“C” is for cookie. And if that isn’t enough to make your little monster’s tummy rumble, along come “CCC” — chocolate chip cookies! Chicago does the indulgence justice, because we have kid-friendly bakeries and restaurants that make delicious, from-scratch versions of the treats—from cookies as big as your head to infused deliciousness. You’re never far from your next fix. Here is where we get ours.
Beatrix is the Beyonce of restaurants. It does it all, from breakfast to lunch, brunch to dessert. One of the best ways for families to experience Beatrix is via its coffee and pastry bar, which is a full-fledged bakery inside the restaurant. The selection offers an overwhelming array of muffins, breads, cakes, scones and more. Something Beatrix does exceptionally well is cookies, particularly the chocolate chunk cookie. These large, saucer-sized indulgences achieve the perfect middle ground of crispy along the exterior and soft in the center. Each bite of this thick cookie gives way to a pleasant doughy chew, brimming with fudge-y melted chocolate.
4 locations in River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market & Oak Brook; Online: beatrixchicago.com
Big.Fat.Cookie makes chocolate chip cookies so delicious looking, it's almost a shame to eat them. Almost. They are made in very small batches with an insane amount of attention to detail—they weigh each cookie and add individual chocolate chips to be sure they're made to perfection. You can find them at Freshii locations or place an order for pickup at their location on Hooker. Pick-up days are Thurs., Fri. & Sat., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
1030 N. Hooker St., Goose Island; Online: eatmebigfatcookie.com
Chocolate chip cookies don’t get any more classic than the ones at this nearly century-old bakery in Lakeview. They look and taste like Grandma made them and plucked them fresh from the cookie jar. More like butter cookies that happen to have chocolate chips than standard chocolate chip cookies, they are soft, doughy and sweet, with a delicate sprinkling of chocolate chips. Their smallish size makes it easy to polish off a whole box, which should give you a good sense of how Cookie Monster feels on a daily basis. We love Dinkel's because it's a true, longstanding family business — it's been in the Dinkel family for three generations!
3329 N. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview; Online: dinkels.com
A bakery that prides itself on classic American confections is bound to excel in the chocolate chip cookie department. Such is the case at Bake in Bucktown. This adorable, nostalgic Americana bakeshop peddles all the sweets that childhood dreams are made of, including exemplary chocolate chip cookies. Like the menu and motif at Bake, these cookies are pure classics, likely the closest you’ll come to mom-made cookies in Chicago, rich with notes of butter, sugar and smooth chocolate morsels. Tip: Take your cookie outside to the patio, but not before grabbing one of the toys or coloring books from the shelves. This spot is entirely kid-friendly.
2246 W. North Ave., Bucktown; Online: getbakedchicago.com
Oh Carol, you temptress. Based in Highland Park, Carol’s Cookies has gotten a cult following for its football-sized cookies. (We're exaggerating a bit on the size -- but barely.) With a big shipping business and wholesale business, Carol’s Cookies are not hard to come by, making it all too easy to binge on sugar and ruin appetites for dinner. The brown sugary chocolate chip cookies are the embodiment of indulgence, not only in sheer heft, but in the astounding richness compacted into every single nook and cranny.
Available at Sunset Foods & Whole Foods and via online ordering at carolscookies.com
Sweet Shot Cookies
Sweet Shot Cookies specializes in infused cookies and cookie cakes. Their homemade gooey infused cookies can be filled with anything from marshmallow fluff to dark chocolate ganache—you name it, they infuse it. They can be ordered pre-filled or if you're a DIY'er, they can be delivered with a syringe of flavor so you can inject it yourself with as much filling as you'd like. Now, that is our kind of DIY!
3211 W. Armitage, Logan Square; Online: sweetshotcookies.com
Got a chocolate chip cookie pregnancy crave? Up at all hours tending to a newbie in the house? Insomnia has you covered. Most of their locations deliver until 1 a.m. so you can indulge your sweet tooth.
Defloured makes their chocolate chip cookies so mouth-wateringly amazing that you'd never know it's gluten-free. In fact, their entire menu is gluten-free. That's right, we didn't forget about the folks who steer clear of gluten, but want a cookie that isn't dry for once!
1477 W. Balmoral, Andersonville; Online: deflouredbakery.com
— Maria Chambers & Matt Kirouac
Featured photo: Gustavo Fring via Pexels