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Smart Cookies

What the local competition's got in the oven, from classic to creative, sprinkle to snickerdoodle


Nutmeg Bakery

This sustainably minded café that serves vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options bakes a wonderfully spicy snickerdoodle that they also make in pancake form.

12640 Sabre Springs Parkway, Poway

Blackstrap Betty

Blackmarket Bakery

It’s fall in dessert form (and we’re not talking about pumpkin spice lattes). The Betty is a molasses-based cookie with apricot, ginger, and cinnamon.

4686 30th Street, Normal Heights 

California Killer

Uncle Biff’s Killer Cookies

With a brand name like that, you’d better be amazing. Fortunately, their lineup lives up to the hype, especially this staple flavor with chunks of white and dark chocolate, walnuts, and pecans.

650 University Avenue, Hillcrest

Birthday Cake

The Cravory

The colorful, sprinkle-studded confection is perfect for your special day, but we happen to like it any day. It has vanilla chips and a batter-like consistency.

Locations in Carlsbad and Point Loma 

Ginger Chew

Sugar and Scribe

It’s the La Jolla bakery’s signature cookie—a soft number made with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove and cooked for exactly nine minutes. So good they got the spotlight on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.

7660 Fay Avenue, La Jolla 

Almond Coconut Chocolate Chip

Deb’s Cookie Jar

“Cookies so good, you’ll hide them from the ones you love.” That’s a tagline we can get behind, and it rings true at this Imperial Beach institution.

1002 Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach

Chocolate Chip Pecan

Frost Me Gourmet & Bakery

Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and every bite gives you a little bit of both chocolate and nuts at this hip café in Little Italy’s Piazza della Famiglia.

555 West Date Street, Little Italy 

Chocolate Chip

Thyme in the Ranch

Enter through a charming cottage into a café making some of the best cookies in town. Some are more creative, like the Monte Carlo—a jam sandwiched between two cookies—but here, we go classic.

16905 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe 

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