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Cookies at West Juliett
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best cookies in Sydney

That's the way they crumble – here's where to find the city's finest batch

By Emily Lloyd-Tait
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Note: As of June 1, cafes, restaurants and bakeries have been allowed to reopen in NSW, but we recommend calling ahead to ensure a venue is open ahead of your visit.

Cookie or biscuit? Chewy or crunchy? Sweet or savoury? Perhaps even a little bit salty? Whatever your personal preference, we can all agree there's no better afternoon pick-me-up than a really good cookie. We put Sydney’s best cafés and bakeries to the test to see who's pulling the best sweet treats out of the oven – from textbook variations of chocolate chip to something a tad spicier, with gluten-free and vegan options, too. 

Need a coffee to go with it? Here's where to find the best coffee in the Sydney CBD.

More of an ice-cream person? Check out our picks for the best gelato and ice cream in Sydney

The kings and queens of the cookie scene

Berkelo biscuit
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

1. The digestive at Berkelo

Restaurants Bakeries Brookvale

McVities are given a run for their money with this high-end, high-calorie digestive at Northern Beaches bakery Berkelo. It’s a rye and chocolate biscuit, stamped into squares so you can whittle away at it over a coffee. One half is dipped in just-set chocolate, and the biscuit itself is a crumbly, buttery, caramelly delight reminiscent of the base of a cheesecake.

Cookies at West Juliett
Photograph: Anna Kucera

2. West Juliett's salted chocolate chip cookie

Restaurants Marrickville

These guys were an early adopter of the salty-sweet technique that's taken off in Sydney’s café scene. Their chocolate and sea-salt cookie is almost more chocolate than biscuit, and the crystals of pink salt on top ensure that no reward pathway is left dormant.

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Bourke Street Bakery Surry Hills
Photograph: Anna Kucera

3. The chocolate and sour cherry cookie at Bourke Street Bakery

Restaurants Surry Hills

This stalwart of Sydney’s baking scene has been making chewy chcoclate and dark cherry cookies for well over a decade. They're as close to perfect as a cookie gets – rich enough that your paper bag will go see-through in transit, and they walk that  fine line in the chewy-crisp borderlands. Hitting a pocket of cherry is like striking flavour gold, pretty much black forest cake in shorthand.

Cookie at Pioik
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

4. The chocolate biscuit at Pioik

Restaurants Cafés

A bakery is not a natural home for our gluten-free friends, but this Pyrmont house of bread also does a killer gluten-free chocolate cookie. The edges are crisp, and despite its room temperature, the heart of the cookie stays chewy and shot through with melty chocolate pieces as if it had just come out of the oven.

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Cookie at Shift Eatery
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

5. Shift Eatery's vegan salted chocolate chip cookie

Restaurants Cafés Surry Hills

Some people equate veganism with "health food", and sometimes the two go hand-in-hand, but Shift's chocolate chip cookie keeps the good stuff front and centre, right where it deserves to be. You’d never know this crunchy golden disc was egg and dairy free, thanks to the crunchy texture, generous chocolate chip allotment and the glimmer of salt crystals on top to temper the sweetness.

La Paula
Photograph: Helen Yee

6. La Paula's alfajores

Restaurants Fairfield

The South American predilection for putting caramel on everything gave us the alfajore: two biscuit wheels sandwiched held together by dulce de leche. Any self-respecting South American joint has one on the counter, but we like to combine ours with a Chilean sandwich at this lauded, decades-old bakery and restaurant in Fairfield.

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Customers at Pasticceria Papa
Photograph: Daniel Cheng

7. The chocolate-covered cherry thumbprints at Pasticceria Papa

Restaurants Cafés Haberfield

The sheer scale of options here for the biscuit lover is mind boggling, and you can get very carried away filling your box with classic biscotti, amaretti, jam-filled biccies and cannoli, but we can never go past the chocolate-covered shortbreads with glacé cherry hearts.

People inside at Cherry Moon General Store
Photograph: Anna Kucera

8. Pamela's GF chocolate and cumquat cookie from Cherry Moon General Store

Restaurants Cafés Annandale

This newcomer to the bakery ranks makes an inclusive cookie that has a softness to it, almost reminiscent of a macaroon. The dark chocolate swipe and the citric sharpness of little candied cumquat pieces call to mind a regal jaffa cake. A small sprinkling of salt is also a good call. You’d never know it was gluten free.

