Rating popular cookie shops


Sanjay Fernando

There has been a lot of commotion around these three cookie shops, so here’s my opinion on them.

I tried cookies from three prominent chain bakeries and compared them. Here’s what I’ve concluded. (Please don’t hate me.)

Levain Bakery sells an assortment of desserts, but their classic chocolate chip and walnut cookie made them renowned. All over TikTok, I saw people imitating the recipe of these 6-ounce monsters and raving about the taste. And for a valid reason. 

This cookie is an excellent balance of chewy and crunchy, starring a stellar distribution of walnuts and chocolate chips. The soft inner texture and melted chocolate contrast perfectly with the walnuts and crisp outer shell. My first bite was flavorful but interestingly subtle, and very satisfactory.

But there’s one thing I just can’t get over; Levain cookies are BIG. On top of that, they have this unusual scone-like density. Eating one feels like a meal, an experience, a beginning, middle, and end. They are hearty, which is a characteristic I’ve never looked for in a cookie. It’s terrifying. They taste amazing but just a bit…much.

The defense I most frequently hear for a Levain’s intensity is “you need to be in the mood for one.” I have yet to experience this mood. Is it desperation? Direct starvation?

I still eat them though. I’m a pushover.

Crumbl Cookies are known for their gooey texture and sweet flavor, but their popularity stems from their extensive list of flavor options. Crumbl rotates four specialty flavors every week and introduces completely new flavors regularly. This week’s specialty menu includes Pumpkin Roll, Dirt Cake, and Sugar Pumpkin Candy.

In my opinion, Crumbl cookies shouldn’t be classified as cookies. While Levain cookies are shaped like baseballs, they have the capacity to be picked up and bitten into. Crumbl cookies are cakes with just enough shape and structure to be considered a cookie. It doesn’t help that half of their cookie flavors are buried under layers of frosting and assorted toppings.

Still, nothing beats the selection. It makes ordering from Crumbl feel like a wine tasting (not that I’d know…). My experiences with Crumbl usually feature my friends and me ordering a box of different flavors, tasting each one, discussing our favorites, and feeling more bloated than we’d thought possible. I have never had Crumbl without feelings of immense regret following soon after. 

To this day, it hasn’t stopped me from taking a bite when I get the offer.

Insomnia Cookies is a cookie delivery service recognized for their cookie box options, where buyers can purchase different size boxes of cookies and choose the different flavors. While their flavor selection is vast, they don’t sell anything with Crumbl’s level of creativity or Levain’s ingenuity with basic ingredients.

Here’s the thing. I really like Insomnia cookies. They may be my favorite out of the three. 

I sincerely apologize for it.

I can envision weekly meetings at the Crumbl Cookie headquarters where bakers, bursting with creative energy, work to craft new revolutionary flavors that push the limits of what a cookie is. I imagine the creator(s) of the classic Levain spending months, maybe years, scrutinizing over the recipe; perfecting the ratio of chocolate chips to walnuts to the tenth of the gram. 

Yet, when I’m in the mood for a cookie, I’d like a cookie. Not a biscuit, not a cake, a cookie. Yes, insomnia cookies are really just glorified homemade treats. Yes, insomnia perfectly caters to college kids (as it has a storefront in College Park). Yes, my sister can make cookies probably just as good. But out of all three of them, only one cookie encaptures the comfort and nostalgia I crave when I take a bite. 

Hits : 2001