Bored of warm cookie bar at the dining halls and sick of living in this era? Cure both at Cookie Bar, the most funkadelic bakery this side of the 70’s. Just a train ride away, (off the Fullerton El stop) this disco-themed cookie shop boasts vintage John Travolta prints and Donna Summer records alongside health-conscious cookies named after 70’s TV characters. Cookie Bar’s walls are covered in nostalgic knick-knacks and disco balls hang from the ceiling beside jars of cookie ingredients. Not to mention, there’s a box of retro board games tucked in the corner next to a shag carpet and bright orange bean bag chairs. What’s a jaded 21st-century cookie-craver not to love?
At the counter, you will see the nearly overwhelming gelato selection, equipped with flavors like Thin Mint and Nutella. You might not feel so groovy about having to choose between gelato and cookies, but surprise! You don’t have to–Cookie Bar specializes in dreamy ice cream sandwiches, allowing you to have gelato along with not one, but two varieties of cookie. Rad.
As if all of this weren’t righteous enough, Cookie Bar offers a menu brimming with vegan and gluten-free options, devoid of trans-fats, margarine and artificial flavors.
The kitschy novelty of Cookie Bar, however, is just enough to distract from the truth that the cookies themselves border on bland. They’re unique enough to pique your interest, but on first bite you’ll find a surprisingly subdued flavor, probably due to their lack of decadent and unhealthy ingredients. Although they’re basic enough to satisfy even the pickiest of cookie preferences, they don’t stand out as much as you might hope.
But there’s no doubt that these cookies hit the spot, and the array of flavor choices is unparalleled. If you’re not a cookie snob with lofty expectations, you’ll probably just be dazzled by the fact that oatmeal, chocolate chips, peanut butter, caramel, potato chips, coconut, Cheerios, and banana chips can all fit inside of one cookie (try this combo, dubbed the “Mackenzie Phillips,” for proof). Other choices include variations of the classic chocolate chip such as “Potato Chip Chocolate Chip” and “Jalapeno Chocolate Chip,” as well as the “Vegan Oatmeal Chile Mango Macademia” (for those who are both adventurous and animal-rights-conscious.)
Despite Cookie Bar’s refusal to warm up its cookies and its lack of a functional disco ball/disco roller-rink (only joking…kind of), it’s hard to deny any place that offers cookies, ice cream, beanbag chairs and Connect Four. Put on your dancing shoes and boogie in for an after-dinner snack that’s low on guilt and high on grooviness.