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Cookie at Butterbing at Reuben Hills
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

9. The Butterbing at Reuben Hills

Restaurants Surry Hills

Spoiler alert: it's not made on the premises, but it's as close to cake as a cookie gets. Reuben Hills stocks the cookie sandwiches from Butterbing, which are pretty much like a buttercream brownie sandwich. Choose from Nutella, salted caramel and even birthday cake, but for our money, the savoury peanut butter edition is the winning ticket.

Cookie at Saga Enmore
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

10. Saga's salted chocolate cookie

Restaurants Cafés Enmore

This is a dense hockey puck that’s chewy and rich, but held back from the brink of too much by the judicious application of salt and cacao nibs, which remind you that chocolate also possesses acidity and bitterness. It pulls apart rather than snaps, but is still more cookie than brownie. 

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Cookie at Brickfields
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

11. The black sesame cookie at Brickfields

Restaurants Chippendale

You’ve had the Persian love cake, but for a sweetie on the side consider looking beyond the chocolate chip and go to the dark side with this black sesame cookie. It’s gluten free, so it has the chewy texture you’d expect from a macaron, but with more substance and no creamy filling. Instead the core is a dense tangle of coconut, giving the sesame flavour a tropical lift.

Cookie at Jillian's Cakery
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

12. The chocolate chip cookie at Jillian’s Cakery

Restaurants Bakeries Surry Hills

This American-style bakehouse right down near Central Station makes a chocolate chip cookie that’s as big as an adult handspan, chewy and crisp, that somehow doesn't crumble as you eat it. And, most importantly, it's generously spiked with chocolate.

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the Wookie Cookie at One Another
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

13. One Another's wookie cookie

Restaurants Cafés Newtown

Time Out’s top café for 2019 makes a festive gingerbread cookie year round, stamped with the imprint of a smiling Chewbacca. It’s not the crisp, structural thing you might expect, but soft and yielding, almost like a melty Anzac biscuit, with a pronounced caramel sweetness to temper the spice.

Cookie at Flour and Stone
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

14. Flour and Stone's buccellati

Restaurants Woolloomooloo

You’d be right to expect great things from a woman whose previous business was exclusively designer iced cookies. Nadine Ingram’s Woolloomooloo bakery is a destination for rustic cake lovers (we spot Kylie Kwong in there grabbing one to go), but her cookie skills are still top notch. There are packets of chocolate chip, or Anzacs at the right time of year, but branch out and get a buccellati, which is like a fig roll, encased in a crisp shell and iced in an orange blossom glaze. You can be classy and get pistachios on top, or go for sprinkles.

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Four ginger ninja cookies against a white background
Photograph: Supplied/Black Star Pastry

15. Black Star Pastry's ginger ninja

Restaurants Newtown

Yes, the watermelon cake is Instagram famous, but for simpler thrills a gingerbread biccie shaped like a ninja and clothed in a chocolate keikogi is a little sidekick to your morning coffee sure to turn any frown upside down.

Flour Drum
Photograph: Alana Dimou

16. Flour Drum's smarty pants cookie

Restaurants Newtown

For novelty appeal, you can’t go past this giant cookie studded with M&Ms and miniature chocolate chips. It’s the kind of treat you bring a co-worker when they’ve had a bad day – it's a straight-up mood lifter. The cookie base isn’t a hard snapping biscuit but more granular, somewhere between a Subway cookie and the biscuit base of a tart. And they definitely haven't skimped on the good bits. No matter how this cookie crumbles, you’ll always get heaps of candy in your portion.

Still in need of something sweet?

Chocolate display at Lixie Chocolaterie
Chocolate display at Lixie Chocolaterie
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best chocolate shops in Sydney

Shopping Chocolate and sweets

On the hunt for bonbons, truffles, blocks, bars, speckles or macarons? Seeking satisfaction from single-origin cacao, sumptuous fillings and thrilling textures? Have an itch for something white, extra dark or classic milk? Whatever your pleasure, these top Sydney shops will satisfy the world's most famous craving.

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