Boutique Levain Bakery: a little historical reminder
Levain Bakery is a bakery that was founded in 1994 by two friends who practiced competitive swimming: Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes. If at the beginning, the shop offered artisanal breads, fresh and baked, today, Levain Bakery has become famous thanks to these delicious chocolate chip cookies.
Over time, the Levain Bakery store has become a institution much appreciated by tourists and locals. Faced with its growing success, other stores have opened in New York. Today, we count four : on the Upper West Side, in Harlem, Long Island and on Amsterdam Avenue.
Note: the store located in Long Island only opens during the summer period.
Thanks to the brand's website, Levain Bakery products can also be shipped all over the world! Well that's what they say because I tried to have 4 delivered to France and I couldn't finalize my order.
But why the name “Levain Bakery”?
The term "leaven" was chosen in reference to the word French which means a ferment that is mixed with the bread dough in order to make it rise. When it came to choosing a name for their shop, the two friends therefore naturally opted for “Levain Bakery”.
What products are sold at the Levain Bakery?
As previously indicated, the specialty of the Levain Bakery are cookies. You can find it in different flavors :
- With chocolate and hazelnuts (Chocolate Chip Walnut).
- Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie.
- With oatmeal and raisins (Oatmeal Raisin Cookie).
- With dark chocolate and peanut butter (Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie).
You can also taste scones with raisins and oatmeal, Muffins with blueberries, Bomboloncini (a pastry of Italian origin), brioche plain, chocolate or cinnamon, Bread rolls with nuts or raisins, cakes with coffee or lemon, gingerbread with pumpkin or banana and chocolate chips. Many pains are also offered, from the most classic (baguette) to the most special (with seeds, grapes and wheat). Pizzas are also sold as well as the typical French butter ham (Baguette with Butter & Jam).
My favorites from the Levain Bakery
During my visit to Levain Bakery, I tasted two kinds of cookies: the oatmeal and raisin one and the chocolate and hazelnut one.
In both cases my cookie was melting inside and cute outside. On the taste side, this one was simply exquisite and all flavors ingredients were there. From the first bite, it was a real treat! Regarding the prices, these are affordable. You need $ 4 for a cookie, $ 3.25 for a traditional baguette or $ 3.75 for a chocolate or cinnamon brioche. So $ 4 it's true that it may seem expensive at first glance for a cookie but they have absolutely nothing to do with what we know in France. I can guarantee you that a single cookie will be able to wedge any stomach because they are so generous.
During your stay in New York, I can only recommend a little detour to the Levain Bakery. You will not be disappointed ! In addition, the main store benefits from a privileged location : near Central Park and the Natural History Museum. After your outdoor walk and / or your cultural visit, do not hesitate to take a little gourmet break!
Levain Bakery in the media
The success of Levain Bakery is such that some stores have appeared in emissions et Books. These stores have thus appeared in episodes of television shows such as Roker on the Road or Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. Also in books Levain Bakery has been mentioned: A Day at the Beach by Helen Schulman, The Slow Food Guide To New York City by Patrick Martins and Ben Watson and many more.
The addresses of the different Levain Bakery shops
As indicated at the beginning of this article, four Levain Bakery stores are located in New York. The main one is located in the Upper West Side district. The other three are in Harlem, Long Island and on Amsterdam Avenue.
Here are their respective addresses:
- Upper West Side : 167 West 74th Street , New York, NY, 10023.
- Harlem : 2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd , New York, NY, 10026.
- Long Island : 354 Montauk Hway, Wainscott Village Shopping Center, Wainscott, NY, 119750.
- Avenue d’Amsterdam : 351 Amsterdam Avenue, NY, 10024.
Here is a small map to help you locate two stores (Upper West Side and Harlem) Levain Bakery:
The opening hours of the four bakeries:
- Upper West Side : Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 19 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 19 p.m.
- Harlem : Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 19 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 19 p.m.
- Long Island : Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 17 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 18 p.m. (only open during the summer).
- Avenue d’Amsterdam : Monday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 20:30 p.m.
A little trip to the Levain Bakery is therefore to be planned on your list of activities. Whether you are greedy or not, you can make a real culinary discovery. From the first bite in a cookie, your taste buds will be animated, that's for sure! So don't hesitate to take a quick look at my 11 favorite places to eat well in New York. Good tasting !