Who bakes the best cookie in Sacramento?

Best of Sacramento 2014 Food & Drink

Congrats to Pushkin’s for winning best cookie!

Congrats to Pushkin’s for winning best cookie!


It started with a simple question: “Who makes the best cookie in Sacramento?” We had our own ideas, but then we hunted down bakeries all over the city and asked for their bestsellers, too—just in case we were wrong.

We were totally wrong.

SN&R’s three food critics tried 12 of Sacramento’s greatest cookies, side by side, in a blind tasting. None of our initial favorites placed in the top three.

Judges awarded points for appearance, texture and flavor—the latter being the most important, of course—and cookies could receive a maximum of 60 total points. (And to everyone’s surprise, the winning cookie was gluten-free.)

Yes, the official best damn cookie in Sacramento, according to Garrett McCord, Jonathan Mendick and Ann Martin Rolke, is the chocolate crackle from Pushkin’s Bakery.

Judges complimented its “crunchy exterior and nice, fudgy middle.” One judge gave it a perfect score of 20, and it nabbed an overall score of 50. The “rich, super chocolatey” cookie goes for $2.75, and while it’s gluten-free and uses almond milk, note that it’s not vegan.

Close behind in second place was Freeport Bakery’s chocolate-chip cookie with 48 points. All judges agreed it was the best classic chocolate chip of the lot—five were entered in total—and loved its “soft and chewy” texture and how it felt “most like homemade.” And at 95 cents, it was also the cheapest cookie in the competition.

With 47 points, third place went to Estelle’s Patisserie’s Cowboy cookie, packed with chocolate chunks, pecans and coconut flakes. Judges called it “hearty,” “unique” and said “the subtlety of flavors makes it great.” The Cowboy cookie is on the pricier end at $3 apiece, but it’s notably large and filling.

The panel also sampled cookies from Cookie Connection, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, Goodie Tuchews, Mother, Old Soul Co., Plates2Go, The Plum Cafe & Bakery, and Yellowbill Cafe & Bakery.

As the blind-tasting organizer, I had no say in these results. But I did eat the leftovers on the table, and I must say, the top three cookies were each wonderful in their own unique ways. Honorable mention goes to Selland’s Market-Cafe for my new personal favorite Sacto cookie, the salted caramel sandwich: Salty, sweet, caramelly, chewy and only $1.35. But palates are different, so you should probably taste all 12 and decide for yourself. Pushkin’s Bakery, 1820 29th Street; (916) 376-7752; www.pushkinsbakery.com; Freeport Bakery, 2966 Freeport Boulevard; (916) 442-4256; www.freeportbakery.com; Estelle’s Patisserie, 901 K Street; (916) 551-1500; www.estelles patisserie.com; Selland’s Market-Cafe, 5340 H Street; (916) 736-3333; www.sellands.com. E