The Best Cookie Bakeries in the Country
Go beyond the basic batch with these top cookie bakeries from coast to coast.
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Better by the Dozen
Really what is better than a fresh out-of-the-oven well-baked cookie? Perhaps one that hasn’t even been baked yet? As luck would have it, these days bakers are coming up with genius ways to enjoy cookies—be it baked, sandwiched or safe to eat as plain old batter. Take a look at these bakeries that make our hearts swell from their cookie creativity.
The Cookie Fix, Homewood, Alabama
Owner Amy Jason of the Cookie Fix has thought of everything the cookie addict might need —freshly baked cookies, frozen dough (15 to a pack) and even iron skillets with tips for preparing cookie pies for a crowd (The key is under-baking the dough.). Cookie flavors rotate daily, with standbys always on the menu. Signature creations include peppermint chocolate chunk and the Billionaire cookie, which Jason describes as, “rich and loaded” with chocolate chips, caramel bits, peanut butter chips, marshmallows and a sprinkling of sea salt.
DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections, New York City
For those who prefer to dive into the dough before the cookies have even baked, DŌ has a solution. They serve ready-to-eat cookie dough, mix dough into ice creams, or fully bake their dough into cookies. Doughs come in a variety of flavors from classic chocolate chip to brownie batter, cake batter and oatmeal M&M. Go for the full monty and order raw cookie dough sandwiched between two baked cookies of your choosing.
Hello Robin, Seattle
With 17 cookie varieties made fresh daily, Hello Robin has no shortage of options, including classic chocolate chip, flourless Mexican chocolate (both dairy- and gluten-free), super-soft molasses and birthday cake made with all-natural, local sprinkles to evoke cake frosting. Perhaps the most-buzzed-about is the Mackles'more, a graham cracker cookie topped with marshmallow, chocolate chip cookie dough and meltaway dark chocolate chunks. Cookies are baked in a convection oven at 375 degrees for five minutes, then rotated and baked for an additional five minutes. While those bake, guests can watch all the action in the open kitchen.
McConnell's, Santa Barbara, California
Making high-quality ice cream is the mantra at the venerable McConnell’s, and so is their commitment to baking high-quality cookies. Their full-time pastry chef Jordan Thomas bakes cookies in combinations like sea salt-topped chocolate chunk, triple-ginger, and Vanilla Gooey Butter Cookies (a play on St. Louis-style gooey Butter Cake), which can be eaten solo or in an ice cream sandwich with one of McConnell’s awesome scoops.
Bouchon Bakery, Las Vegas, Napa and New York
Thomas Keller’s celebrated mastery of French techniques translates to elegant pastries at the bakery offshoot of his bistro Bouchon. But even the pristine single-serving tarts, expertly prepared croissants and bite-sized macarons fail to stand up to the classic Oreo. The “TKO” (Thomas Keller Oreo) is triple the size of Nabisco’s original, at three inches in diameter, with sophisticated scallop-edged dark chocolate cookies sandwiching Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate cream filling. It’s dangerously chocolate-y and makes it pretty difficult to eat the store-bought version ever again.
Moojo specializes in customized ice cream sandwiches made with supremely prepared cookies. Guests start by picking their choice of cookie — rocky road, white chocolate-macadamia and butter sugar are crowd favorites — then choose ice cream fillings like coffee chip or salted caramel pretzel. When sealed together they can be rolled in homemade toppings of your choosing, including toasted marshmallow.
Warm Belly Bakery, Chicago
If you’re anything like Warm Belly’s Chief Cookie Officer, Joe Dela Pena, then you believe that bigger and softer is better when it comes to cookies. A fanatic baker, he’s built a menu of more than 70 varieties and counting since opening in 2016, with each weighing a satisfying quarter of a pound. The brown butter-chocolate chip cookie stuffed with pretzels and Nutella was the first oversized creation, but the wide-ranging menu includes Nutella s’mores, creme brulee, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Dela Pena’s personal pick, ube (purple yam), a nod to his Filipino upbringing.
