UWS from where I live in Astoria. I actually prefer their chocolate peanut butter chip cookies, they are heaven and taste like a Reese’s cup just exploded in your mouth! I’m not a huge fan of their chocolate chip cookies because of the walnuts (which I normally like in other things…ironic, I know). My favorite chocolate chip cookie though has to be from Culture on W. 38th St. near Bryant Park! They are soooo good. The only good thing to come from a terrible 3-week dating stint with a finance bro lol.

    1. Oh my goodness – thank you for sharing all your NYCookie knowledge! I NEED to try this chocolate peanut butter chip magic you describe! And see how Culture compares. Hahaha, I feel like I wouldn’t know any NYC foodie places were it not for terrible dating stints. Worth it!

    1. Do you have an NYC trip planned? Exciting! Haha, I was hungry after writing this post – should’ve saved half of the cookie as a reward for when I clicked the “publish’ button!

    1. It’s worth the hype! Especially because the line moves very fast and the cookies are giant! I ate half and saved the rest for later- it was still good the next day! It be perfect to share, too!

  3. My all time favorite cookie place!! Definitely worth the wait for that mound of textured chocolaty goodness. I wish I didn’t feel guilty eating the whole thing by myself!!

    1. I knew I’d feel sick if I ate the whole thing at once…waited until the next day to finish the other half. Which is still a lot of cookie in 36 hours, but made me feel a bit less guilty 🙂

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