You’re So Levain (The City’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie at Levain Bakery)

There are certain bloggers who are known for getting the scoop. They break big news stories, create political scandals, get interviewed on CNN. And then there’s me: Mr. Laggy. Let me be known as the blogger, specifically the food blogger, who comes very late to whatever phenomenon is at issue. In this case the phenomenon is The Levain Bakery and the cookies sold there.


[Pay no attention to the man on the bench. He’s Craig, aka Mr. “I insist on being in this picture but I’ll pretend otherwise if anyone asks!”]

I first learned of the Levain Bakery when that distinguished Parisian Clotilde came to New York and wrote about it on her site. A reader tipped her off that Levain’s would be “the best cookies of her life” and Clotilde confirms this in her assessment: “This was exactly my kind of cookie — crispy chunky chewy and all manner of adjectives rhyming with “-y”.

I catalogued this information in that vessel known as my brain and because Mr. Picture Hog and I, Mr. Laggy, planned a day uptown I’d jotted down the address just in case we were close by. And sure enough, by late afternoon, we found ourselves on 74th on the west side of the park.

“Let us journey down this street,” I commanded. “And enjoy cookies between Amsterdam and Columbus.”

“Ok, Mr. Bossy,” quipped Craig.

We descended the stairs of Levain and allowed the aroma of cookies and bread to wash over us. The man there was quite jovial and quite understanding as we took our time to make cookie decisions. We ultimately decided to share both a chocolate chip cookie and the one Clotilde raved about, the dark chocolate peanut butter. Here they are in that order:


Here’s our assessment.







Specifically, we found the chocolate chip cookie to embody all the joyous attributes that flour, sugar, and chocolate chips can bring. It was mounded in the middle, so it was super thick and super rich. Also: it was warm out of the oven, so we devoured it.

The chocolate peanut butter cookie was not warm, but we still devoured it.

In conclusion, though I may be late to the game I still stepped up to plate and having batted against Levain Bakery’s cookie I can say, with great integrity, it’s a ______.

[Please note. That last sentence ended with a blank space because if I’d written what I intended to write–“grand slam” or “home run”–I would have lost my writer’s card for writing the lamest sentence ever. I hope you understand.]

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