Sprinkles, Los Angeles
Sprinkles’ colorful, modern cupcakes have taken the country by storm, but the team didn’t stop there: They’ve expanded into cookies, with six winning flavors. Salty-crunchy-chocolatey peanut butter pretzel chip satisfies plenty of cravings, and chocolate chip is engineered for premium crispness by melting the butter then resting the dough to allow for the texture to develop and add complexity. The line-up is available at all the cupcake shops and Sprinkles’ ice cream shops, where guests can down a custom cookie sandwich or step it up a notch and tackle the cookie sundae.
Byrd Cookie Company, Savannah, Georgia
Founded in 1924, Byrd is now run by Stephanie Lindley, a member of the fourth generation of the Byrd family. Loyal fans love the bakery’s bite-sized cookies. At any given time, the store bakes 16 varieties, including bestsellers like Scotch oatmeal, salted caramel and Georgia peach. But the most-popular by leaps and bounds is the Key Lime Cooler, which has been the top-selling cookie for 26 years. The key to the tangy cookie is the lime in both the cookie and the powdered sugar coating. It also happens to be the very first cookie Lindley added to the company’s vast repertoire.
Mac Lab Bakery, Duluth
Mac Lab takes unicorn treats to a whole new level with their imaginative macarons. Each one is shaped like a bite-sized unicorn, then decorated with eyelashes, rosy cheeks and a gold horn. They’re rolled in colorful fruit cereal for texture and playfulness. If that one’s too cute to eat, there’s an array of more traditional-looking macarons, including matcha, rose-lychee and Earl Grey.
One Girl Cookies, Brooklyn
Twelve years ago, wife-and-husband team Dawn Casale and David Crofton opened One Girl Cookies, a tiny bakeshop serving petite cookies with feminine names. Their diminutive treats include the nut-studded Penelope, the fruit-filled Lana and the more cake-like mini whoopie pies that come in flavors like pumpkin spice. The best-seller, however, is the Lucia. Named for Casale's great-grandmother, it begins with a layered shortbread square topped with espresso caramel and a dark and white chocolate swirl. The process is fairly labor-intensive with large batches of caramel stirred by hand for over an hour.
The Cookie Studio, Atlanta
Crispy, plate-sized chocolate chip cookies have made the Cookie Studio a favorite of sugar-loving Atlantans. Barbara O’Neill bakes celebrated peanut butter chocolate chip, gluten-free chocolate walnut, butterscotch oatmeal and award-winning oatmeal raisin. There are also seasonal whoopie pies.
Victory Love + Cookies, Denver
It took a few decades for Kristy Greenwood to open her bakeshop: illness and lack of a dedicated space forced her to set aside her dream. When she recovered, she pursued her longtime plan of opening a cookie bakery. Today, Victory Love + Cookies sells not-too-sweet creations like tarragon shortbread with Askinosie Chocolate and tart cherries, and the Diablo, a dark chocolate cookie spiced with cayenne, cinnamon and black pepper.
Suárez Bakery, Charlotte
Carlos Suárez, son of a Cuban freedom fighter, has hand-painted cookies and dished out photo-worthy cookie creations since opening his bakery in 1992. As beautiful as they are, the cookies taste even better than they look. The Kitchen Sink balances textures with sweet and salty from potato chips, pretzels, graham cracker crumbs, ground coffee, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. All the cookies are served hot out of his very busy oven.
Sherry B Dessert Studio, Chappaqua, New York
At Sherry B Dessert Studio in the sleepy town of Chappaqua, New York, trained pastry chef Sherry Blockinger combines French techniques with her love of classic American cookies. Case in point: The monster-sized Sherry-O, which sandwiches smooth vanilla frosting between two dark chocolate cookies. The chocolate chip cookies are considered to be the best in Westchester County, and possibly Manhattan, once Sherry B opens in the Meatpacking District.
