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L.A. Burdick Chocolates, LA Burdick, chocolate, chocolates, sweets, dessert
Photograph: John Dolan

The 17 best candy stores in Chicago

Chicago's best candy stores have everything from old-school treats to international candy and eclectic truffles

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors
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No treat induces nostalgia quite like candy. Even the best ice cream shops in Chicago, though of course delicious, can't compare to the sweet rush of unwrapping bars of chocolate, rafts of sour gummies or foil-covered caramels; plus, now that you're an adult, you can upgrade your drugstore candies to luxe, booze-spiked truffles. Best of all, it's a dessert fit for all seasons, whether you're swiping a lollipop from the trick-or-treat pile, wandering around summer fairs with a mound of cotton candy or ordering piles of dark chocolate peppermint brittle for Christmas in Chicago. Indulge your inner kid (or hey, maybe even the actual kids in your life) at the best candy shops in Chicago. 

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Halloween in Chicago

The best candy stores in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

It’s nostalgia that draws people in droves to the two North Side locations of this kitschy diner and ice cream parlor—that, maybe, and an abiding love for chocolate. The eponymous candies at Margie's sometimes get the short shrift in favor of the shop's massive ice cream treats, but you'd be remiss not to check out what's behind those glass cases: turtle-like Terrapins, dipped pretzel rods, chocolate cherries, silky caramels and boxes upon boxes of chocolates await you. 

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 1 of 4

French Pastry School grad Amy Hansen opened this cheerful Ravenswood shop, where jars of colorful retro and newfangled candies appeal as much to adults as children. We’re especially sweet on her house-made caramels, in flavors such as sea salt and dark chocolate. There’s a small selection of Chocolate Shoppe ice cream ready for scooping, too.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Suburbs
  • price 2 of 4

This old-school shop in Berwyn is the definition of iconic. Since 1969, the family-run business has attracted sweet tooths young and old from all over Chicago with sugary delights, handmade chocolates and penny candies like Razzles and Mallo Cups. The shop also makes custom party favors for special occasions like birthday parties, baby showers and graduations. You can even pick up supplies to make your own candy at home. Live in the western 'burbs? Visit the shop's second location in Indian Head Park to get your sugar fix.

Dulcelandia
  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

Prepare for sensory overload at the local candy and party-supply superstore Dulcelandia, where a seemingly endless assortment of colorful bulk sweets and rows of princess and superhero piñatas vie for your attention. Much of the candy here is imported from Mexico, and the flavors skew toward tropical (think tamarind and coconut). Pop by for tangy Chamoy sauce by the liter and mango lollipops garnished with chili.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Lower West Side
  • price 2 of 4

This charming local chocolate boutique specializes in stunning edible creations that are almost too pretty to eat—almost. Shop a variety of exotic handmade chocolates crafted with everything from Indian chili and Italian coffee to black tea cardamom and fresh mint. Or curate a box of beautiful hand-painted truffles that will send you globetrotting through Morocco, Marrakech and Jaipur.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Armour Square
  • price 1 of 4

Don’t be fooled by its relatively compact size; you could spend ages perusing the sweets at this Hong Kong import, tucked into a first-floor shop on the northwest end of the Chinatown Mall complex. Among the offerings: a rainbow of hard candies far too wild for Grandma’s purse (we spotted tomato and pine versions) and American favorites in unusual flavors (think green tea Kit-Kats). What’s that you say? You’d rather have dried squid strips and cooked duck tongues? Never fear; Aji Ichiban has those, too.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

This cozy Logan Square cafe and workshop crafts what is perhaps Chicago’s most decadent hot chocolate, along with flavored caramels, colossal marshmallows and a rotating roster of super-creative truffles (look for fall-appropriate varieties like peanut butter and green apple and fig-balsamic). What’s more, chocolatier-in-chief Katherine Duncan is big on using locally sourced ingredients, so you can have that hot chocolate and still feel a little bit virtuous.

Note: Katherine Anne Confections is currently only open for delivery and pickup.

  • Restaurants
  • River North

New Hampshire-based chocolatier L.A. Burdick brings its European-inspired sweets to River North through this adorable storefront. The State Street location doubles as a café that serves drinking chocolate, stunning pastries and, of course, dozens of tasty hand-made candies. First-time visitors will want to order the Signature Chocolate Mice, which are meticulously crafted over three days and require 12 steps to complete. 

