Levain Bakery: Large and Divine Cookies in NYC
Recently described by The New York Times as "the largest, most divine chocolate chip cookies in Manhattan," the handiwork of Levain Bakery is also a nominee for a Luxist Readers' Choice Award in the best cookies category.
Swimming pools and chocolate chip cookies aren't often associated, but in the case of Levain, the link is crucial. That's because co-founders Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald met at a pool on Manhattan's East Side. The pair became fast friends; in 1994, as both were training for an Ironman challenge, they hungrily discovered their shared love for chocolate chip cookies.
Gallery: More from Levain Bakery
In 1995, the pair left their jobs in banking and fashion to launch Levain Bakery. They chose the name after the French word for leavening bread. Opening their first shop on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Weekes and McDonald made a commitment to baking everything fresh onsite every day; leftovers would be donated to charity every night, a tradition that continues to this day. In 2000, growing demand prompted the pair to open a shop in Wainscott, NY, a posh vacation spot near East Hampton, NY.
For those who can't make it to either location, Levain takes online orders as well. Wrapped in French cellophane and topped with a blue ribbon, the 12-cookie gift box ($66) is a terrific treat; customers can mix and match varieties including oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate butter chip and chocolate chip walnut.
Vote for the company you believe makes the best cookies. Readers' Choice Winners will be announced on March 1st.