Cookies! Santa sent us on a mission to find the best Los Angeles has to offer, and much like his naughty and nice scroll, our list was long. More than 38 suggestions came rolling in, and that was for individual stores, not varieties. It was sugar-shocking. We instantly decided to leave macarons alone, since we figure those rainbow treats merit their own list; and then we went out and started sampling. Cookies are always in season.
What we found out is that the Westside is where the cookies are. As far as we traveled, the siren song of perfectly balanced sugar, butter and flour kept luring us towards the ocean. Each of the cookies listed below is locally made, fresh baked and available to order for all of your holiday cookie-gifting or snacking needs. If you feel like we deserve some of that love, well, you know where you can find us…
10. Diddy Riese:
Since 1983 Diddy Riese has been baking masses upon masses of cookies in Westwood. In all that time, the quality has not diminished and neither have the long, but thankfully swift lines. There are ten soft and very sweet cookies to choose from, none better than the basic chocolate chip. Three for $1; cash only and you can order online. 926 Broxton Avenue, Westwood; (310) 208-0448.
We have no idea what makes these famous, but we do know that the super thin biscotti are quite good. The original version is heavy with nuts, dipped in chocolate and much too easy to eat. Available at Chef's Inc, in West L.A. and online. Make sure to check out their cookie-of-the-month club.10955 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles; (310) 470-2277.
Proof makes so many great baked goods, their humble salted chocolate chip cookies may get overlooked. Crispy and chewy, the thin cookies — like most items at Proof — sell out, so make sure to call ahead. The almond meringues they make are equally good and a decent substitute if your first choice is gone. 3156 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 664-8633.
Turn the page for picks 7 through 5…
Platine, for those of you wondering, is the French word for platinum. In this case, it's also a teeny-tiny storefront that holds within the cookie creations of pastry chef Jaime Cantor. The cookies certainly are precious, small and easy to desire. We flipped for the Snacky cookie — which is a combo of potato chips, pretzels, dark chocolate and butterscotch chips. The light and lemony sugar cookie, the lemon Peiter, is light and tart and also worth seeking out. 10850 Washington Boulevard, Culver City; (310) 559-9933.
You knew Zoe Nathan's bakery was going to be on this list. Her version of a chocolate chip cookie is made with Vahlrona chocolate and wheat flour — which tricks you into thinking its sort of healthy. The effect gives you the feeling that you're eating really buttery bread with rich, smooth chocolate. Not sweet, this is an adult cookie that we know kids love too.1014 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica; (310) 451-2311.
In the short time Sycamore Kitchen has been open, a few of their items have become so noted, so beloved, so crave-worthy that they have taken on cult status. The rye flour chocolate chip cookie is in that group. We were skeptical at first, but the flour adds a hint of something rich and earthy that pairs well with coffee. 143 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles; (323) 939-0151.
Keep reading for number 4 on …
There are a lot of cookies to choose from at Tavern. They thoughtfully offer a soft and a crispy chocolate chip, and the oatmeal raisin is perfection. Our favorite has to be the golden-hued peanut butter, which is sandy and buttery and three bites of joy. Thank goodness they're opening a second location in West Hollywood.11648 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles; (310) 806-6464.
Lebkuchen are German spice cookies and one of the most classic European holiday cookies, dating back to the 12th century. At Röckenwagner they're fragrant, large and pillowy. They're also only available until January, so get them while you can.311 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica; (310) 394-4267.
The Durango cookie is a sophisticated, complex combination of darkened milk chocolate, roasted almonds, cocoa nibs and Durango hickory smoked salt, whatever that is. The large cookie is a medley of textures and flavors, and at $2 worth every penny.3360 West 1st Street, Los Angeles; (213) 739-8149.
And for our top pick…
When trying to decide where to responsibly spend your money, we cannot think of a more delicious option than on these wholesome yet sinful cookies. Made in Venice with all organic ingredients, fair trade TCHO brand chocolate and available for pick up, electric-bike delivery or at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market they take the cake. Or the cookie. Oh, and did we mention 5% of every sale goes to the LA Food Bank? The lovingly crafted snack is a tall, toasty-sweet mass of barely-held-together oats, chocolate chunks and California walnuts that makes a sweet ending to any meal. (424) 272-5752.
Our honorable mentions: Delucious Cookies, Snookies Cookies, Little Flower Candy Company, Akasha, Clementine, Ink Sack, Spago and Milk.
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