For many New York City kids, holidays like Halloween (and Valentine's Day, and Easter, and...) mean candy. In New York City, there's no shortage of candy stores, making it a good time (and place) to be a kid with a hankering for the sweet stuff.
Many of these NYC spots are stores without seating or 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 15 favorite candy shops in all of NYC.
1. Aigner Chocolates — Forest Hills, Queens
103-02 Metropolitan Avenue
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 and Buttercrunch, chocolate pops, or rotating seasonal treats including chocolate Easter bunnies.
2. Aji Ichiban – Chinatown
37 Mott Street
Founded in Hong Kong in 1993, this sweet shop sells all manner of Asian treats both sweet and savory. There are a wide variety of dried meats and fruits to accompany the candy selection, sold both in bulk and package form. Snacking is encouraged, at least on the savory stuff, with bowls of samples ripe for the taking throughout the store.
Stop by Chocolate Works any time to dive into a wonderful world of chocolate. Photo courtesy of the shop
3. Chocolate Works – Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
110 Montague Street
Part of a national chain, Chocolate Works has down-sized its NYC footprint of late, but the Brooklyn Heights store still remains. You'll find bins of candy, plus cases of chocolates and seasonal treats around the big holidays. It won't have the old-school feel of some of these more throwback NYC shops, but we're big fans of its classes and drop-in fun for kids, including the opportunity to make custom items.
4. The Chocolate Place — Morris Park, the Bronx
839 Morris Park Avenue
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.
Dylan’s Candy Bar’s Hudson Yards location doesn't disappoint, even if you've been to the UES location. Photo by Jody Mercier
5. Dylan's Candy Bar — Multiple Locations
Visit the website for complete list of locations.
For the true Dylan's experience, the Upper East Side location is a must-visit, but this candy lovers' paradise has expanded to include stores at Hudson Yards, in Union Square, and even mini-outposts in spots like Columbus Circle's Turnstyle Market. It seemingly sells every kind of sweet imaginable. The selection is hard to beat, and many of the treats are imaginative. The Candy Cafe at its flagship store serves a selection of sundaes and frozen sweets.
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Economy Candy on the Lower East Side might be the best candy store in New York City. Photo by inspire_me_design via Instagram.
6. Economy Candy — Lower East Side
108 Rivington Street
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.
7. Eddie's Sweet Shop — Forest Hills, Queens
105-29 Metropolitan Avenue
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.
8. Egger's Ice Cream Parlor — Staten Island
Visit the website for 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 varieties of wrapped and loose candies neatly displayed in jars, including retro favorites like Lemonheads and licorice plus gummi worms and Mary Janes. There are also plenty of chocolate treats, including truffles and bonbons, and chocolate-covered pretzels.
Brits will love the selection of imported candies at Fferins. Photo courtesy of the store
9. Fferins of Brooklyn — Park Slope, Brooklyn
438 Seventh Avenue
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.
10. Li-Lac Chocolates Factory — Sunset Park, Brooklyn
68 35th Street
Witness old-world chocolates being handcrafted right here in NYC at the Li-Lac Chocolates Factory. Located at Industry City, the factory has windows that spectators can peek through to see how more than 140 fresh chocolate confections are crafted, many following the same recipes and production techniques from the company's founding 99 years ago. 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.
11. Philips Candy — Staten Island
8 Barrett Avenue
Founded in Coney Island in 1916, Philips Candy re-located 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.
Hit up Ray's Candy Store for a dose of sugar anytime. Photo courtesy of the store
12. Ray's Candy Store — Lower East Side
113 Avenue A
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 of them all 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.
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Sockerbit may be the IKEA of candy stores. Photo courtesy of the store
13. Sockerbit — West Village
89 Christopher Street, near Bleecker Street
With colorful candies displayed against a pristine white interior, this sleek Swedish candy store sports a minimalist, Ikea feel. The name means "sugar cube" in Swedish, and you'll find a smorgasbord of sugary treats such as sour gummies, hard candies, licorice chocolates, nougat, and marshmallows, all with names like fruktstång, gelehallon and huggormar. They're all yummier than they sound, with the possible exception of the creamed smoked roe bars. The shop gets bonus points for avoiding high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, and GMOs. Only natural colors are used, too.
14. The Sweet Shop NYC — Upper East Side
404 East 73rd Street
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.
Williams Candy Shop is one of the few old-school Coney Island places left. Photo by Shira Kronzon.
15. Williams Candy — Coney Island, Brooklyn
1318 Surf Avenue
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 items.
This article was first published in 2017. Jody Mercier contributed additional reporting.