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While we were home in Chicago this weekend, we decided to check out the newly opened Levain Bakery. New Yorkers have long enjoyed the bakery’s giant, gooey cookies (the first location came on the scene in 1995). Now, the Windy City can savor them as well at a prime spot on Randolph Street (literally eight doors down from where I live, which will be dangerous for my waistline).
Anthony’s Take: I have fond memories of the NYC original location on West 74th Street and was excited for them to come to my neighborhood in Chicago. The wait is over and the cookies are as amazing as I remembered. Welcome to the West Loop. I’ll definitely be visiting frequently.
The bakery is bright and open. A line of hungry customers snaked down the block. (And, yes, the Dark Chocolate Peppermint cookies are as amazing as they look).
There were a lot of people waiting but it only took 15 minutes from the time we got in the queue to when we were served.
People were genuinely excited to get their cookies. While the bakery does sell loaves, muffins, and other baked goods, the allure of Levain is its cookies.
We watched the staff bake cookies and load baker’s racks with all sorts of goodies.
I love that the kitchen is open and that production is out in the open.
The bakery offers six varieties of cookies (plus, any specials like the Dark Chocolate Peppermint).
These include Chocolate Chip Walnut, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Two Chip Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Walnut.
We settled on a mix of flavors and ended up leaving with 16 of them (some of these were for a friend’s party later that night).
The bakery offers a full coffee bar as well as some really cute tote bags.
Once home, we dove into our cookies. They were still warm and loaded with chocolate. One is big enough for two people to share.
Overall Impression: With the bakery being so close, I’ll definitely be back to try more of its other baked goods (I have heard people rave about its baguette with butter and jam).
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