When I first moved to the Upper West Side my nose lead me to Levain Bakery. I was beckoned in by the sweet scent of chocolate and melted butter that wafted onto the street, and found the ultimate cookie. Ever since Levain Bakery
was featured on Bobby Flay's Throwdown
the secret is out, and the lines there have gotten longer. But the cookies from Levain Bakery are worth any wait - they are insanely good. The scent in the below-street-level tiny bakery in literally intoxicating. The cookies are giant 6-ounce mounds that are beyond rich, perfectly moist and completely decadent (rumor has it that they bake frozen dough to get the center of the cookie to remain so moist).
Levain Bakery offers 4 different cookies, including their signature chocolate chip walnut, double dark chocolate, dark chocolate peanut butter and oatmeal raisin. My favorite is the chocolate chip walnut, though my husband's favorite cookie (and he is a self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur) is the dark chocolate peanut butter.
One of my friends and I love to sit on the bench outside Levain Bakery and watch people experience their first bite of one of their cookies. There are inevitable moans and a moment of complete and utter euphoria. It's really fun to watch.
Try all 4 flavors in a cookie gift set
, available online for those who don't live in NYC. The cookies freeze well so you can enjoy them one at a time, though we won't blame you if you can't help yourself and eat them all at once.
, 167 W. 74th Street (just east of Amsterdam) in NYC; (212) 874-6080; Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 9am-7pm (additional locations now in Harlem
and the Hamptons