Levain Bakery, a New York City-based bakery known for its extra-thick cookies, will expand to Boston in early winter 2022. Opening at 180 Newbury St., steps from Copley Square, this will be the company’s first New England location. (Levain currently has nine locations — seven in New York and two in the D.C. area.)
Rumors of Boston expansion first emerged a couple years ago; the company got an investment that led to talk of locations in Boston, D.C., and Chicago. Levain cofounder Connie McDonald is no stranger to Boston — she lived near Newbury Street while going to school and reportedly fell in love with the city’s energy. It took a while for the perfect retail space to appear, but now she and cofounder Pam Weekes, with whom she started Levain over a quarter century ago, are finally bringing their baked goods to Boston.
The cookie selection includes five flavors: chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, dark chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and two chip chocolate chip. All are rather large (or “thick and chonkin,’” as this Serious Eats recipe for Levain-inspired cookies calls them), weighing in at six ounces.
“We tried different sizes, but we settled on this particular size because we liked the attributes it created,” Weekes told Eater DC upon opening the Georgetown location in September 2020. “The crispiness on the outside, more cookie dough-like in the middle, it satisfies everybody’s craving. A little bit of crispiness, a little bit of gooey-ness.”
As the story goes, McDonald and Weekes — competitive swimmers — created “an ultimate chocolate chip walnut cookie” back in the day, aimed at giving themselves energy as they trained for a triathlon. They started selling it at their original Levain location, which began as a bread shop in 1995, and the rest is history.
In addition to cookies, the Boston menu will include cinnamon butter brioche, loaf cakes such as banana chocolate chip loaf, breads, and more. (Old-school Bostonians should pay particular attention to the blueberry muffins, which give off some serious Jordan Marsh vibes.) There will also be milk, coffee, hot chocolate, and other drinks.
Keep an eye on Instagram for updates leading up to the opening. Or, get a head start and order some cookies now — they ship nationwide — or look for mini versions of the cookies in the freezer section at most local Whole Foods locations.