There's no shortage of candy stores in New York City, making it a good place to be a kid with a hankering for the sweet stuff. As we approach the king of all candy holidays—Halloween—this list may come in handy. Of course, this list is worth revisiting for Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day and any time you can't control your sweet tooth or need a sweet treat.
Many of these candy stores in NYC lack seating and bathrooms; instead, they house shelves and aisles overflowing with packages of colorful, cavity-creating treasures. A few offer more modern treats and additions like chocolate-making classes for kids. Read on for our 18 favorite candy stores in all of NYC.
Find more kid-friendly sugar spots, including our favorite destinations for over-the-top desserts in NYC in our NYC Kids' Restaurant Guide.
Best Candy Stores in NYC
Making chocolate by hand since the 1930s, this family-run chocolate spot is a hit year-round, but especially for Easter treats. Fancy chocolate boxes are filled with items like Parisian truffles, butter crunch, chocolate pops, or rotating seasonal treats, including chocolate Easter bunnies.
This beloved local spot offers homemade truffles, plus chocolate-covered strawberries, Oreos, and pretzels, as well as DIY supplies to create your own treats. The shop also stocks party favors and cakes for special occasions. You won't find penny candy here, but kids will still love poring over the glass-case displays.
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Economy Candy on the Lower East Side might be the best candy store in New York City. Photo courtesy of the store
3. Economy Candy – Chelsea and the Lower East Side
Possibly the best candy store of its kind in all five boroughs, Economy Candy on the Lower East Side has everything: homemade candy, mass-market popular picks, halvah and Turkish delights, and novelty candy from the days of my youth. Sections devoted to Asian, British, and Canadian treats are a nice touch, too. Prepare for crowded aisles on nice weekend days, which could make visiting with a toddler or a stroller tricky. Its 99-cent table might make it worth the risk. A second location recently opened in Chelsea Market and is even smaller than the original. Fittingly, it's dubbed A Taste of Economy Candy.
Although primarily loved for its over-the-top and decidedly old-school ice cream parlor, which opened in the 1960s, this Queens creamery also offers a long case full of, and topped with, both wrapped and bulk candies from which kids can choose.
Visit the website for a complete list of locations.
This is another beloved ice cream parlor that scoops up plenty of candy for the kids, too. Choose from dozens of wrapped and loose candies neatly displayed in jars, including retro favorites like Lemonheads and licorice, plus gummy worms and Mary Janes. There are also plenty of chocolate treats, including truffles and bonbons, and chocolate-covered pretzels.
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Brits will love the selection of imported candies at Fferins. Photo courtesy of the store
This candy shop is a sweet addition to the ultra family-friendly Park Slope neighborhood. In addition to a year-round scoop shop, Fferins carries a wide variety of confections. Its pick-a-mix selection will take you on a walk down memory lane with plenty of nostalgia-inducing treats to choose from. Fferins is particularly proud of its selection of British imports, too.
Jacque Torres has the best chocolate confections around, including chocolate candies, cookies, bars, bonbons, hot chocolate, and ice cream. Stop by the Dumbo storefront and see how the chocolate is made and help yourself to some delicious, thick hot chocolate. For the brave, the wicked hot chocolate has quite the kick, owing to the addition of ancho and chipotle chilies.
8. IT'SUGAR – Multiple Locations
See the website for a complete list of locations
With six locations in New York City, IT'SUGAR specializes in innovative sweets, fun novelty gifts, and giant candy. IT'SUGAR is constantly coming up with new candy creations and turning them into interactive experiences in-store. Check out the jellybean replica of the New York skyline complete with a lollipop garden at the Times Square store. Candy stations offer hundreds of kinds of candy by the pound, with areas also devoted to retro and international candy, and more.
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Hit up Ray's Candy Store for a dose of sugar anytime. Photo courtesy of the store
If you get a craving for a sweet treat at 2am, have we got the pick for you! Ray's Candy Store is a 24-hour emporium of indulgences. Part candy shop, part bodega, part supplier of fried carnival treats, this spot is all character, and the biggest character is the namesake owner who works the overnight shift and hasn't taken a day off in decades. If you're looking for wall-to-wall candy, there are better spots on this list, but you can't beat Ray's for a trip back in time and only-in-NYC nostalgia.
This candy lover's paradise has downsized in New York City, and its lone store standing is located in Hudson Yards. It still continues to seemingly sell every sweet imaginable, with nearly 7,000 confections. The selection is hard to beat, and many of the treats are imaginative. The store also sells lifestyle goods and gifts.
Founded in Coney Island in 1916, Philips Candy relocated to Staten Island in 2002 after its Brooklyn location was shuttered to make way for the Stillwell Avenue subway station. The old-school candy-making techniques have won over a whole other borough, as the sweet treats at Philips continue to be sought after. Well-known for its candied apples, Philips sells a wide variety of homemade confections, including caramel corn, chocolate-covered fruit, homemade fudges, and more.
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The Sweets Boutique serves way more than candy. Photo by Diana Kim
The neighborhood sweet shop has a variety of candies, ice cream, desserts, and treats to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. Choose your own candies from the candy buffett or sample one of the delectable home-baked goodies like apple cider doughnuts or mini-cake pops. The store offers party favors and supplies and also helps to plan special events like birthday parties.
This mom-and-pop shop on the Upper East Side has a little something for everyone. Its website reads like a game of Candy Land, with sections of the store dedicated to Licorice Lane and Gummy Town. There's a wide variety of pick-your-own containers, plus gourmet chocolates, both pre-packaged and handmade. Artisan ice cream is also offered from a variety of creators.
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Williams Candy Shop is one of the few old-school Coney Island places left. Photo by Shira Kronzon.
14. Williams Candy – Coney Island, Brooklyn
A must-try for your next Coney Island visit: Skip the boardwalk fare and visit Williams Candy. The old-school shop serves cotton candy, popcorn balls, marshmallow treats, lollipops, ice cream, and more candy.
Witness old-world chocolates being handcrafted right here in NYC as they have been for the past century at the Li-Lac Chocolates Factory. Located at Industry City, the factory has windows that spectators can peek through to see how more than 120 fresh chocolate confections are crafted. Many follow the same recipes and production techniques from the company's founding. Once you've taken in the view, pop inside for some fresh-from-the-factory samples and purchase goodies to take home. If you can't make it to the Industry City factory, consider visiting one of the other NYC stores.
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BonBon has a trio of city locations serving Swedish sweets. Photo courtesy of the store
16. BonBon – Multiple Locations
Swedish treats are the name of the game at this growing mini-chain, which just opened on the Upper East Side. Find jars and jars of pick-and-mix sweets at a trio of NYC locations, including plenty of Swedish fish! It's gift boxes are wildly popular.
Step into Varsano's Chocolates, and the smell is an undeniable reminder that all its sweets are handcrafted on-site. Hand-dipped chocolates are the specialty here and they're freshly prepared daily by proprietor Mark Varsano. If you can't make it to the shop, same-day delivery is available in Manhattan.
Find the lone East Coast outpost of this famous candy shop nestled on a quiet street in the Village. Hand-crafted chocolates are delivered fresh from its West Coast factory daily and you can purchase them by the piece or in bulk. There's always a sweet seasonal treat to greet you when you walk in, and my kids flip for the square lollipops, too.
This article was first published in 2017. Jody Mercier contributed additional reporting.