Food

We Ate Everything on Milk Bar’s Menu—And Ranked It All

Our critics embark on a tooth-aching appraisal
Inside Milk Bar's Logan Circle flagship. Photograph by Evy Mages.

Milk Bar, Christina Tosi’s mega-popular dessert cafe, opened its biggest location and national flagship in Logan Circle (1525 15th St., NW) on Saturday. The festivities—a crush of selfie-takers, neighborhood dogs, pink balloons, and Tosi herself—had us wondering: Why do people go so nuts for these kiddie-inspired creations? Is it just millennial marketing genius? Or have we been underestimating Tosi’s nostalgic creations all along? We tasted the entire menu—well, except for the whole layer cakes, lattes, and plain soft-serves—to find out. We’re still hallucinating from sugar and sprinkles, but that’s our problem. To the ranking!

Blueberry pie milkshake. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

25. Blueberry Pie Shake, $6-$9 (Logan Circle location only)

Menu description: N/A.

We say: “Save your money and just mix a pound of Domino’s with some soft-serve and blue food coloring. It doesn’t taste like blueberries at all—not even fake ones. Sad Smurf.”

24. Cereal Milk Jug, $6.05

Menu description: Milk, cornflakes, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.

We say: “My blood sugar just went up to 900. This is so sweet it’s gross.”

Corn cookies. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

23. Corn cookie, $2.75

Menu description: Corn, corn, corn!

We say: “It’s like if somebody put sugar on tortilla chips and mashed them up. There is nothing redeeming about this.”

Birthday cake truffles. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

22. Birthday Cake Truffles, $6

Menu description: Vanilla rainbow cake, vanilla-infused milk, white chocolate, rainbow cake crumbs.

We say: “It’s the sensation of eating playdough at a birthday party. It tastes like…fake things. Something I never need to eat again.”

Perfect 10 cookies. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

21. Perfect 10 Cookie, $4.25

Menu description: Gluten-free cookie with oats, almonds, mini chocolate chips, sweetened with agave.

We say: “The texture is kind of like a Luna Bar—really dense and gritty. It definitely has that I’m eating-something-healthy feeling.”

Best Freaking Cookies. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

20. Best Freaking Cookie, $4.25

Menu description: Gluten-free cookie with fudgy chocolate, dark chocolate chips, sweetened with coconut and pineapple.

We say: “The cheerfulness of this is obnoxious. There’s a discrepancy between the name of the cookie and the way it tastes. It falls apart before you even pick it up, and it tastes like those vegan brownies at Whole Foods.”

Birthday cake shake. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

19. Birthday Cake Shake, $6-$9

Menu description: Cereal Milk soft-serve blended with birthday truffles.

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We say: “It’s a really weird grey color, and is chalky and lumpy. It tastes like the end of a child’s birthday party, like, if Edward Gorey was throwing a birthday party for one of the Gashlycrumb Tinies.”

18. SoulCycle cookie, $5

Menu description: A gluten- and dairy-free high protein cookie made with almonds, macadamia nuts, coconut, turmeric, citrus, and quinoa.

We say: “It feels like clay, yet it doesn’t even stay together in your hand. Kind of tastes like suntan lotion.”

17. Birthday Milkquake, $6-$9

Menu description: Birthday cake truffles and sprinkles blended into Cereal Milk soft-serve.

We say: “Just like the milkshake—a little better, but still sad. It’s also a pretty tiny portion for six bucks.”

Crack pie. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

16. Crack Pie, $6

Menu description: Toasted oat crust, gooey butter filling.

We say: “This is Christina Tosi’s most mythic creation, but…how could this be the same pie that looked so amazing in Chef’s Table? It had the potential to be good, the underpinnings of the flavors are good, if it had a tenth of the sugar. You could seriously just have one bite. It’s a good thing it’s TINY.”

Strawberry and corn milkquake. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

15. Strawberry & Corn Milkquake, $6-$9

Menu description: Strawberries with corn cookies and Cereal Milk soft serve.

We say: “I’d rather have Breyer’s strawberry ice cream, and there are huge shards of corn cookie which are crazy-sweet. These flavors really stick around. My mouth is kind of tingling.”

