New York Candy ShopsCandy Crush
In a city that offers access to the best of everything, it’s easy to find your niche. For some, that might be an underground poker club. For others, it might be a patrons circle of New York City Ballet. For kids, it is almost always candy. Candy is a culture among the younger set, and while most candy shops don’t promise a particularly memorable travel experience, the few that do can turn an otherwise-pit stop into its own destination.
The Sweet Life feeds you classic candy culture straight. In the historic section of the Lower East Side, the store is lined with 50s-style relics: Bazooka bubblegum, rock candy, caramels and giant lollipops. The store even operates chocolate machines for “softy pops.” Which sound questionable, but trust us, they’re good.
Founded by the son of London candy vendors, The London Candy Co. is Anglophile in style and substance alike. The store waves its Union Jack(s) freely, exhorting shoppers to “Keep Calm and Eat Candy.” Which is easy when brands include Thorntons, Mars and British Nestlé, plus Horlicks Malted Milk drink. That’s a lot of English to taste.
Handmade toffee, pralines, patties and fudge deck the nostalgic cases of Myzel’s Chocolate. The three Myzel women are traditional European chocolatiers, and their cookies, nuts and truffles are dipped in the finest chocolate. But chocolate isn’t the their only candymaking medium. The collection of old-fashioned licorice, also of the highest quality, is one of the country’s largest.
The Sweet Shop NYC owner Kelly Jaime goes by “the Candyman,” but we think “King Kandy” is more appropriate: His tiny shop feels like classic Candyland. Against cream-colored walls, puppets dance and candy ropes wreathe the chandelier. And there’s a little of everything: gummies in jars, Swedish candies in drawers and chocolate-dipped pretzels on platters.
Whimsy, a pillar of candy culture, is in action at Handsome Dan’s. Jellybeans are available in Tabasco; cotton candy and sno-cones in Earl Grey or rose. Among the 80-plus candies on the shelf are sour octopus and peaches, gummy whales and Japanese sushi. But the most fun is how you buy it: by scooping the candies into a bag and weighing it by the pound, salad-style.