If you’re like us and constantly on the lookout for new ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, then you’ll love the indulgent treats offered at Levain Bakery. This small bakery on the Upper West Side is a perfect, well-deserved pit stop after a morning run/walk along the Hudson or through Central Park. As soon as you step inside you’ll be greeted right away with the powerful aroma of vanilla and all things cookie.
Levain’s cookies are no secret, so lines tend to form outside the bakery during peak hours. When we visited on a late Saturday morning, however, there was surprisingly no line and service was relatively fast. Levain keeps their cookie menu simple with four classics to choose from: dark chocolate peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, chocolate-chip walnut and dark chocolate chocolate-chip (all $4).
Definitely bring your appetite (i.e., only come after a run or fast) because at first glance, these monstrous cookies almost resemble scones. Favorites depend on personal taste, but the chocolate chip walnut is a definite winner. After breaking into one, its melt in your mouth (and hands) chocolate chip goodness is exactly what you would hope for and this is well balanced with generous walnut chunks.
The dark chocolate chocolate-chip cookie works well to satisfy chocolate cravings but it came a distant second due to its overwhelming sweetness. The intensity made the following oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate peanut butter cookies taste almost dull in comparison. For those looking for something slightly less sweet, Levain also serves incredible baguettes with butter and jam that works well as a Parisian breakfast or brunch treat. As for drinks, Levain’s coffee can become quite overpriced ($7 for an iced mocha) but let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter since you’re really only here for one thing: the delectable chocolate-chip walnut cookies.
Location: 167 W 74th St (bet Columbus and Amsterdam)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 8am to 7pm, Sun 9am to 7pm