Get Your Candy Fix at These Chicago Sweets Spots
With Halloween on the horizon, it’s undoubtedly the season for candy, but rather than spend all your time lingering in the convenience store sussing through pumpkin-shaped chocolates, you’re much better off visiting a local sweets shop to get your housemade candy fix. From unique candy bars to peanut butter cups, here are some of the best places in the city for crafty candy.
Amy’s Candy Bar: Among the best destinations in town for confections of all shapes, sizes and flavors, this adorable shop feels like a dream come true for those with a sweet tooth. Here you’ll find shelves lined with nostalgic candy and rarities sourced from all over the world, along with numerous housemade specialties like various flavored caramels, cashew sea salt turtles, pecan sea salt turtles, and pistachio-almond nougat.
Katherine Anne Confections: When it comes to chocolate, Katherine Anne Confections is the end all-be all in Chicago. The Logan Square cafe is a veritable Mecca of cocoa, all thanks to its meticulous proprietor, Katherine Duncan. Don’t expect to find anything basic or predictable here; rather, visitors should except a dazzling lineup of unconventional treats, most of which are caterogized into one of three options: caramels, truffles, or marshmallows. Flavors frequently rotate seasonally, with examples including apple cider caramels, pepita and pumpkin spice caramels, chai tea marshmallows, cinnamon apple marshmallows, and cinnamon apple cacao nib truffles.
Dylan’s Candy Bar: Of course, you can’t discuss candy in Chicago without shouting out this Disney World-like sensation on Michigan Avenue (they also just opened an outpost in Glenview). The closest thing to a Wonka-like factory that Chicago has, Dylan’s is a sprawling wonderland of colors, aromas, merchandise and sweets in all shapes and sizes, from classics to contemporary novelties (gummy chicken feet, anyone?). The nostalgic candy section in the rear of the store has its own section, which should tug on some wistful heartstrings, while the cafe in front serves up candy-studded sundaes and cocktails.
Margie’s Candies: Many people know Margie’s as a temple of ice cream, particularly renowned for gigantic sundaes and saucers filled with hot fudge. But as its name hints, don’t overlook the candy here either. Hand-dipped sweets are on deck, lining shelves at the front of the decades-old dessert destination. Here, third-generation ownership adheres to age-old recipes and techniques, churning out toffee, caramels, fudge, nougat, terrapins, cherry cordials, and much more.
HotChocolate: No surprise here, but when one of the best pastry chefs in the country makes sweets, they’re bound to be good. At her dessert icon, HotChocolate, Mindy Segal rounds out her composed dessert selections and milkshakes with an impressive roster of sweets at the pastry counter. From fluffy housemade marshmallows and gooey brownies to crunchy brittle and cookies in all sorts of flavors, there’s no shortage of treats to be found here.
Terry’s Toffee: Caramels, nuts and toffee, oh my! It’s all present and accounted for at this West Town shop, an enduring staple on Chicago’s sweets scene from owner Terry Opalek. After starting with toffee recipes passed down from his grandmother, Terry gradually added lots more to his offerings, rounding things out with everything from toffee-studded ice cream to “Mazel Toffee” made with matzo.