There is nothing more comforting than a chocolate chip cookie—for both of us, they bring back childhood nostalgia and memories. But with so many renditions of the classic baked good, it can be difficult to distinguish the good from the bad.
Washington, D.C., is home to many bakeries that offer their unique versions of the treat. We set out to four shops and compared their cookies. During our adventure, we looked for a cookie that had a crunchy exterior paired with a gooey interior, a well-proportioned chocolate to cookie ratio and a justifiable price.
3131 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Levain Bakery originated in New York City. The store recently opened in the D.C. area, with locations in both Georgetown and Bethesda. The Two Chip Chocolate Chip Cookie is their most popular item, selling for $5, and thicker than average with a significant amount of chocolate chips. In both our previous experiences at Levain, the cookie was served warm; however, this time, ours was taken room temperature off the rack. As we bit in, we were reminded of how well the components of the cookie mix together, providing a great flavor. But this time, the cookie’s exterior was overbaked and hard, while the inside was underbaked with a batter-like consistency. It didn’t measure up to what we had come to expect at Levain.
Rating of Two Chip Chocolate Chip Cookie
Cookie to chocolate ratio–6/10 (too much chocolate)
Consistency–4/10 (literally raw inside)
Price–9/10 (worth it for the size)
Overall taste–8/10 (great flavor)
L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
1319 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates is a chocolate shop that originated in Boston. The café has locations in New York, Chicago and D.C. The ambiance felt elegant and French and the staff was kind and attentive. Known for their chocolate mice, the Burdick Cookie is a popular seller with a price of $4.50. It has large chocolate fudge chunks and is average in size. The cookie was served at room temperature, despite advertisements depicting it as warm and melted. It did not taste freshly baked and appeared to have been sitting on a cake stand for several hours. However, we were impressed by the quality of the chocolate and the hints of sea salt in every bite.
Rating of the Burdick Cookie
Cookie to chocolate ratio–10/10 (just the right amount of both)
Consistency–7/10 (was not the highlight of the cookie; the room temperature made it worse)
Price–5/10 (overpriced for the size)
Overall taste–10/10 (perfect balance of flavors)
3204 O St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Insomnia Cookies shops frequent college towns and are famous for their late night deliveries. The company’s Georgetown location—one of several in D.C.—had a tight and unorganized atmosphere and the staff was inattentive and impersonal. Nonetheless, their Chocolate Chunk Cookie defied our expectations. The price was a steal in comparison to other stores, selling for only $2.25, and the cookie was warm and freshly baked, unlike the cookies we tried at the other shops. It also had a relatively crispy exterior as well as a soft and gooey inside, exactly what a chocolate chip cookie should be.
Rating of the Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Cookie to chocolate ratio–9/10 (just the right amount)
Consistency–8/10 (soft and gooey)
Price–10/10 (money’s worth)
Overall taste–9/10 (homemade feel; simple and delicious)
Tatte Bakery and Cafe
1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington D.C. 20036
Tatte, a Boston-originated café, has taken D.C. social media by storm. Inspired by French and Israeli cuisine, the restaurant offers a variety of foods including pastries, coffee and bistro-style meals. The environment of the store was light-filled and aesthetically pleasing—undoubtedly a draw for influencers. Their Chocolate Halva Cookie, a chocolate chip cookie with a sweet toffee center, sold for $3.75. It did not meet our expectations. The cookie had an insufficient amount of chocolate and was dry. It tasted as though it had been sitting out for days and it crumbled when split apart. Worst of all, the combination of the cookie and the halva was overly sweet. But though the cookie’s taste wasn’t the best, we have to admit that it would look great on your Instagram feed.
Rating of the Halva Cookie
Cookie to chocolate ratio–3/10 (not enough chocolate)
Price–8/10 (cheaper than other bakeries)
Overall taste–3/10 (you would be better off buying cookies from Giant)