Compost cookies. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

14. Compost Cookie, $2.75

Menu description: Pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch, chocolate chips

We say: “I like the coffee to combat the sugar crash. It tastes kind of one note for something called a compost cookie though.”

Confetti cookies. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

13. Confetti Cookie, $2.75

Menu description: Sugar cookie, birthday sprinkles, birthday crumbs

We say: “It tastes like an okay sugar cookie. This is food for rich children.”

Blueberry and cream cookies. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

12. Blueberry & Cream Cookie, $2.75

Menu description: Sugar cookie, milk crumbs, blueberries.

We say: “Kinda tastes like a blueberry muffin. I don’t know if I’d say I like it—like is a strong word.”

Chocolate-pretzel-dulce milkquake.

11. Chocolate-Pretzel-Dulce Milkquake, $6-$9

Menu description: Chocolate-pretzel soft serve, butterscotch chips, pretzels, dulce de leche sauce, and fudge.

We say: “Too sweet…and yet also too sour. It’s more malty than chocolatey.”

Chocolate malt cake truffles. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

10. Chocolate Malt Cake Truffles, $6 

Menu description: Chocolate cake, malted milk, white chocolate, malted milk crumbs.

We say: “Like brownie batter but in non-messy paste form. They’re alright.”

Spinach-artichoke bread bomb. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

9. Spinach Artichoke Bomb, $4.50

Menu description: Pumpernickel/rye dough, spinach, artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese.

We say: “They do spinach dip in a bread bowl better in Ohio. But the rye is nice, even if the bread is a little overwhelming.”

Chocolate chocolate cookies. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

8. Chocolate Chocolate Cookie, $2.75

Menu description: Chocolate cookie dough, chocolate crumbs, salt.

We say: “Nice hit of salt, really chocolatey. Now this is a cookie!”

Chocolate malt cake shake. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

7. Chocolate Malt Cake Shake, $6-$9

Menu description: Cereal Milk shake with chocolate-malt truffles and hot fudge blended in.

We say: “Tastes like really good brownie mix.”

Cornflake marshmallow cookie. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

6. Cornflake Marshmallow Cookie, $2.75

Menu description: Cornflakes, marshmallows, mini chocolate chips.

We say: “This cookie is all about the great textures, even if you don’t really taste much marshmallow. I’d eat this!”

Egg and sausage bomb. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

5. Egg and Sausage Bomb, $4.50 (Logan Circle location only)

Menu description: Bagel dough, turkey sausage, egg, cheese, and black pepper.

We say: “Kind of like an egg-and-sausage sando meets dessert—the dough and even the sausage/egg filling are pretty sweet. But it’s still really tasty, in a Thanksgiving morning-after kind of way.”

Crunchy cereal shake. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

4. Crunchy Cereal Shake, $6-$9

Menu description: Milk, corn flakes, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.

We say: “It’s like if someone actually put their bowl of cereal in the freezer in a good way. It tastes true to what it is.”

Bagel bomb. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

3. Bagel Bomb, $4

Menu description: Everything bagel dough, bacon-scallion cream cheese.

We say: “The bacon in the cream cheese is really smoky, the bagel dough is just sweet enough. It’s actually food for adult people! Why can’t they do more of these things?”

The Coffee + Donut. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

2. The Coffee + Donut, $9 (Logan Circle location only)

Menu description: Homemade cinnamon-sugar waffle cone filled with hot fudge, Cereal Milk soft-serve, donut crumbs, coffee sand, and chocolate dough bites.

We say: “It’s super-messy and drips from the bottom but who cares, this is legit (especially the thick hot fudge that coats the inside of the waffle cone).”

Egg and cheddar bomb. Photograph courtesy of Milk Bar.

1. Egg and Cheddar Bomb, $4.50

Menu description: Steamed dough, Sriracha, cream cheese, egg, cheddar, onion.

We say: “A delicious riff on an egg-and-cheese sandwich—I want to keep these in the freezer for hangovers. It’s not like: Would you like some food wrapped in sugar wrapped in sprinkles wrapped in unicorns wrapped in plastic?”

Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.