Halloween or any time, including for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and other sweet occasions, these NYC candy shops are a treat for inexpensive choices, including for vintage favs, and the selection is far more interesting than overpriced supermarket and drugstore pre-packaged bags.
Here are the best NYC candy shops for loose candies and chocolates, sour candies, even custom imprinted candies to announce the birth of a boy or girl (Meghan and Harry, take note).
This shop opened during the Depression to provide some sweetness to down-on-their-luck New Yorkers, and still in the family, operated by third-generation owner Michell Cohen. The specialty is old-fashioned candies at old-fashioned prices. This is where to find bags of Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls, wax lips, jelly beans and M&M’s in every color of the rainbow including teal and cream, Jordan almonds, Turkish taffy and salt water taffy, vintage lunch boxes, and the largest selection of Pez dispensers on the planet. When was the last time you saw a package of C. Howard’s violet scented gum? There’s also modern specialty candies, from M&M-like buttons imprinted with “It’s a BOY” to rock candy swizzle sticks. Buy by the piece, package or pound, stacked to the ceiling, and don’t tell your dentist.
- 108 Rivington Street (between Ludlow and Essex), 212- 254-1531
Around the corner from from Economy Candy, this has been a sweet spot since 1982, with old-timey shelves, racks and counters stocked to the brim with jars and boxes full of chocolates, gummies, dried fruits and fudge. plus you can pick up baking chocolate and other cooking accoutrements if you prefer handcrafting your treats.
- 63 Hester Street (between Essex and Ludlow Streets), 212-598-0092
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Open since 2014 and probably best known for its ice cream and fresh-baked doughnuts, but the retro candy is just as top shelf-worthy, and displayed neatly in vintage-style jars. Choose loose candy like Jordan almonds, gumballs, nonpareils and gummy worms, along with tempting boxes of Sour Patch Kids, Chuckles, Lemonheads, giant gummy snakes, licorices, gums, and lollipops.
- 404 East 73rd Street between York and First Avenues, 212-960-8685
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This West Village shop is named for its namesake candy, a little sugar cube-shaped marshmallow, which you can purchase here along with other Swedish favorites including licorices, hard candies, sour gummies and chocolates, including chocolate-covered pretzels. Loose candy by the pound is displayed in Ikea-like Scandanavian-sleek acrylic bins.
- 89 Christopher Street near 7th Avenue South, 212-206-8170
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This place got its start as a sweets-and-sno cone spot on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, where it still offers loose Haribo gummies, lollies, chocolates, loose gummies, Pop Rocks, candy bottles and other gems, by the pound (or less, or more) along with sno-cones and flavored cotton candy selection. There’s also a smaller outpost in the East Village.
- 186 1st Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets in the East Village, and 218 Bedford Avenue inside the Mini-Mall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 347-889-6683
There are two other well-known candy shops not on the NYC on the Cheap list, because they are not cheap: Mini-chain Sugarfina and Dylan’s on the Upper East Side.
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