Ever innocently scrolled through your Instagram feed, when—bam—out of left field appeared a heart-stopping photo of the gooiest, #foodporniest cookie you’d ever seen? Chances are, that photo was geotagged at Levain Bakery, the world-(and Insta-)famous NYC bakery that churns out 6-oz. cookies like nobody’s business.
Our rankings aren’t definitive, though: responses were extremely varied, which means you really can’t go wrong.Though everyone agreed that these dense monstrosities weren’t cookies as much as the best under-baked scones or the most insane loaves of bread ever.
Meet the four contestants:
Here are our thoughts:
4th Place: Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip
The first few bites are pretty freaking sweet (in every sense of the word), if you’re an avid chocolate-lover. After a while, though, an aftertaste I like to call “fear of Diabetes” starts to emerge. Still, it’d probably be worth it.
“Oh wow. This is really good.”
“It tastes like fudge. I probably wouldn’t want more than a bite, though.”
“Jesus Christ, it’s like chocolate cake. Or just straight up chocolate.”
“It’s a very singular taste and texture, there’s not much variation.”
Our resident Celiac: “Is it as good as it looks on Instagram?” Everyone else: “Sorry, but yes.”
3rd Place: Oatmeal Raisin
This cookie was not excessively sugary, as the sweetness mostly came from the raisins. The cookie itself is deliciously buttery—many agreed that this variation had the best base flavor. It’s (RELATIVELY) lighter, though you probably still can’t pass it off as “sticking to your Spring Break diet.” But again, worth it.
“It’s not too sweet. A really good ratio of raisin to cookie.”
“The cookie base is definitely a bit heartier than the fudgy ones.”
“Hmmm…I like it. Let me try it again to make sure though. Okay yeah it’s good.”
“I don’t taste the raisins as much as I’d expect.”
“Surprisingly sweet! Even more than the chocolate ones, I think.”
Our resident Celiac: “I’m not into oatmeal raisin so I don’t feel any FOMO.” Everyone else: No response.
2nd Place: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip
Similar in base to the dark chocolate chocolate chip, but the peanut butter chips add welcomed variety to the flavor. Also, you can’t go wrong with more peanut butter (unless you’re allergic, in which case stay away. It’s not literally to die for… or is it?). The cookie is fudgy, dense and very sweet. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
“This is definitely the dankest cookie of them all.”
“This is really, really sweet, though I wish it were saltier. But I will keep eating it. Because I like it.”
“So sickeningly sweet. It’s like that one aunt you have and love who’s enjoyably affectionate for five minutes and then you really wish she would stop smothering you with her hugs and kisses.”
“This one’s awesome. Oh, what? How is it still kind of warm?”
Our resident Celiac: “Whatever.” Everyone else: Pity stares.
1st Place: Chocolate Chip Walnut
The New York Times once called these “possibly…the largest, most divine chocolate chip cookies in Manhattan.” Though we haven’t tried every chocolate chip cookie in the city (YET), it’s definitely a likely contender and our favorite by one vote.
It’s the flavor you see most often all over social media, and with good reason. The walnuts are a fun plot twist: you’d probably be satisfied with just the chocolate chip, but Levain’s signature cookie knows you shouldn’t have to settle. Plus, the dough is perfectly crispy on the outside and a gooey, under-baked, divine mess on the inside.
“I always liked the chocolate walnut the most. It has a perfect mix of crunch to chew.”
“I love walnuts. I love the feeling of walnuts in my mouth.”
“As usual, the classic is definitely the best.”
“I’m allergic to walnuts. But I ate around them and liked the rest of it!”
“The crust on this one is buttery and so defined. It cracks but is still super gooey and chewy. The fudgy ones put up no resistance when you bite into them.”
Our resident Celiac: “This one is definitely as good as it looks on Insta… ” Everyone else: “Hell. Yes.”
So there you have it: our expert opinion on Levain Bakery’s gift to cookie monsters worldwide. If you’re lucky enough to be in New York, you can satisfy your sweet tooth at one of their two locations. Otherwise, you can order their products online, and listen to their official song to distract you while you wait.
Levain Upper West Side: 167 West 74th St, New York, NY 10023
Levain Harlem: 2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026
Hours: Mon-Sat 8 am-7 pm, Sun 9 am-7 pm
More cookie food porn that’ll make you drool on your computer: