Trick-or-treating time is upon us, and we’re all about the treats. Luckily, we’re in a sweet spot when it comes to candy. There are a number of famous candy companies still headquartered in Chicago, and back in the mid-20th century, it wasn’t just a few. At one time, Mars was here (so eat those Snickers with pride!) as well as Wrigley, Pan Ferrara (who brings us Lemonheads), Curtiss Candy, who brought us Butterfingers and Baby Ruths, and Tootsie Roll Industries, whose eponymous contribution to candy history is a favorite of mine. Chicago was actually named the Candy Capital of the World, and confections were big business for our city. It still is, in fact, and we decided to help you find some fantastic Chicago sweets, should that trip to the grocery store not have sufficed. So buckle up for a trip through some of our town’s most storied sweets.
It’d hardly be Halloween without Mellowcreme pumpkins and candy corn, would it? Well, if you’ve ever picked these out of your teeth or, if you’re not a fan, out of your candy stash, you’ve already found one of Chicago’s most famous candy. Brach’s was originally famous for its delicious caramels, but come Halloween is best known for these divisive triangular treats, which are still made with real honey.
Meanwhile, here are a few fantastic Chicago candy stores to hit up when the sugar cravings strike:
This little gem serves ice cream and candy. And while it’s short on shine as far as its displays go, it’s got a fantastic array of treats made in-house. It’s nothing fancy, but candy doesn’t need to be to be good. This store has been serving up its hits since 1968, and as far as we’re concerned, there’s no need to mess with perfection.
Margie’s Candies is located at 1960 N. Western Ave with a second location at 1813 W. Montrose Ave.
Blommer Chocolate Factory Store –
You probably know about Blommer’s. In fact, you’ve probably inhaled a little slice of chocolate heaven as it wafted through the downtown area at least once in your life. But what some people fail to realize is that Blommer’s Chocolates has its own factory store, where you can actually buy and consume some of the chocolate you’ve been smelling all those years. And it’s quality stuff, so we highly recommend it.
Blommer Chocolate is located at 600 West Kinzie St.
Vosges Haut Chocolat –
Vosges is a bit of a splurge, and we don’t recommend it for your neighborhood trick-or-treaters, but it’s absolutely a treat. You’d certainly win points gifting this to your sweetheart for Halloween. Vosges chocolates are an experience, from the rich purple box they come nestled in to the flavor combinations. Here you’ll find chocolate laced with paprika, wasabi, olive oil and even violet, and believe me, it will be satisfying. You can order online or check them out in person.
Vosges maintains several locations in Chicago – 520 N. Michigan Ave and 951 W. Armitage being in the city proper. You’ll also find several outposts at O’Hare in Terminal One, Three and Five.
Amy’s Candy Bar –
Over in Lincoln Square you’ll find a cute little boutique full of in-house specialties and treats from abroad, like Jelly Babies (which Doctor Who fans will certainly appreciate). They’ve got an impressive amount of gummies (another vice of this author) as well as licorice, retro treats and even ice cream. If you’ve ever had candy overseas you longed for another taste of, there’s also a full selection of international candies to give you another taste.
Amy’s Candy Bar is at 4704 North Damen Ave.
Veruca Chocolate –
Veruca chocolate offers you another chance to treat yo’self. The divine creations of ‘pediatrician turned chocolatier’ Heather Johnston are beautiful and delicious. For Halloween, the boutique chocolate shop offers spooky and delicious spider webs as well as beautiful chocolate sugar skulls and pumpkin caramel turtles. Each piece we’ve tried at Veruca’s has been as beautiful as it is delicious, and it’s worth a trip out to try them.
Veruca Chocolates is located at 1332 N Halsted St.
Katherine Anne Confections-
Of all the places we checked out for this post, Katherine Anne’s tops them all for Halloween/Fall spirit. They’ve got a huge assortment of fantastic fall flavors, like their bourbon ginger and pepita/pumpkin spice caramels, chai tea marshmallows and peanut butter banana truffles. What’s also great, since we’ve finally hit October chill factors, is that they’ve also got fantastic artisanal hot chocolates to enjoy while you’re there or take home to survive through fall and winter with.
Katherine Anne Confections is located at 2745 W Armitage.
Fannie May (much more fun than Fannie *Mae*) has been in the candy business since 1920, and has outposts all over Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. And while you may not pay it much notice anymore, Fannie May was my first introduction to the type of candy many call “turtles” but we in Chicago sometimes know as Pixies first. They’ve got a great little selection of fun Halloween treats and better yet, these treats are easily accessible, sold at places like your local Jewel or at one of their storefronts. Bring yourself back with the simple joy of good chocolates.
Chicago Candy and Nut –
Now a part of the Long Grove Confectionery company, Chicago Candy and Nut is one we don’t want to leave out, if for the Doodles (a fantastic puffy treat full of caramel corn, peanuts, cashews and almonds) alone. Their range of treats runs the gamut and now includes the best of what Long Grove had to offer as well.
Chicago Candy and Nut is located at 3407 N. Kimball Ave.
We hope you’ll enjoy your Halloween weekend and find the time to get yourself your own batch of sweet treats from these local purveyors.