Best Sweet Shops for Candy Lovers

If “exploring a new city” is the phrase you use to justify the search for candy you’ve never tasted before, we understand your particular hunger. Here are some of our favorite sweet shops from around the world to help you map your future journeys.

647 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
This temple to sweets is the work of world-renowned confectioner Darren Purchese, who produces some of the most mouthwatering and magnificently beautiful cakes you’ll find anywhere. A long glass counter holds petits fours, tarts, and gâteaux that look almost too pretty to eat. The selection changes monthly to make the most of seasonal ingredients, but if they’re available, order the layered lamington and chocolate-caramel-and-tonka-bean éclair. Should you be celebrating something special, larger cakes and custom creations are also available.
110 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
A candy store has occupied this building continuously since 1863. The current proprietors, the Berley brothers—who also own the Franklin Fountain ice cream parlor a few doors away on Market Street—are master confectioners. Even for those among us who don’t like candy (is that even possible?), a visit to the store is worthwhile simply to see its charming Victorian interior. Coming here is like stepping back in time, and you’ll feel as thrilled as a kid to peer into the vintage glass-topped cabinets full of chocolates and other sweets. Keep an eye out for the Whirly Berley Bars (chocolate nougat with salted chocolate caramel), and be sure to check out the seasonal creations, like the pumpkin-spice buttercreams.
740 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
When you think of a chocolate factory, a hip and airy space in the heart of one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods may not spring to mind. But therein lies the surprise that is Dandelion Chocolate: part factory, part café, part boutique, and located in the heart of the Mission. Like beans for coffee and grapes for wine, Dandelion brings the idea of single-origin sourcing to each bar it creates. Rather than add strange ingredients to alter the flavor of the chocolate, Dandelion uses just two ingredients—cocoa beans and sugar—which allows each bean’s unique flavor and terroir to shine. Drop in for hot chocolate (with handmade marshmallows) or a chocolate dessert created by Dandelion’s pastry chef, shop for gifts, and take a twirl through the factory, where beans are roasted, cracked, sorted, winnowed, ground, and tempered before being molded. Each bar is wrapped by hand in gorgeous paper and ribbon and affixed with a label that tells a story about the cocoa bean’s origin. For a deeper dive into chocolate, Dandelion has a schedule of classes for adults and kids, and even leads trips to cocoa farms.
Storgata 71, 9008 Tromsø, Norway
Treat yourself in the Paris of the North with a visit to Sweet Heart, located inside a lovely red wooden house in the heart of Tromsø’s main shopping district. For a true taste of Scandinavia, choose salty over sweet and try some black licorice, the house special loved and loathed in equal measure. Those without that acquired taste needn’t fear though, as the shelves are packed with all kinds of chocolates, jellies, and other candies, many beautifully packaged into gift boxes. The store also sells tea, coffee, and ice cream, making it extremely difficult to leave without satisfying any craving you had three times over.
11r Borgo degli Albizi
The perfect souvenir for the food-loving traveler? Slim bars of chocolate wrapped in paper patterned with groovy midcentury designs. Or a pale blue box tied with a satin ribbon, holding a treasure of pralines, caramels, and squares of dark chocolate. Vestri is a family-run establishment that has been turning out delicious chocolate creations for more than 30 years. The clan owns its own cocoa plantation in the Dominican Republic, which ensures the quality and ethical sourcing of its products. The shop also sells modern confections like white chocolate with salt and sesame, as well as sweets based on ancient Florentine recipes. Take decadence to the next level and indulge in a scoop of creamy gelato affogato, drowned in hot chocolate, while you shop.
36 Rue Laffitte, 75009 Paris, France
I’ve tried many chocolates and candies in Paris—some stellar and unforgettable—but the only confiseur and chocolatier that makes me smile when I think about it is Fouquet. Aside from the impressive selection of candied fruits, dragées, and chocolates, I’m most taken by the store’s modesty. Perhaps it’s a result of its history as the oldest candy shop in Paris or its clear dedication to the business (the current owner, Frédéric Chambeau, left his position as an engineer to take over the company with his sister, Catherine Vaz). Either way, you won’t find contrived friendliness or affectation here—just a warm welcome and a veritable passion for sweets. I’m always torn between the croquants (crunchy chocolates) and the marshmallows (pictured), which are the latest additions to the Fouquet menu. Make a trip here not only to show your friends that you know more French sweets than the macaroon, but also because everything it does—from the preparation to the packaging—is exquisite.
585 Hinano St. Hilo, HI. 96720
Very few people have the willpower to resist a candy shop. Anyone with curiosity about the candy making process will be drawn to Big Island Candies with the big picture windows into their production room. Their small batches ensure fresh shortbread cookies and chocolate truffles are distributed to their resellers and customers. The shortbread comes in several Hawaiian flavors like macadamia nut, pineapple, and kona mocha. There are so many chocolates to choose from, but my pick is the Hawaiian macadamia nut caramel cluster, with a side of milk chocolate macadamia nut toffee, and a last course of dark chocolate covered whole Kona coffee beans. If your candies make it home, they will be the perfect gift for friends and family.
2 Rue du Vieux Collège, 06500 Menton, France
Menton is France’s lemon-growing capital, a fact that the whole town celebrates: The tiles in Menton’s Fontana Rossa gardens are painted with lemons, and local restaurants feature them in lick-your-spoon-clean soufflés. Every winter, the road into town closes for a lemon festival that features huge sculptures made of citrus fruits. It seems fitting, then, that a local shop, Maison Herbin, is dedicated to selling artisanal lemon jam, which is made in small batches to coax the fullest flavor from each fruit. The jam shop has become so famous that tours of the kitchen operations now require advance reservations. The shop offers much more than its citrus jams: Also on sale are strawberries preserved with pineapple, and tomatoes packed with eggplant and ginger, in addition to traditional candies, fruit jellies, local honey, condiments, and pickled onions.
11 Kronprinsensgade
Every city needs a stand-out confectionery store, and in Copenhagen that role is filled by Summerbird. Locals love the delicious organic chocolates and candied almonds, and flødeboller—chocolate shells that encase super-soft marshmallow—are the specialty of the house. You can buy individual truffles or get them boxed in beautiful packaging for a perfect small gift to take home or give to a Danish friend who’s invited you over. The fairy-tale-pretty products are available at Summerbird shops and other retail outlets around town.
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