Emerging from an era when cupcakes reigned supreme in the dessert wars of New York City, the tried-and-true cookie now commands the spotlight. Here, five of the most outstanding varieties in Manhattan.
1. Chocolate Chip Walnut at Levain Bakery
Holding court as New York’s ultimate cookie hub, no one makes ’em like Levain Bakery. Anchored on the Upper West Side since 1995, this underground storefront was founded by two friends who sought out a way to pack calories into a snack during their triathlon training. The result has become a signature six-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie: an oversized formation of cookie dough that’s crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside, packed with a rich flavor of chocolate and walnuts.
2. Milk Chocolate Caramel at Milk and Cookies
Hidden on a side street in the West Village, the sweet smell of freshly baked cookies welcomes visitors to Milk and Cookies, a bakery offering more than a dozen varieties of freshly baked cookies throughout the day. In the cozy café setting, opt for a latte with your sweet treat. The favorite here is their milk chocolate caramel, which has the perfect combination of sweet and salt.
3. Classic Chocolate Chip at Schmackary’s
For one of the best secrets in the theater district, wander west to Schmackary’s cookie spot on 45th Street and Ninth Avenue to find a favorite old time-y dessert shop. A handful of cookies are on rotation, but you can always expect to find standard favorites like include chocolate chip, maple bacon, and red velvet. As for the best, their classic chocolate chip, made with semi-sweet chocolate and a touch of sea salt, is arguably impossible to rival.
4. Compost Cookie at Momofuku Milk Bar
Expanding rapidly to meet the insatiable demand for their indulgent treats, Momofuku Milk Bar has five New York City locations, including its original East Village outpost on 13th Street. Here, five varieties of cookies are just one of the many mainstays on their menu, but the ultimate is their compost cookie. It packs in pretzels, potato chips, coffee, and more into each sweet and savory bite. Our advice: Don’t leave until you’ve picked up some cake truffles, a piece of crack pie, and — while you’re at it — their signature cereal milk soft serve, too.
5. Peanut Butter Cookie at Amy’s Bread
This beloved Midtown West staple has expanded with two additional bakeries in the city, where loads of fresh pastries, sweets, and artisanal bread await. Stacked high behind the glass counter, an average of six cookie varieties sell quickly each day, with favorites including the peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.