There are three candy holidays, or I should say Holy Days, in the United States: Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. I remember as a child, when of one of these observed Holy Days approached, my father would open a portal into another world. No matter where we lived at the time, he would take me to some secretive little shop, inconspicuously tucked away off the beaten path. These shops were like walking into a time capsule, what with their loads of obscure candies, chocolates, and myriad other snacks, stacked floor to ceiling. Whether in open barrels or giant bags and boxes, I found myself surrounded by untold delights.
These shops are universal, found in some form or another all over the world: Candy Shops in North America, Sweet Shops in the United Kingdom, Lolly Shops in Australia. And though much has changed in the game since I was a child, there’s one thing that hasn’t: When you are serious about your sweets, you don’t go to a drugstore, you go to a candy shop. And if you want to do it in New York City, you can’t go wrong with these two institutions.
Economy Candy is the quintessential OG candy shop. As humble beginnings go, it doesn’t get more humble than this former shoe and hat repair shop. Wait, what? A shoe and hat repair shop? Yes. When the Depression hit, the only thing that was selling was the candy in the pushcart outside, so in 1937 it morphed into the candy mecca it is today.
Run by the third generation of the founding family, Economy Candy sells exactly what you would expect: candy, chocolate, gift baskets, dried fruit, nuts and much more. But a visit to this legendary space is more than just about procurement of your favorite sweets, it’s an experience in and of itself–a rare window into bygone days. Oh, and if you’re worried about finding that particular confection you haven’t tasted since childhood, Economy Candy has you covered. As the proprietors have said in one form or another over the years: “If we don’t have it, they don’t make it anymore.”
108 Rivington St
Sunday 9 am – 6 pm
Monday & Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 6 pm
Borne of a different legacy family, Dylan Lauren, daughter of the famous fashion mogul Ralph, had a vision. She wanted to “merge the worlds of art, fashion, and pop culture with candy” with the goal of “creating the world’s largest confectionery emporium and lifestyle brand.” It certainly doesn’t get much more ambitious than that. But pay a visit to the flagship location of Dylan’s Candy Bar, and you will not be able to argue with her success.
Dylan references Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory when speaking about her inspiration, but I found myself drawn to another comparison of equally important cultural significance: The Jetsons. Economy Candy is a glorious step into the past, while Dylan’s Candy Bar is an exciting step into the future. It is modern, sleek, pathologically organized, and thoughtfully curated. From the moment you walk in the door and the sweet smell hits your nose (is that vanilla marshmallow–dear God, it is!), to the giant lollipop tree you see upon entering the store, you know this isn’t your Grandfather’s candy shop.
The flagship location features an incredible selection of chocolates and candies from the Who’s Who of confection makers. But you’ll also find unique gifts, toys, games and lifestyle products. And with an ice cream parlor, a candy cocktail bar, and party rooms on the premises, this is where sweet dreams come to life. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic about that long lost inner-child who stockpiled candy in a tin box under the bed, or you just need that perfect gift for your niece’s Sweet Sixteen party, you’re in good hands at Dylan’s Candy Bar.
1011 Third Ave
Monday – Tuesday 10 am – 9 pm
Monday & Saturday 10 am – 11 pm
Sunday 10 am – 9 pm
Keeping it short and sweet:
- Need a refill of that jar of candies on your desk that your co workers perpetually devour like wild animals? Economy Candy is your first stop.
- Need a gift for the holidays that will wow the boss? Dylan’s Candy Bar has gift options that will propel you to the top of the list for that promotion.
- Sending a little somethin’ special to Justin? You can’t go wrong with anything peanut butter. Lynn? Well, duh! Only straight chocolate will do. 😉
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Thank you to Dylan’s Candy Bar for partnering on this post.