Every candy store in the world is magical, because, well, candy! But finding candy stores like Honeydukes, however, is like winning a whole pint of Felix Felicis potion.
My cousin, a fellow American, filled me in on something she realized after living in Oxford, England for a year. Originally, she thought a lot of the candy J.K. Rowling wrote about was fictional. After frequently visiting Hardy’s Original Sweetshop, she realized that much of the candy Harry and his friends bought at Honeydukes wasn’t unique to the wizarding world; it was simply British. For instance, sugar mice are quite popular in England, but most Americans have never seen one.
J.K. Rowling still came up with loads of magical-sounding candy, like Fizzing Whizzbees, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs and Peppermint Toads.
Lucky for American Muggles, there are dozens of candy stores like Honeydukes across the United States. To be included on my exclusive list of magical candy shops, a store has to have a definite “wow” factor. I was looking for color, style, variety and a candy joie de vi·vre. Aisles of bulk bins didn’t cut it for this list.
Before we rev our engines to take a virtual road trip, I’d like to give a shout out to my favorite candy stores, from my childhood and today.
Sarris Candies – A trip to Sarris Candies in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania was a trip to heaven when I was a kid. (Who am I kidding? It still is!) Their old-fashioned ice cream parlor is a delight. Their chocolate selection is to die for.
Miesse Candies – Fortunately, and un-fortunately, there’s a delightful Miesse Candies (pronounced “mee-see”) store in close walking distance from my house in Pennsylvania. Their chocolate is a daily temptation!
Candy Store Road Trip
Let’s take virtual tour across the U.S. of the most amazing candy stores like Honeydukes! (There’s also a Google map at the bottom of the blog.)
TIP: Short on time? Every candy store in this blog post, pluse a few more, are Pinned on my candy store board on Pinterest!
Bruce’s Candy Kitchen is a lovely, family-owned seaside candy shop. They opened their doors in 1963, and since then, they have been keeping it simple with handmade taffy and chocolates. Over the years, they added a wide variety of candy to their selection. Now, they also host seasonal and charitable events.
Location: 1111 N Roosevelt Dr., Seaside, Oregon
Specialty: Saltwater Taffy
A candy store named Sweet! Hollywood would have all the red carpet glamour of a movie premiere, of course. Although they have a huge inventory, it’s their presentation that’s so remarkable. Also, Sweet! Hollywood frequently hosts fun promotional and seasonal events.
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 201, Hollywood, California
Specialty: Custom candy with celebrity tie-ins
When “emporium” is part of the name, you know it’s worth a visit. Cravin’s Candy Emporium is as wonderful as it sounds. It’s a beloved neighborhood store where they know the locals. But they’re ready for customers from all over the world with their gigantic selection of candy.
Location: 3064 S. Bown Way Boise, Idaho
Specialty: Nostalgic candy
The Big Top Candy Shop doesn’t have a psychedelic color palette, but its style is still impressive. And its selection of old-fashioned candy is hard to beat! The antique circus theme pairs well with their blasts from the past and their old-timey soda fountain.
Location: 1706 S. Congress Ave., Austin, Texas
Specialty: Nostalgic favorites
Pinkitzel is what happens when yummy treats meet incredible design! Pinkitzel is an award-winning, world-famous treat shop. They sell candy, sure, but they also bake mouth-watering cakes and cupcakes that are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Location: 150 N EK Gaylord Blvd. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Goody Goody Gum Drop store looks like a confection itself. They sell much more than candy (although there are over 1,000 variety). They also serve up gelato and caramel apples. Although the store is located in Wisconsin, it has the feel of a seaside candy store.
Location: 401 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Specialty: Caramel apples and hand-dipped chocolates
Sweeties Candy doesn’t have the razzle-dazzle that the other candy stores on this list have. However, it is literally a candy warehouse, so how could I leave it off a list of amazing candy stores! They sell just about every bulk candy you can think of. They also sell an amazing array of sodas.
Location: 6770 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland, Ohio
Specialty: BULK candy
Sweet Pete’s has an incredible story. Peter Behringer, the owner, grew up with a mother who owned a big chocolate business. Then, after Pete struck out on his own, his business was chosen to be featured on The Profit. His store took off, and now boasts other locations. (Psst! Their dessert bar has chocolate-dipped Key lime pie!)
Location: 400 N. Hogan St., Jacksonville, Florida
Specialty: Allergen-friendly chocolate and candy
I Love Sugar calls themselves the “Apple store of candy” and it’s easy to see why. They didn’t just move into a space and open a candy store. They custom designed their shop to enhance the sheer joy of buying and eating candy for their customers.
Location: 1302 Enterprise Ave., Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Specialty: Novelty candy
Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is famous in Pittsburgh’s Strip District for having just about every candy that was ever made. But they also have fresh fudge and chocolates! While you’re there, have them pour a fresh mug of root beer, which they have on tap.
Location: 2124 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Specialty: Bottled soda pop
The Best of Luck Candy & Ice Cream is smack in the middle of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It’s a fun combination of old-fashioned and trendy candy. They also serve hard-to-find chocolates, as well as coffee and ice cream from local vendors.
Location: 601 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland
Specialty: Mix and match candy
Talk about an old-fashioned candy store! Shane Confectionery was established in 1863, which makes it the oldest continuously-run confectionery in the United States. Plus, they do much more than candy. Shane Confectionery hosts historic talks and tours, private chocolate tastings and pairings, and intimate gatherings.
Location: 110 Market St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Specialty: Seasonal chocolates
Parkside Candy truly takes you back in time. The candy “parlor” is so well restored that you expect to see bustles and top hats on the customers. They make their own incredible chocolates, but they also sell a variety of other candy. You can also belly up to the bar for ice cream.
Location: 3208 Main St., Buffalo, New York
Specialty: Sponge Candy
New York City
I remember my first visit to Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City. I felt like Harry in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban after he popped open Honeydukes’ trap door and meandered into an awe-inspiring candy land. I couldn’t take it all in! Colorful, eye-popping candy everywhere! Floor after glorious floor of licorice, jaw breakers, bubblegum, buttons, fruit slices, fruit drops and chocolate chocolate chocolate!
Location: 1011 Third Ave (at 60th St.), New York
Specialty: Limited edition collections
Scrummy Afters. What a name! And what a candy shop. Scrummy Afters may be tucked away in the tippy-top corner of the U.S., but methinks a road trip would be worth the drive. Visit their Facebook page to see all the fun (and sweet!) events they’re always cooking up.
Location: 136 Water St., Hallowell, Maine
Specialty: A “sweet escape from reality”
Now, who’s hungry!
Want more about Harry Potter? Download my free ebook Harry Potter In-Depth: Beyond Butterbeer and Boggarts. You’ll learn more about the Crouch family, the Resurrection Stone, and what it means to be a Harry Potter geek.