Our third guide in the Ambitious Kitchen Chicago Series is here! If you’re just tuning in, WELCOME. Abra and I are scouring the city for the best eats and treats around. So far we put together the best sandwiches and the best salads in Chicago — be sure to follow @AmbitiousKitchen on Instagram to see our full guides and videos.
Have any recommendations or types of food we should explore? Leave a comment at the end of this post or on our Chicago Series Instagram posts.
Today is all about cookies. We explored tons of different bakeries and restaurants to find the best cookies in Chicago because honestly what’s better than a freshly baked cookie?! If you happen to live in Chicago, or are just traveling here for a couple days, be sure to pick one of these up!
A few of these cookies have been our long-time favorites (you’ll recognize places from our previous guides!) and some are brand new to us. These places are perfect for taking out-of-towners or just heading to get your cookie fix.
- Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie from Hexe Coffee Co.: 2000 W. Diversey Pkwy
- Confetti Cookie & Iced Molasses Cookie from Sweet Mandy B’s: 1208 W Webster Ave. & 254 E Ontario St.
- Salted Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie from Beatrix: 519 N Clark St. & 834 W Fulton Market
- Rice Krispie Chocolate Chip Cookie from Summer House Santa Monica: 1954 N Halsted St.
- Big.Fat.Cookie from Big.Fat.Cookie: 1030 N Hooker St. (plus many retail locations!)
- Tahini Cookie Chocolate Chip Cookie from Sugar Moon Bakery: 3612 W Wrightwood Ave.
Hexe Coffee Co.
You probably recognize Hexe from our roundup of the best sandwiches in Chicago, because yes, they truly do it all over there. They opened back in 2019 and have such amazing coffee drinks, food items, cocktails, and of course, cookies. Not to mention they have a giant patio to enjoy once it *finally* gets warmer here in Chicago.
- Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie: I say this a lot with my vegan & gluten free baked goods (and it’s true!) but when I say this amazing cookie does NOT taste like it’s vegan or gluten free at all I really mean it. It’s one of my ABSOLUTE favorite cookies in Chicago. Also, it’s tricky to get a cookie that’s crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle when you’re baking with gluten free ingredients, but HOT damn, did Hexe nail this one. The flavors are incredible and each bite has a slight crunch of toasty walnuts with little puddles of dark chocolate in every bite. I LOVE THIS ONE SO SO MUCH.
Sweet Mandy B’s:
This adorable little Lincoln Park bakery has been Abra’s favorite since before she moved to the city. Her college friend used to get care packages with Sweet Mandy B’s cookies and Abra became a ravenous cookie monster every time (her words, not mine). Besides amazing, giant cookies they also have delicious cakes, cupcakes, bars, pies and more. You can find flavors like cookie monster cupcakes, marshmallow dream brownies, and the best oreo cake. You can easily order for pick-up or delivery for special occasions, and they’ll customize the cakes!
- Confetti & Iced Molasses Cookies: okay, we couldn’t pick just one cookie here. Abra’s #1 favorite is the confetti cookie, which is a sugar cookie rolled in sprinkles. It may sound simple, but the flavor and soft, chewy texture is on point. If you like this one you MUST try the iced sugar cookie, too — a sugar cookie topped with their famous buttercream frosting. Indulgent and delicious. I also personally LOVE the iced molasses cookie, which is a soft gingerbread-type cookie topped with their white vanilla buttercream. It’s also perfectly soft, deliciously spiced, and reminds me of my gingerbread oatmeal cream pies.
Yes, our beloved Beatrix is back on this list because not only are their salads, brunch items, and main dishes amazing, but their baked goods are just as incredible! Whenever Abra and I come here for lunch or brunch we always leave with at least 2 cookies each. Be sure to do the same whenever you hit up their River North, Fulton Market or Oak Brook locations.
- Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie: we stopped in for lunch a few weeks ago to get this cookie because it has been our favorite for years. It even inspired my own cookie recipe during cookie week a couple of years back! When we visited for lunch they were actually OUT of this cookie, so we tried the salted caramel instead. Yes, the salted caramel was also delicious, but nothing beats this amazing butterscotch oatmeal cookie that has incredible crispy edges, sweet butterscotch, and an epic sprinkle of sea salt on top. SO GOOD. Of course, Tony and I came back a few days later because we had to showcase it in this guide.
Summer House Santa Monica
We’re back in Lincoln Park (or California, who knows) at Summer House to stop by the dessert counter at the front of the restaurant. I hinted at their baked goods in our salad guide, and now they’re here! Summer House has everything from gingersnap and M&M cookies to sprinkle cookies and vegan snickerdoodles — all of which can be served with ice cream if you’d like! They also have a famous brown butter rice krispie treat, and you know my love for brown butter runs deep. Pick up a few baked treats to try after a lovely lunch in their beautiful restaurant!
- Rice Krispie Chocolate Chip Cookie: omgggg, this cookie is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Take a perfect soft chocolate chip cookie with hints of brown butter, caramel-like flavor and top it with big chunks of their incredible soft brown butter rice krispie treat. Damn. The cookie itself tastes like it has brown butter baked right into it, too, so there’s a biiig delicious brown butter explosion in every bite and I’m here for it. The rice krispie chunks on top are also soft and chewy instead of overly crispy so the whole things is just magical. You need this one!
We’ve actually seen these giant, ooey-gooey cookies around before but had never tried them! Linda Levinson started her cookie baking endeavor in 2015 after 25 years of designing and manufacturing jewelry in Chicago and Rhode Island. Much like her jewelry, each Big.Fat.Cookie is handmade, formed, weighed, etc. in small batches to ensure that each cookie looks as good as it tastes. They’re each individually wrapped and come in truly one-of-a-kind flavors like vanilla bean cookie with oreos, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate chips & rainbow M&M’s. Whoa. Not to mention, they really are huge (over 6 ounces!) We picked up two different ones from Foxtrot Market, and you can find them at your local Freshii, South Loop Markets, West Loop Markets, Dom’s Market, Epic Kitchens, and more. They even ship nationwide and make such a great gift.
- Big Fat Cookies: we popped into Foxtrot and picked out the chocolate cookie and the peanut butter cookie. Per the instructions on the package (and on their website) the cookies are best when reheated in the oven at 350 degrees F for a few minutes. The insides get deliciously gooey with chocolate while the outsides stay nice and crispy. These cookies are the ultimate indulgence and we loved the fun flavor additions. They’re great for splitting in half (or even 4 pieces) and are also freezer-friendly to enjoy whenever the sugar cravings hit.
Sugar Moon Bakery
I had been wanting to try Sugar Moon Bakery ever since it opened in the fall of 2021. The bakery started out as a cake-focused shop, but the owner, Dina Cimarusti, quickly noticed that there was a bigger demand for other pastries in the Logan Square neighborhood. While they’re only open Friday through Sunday from 8am until 2pm, and you must get there early and stand in line as they often sell out hours before closing time because the pastries are that phenomenal (and made in small batches!) They make everything from savory galettes with flavors like sweet potato, red onion, feta, egg & za’atar, to incredible cakes, scones, and of course, cookies. Check out all of their offerings on Instagram. Dina also wants the bakery to be a place for artists to showcase their work, other bakers to do popups, and to even teach kids basic baking & cake decorating skills in the neighborhood. A must-visit spot in Logan Square!
- Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie: this Tahini Queenie had to try out the famous tahini chocolate chip cookie here. It was one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever tried in my life. 100% worth standing in line and I must tell you that I think this could just be my absolute favorite bakery in the city. You MUST go here ASAP!
I hope you love this guide in our AK Chicago Series! Did we miss any of your favorite Chicago cookies? Let us know in the comments below.
What Chicago food series should we do next?!