Sure, flower shops and chocolate shops see a lot of business for Valentine's Day, but instead, think outside the box for a gift or self-indulgent treat and dive into a candy store full of all kinds of goodies. Even through the whole year (or if you’re single for V-day), these specialty stores satisfy any kind of sweet tooth, whether you’re into fun-shaped sour gummies, saltwater taffy or nostalgic favorites from the ‘90s. Get ready to be a kid in a candy store.
Find a candy store in NYC
This hybrid candy shop and party room in East Harlem will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It’s super old-fashioned and has walls filled with candy jars, sour candy skewers, marshmallows and more. You’re probably too old to host a party there (it’s typically for the preschool crowd), but if you do decide to throw one, be prepared to be amazed by the intricacy that goes into its themed bashes.
This is the candy destination in NYC, and you can grab an assortment of anything your heart desires. Pick and choose from the giant bins of candy lining the entire Upper East Side store, whether it’s chocolate-coated fruit and nuts, jawbreakers, gummies or something in between. There are also grab-and-go stackable containers and fun themed specials—like a recent Mean Girls collection that was so fetch.
Kick it old-school with all your favorite childhood candies at this wall-to-wall paradise, which has every quirky treat you’ve ever desired in a wacky—and lovingly cramped—shop on the Lower East Side. Go for a custom bag of M&M’s in your favorite color, a weird box of bubblegum cigars or even a massive chocolate sculpture. Just be careful that your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach.
This quaint artisan shop in Little Italy specializes in custom handmade candy that will really win someone’s heart. But if you don’t have the foresight to order in advance, there are also lots of V-Day specials, including kiss-shaped lollipops, spicy cinnamon candies in Love Potion No. 9 bottles and hand-pulled, heart-shaped candy rings that put Ring Pops to shame. Other house specialties include a unique watermelon, salt and chili candy (it also comes in a sugar-free variety) and the shop’s special NYC Borough containers.
This classic shop is famous for its candied apples, buttery homemade fudge and pink candied popcorn (is that all?). You’ll also find nut clusters, hand-dipped chocolates, saltwater taffy, marshmallows, and more treats that will blow your mind—and take you back in time. Its original Coney Island boardwalk location opened in 1916 before moving to Staten Island in 2002.
Go beyond Swedish Fish at this Scandinavian sweet shop. The West Village store has pops of color from all sorts of rare and unique candy, including hundreds of gummies, licorice, hard candies and both sweet and sour bites. You can also save a trip to Ikea and buy Swedish-made plates, quirky house items like metal giraffes and other fun gifts to go along with your mixed bag of lesser-known candies.
If you’re really, really into saltwater taffy, run to this Cobble Hill shop stat. That’s not all, though—the store is lined with organized-by-color containers of jelly beans, M&M’s and other sweets that will satisfy your OCD, as well as various other jarred candies and chocolates to choose from. The store was even featured in an episode of Girls—but unfortunately it doesn’t actually sell chocolate mugs like the one Hannah had.
What to do for your bae if they battle food or gluten allergies? Just head to this Upper East Side shop—it has tons of gluten-free and nut-free options, in addition to shelves lined with more than 60 different candy jars. There are also sections called Gummy Town and Licorice Lane and an insane amount of candies, handmade marshmallows, fancy chocolates and even ice cream.