SugarBot Sweet Shop, St. Charles, Missouri
Rather than wow guests with the proportions of their baked goods, SugarBot Sweet Shop focuses on quality ingredients and cookies that are home-sized. These more-managebale sizes mean guests can assuage guilt eating more than one from the wide-ranging selection. Always in the case are classics like chocolate chip, sugar sprinkle, and snickerdoodle, but the kitchen changes up the double chocolate and oatmeal varieties weekly, with choices like black forest, Mexican hot chocolate and oatmeal butterscotch.
King Street Cookies, Charleston
King Street Cookies bakes 40 varieties that run the spectrum from the traditional to the innovative. The insanely peanutty Peanut Butter Perfection is made with seven peanut components — peanut butter, peanut butter chips, peanut butter cups, peanut butter M&Ms, peanut M&Ms, peanut brittle M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces. The bakery specializes in stuffed cookies, which are filled with Oreo, Snickers and peanut butter cups. Each day’s leftovers are donated to local fire stations and children’s hospitals.
New York City: Ben's Cookies
In 1983, cookery writer Helge Rubenstein opened her first cookie shop, sweetly named after her son, in Oxford’s covered market, in England. More than 30 years later, the shop has finally skipped over the pond to open its first U.S. outpost, in New York. The bakery’s nearly three dozen varieties include milk chocolate-peanut butter, dark chocolate with walnuts, triple-chocolate and exclusive flavors made for the American palate, like lemon and snickerdoodle.
Lodge Bread, Los Angeles
Lodge is much more than a bread bakery: It’s an experimental culinary lab devising dishes like a signature miso-chocolate chip cookie, a combination that helps draw out the chocolate flavor and balance the sweetness. But the real key to making this Japanese-American fusion cookie so delectable is pulling them out of the oven one minute early.
Famous 4th Street Cookie Co., Philadelphia
While the great debate of best cheesesteak may forever persist in the City of Brotherly Love, there’s not much debating which cookie is king. Famous 4th Street Cookie Co. made their debut as the perfect finale to sandwiches at the Famous Deli on 4th Street, founded in 1923. When the original owners realized their cookies had a devout following all their own, they sought out a brick-and-mortar location. A stand opened in Philadelphia’s famed Reading Terminal Market a few decades later, and though the second generation recently sold the cookie bakery, the recipes remain true to the original.
Levain, New York City
In 1994, when Levain first opened its tiny, subterranean shop on New York’s Upper West Side, the owners knew they had good, cakey cookies, but they didn’t know they had a soon-to-be cult-favorite product. Since the beginning their cookie line-up — dark chocolate chip, dark chocolate chip with walnuts, oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate with peanut butter chips — consistently weigh in at a whopping six ounces, or roughly the size of a decent hamburger patty. Visitors regularly come from out-of-state and out-of-the-country to wait for the warm, softball-sized cookies. Check the cookie cam first to see how long the wait will be or, if you don’t have the time, order them online.
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, San Francisco
Social media prowess made the trendy, design-forward Mr. Holmes Bakehouse one of the most instagrammable bakeries around. Their first viral creation, the Cruffin — a croissant-muffin hybrid — is stuffed with daily rotating cream fillings like passionfruit chocolate, but Mr. Holmes is no one-hit wonder. For a throwback to Saturday morning cartoons the imaginative bakers developed the Cornflake Cookie, a brown-butter- and toffee-based dough with a crunchy Frosted Flake exterior. It’s great on its own or dipped into morning cereal.
The Cookie Dough Café, Portland, Oregon
The Cookie Dough Café was born from a deal on the reality show Shark Tank. It offers scoops of batter (not unlike an ice cream shop) with a few secret modifications to make the dough edible. In addition to the standby order of chocolate chip, dough fans have a wide range of options including: Oreo, naked dough, confetti, a gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and vegan brownie batter. Cookies are also available baked.