Apr 24, 2023 - Food and Drink

Best chocolate chip cookies in Portland

Two halves of a large chocolate chip cookie rest on a white paper bag.

Pizza Thief's chocolate chip hazelnut cookie. Photo: Emily Harris/Axios

Food is such a great way to explore Portland, and sometimes food = 🍪, right? All these are delicious, though very different.

Context: This is by no means a comprehensive list. Just six fabulous options. What are your favorites? Tell us at [email protected].

1. Pizza Thief in Northwest

I raised my eyebrows when my Axios colleague Hadley Malcolm claimed that a pizza place makes Portland's best chocolate chip cookie. But these are goooooood.

  • Finely chopped hazelnuts are the backbone and the texture has something for everyone, bendy in the middle with a crisp, knobbly edge.

Cost: $4.50 each

  • No day-olds — any not sold go into their brown butter ice cream.

2. Gluten Free Gem in Lloyd

A hand holds a half-eaten chocolate chip cookie out flat; you can see the pale top.
Gluten Free Gem's is pale on top and melty in the middle Photo: Emily Harris/Axios

They nailed the crisp, I thought, biting the edge of a cookie about a half-hour out of the oven. The middle — packed with soft, sweet chocolate — had a completely different, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

  • Many treats here are also vegan.

Details: Only takeaway. Cost: $2.75

3. Cafe Olli in King

A chocolate chip cookie.
Sweet and salty from Cafe Olli. Photo: Emily Harris/Axios

You can almost taste the crystalline structure as this very sweet, compact cookie breaks in your mouth.

  • More crispy than flexy, but not to the point that it snaps when you bite.

Pro tip: $3 a cookie, and no tip screen here. It's built into the prices at this employee-owned cafe. (They also offer sliding scale meals.)

4. Jen's Pastries in South Portland

Close up of a cookie with large discs of chocolate and a sprinkle of salt in the middle.
Discs, not chips in Jen's cookie. Photo: Emily Harris/Axios

Jen uses chocolate discs, not chips. Her cookies are soft and chewy, with a distinct, almost nutty flavor and a generous pinch of salt.

  • The wholesale bakery is open to anyone just on Saturday mornings, 9am-1pm.

Pro tip: Go around 11:30, when the line shortens considerably.

Cost: $4.50

5. Gabriel's Bakery in Sullivan's Gulch (and local farmers markets)

Part of a chocolate chip butter cookie, with crumbs, on a paper wrapper.
Emily's favorite of this list. Photo: Emily Harris/Axios

This triangle-shaped, chocolate hazelnut butter cookie turned out to be my favorite. Lovely crumble and so aromatic!

  • You taste the chocolate even before you get a bite in your mouth.

I didn't even notice the sugar crust until I got home. Bonus!

Cost: $2.50

6. Cloudforest in Buckman

Taken from above; the top of a thick and nubbly chocolate chip cookie, on a small white plate on a wicker table.
Photo: Emily Harris/Axios

Buttery deliciousness is this cookie's overall sensation. The top crust is thin and dang near perfect; inside, it's more like eating cookie dough.

  • The chocolate doesn't stand out as much as it joins the flavor fest.

Pro tip: Break off the nubbly edges for a tidbit to whet your appetite.

Cost: $3.50

Of note: This cookie ranked #1 in Portland Monthly's recent cookie list.

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