Originally published on Delish.com
When a candy craving strikes, satisfy it the old fashioned way — at a store devoted to the almighty sweet treat. These cool candy stores across the U.S. make an art of serving you sugar. Sweet!
What do you do when you've got a serious sweet craving? Sure, you could head to your nearest convenience store or the bulk shop in the mall. But why not sate your sweet tooth at a place with some serious candy cred? These independent, mostly family-run sweet shops offer everything from candy classics to hard-to-find faves with a side of old-fashioned service. Top that with sweet extras like chocolate waterfalls or signature confections with recipes over a century old, and you might just be in for the treat of your life!
Candy Baron - San Francisco, Laguna Beach, and Santa Monica, CA
With three outposts in the Golden State, Candy Baron offers a massive assortment of candies with an old-timey touch. From barrels of candy classics (remember Squirrel Nut Zippers?) to novelty sweets like roast beef bubble gum, there's something to appeal to every sweet tooth. Candy Baron also stocks rare and hard-to-find candies from the U.S. and Europe.
Special treat: Sample Candy Baron's enormous array of salt water taffy, from the seasonal (eggnog or Christmas tree peppermint) to the classic, plus sugar-free varieties.
thecandybaron.com; Pier 39, San Francisco; (415) 773-0325
Big Top Candy Shop - Austin, TX
If you're strolling down hip South Congress, pop into Big Top's circus-themed sweet shop to sample a wide variety of rare and classic candies, from Necco wafers and barrels of salt water taffy to Asian gummies and Teaberry gum. Quench your thirst for nostalgia with an egg cream at their old-fashioned soda fountain.
Special treats: Locals love Big Top's seasonal cucumber soda. And there's chocolate-covered bacon. Need we say more?
bigtopcandyshop.tumblr.com; 1706 S. Congress Ave.; (512) 462-2220
Sugar Heaven - Boston, MA
Stocked with over 15,000(!) types of candy, Sugar Heaven takes its sweets seriously. You'll find ever-popular chocolate-covered gummy bears and sour gummy candies alongside old-fashioned confections like candy buttons, as well as a variety of international treats. The Boylston street location boasts a full-service ice cream bar, and you'll find a chocolate waterfall at their Dedham store. Sweet!
Special treats: The store's most popular item is their chocolate-graham cracker "clodhoppers." Or mix your own Pixi Stix at Sugar Heaven's interactive bar.
sugarheaven.us; 669 Boylston St.; (617) 266-6464; plus locations in Dedham, MA, and Montreal, Canada
Economy Candy - New York, NY
It's not fancy, folks. But nor is it pricey. Indeed, Economy Candy lives up to its name in both cost and design aesthetic, but this Lower East Side fixture is rich in candy, candy, and more candy. Treating customers sweetly since 1937, family-owned Economy offers a wide variety of candy classics, old-fashioned favorites, kosher and sugar-free goodies, plus a large selection of imported confections. Even those looking for low-voltage treats can choose from a selection of nuts and dried fruits. If you can't find it at Economy, they probably don't make it.
Special treats:Try some halvah and Turkish delight. Visiting NYC? Bring back NY-themed chocolates as a souvenir.
economycandy.com; 108 Rivington St; (212) 254-1531
Cousin's Candy - Virginia City, MT
Got a taste for nostalgia? Head to Cousin's Candy, nestled in the preserved Victorian mining town of Virginia City, for old-fashioned confections, handmade fudge, licorice, and other confections from yesteryear. Or if you happen to be in the Golden State, there's a second location of Cousin's in San Diego's Old Town. Either way, you'll strike sweet gold.
Special treats: Saltwater taffy (watch them stretch it in store) and wild Montana huckleberry jam and candies.
cousinscandy.com; 217 West Wallace St.; (877) 226-3977
Dylan's Candy Bar - New York, NY
If Economy Candy is the no-frills old timer of the NYC candy scene, Dylan's Candy Bar is its glitzy, fashionista counterpart — with the pedigree to prove it. Since the original store's opening in 2001 (across from Bloomingdales, appropriately), founder and CEO Dylan Lauren — yes, she's Ralph's daughter — has expanded her candy empire to include five shops across the U.S., and counting. True to Lauren's fashion roots, Dylan's offers branded tees, totes, and accessories — even a stroller! — but don't let that distract you from the store's raison d'etre: candy. Dylan's stocks over 5,000 types of sweets and signature-branded chocolate treats.
