Philly is a sweet city, and not just because it’s the “City that loves you back.” There seems to be a candy shop everywhere you turn. In fact, there are at least 100 candy shops in Center City and its neighborhoods. Check out some of the best of these sweet shops around town.
110 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Proud to be “America’s Oldest Candy Store,” Shane has been satisfying Old City’s sweet tooth since before it was, well, old (it opened in 1911). Recently purchased by the Berley brothers (of Franklin Fountain), Shane shines in all its old-fashioned goodness. From the counter “girls” dressed in puffy-sleeved uniforms to the antique cash register to the colorful jars of sweets, this place takes its title of oldest candy store very seriously. The chocolates are amazing, and the buttercreams come from a 100-year-old recipe that the original Mr. Shane scribbled on the back of an envelope (starting at around $1 each). The barley sugar toy candies, made from antique molds, are as enchanting as they are yummy and start at about $4 each.
630 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
If you want to feel like a kid in a candy shop, hop on down to Queen Village and check out Sweet Tooth. You’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy among the bins of colorful confections in this fun little spot hidden in Fabric Row. Looking for all-pink candy for a baby shower? How about gummy pink grapefruit, cotton-candy flavored Jelly Bellies, cherry (pink) rock candy and Good n Plenties? Sweet Tooth has just about every flavor of Jelly Belly and a great selection of sugar-free candies, too. It’s a bulk store, and any selection is $9.99 per pound. That may sound like a lot, but you can fill a bag pretty full for $2.50 worth of gummy brains.
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Chocolate by Mueller
Reading Terminal Market
12th and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Sometimes, you’re just in the mood for a dark chocolate cello, or maybe a milk chocolate molar. Whatever your (strange) desire, you will probably find it at Chocolate by Mueller in the Reading Terminal Market. The Mueller family makes a truly unique collection of chocolate molds such as ears, rats, lungs, noses and its world famous delicious heart ($14.95). That’s right, this tasty ticker is the right size and has all the correct vessels coming in white, milk and dark chocolate. Not into obscure candies? That’s okay, because this shop is chock full of just about every other kind of sweet. You can get anything covered in chocolate here (most pretzels are around $17 per pound), as well as old-fashioned candies and luscious turtles (both kinds; candies shaped like turtles and the confection made of pecans, caramel and chocolate for $24.95 per pound).
Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolate
108 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Stashed away inside Verde, a funky boutique on Philly’s transformed 13th Street, you’ll find Chef Marcie Turney in her workshop creating delightful chocolates derived from Lancaster County farm-fresh cream and butter and loads of other top-notch and unexpected ingredients. Expect a cinnamon and chile-infused truffle, a perfect Fleur de Sel caramel and the Love Park, a raspberry ganache-filled chocolate with an imprinted image of Philly’s iconic LOVE statue ($17.95 – $19.95 for a nine-piece box), among others. Chef Turney also offers sublime chocolate bark that’s full of wonders, like her house-made granola and dried fruits ($7.50 per 6 ounces).
Nuts To You
1328 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
There are five Nuts To You shops in Center City, the Northeast and South Philly, and the store with the silly name has won all kinds of serious accolades, including Best of Philly three times. Fans love it for the vast assortment of nuts, dried fruits, bulk grains, jellies, and oh, candy. Nuts To You is bursting with all kinds of chocolates, nostalgic candies, gummies and Asher’s chocolates. If you are into making your own treats, this is your place. One of the friendly workers will help you find what you need and might even offer you a taste (white, dark and milk chocolate wafers for melting, $4.29 per pound). The prices are friendly, too. You can get a pound of mouth-watering dried cranberries for $4.99, hazelnuts for $7.99 per pound and sugar-free gummy bears for $3.99 per pound.
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Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philly. She covers Food & Drink and has been writing since 1986. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.