Cookies can seem like simple creations at first, but scratch beneath the surface to find some serious complexity. While everyone has strong opinions on what constitutes the ‘perfect’ specimen, nailing the ideal texture, size, and composition is definitely harder than it looks. From an iconic bakery in Chinatown to an eye-popping patisserie in Downtown, here now are the 22 best places to score a killer cookie in Los Angeles.Read More
22 Essential Cookie Destinations in Los Angeles
Classic chocolate chip, French macarons, and Chinese almond
This Santa Monica shop bakes up a slew of fun cookies, including the best-selling caramel-pretzel-chocolate chunk and the intriguing Cheetos cookie that’s cheesy, salty, and sweet.
This OC import from Nathan Vuong and Davion Tran is making quite the splash in Santa Monica with its globally-inspired offerings. In addition to malasadas and Portuguese egg tarts, find an array of standout cookies reminiscent of the ones served at Levain in New York. The classic chocolate walnut is crisp on the outside, gooey within, and made with Belgian chocolate, while the peanut butter chocolate includes peanut butter morsels and dark cocoa powder.
Head to this Culver City chocolate specialist for a chocolate chip cookie tasting. The three different recipes include one made with 85 percent cacao, another with coffee and vanilla, and a traditional Mayan blend. Don’t forget to order a tall glass of milk to dunk and sip accordingly.
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Lodge Bread Company
Lodge Bread is better known for its crusty loaves and pizzas, but don’t sleep on the outstanding cookies that include oat poppy ginger, miso chocolate, double chocolate, and coconut. Get the “Everything” cookie, which is made with wheat flour and oats, sweetened with molasses, and brimming with cranberries, coconut, cashews, dates, and dark chocolate.
It might seem unlikely to find quality cookies at a gas station, but this unassuming location in West LA makes some very creative treats. Zooies’ cookies have a hefty, chewy bite with a slightly crisp edge, and the walnut ‘gooie’ is the one to get. And just in time for the holidays, find Zooies at Citizen Public Market in Culver City starting December 1; the cart will be located on the sidewalk patio.
Cake Monkey Bakery
Come into chef Elizabeth Belkind and business partner Lisa Olin’s Cake Monkey for souped-up takes on retro desserts. The Nuff Said cookie brings together dark chocolate, sea salt, marshmallow, and crushed pecans in a delicious homage to rocky road.
Milk Jar Cookies
Milk Jar bakes its wares throughout the day, so getting a warm cookie is likely on every visit. The birthday cake, mint chocolate, white chocolate raspberry, and banana split are the best of the bunch.
The Sycamore Kitchen
The pastry case at Sycamore Kitchen is lined with incredible baked goods from chef Karen Hatfield and her team. The daily cookie lineup usually includes rice crispy, peanut butterscotch, rye chocolate chip, chocolate fudge, and best of all, oatmeal toffee.
It’s impossible to resist Margarita Manzke’s delightful array of pastries at Republique which always includes croissants, cakes, doughnuts, and of course, cookies. Though the cookie selection varies from day to day, grab the utterly fantastic chocolate chip or the peanut butter sesame if available.
Deluscious Cookies & Milk
Deluscious’s vegan and gluten-free cookies subvert any tired notions of the textural heights vegan/gluten-free baked goods can reach. Each cookie is thick and chewy but with just enough exterior crisp to make every bite feel layered. Its chocolate chip flavor always hits, as do kicked-up renditions like cinnamon brulee and chocolate decadence, the latter so rich and densely packed with cocoa that a blind tester could almost mistake it for a brownie. Aside from its Highland Avenue shop, you can also find Deluscious cookies in Erewhon stores.
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Sure the Italian sandwiches are great at Ggiata but don’t forget about the rainbow cookies. These delicate little sweets look like the Italian flag, with three layers of short almond cakes and fruit jam in between each layer; it’s topped with dark chocolate.
Friends & Family
It’s little surprise that some of LA’s best cookies are found at pastry chef Roxana Jullapat’s Thai Town bakery Friends & Family. The rye chocolate chip impresses with its complex and buttery profile, while the pig-shaped graham cracker is always a hit with little ones.
All Day Baby
Chef Thessa Diadem’s sandwich cookies ooze with decadence and nostalgia. While the Fluffer Nutter-inspired one comes stuffed with strawberry jam, the German chocolate tastes like a coconut-kissed Moon Pie. For those who lean toward the classics, the brown butter chocolate chip fits the bill.
With its slightly crisp edges and tender interior chock-full of dark chocolate discs, Proof’s chocolate chip cookie is arguably Los Angeles’s best. A sprinkling of sea salt adds the perfect balance to reel in the chocolate’s sweetness.
Bottega Louie’s signature macarons come in a dozen different flavors and colors including a spot-on birthday cake with rainbow nonpareils and rich espresso that’s sure to perk anyone up. Macarons are available at both the original Downtown location and the newer outlet in West Hollywood.
Petite Peso’s polvorones — delicately crumbly shortbread cookies made from firmly pressed flour, sugar, and milk powder — come in flavors like pistachio, creme brulee, white chocolate macadamia, and peanut butter. All are fantastically balanced and dissolve on one’s tongue in the most pleasant of fashions, so grab a box of five or 25 and dig in.
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Valerie Echo Park
Valerie Gordon has a way with desserts, especially when it comes to cookies. The sweet and savory Durango cookie combines a classic chocolate chip with roasted almonds, cocoa nibs, and a flurry of hickory-smoked salt.
Fat & Flour
While Fat & Flour is best known for its pies, chef Nicole Rucker also bakes up fantastic cookies from her stand inside Grand Central Market. The flavors vary from day to day, but can include chocolate chip oatmeal, vanilla sprinkle, espresso white chocolate, and lemon lavender. And yes, throw in an extra brownie or two for good measure.
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Find some of the finest, plant-based cookies in town in the breezeway of Far East Plaza. Chef Jen Yee bakes up a classic chocolate chip made with a hint of molasses, an espresso-laced double chocolate chip, and more from a modest kiosk.
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Phoenix Bakery, Inc.
Phoenix Bakery has been serving the Chinatown community and beyond since opening its doors in 1938. In addition to crowd-pleasing strawberry and whipped cream cakes, the bakery makes wonderfully delicate almond cookies. Buy a dozen or two for a party and soak up the compliments.
La Mascota Bakery
This Boyle Heights institution has been going strong for 65 years. Peruse the pan dulce for an impressive collection of cookies including polvorones de azucar (Mexican wedding), cinnamon polvorones, classic sprinkle, chocolate chip, and raspberry and cream.
Here at this cozy cafe on the edge of Pasadena, pastry chef Christine Moore’s team makes plush marshmallows, silky caramels, and superb cookies that come in classic flavors like ginger molasses and chocolate chip.