Special treat: Grab a bite and a drink at the Candy Bar, which features a full bar menu and candy-inspired cocktails, like the strawberry nerds mojito.
dylanscandybar.com; 1011 Third Ave.; (646) 735-0078
Licorice and Lemon Drops - Shiner, TX
In this tiny town in South Central Texas you'll find Licorice and Lemon Drops, a rustic candy store that prides itself on old-fashioned service and stock that can't be found in an ordinary convenience store. And they proudly proclaim that they're "the only place in Shiner where you can still buy something for a penny." In keeping with the store's family-oriented atmosphere, Licorice and Lemon Drops offers stuffed animals and children's books — a sweet treat for kids no matter what they choose.
Special treats: Licorice and Lemon Drops' specialties are homemade fudge, divinity, pralines, and millionaires.
licoricelemondrops.com; 1509 N. Avenue E ; (361) 594-8481
Schimpff's - Jeffersonville, IN
One of the oldest continually operating candy shops in the U.S., Schimpff's has had at least one member of the Schimpff family making sweet treats at this Jeffersonville location since 1891. Schimpff's atmosphere is appropriately quaint and homey, and fourth-generation owners Jill and Warren Schimpff still make many of their old-fashioned candies by hand. Treat yourself to a tour through Schimpff's candy museum and watch a candy-making demonstration. And if that trip down memory lane makes you hungry, fortify yourself at the store's 50's-era lunch counter.
Special treats: Don't leave without a taste of Schimpff's signature cinnamon red hots. The shop sells around two tons of these during the holidays!
schimpffs.com; 347 Spring Street; (812) 283-8367
Vermont Confectionery - Bennington, VT
This sweet shop with local pride serves up real Vermont maple candies and syrup, a variety of New England hard candies — even a selection of local cheese — to visitors and denizens of this quaint little town. You can also find an assortment of gummies, chocolates, creams, and from-scratch fudge, plus a huge selection of Jelly Bellies.
Special treats: Sink your teeth into a Vermonster: a giant chocolate, caramel, and nut candy mixture made with milk, dark, or white chocolates, or almonds, pecans, or cashews. Pick up one of their seasonal chocolate pops to celebrate holidays and special occasions.
vermontcandy.com; 1541 West Rd (Rt 9); (802) 447-2610
Nelson's Columbia Candy Kitchen - Columbia, CA
This fourth generation–run family sweet shop has been serving the Columbia State Historical Park community since the late 1800s, and the quaint and rustic decor harkens back to the town's Old West mining origins. Most of the candies are handmade on premises using original recipes from the Danish founder, from divinity to fudge to several varieties of hand-dipped fruits and creams.
Special treats: Sink your sweet tooth into one of Nelson's signature pecan-caramel bars or marshmallow bars.
columbiacandykitchen.com; Columbia State Historic Park; Main Street, P.O. Box 191; (209) 532-7886
Sugar Sugar Candy - Minneapolis, MN
You won't find an amped-up atmosphere or candy in crazy neon colors at this confectionery. Sugar Sugar offers beautiful sweets in a serene boutique setting, from the antique chocolate box collections that adorn the walls to the apothecary jars that line the shelves. The candy selection is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the the palate, from vintage valentines and chocolates made on antique molds to spun sugar candies in lovely shapes and chocolate rings that look like handcrafted jewels.
Special treats: Try one of the locally made caramels or delight a romantic with an Yves Thuries violet or rose chocolate bar.
sugar-sugarcandy.com; 3803 Grand Ave S; (612) 823-0261
Fa Guo San (Candy Shop USA) - New York, NY
Got a taste for something a little more exotic than your average American candy? Head to Chinatown in Manhattan (or the shop's outpost in Flushing, Queens) and sate your adventurous sweet tooth with a huge array of gummies and hard candies, plus preserved and dried fruits (like sweet and sour peaches or Buddha hand plums) from all over Asia. You can also find a selection of Japanese rice cakes (in black sesame, green tea, or peanut), plus savory delights like kimchi or wasabi biscuits. And if you're planning to cook up some Chinese delicacies, Fa Guo San also has a wide selection of traditional dried seafoods.
Special treats: Pick up candies in typical Asian fruit flavors, like lychee or plum. Or try one of the more whimsical varieties: Gummy hamburger or hot dog, anyone?
faguosan.com; 48 Mott St.; (212) 233-8838