NYC’s Hit Levain Bakery Opens in Bethesda with Ice Cream-Cookie Sandwiches

This is the second DC-area location of the popular bakery.

Levain Bakery opens in Bethesda with new ice cream-cookie sandwiches. Photograph by Brian Oh

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What started as a small bread shop in New York City quickly grew to be a destination for both locals and tourists, who discovered Levain Bakery’s mammoth, delicious cookies. The craggy, gooey on the inside treats, featured on many “Best of New York” lists, have become what Levain is known for. 

After 25 years of growth in New York, co-founders Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald opened the first bakery further afield in Georgetown. Now, as part of a Mid-Atlantic expansion, they’re opening a ninth location in Bethesda Row on Tuesday, July 13. 

The bakery sells sweet and savory pastries and breads in addition to cookies. Photograph by Brian Oh

The menu features Levain’s signature cookie flavors, including chocolate chip-walnut, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate-peanut butter chip, and more. Additionally, various pastries, fresh breads, tea, coffee, and espresso beverages are up for grabs.  

On opening day, Levain Bethesda will debut limited-edition ice cream sandwiches, stuffed with a generous scoop of local Dolcezza gelato. Choose between sweet cream gelato sandwiched between two chocolate chip walnut cookies, or roasted strawberry gelato with dark chocolate chip cookies (or better yet, try both). The treats are available through the end of the summer. 

“There’s clearly an appreciation for delicious desserts in Bethesda – Jeni’s, Dolcezza, Georgetown Cupcake, to name just a few. We’re just hoping to give people more reasons to visit and enjoy (and share) a cookie. We love that our cookies are meant to be shared and enjoyed with friends,” say Weekes and McDonald via email.

Photograph by Brian Oh

Levain Bethesda will donate 100 percent of its first day’s proceedings to nonprofit Bethesda Help, an organization offering food and financial aid assistance to Montgomery County residents. 

Doors open at 8 AM on Tuesday, and hurry – the first 100 guests will receive a Levain Bakery goody bag, and you never know when Levain’s notorious lines may begin. 

Levain Bakery. 4844 Bethesda Ave.

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Anne Tate, originally from Annapolis, MD, joined Washingtonian in July 2021. She is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied journalism and psychology.