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The 9 Absolute Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in America, According to Chefs
One NYC spot made the list *three* times.
“Me want cookie!” says the Cookie Monster… and (truthfully) the cookie monster inside us all. Though the fuzzy blue character isn’t so picky about where his cookies came from—or how they’re made—there is undoubtedly a difference between the good, the great, and all-time amazing treats.
But people who *are* picky about their cookies? Chefs, of course. So who better to recommend their ultimate chocolate chip cookie in the country?
We asked 10 kitchen heroes to name their favorite chocolate chip cookies—where to get them and what makes them unforgettable.
1. Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie at Breads Bakery, NYC
“When I'm craving comfort during a hectic work day, nothing beats the perfect balance of gooey center and caramelized, crispiness found in the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie from Breads Bakery—it's down the street from our test kitchen. The chocolate to dough ratio is perfection for chocolate lovers, and it's big enough to share, so I usually leave half for a lucky coworker. If I ever schedule a business meeting at Breads, it's for the cookie.” – Jaimi St. John, Research & Development Chef and Culinary Program Manager at Chipotle Mexican Grill in New York City
2. Chocolate Chunk Cookie at Dominique Ansel, NYC
“I discovered their cookies as a runner up, actually. I had gone in specifically to get a Cronut during the peak of the craze, requested one, and the cashier laughed in my face because they were obviously sold out. I settled for a chocolate chip cookie and was blown away. I bought four more [cookies], brought the rest home, and had them with chocolate milk like I was 6 years old again. Incredible." – Antony Nassif, Executive Chef at Mile End Deli in Brooklyn, NY
3. North Carolina Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie at Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, NC
“Part of The Carolina Inn’s signature touch points, the North Carolina Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie, also know as the 'front desk cookie,' is a taste of North Carolina, which is served complimentary to guests of the Inn. These chocolate chip cookies are authentic because North Carolina ranks among the top states in the nation for pecan production. I try very hard not to eat one daily—don’t let me near the dough, either. It contains a seductive combination of Heath bar, pecans, chocolate chips, and brown sugar. Served medium to medium-rare.” – Brandon Sharp, Executive Chef at Crossroads in Chapel Hill, NC
4. Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie at Trademark Taste + Grind, NYC
“It is the signature dessert in their coffee shop and it’s a winner. It contains both white chocolate and milk chocolate chips, topped with sea salt, making it the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I discovered this cookie when Trademark opened in April of 2016. I was told that this was a must have! This cookie is heaven in your mouth. I try to limit myself to eating it once a month—sometimes I have it more often than that. Trademark serves its cookie ‘medium rare.' It’s ooey gooey on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. Stand alone, I need a glass of milk with it.” – Shane LeBlanc, Executive Chef at Park Avenue Tavern in New York City
5. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie at Levain Bakery, NYC
“My absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie is the Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie from Levain Bakery. The best part about this cookie is its textures. It's crispy on the outside, has a soft crunch of walnuts and a gooey, borderline-unbaked center. They are, of course, best if still warm from the oven! I discovered this cookie about five years ago and have enjoyed them every month or so ever since. I come prepared to the bakery with a cold bottle of milk from a nearby bodega, then walk over to the benches in the median of Broadway and eat it while people are watching. This cookie tastes like how I remember my mom's cookies. Hers were always a little under-baked as well—whether that was intentional, I'm not sure. Sorry, Mom." – Scott Cioe, Pastry Chef at Bevy in New York City
6. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie at Levain Bakery, NYC
"The Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie at Levain is something I've been hooked on since I first moved to New York City over 11 years ago. You wait in line around the block [to] cram into this tiny little bakery where you can see nothing but racks of cookies the size of your head. I used to live around the corner and went there too often. The chocolate chip with walnuts has the perfect chewy but crunchy texture, and you can get one and eat it little by little over a few days, although I usually ended up finishing it before I make it home. Now that I live in St. Louis, a trip to Levain is my last stop before heading home!" – Michael Gallina, Executive Chef at Vicia in St. Louis, MO
7. Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie at Levain Bakery, NYC
“This cookie is so delicious, I have to hide it from my kids so they don't eat it all. The cookie is delicious because of the extra melted dark chocolate that goes into the batter. The dark chocolate keeps the cookie from being too sweet and gives it a wonderful richness. They do a couple of things different from most cookies, in that they cream the sugar and butter for a really long time, like 30 minutes—so I've been told by an ex-employee—to make them light and fluffy. The other key is that they underbake them, so that the middle has a completely different gooey texture that the crunchy outside. I discovered this amazing place about five years ago, while walking around the neighborhood at their Fredrick Douglas Blvd location. Now every time I'm in the area I stop by to get their amazing cookie and a cold milk.” – Dominic Rice, Corporate Chef at Amali, Amali Mou, and Calissa in New York City and Water Mill, NY
8. Chocolate Chip Cookie at The Market at Larimer Square, Denver, CO
“Cold milk with a chocolate chip cookie is my religion. I swear by one cookie per glass of milk. The Market at Larimer Square serves the best ooey, gooey goodness-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies in Denver. In my opinion, a chocolate chip cookie is meant to be classic, and there is nothing more classic than the chocolate chip cookie at The Market, which is a buttery, chocolate delight, very soft, yet puffy and the perfect amount of gooey. It’s such a treat to sit under the twinkling string lights of Larimer Square and soak up the history of the building with a cookie and some milk. I discovered this spot 15 years ago, and every month or so I get a craving for The Market’s Thanksgiving Dinner Sandwich, which I always follow up with a classic chocolate chip cookie for dessert.” – Jose Guerrero, Executive Chef at ViewHouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop in Denver, CO
9. Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie at M Street Kitchen, Santa Monica, CA
"Chef Jeff Mahin makes awesome pizzas at Stella Barra, but I never leave without stopping next door at his other spot M Street Kitchen, taking a few of their giant Salted Chocolate Chip cookies to go. They're perfectly sweet, a little salty, soft and chewy, but crunchy around the edges. I always buy them to take home, but they never make it out of the car." – David LeFevre, Chef & Owner of Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite, and The Arthur J in Manhattan Beach, CA
10. Chocolate Chip Cookie at Sweet Tooth Shop, Fayetteville, NC
"Sweet Tooth Shop is a local family-owned bakery in Fayetteville, North Carolina that specializes in high quality custom cakes and cupcakes. In 2014, my husband purchased a birthday cake and chocolate chip cookies for me from Sweet Tooth Shop. I enjoyed the cake, but the chocolate chip cookies were out of this world! Since then, I have made spontaneous visits whenever I needed a sugar fix. Their chocolate chip cookie is the perfect balance of soft and chewy while also firm and non-crumbling. They pair well with milk or ice cream but I prefer them as stand alones." – Ava Evans, Chef & Owner of Ava’s Lowcountry Cuisine in Tampa, FL