From left to right, cookies from DeLaurenti, Metropolitan Market, Volunteer Park Cafe, and Cafe Hitchcock.

Amandine Bakeshop

An elegant chocolate chip cookie is a little like Barney Gumble in a tuxedo: It defeats the very purpose of its existence. There’s one salt-sprinkled, slightly crunchy exception to this rule, and that’s the Carambar cookie at Amandine bakery. Technically it’s a chocolate chip cookie, one with slightly ragged edges and chunks of Valrhona chocolate that always manage to seem a little bit melted. Owner Sara Naftaly (British born but partly raised in France) adds toasted hazelnuts and chunks of Carambar, the Tootsie Roll’s chewy French doppelganger, to insert some intrigue in a cookie that’s still a satisfying chocolate chip experience at its core. —Allecia Vermillion

Cafe Hitchcock

Tasting gently of pine, campfire, and summer camp nostalgia (reruns of Salute Your Shorts, anyone?), this cookie imbued with smoked chocolate chips and lightly dusted with sea salt is like that one childhood best friend: It’s always nice to see them but maybe only every once in a while. There isn’t a lot of distinct chocolate pieces, rather, chocolate permeates it entirely, as does a sweet-and-roasty smoke essence (that I totally dig, by the way). The core is soft and tender, then there’s an ever-so-crisp edge—perfectly adequate but lacking that wholly satisfying crunch one often pursues in a chocolate chip cookie.  —Rosin Saez

DeLaurenti

There are cookies, and then there are saucer-sized discs of dough disguised as cookies. The latter is what’s pulled from this specialty shop and cafe’s Pike Place Market oven on the daily. They’re huge. Chocolate chip cookies as wide as a splayed palm could be split between two people, but you won’t want to divvy up this massive treat. It’s packed with big chunks of semisweet chocolate—perfect in its bitterness and richness—evenly distributed so that thin tracks of dough connect like valleys between mountains of chips. The cookie achieves that ideal golden brown hue; it’s textbook Maillard reaction in baked good form. No wonder these often sell out not long after they’re fresh from the oven around 11am. —RS

Hello Robin

Don’t let the mention of whole wheat scare you off: This bright and airy Capitol Hill cookie purveyor has both classic and whole wheat chocolate chip varieties, but the latter is the superior. Whole wheat makes for a more flavorful dough, which after baking becomes buttery, brown sugary goodness in a small, chewy package. Hunks of dark chocolate and a sprinkling of sea salt only seal the deal. This cookie is officially dubbed “whole wheat fancy chocolate with sea salt” and costs only $1.75, so you know Hello Robin doesn’t take itself too seriously. But don’t be fooled, this deceptively simple-looking cookie will have you giving up Toll House for life. (We’re also big fans of the birthday cookie, if you’re looking to expand your sweet tooth horizons.) —Jaime Archer

Metropolitan Market

Though this monstrous five-and-a-half-ounce Belgian chocolate and toasted walnut cookie is easily shareable, don't be surprised if you find yourself fending off friends one fleur de sel–sprinkled bite after the other. After all The Cookie, as it's so named, carries more chocolate by weight than any other ingredient. Served warm all day in Queen Anne, West Seattle, and Kirkland, Metropolitan Market dishes out more than a thousand hefty cookies over heated trays every single day. Breaking the crunchy shell reveals what’s within: doughy, chocolaty goodness. The chocolate's molten thickness isn’t for the prim and proper, but it is guaranteed to leave you licking one chocolate-coated finger at a time. —Christina Ausley

Slab Sandwiches and Pie

Buttery and roughly the size of your face, JM’s salted chocolate chip cookie checks all of the boxes of a perfect, decadent treat. Reverently named for co-owner and baker-mastermind “JM,” Slab makes about eight of her cookies per day with extra dough always at the ready for large cookie rushes. Thin yet hearty, this cookie balances large chunks of dark Theo Chocolate, with a modest sprinkling of flake salt to provide a consistent sweet and savory experience with every gooey bite. With only three hours of operation (11–2) and tight seating, head to Slab for a cozy and exclusive bakery experience—you’ll want this "sharing size" treat all to yourself. —Gwen Hughes

Volunteer Park Cafe

There are plenty of hearty cookies to be found in this city (see Met Market’s The Cookie above), and then there are the truly massive cookies at this tiny, charming corner cafe-slash-bakery in North Capitol Hill. And while sea salt–flecked cookies are popping up across the city, Volunteer Park Cafe is perhaps the only spot to swirl together chocolate chips and toffee. The result is a golden brown saucer with caramel-colored ribbons that are perfectly gooey in the center and crunchy on the edges. But note: The chocolate toffee cookie’s extra large size also comes with a steeper price tag ($4), so bring along a friend willing to split it. —JA

Show Comments
In this Article

Editor’s Pick

Volunteer Park Cafe and Marketplace

$$ American/New American 1501 17th Ave E

Like the lovably daffy neighbor who makes you crazy but unites the community, this charming corner cafe-slash-bakery amid the residences of North Capitol Hil...

Editor’s Pick

Slab Sandwiches and Pie

$ Sandwiches/Deli 1201 10th Ave

Around the corner from and sharing a kitchen with John Sundstrom’s magnificent Lark is its daytime takeout sibling, dedicated to the reinvention of sandwiche...

Metropolitan Market

$$ Multiple Locations

A magical grocery land where the produce is prettier, the poke bar more ample, and the selection of local and mainstream brands is top notch. Met Market has ...

Hello Robin

$ Dessert E Mercer St and 19th Ave E

A bakery that just does cookies? This 19th Avenue spot sounds so simple, but owner Robin Wehl finds the sweet spot between homespun and creativity: Salted bu...

DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine

$ Continental 1435 1st Ave

DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine, located in Pike Place Market, provides everything a culinary entrepreneur might need: artisan breads, cheese, a whole wal...

Editor’s Pick

Cafe Hitchcock

$$ American/New American, French, Northwest 818 First Ave

Hitchcock's Brendan McGill runs this all-day cafe in the art deco Exchange Building, a culinary bright spot on a barren stretch of First Avenue downtown. Mor...

Editor’s Pick

Amandine Bakeshop

$ Bakery/Pastry Shop, Coffee Shop 1424 11th Ave

After years of running Le Gourmand with her husband, Sara Naftaly opened her own bakeshop in Chophouse Row, drawing from her British upbringing and years in ...