I have a great friend from college, her name is Jennie. Jennie loves candy. Not just “chocolate-candy,” but “candy-candy.” Skittles, SweeTarts, Hot Tamales… our shared apartment was pretty well stocked back in the day. Since college she’s moved around a bit, but for the past year she’s lived in Chicago with her boyfriend Perry–also pretty great. And now they’re leaving me moving to Kansas City.
Sighs. I’m going to miss them, but there’s already talk of visits and a KC BBQ tour, so it’s going to be okay. Right? Right. Sighs.
Before the big move they wanted to visit some of their favorite places (Hot Dougs!), which gave me the idea of doing a mini Chicago candy tour. For Jennie, of course. We could visit a few candy stores and gorge ourselves on sweets. How fun would that be? So we did. We visited and gorged, and now I’m blogging about it. Here’s where we went…
3256 N Damen, Roscoe Village
This place is adorable with a vintage feel and the candy to boot! Loads of gummies and licorice by the pound, Charleston Chews, Mary Janes, Necco wafers, candy buttons… if you remember eating it as a kid, Suckers probably sells it. They also carry ‘newer’ confections like the Nerd Rope, chocolate goodies from a local supplier, and ice cream. Having a kids party? They’ll even make goodie bags for you. What we loved: Necco banana split taffy, cherry cola bottle gummies, licorice scottie dogs, Hot Dog! bubble gum, grape wax mustaches, and the super nice staff!
3425 N Southport, Lakeview
The variety here will blow your mind–M&Ms sorted by color, anyone? In addition to candy by the pound, Candyality carries candy-themed gifts (tshirts, coin purses, stuffed animals), chocolatey things, and ‘fun’ novelty items like the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Jelly Beans. ‘Fun’ for Jennie because she doesn’t know if that orange jelly belly with red spots she’s about to eat is Vomit or Peach-flavored. Fun for me because I get to laugh and watch her spit the Vomit Bean in the trash. What we loved: chocolate-covered gummy bears, marshmallow wafer ice cream cones, chocolate licorice ropes, a marshmallow-flavored sucker that looks like a mallow roasting on a stick(!), and the orange creme soda.
3411 W Irving Park Rd, Irving Park
Upon walking through the doors we were greeted with a tray of candy samples, earning this place instant bonus points! Dulcelandia is a fun, colorful store loaded with Mexican candy, pinatas, and party supplies. The candy signs have descriptions in English which, with my very limited Spanish skills, I found very useful. The staff was also really great, answering all my silly questions and feeding me samples. It was still an adventure, with some real misses (tequila-flavored jelly candy nightmares), but that’s all part of the fun. And the prices are more than reasonable. Go and try something new! What we loved: the candied sweet potato, fruit-flavored taffy, spicy mango everything, marzipan, and Cowbotas cappuccino lollipops.