A cookie is simple, as baking goes. And yet, if The Great British Baking Show has proved anything, also sneakily complex. The dessert can be petite or softball-sized, crusty or soft, and loaded with untold extras. But it’s hard to get it exactly right. These New York City bakeries and coffee shops execute a solid bake in their cookies and add a signature twist. Here are the cookies to seek out in New York.Read More
18 Decadently Delicious Cookies in NYC
Oozing chocolate, tons of nuts, and a bit of rainbow
The Hungarian Pastry Shop
This Morningside Heights institution close to Columbia University offers curt service alongside top-notch, Central European-style coffee and pastries. Dig into the almond horn cookie, loaded with enough almond pieces and paste to delight even the most hardcore almond nut. The roomy interior and small outdoor area are great for people-watching and admiring The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine across the street. Cash only.
The tiny Levain has become legendary for its gooey, slightly underbaked cookies, and not without reason. The jumbo chocolate chip walnut cookie nails the right balance between crispy outside and soft, chocolate-dense inside. There are additional, larger locations on Amsterdam Avenue and in Harlem.
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William Greenberg Desserts
The black-and-white cookie is technically more cake than cookie, but it’s an essential piece of New York eating. This Upper East Side Jewish bakery outdoes rivals with a fluffy, properly cakey bake topped with chocolate and vanilla fondant that actually taste of those flavors. There’s an additional location at the Plaza Hotel.
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Bouchon Bakery & Café
Thomas Keller’s bakery concept, tucked away in the Time Warner Center a floor below Per Se, delivers reliably solid if pricey breads, pastries, and sandwiches. The highlight among the sweets is the Better Nutter, a gourmet riff on the addictive childhood staples Nutter Butters. Two large, perfectly pliable peanut butter cookies dotted with chopped peanuts sandwich buttercream filling. Eating one in a single sitting basically constitutes a full meal. There’s an additional location at Rockefeller Center.
The independently run Culture has exceptionally roasted and brewed coffee, but just as importantly, it crafts deservedly beloved cookies. The most important detail is that Culture bakes the cookies throughout the day, so chances are high of receiving a warm fresh, warm one. Complement the buttery chocolate chip with a strong yet silky latte. There’s an additional Midtown location.
City Cakes creates elaborate, highly customizable cakes, but the cookies are the real secret here. The massive, half-pound cookies and cookie-cake sandwiches are almost cakey on the inside, and always very fresh. The palm-sized, cinnamon-kissed sugardoodle rids any memories of bland sugar cookies.
The City Bakery
The two-floor City Bakery is a hub of activity near Union Square, with nearby workers chatting, drinking coffee, and noshing on the exceptional baked goods, salads, and sandwiches. While most things are worthwhile, in the cookie realm, the chocolate chip is standout and also available in a vegan option.
Breads is babka central, but its baked goods are all generally on point, and the lively Union Square cafe is a fun hangout. Don’t sleep on the triple chocolate cookie, an affordably priced indulgence. There are additional locations in Bryant Park and the Upper West Side.
This West Village bakery with sleek, contemporary styling and adorable treats comes from pastry chef Umber Ahmad and is backed by Tom Colicchio. In addition to the traditional chocolate chip, grab a dark chocolate explosion cookies, rich with bittersweet chocolate and topped with tons of powdered sugar.
A tea shop hidden away on the ground floor of a West Village apartment building, Té offers much more, including sophisticated Taiwanese-inspired bites. Complement the pots of oolong tea with pineapple linzer cookies, chef Frederico Ribeiro’s ode to pineapple cake. Two buttery, nutty discs sandwich fruity jam laced with rosemary and a spicy Japanese chili paste.
Milk Bar East Village
Pastry chef Christina Tosi’s bakery and coffee spot, formed under the tutelage of David Chang’s Momofuku empire, is better known for its Crack Pie and cereal milk-flavored soft-serve ice cream. But its cookies shouldn’t be overlooked, especially the minimalist, underappreciated corn variation, the sugar of which amplifies the natural corn flavor. There are additional locations across the city.
Milk & Cookies Bakery
What’s better than a cookie? A cookie ice cream sandwich. The charmingly rustic Milk & Cookies, on a pretty West Village block, allows sugar addicts to create their own dairy-loaded creations in any arrangement of top, bottom, and filling. It’s hard to go wrong with the s’more cookie.
Luckily for cookie fanatcis, Ovenly cookies can be enjoyed at various coffee shops stocking their supply across the city. The star is the minimalist ginger molasses cookie, spicier and less sweet than it sounds. The brand’s Greenpoint outpost is a pleasant place to linger by the East River. There are additional locations across the city, and lots of outstanding options without gluten, including the peanut butter one.
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Jacques Torres Chocolate
The chocolate shop from notable pastry chef Jacques Torres is better known for its truffles, but its chocolate chip cookie is just as worthy of the reputation. It comes out warm and stuffed with rich, silky gobs of 60 percent dark chocolate discs. Torres describes it as “a lot of chocolate with a little cookie dough around it.” There are additional locations across the city.
An airy, white-walled bakery drawing on Greek cuisine, Pi makes almost everything from scratch, including boxes of assorted Mediterranean cookies. Nibble on the shortbread confections to forget about the tourist mobs and Holland Tunnel traffic just outside the door.
This stylish Soho bakery has expanded since opening in 2014 to encompass a cafe with a full kitchen and event space. But the most passionate fans are here for the cookies — especially the nutty chocolate chip variety, chock full of macadamias, almonds, and walnuts — which pull off the hat trick of being beautifully browned and crusty while still moist and melty. They can also be turned into an ice cream sandwich. There are additional locations across the city.
A stronghold of traditional Italian baking amid gentrified Williamsburg, Fortunato keeps things classic. In addition to lovingly made cakes, gelato, and other assorted pastries, the shop is famous for its fluffy tri-colored rainbow cookie. The staff’s charm is as old-school as the recipes.
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This chic Dumbo patisserie in a nondescript storefront turns out remarkable, pretty custom cakes that don’t lack for flavor. Equally worthwhile are the cookies, especially the chocolate ganache, a shortbread biscuit generously layered with high-quality dark stuff. The bakery is closed on the weekends.
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