Chip Off the Old Block

Our favorite chocolate chip cookies

Every one of us has made the cookie recipe from the back of the bag. That's why it takes a real pro to turn a chocolate chip cookie into a transcendent snack. Here are eight of our favorite, presented in no order of preference.

Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous ($2)

The caramelized edges have an exceedingly pleasant toffee-like quality and give way to a chewy center. Don't overlook the peanut brittle cookies, either, studded with pieces of housemade candy.

Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero ($2.75)

Disks of Tcho chocolate take the place of chips; a cross section reveals striated dough. Obvious vehicles for a scoop of balsamic-strawberry or salted caramel ice cream.

Anthony's Cookies ($1.25)

These have a familiar, Toll House-ian flavor and texture (they're made with chips, not chunks). They're petite pastries with a price tag to match.

Beauty's Bagel Shop ($1.50)

If you've made a pilgrimage for a dozen bagels, you may as well treat yourself to a thin, soft chocolate chip cookie, its surface marbled with pieces of Guittard chocolate.

The Mill ($2.25)

Let everyone else order the infamous toast. These thin, chewy cookies prove that Josey Baker can make more than great bread.

Mission Beach Café ($2)

Given the size of the chocolate chip walnut cookie, it should probably be eaten over a few days. But buy one–chomp, chomp–and suddenly the crinkly paper bag is empty. Oops.

Craftsman & Wolves ($3)

This classic, oversized, crisp-edged, chewy centered chocolate chip cookie, shot through with chunks of Valrhona chocolate, is worthy of your love despite the bostocks and croissant stacks vying for your attention.

Elmwood Café ($2)

Like so many of its brethren, this bad boy is big–about 3 inches in diameter–and bits of fleur de sel glisten on its surface. Primarily chewy, it's ringed in a band of crispness and made with Guittard chocolate.