If you are on Instagram and you follow any New York City accounts, chances are you’ve seen a photo of this cookie.
When I come to the city by myself, I stay in a studio apartment on the Upper West Side, just blocks away from this quaint little bakery on West 74th Street. But it wasn’t until I started seeing the cookie pop up on Instagram that I set out to see for myself what the hype was all about. Levain bakery, with only a small sign at street level, is a short set of stairs below ground. No wonder I missed it all these years!
The first time I came to get a cookie there was a line. It was snaked out the door and down the block. I do my best to avoid lines, really, can it be that good? I have a high standard for baked goods. I grew up on the good stuff and have evolved into a decent home baker, myself. But my mission was to try one of these cookies, and I wasn’t leaving without one (or three).
Once inside the tiny, below ground bakery, there’s a display case packed full of warm cookies, fresh out of the oven breads and beautiful pastries. Never one to self-impose limits, I selected a chocolate chip, double chocolate and a chocolate peanut butter chip cookie. These cookies weigh in at a whopping 6 ounces each so I had well over a pound of cookies in my little white bakery sack!
Firm and crisp on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. The texture was just right. Molten chocolate chips oozing as you pull it apart. Made with real butter and eggs…all the good stuff. These cookies are, in fact, THAT GOOD. I would say that these are easily the best cookies I’ve ever had in New York City.
Levain now has five bakeries in the city, making it easier to get your hands on one of these delights. Travel Tip! The cookies travel well and if stored correctly can make a fun treat, or gift (if you’re in to sharing), once you get back home.