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

This boutique chocolatier offers some of the fanciest confections around, from boxes of luxury bonbons to luscious caramels and nut-laced turtles. Operating out of a retail shop and “chocolate lab” near Goose Island, Veruca Chocolates also hosts tastings and classes in addition to its chocolate wares, including seasonal treats like these Halloween spider web bars.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Hyde Park
  • price 1 of 4

With its intoxicating scent and a front-and-center candy-making station set up to encourage spectators, this sweet shop is the type of place you’d expect to find alongside a boardwalk, drawing in vacationers from their evening promenade. And that’s no surprise, given that the brand is based in the quaint lakeshore town of Petoskey, Michigan. A number of goodies are produced on-site at the Hyde Park franchise, like fresh, creamy fudge, caramel corn and faintly salty nut brittles. The remainder of the offerings—ice cream, hand-dipped truffles and pecan- and caramel-rich “tuttles,” to name a few—are made in the Petoskey kitchen.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Rogers Park
  • price 2 of 4

Founded by two Chicago women with a penchant for sweets, this whimsical marshmallow cafe specializes in handcrafted takes on the sugary confection, with items like whoopie pies, s’mores kits and bespoke hot-chocolate mixes. Keep an eye on the rotating (and always creative) marshmallow flavors, like champagne, bourbon or apple pie.

Note: XO Cafe is currently only open for delivery and pickup.

  • Shopping
  • Auburn Gresham

This well-loved Auburn Gresham shop serves up cases of classic gummy candies and chocolate treats by the pound, plus shakes, sundaes and ice cream in a rainbow array of flavors—we're talking bubble gum, banana pudding, cotton candy and more. When you've overextended your sweet tooth (if that's possible), make room for savory treats like a heaping plate of jerk steak nachos or fries topped with morsels of Italian beef, cheese and peppers. 

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • River West/West Town
  • price 2 of 4

It may be dedicated to toffee, but Terry’s is far from one-note. In its on-site kitchen, the Lincoln Park shop turns out varieties of the crunchy stuff in flavors ranging from the familiar (good old milk- or dark chocolate–dipped) to the unexpected (ginger-infused, dark chocolate–coated pieces dusted with crushed wasabi peas). Toffee-enriched popcorn, biscotti and ice cream are also available, and the friendly staff are generous with samples, giving you a chance to try before you buy.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Old Town
  • price 2 of 4

If you’re one of those people who’s always worrying that there’s no good place in town to get a molded chocolate dachshund or an oversize chocolate bar that reads “Happy Divorce” anymore, relax—the Fudge Pot’s got you covered. This sweet shop/candy kitchen/Old Town institution features a prominent display of what can only be described as chocolate tchotchkes, which should be weird but instead are kind of charming. But we suppose you can get away with just about any decorative whim when you also happen to churn out 10 flavors of rich fudge, dynamite caramel apples, pecan-loaded turtles and a host of other handmade treats.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Boystown
  • price 2 of 4

Are you more of a chocolate person, or do you prefer gummies? How about licorice, or tins of toffee, or slabs of handmade fudge? Whatever your candy preference, you're bound to find a match among the diverse selection of goodies at Windy City Sweets. The Lakeview shop offers more than 1,200 candies for you to peruse, from squares of chocolate-covered s'mores to bracingly sour strips of rainbow gummies (plus some truly unique options, like chocolate-dipped Twinkies). 

  • Things to do
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4

Bulk bins line this store, brimming with vividly colored selections like jawbreakers, Swedish Fish, Spree and gummies in pretty much every shape imaginable (not to mention a small range of retro items like whoopie cushions and tin lunch boxes). This Lakeview spot is sure to kick up a burst of childhood nostalgia. In the mood for something a bit more grown up? Check out the shop’s extensive licorice bar, stocked with options like traditional red vines, darling black Scottie dogs and salted licorice, a Scandinavian favorite.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Loop
  • price 2 of 4

It's certainly implied by the name of the store, but make no doubt about it: Whimsical Candy is fun. Chris Kadow-Dougherty's handmade confections come in charming, smiley-emblazoned packaging, making for perfect in-a-pinch gifts or a sweet midday treat. Her "thing" is nougat—showcased in the La-Dee-Dah, a white-chocolate nougat/sea-salt caramel swirl dipped in chocolate—but we prefer the straight-up caramels (in flavors like salty chocolate). 

  • Restaurants

Chicago's top pastry chefs know what people want: ice cream, doughnuts and pie. But while they've mastered—and elevated—traditional desserts, the best spots go above and beyond, with s'more macarons and chamomile creme brulee, to name a few. When you have to end your dinner with the best, here's where to find the best desserts in Chicago.

Does your sweet tooth need more satisfying?

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