Everyone knows one of the best things about traveling is the food – especially the sweet treats! The world of sweets is truly a diverse one, with so many unique and delicious candies, pastries, and ice creams to try all over the globe. How will you choose which candy destination to visit next? It helps to find out which places boast the best candy shops.
Whether you’re trying to decide on a destination for your next trip or just curious about what kinds of candy a traveler can expect to find, get ready for a mouth-watering list of the best candy stores and candy destinations around the world.
If you’re looking for a town that practically runs on chocolate, you can’t get much closer than Hershey, Pennsylvania. This birthplace of the most famous American chocolate bar has grown from a model town designed specifically for Hershey employees into a chocolate-themed American relic.
Tourists planning to visit Hershey can, of course, visit the Hershey Factory for a taste of history. For example, did you know Hershey’s manufactured heat-resistant chocolate rations for American troops during WWII? But there’s plenty more to do in Hershey, from a literal chocolate spa at The Hotel Hershey to Hersheypark, the theme park complete with rollercoasters, water rides, a zoo, and yes, plenty of chocolate.
Buffalo, New York
If you’ve never heard of sponge candy, you may be due for a trip to Buffalo, New York. Similar to the sponge candy made by Cadbury in the UK, this strange treat is sometimes called honeycomb toffee, golden crushers, cinder toffee, or hokey pokeys. It consists of a sweet, crunchy “sponge” center inside a shell of milk chocolate.
Though the origins of sponge candy aren’t certain, there’s no doubt that in the U.S., it’s almost synonymous with the town of Buffalo. The Ko-Ed Candy Shop started mass producing sponge candy for Buffalo in 1985, and today you can still buy it in bulk in grocery stores all over town.
Zurich, Broc, and Basel, Switzerland
If you’re a chocolate lover, you know Switzerland is basically chocolate Mecca. From juggernauts like Lindt and Toblerone to lesser-known treats, the best candy stores of Switzerland have been making tourists’ taste buds happy for ages. Plus, what’s better than visiting a world-renowned chocolate and candy shop like Cailler, then taking a hike through some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain views right after?
But there’s really something for all kinds of candy-lovers in Switzerland, even if chocolate isn’t your thing. For example, during Basler Herbstmesse (an Autumn Fair), you can get your fill of mässmogge – a hard-shelled sugar candy filled with hazelnut praline. Book your tickets fast!
From Ritter Sport to Kinder, German chocolate has made its mark all over the globe as some of the best chocolate the world has to offer. In fact, it’s said that it was German chocolate-making equipment that inspired Milton Hershey to start a chocolate company at the 1893 Columbian Exchange. Euro-trippers can sample a whole universe of top chocolate brands at candy counters across Germany.
While visitors can find signature German treats like gingerbread and Bienenstich Kuchen (bee sting cake) at sweet shops in other cities, the “chocolate capital of Germany” is Cologne. Here, you’ll be one of the 5 million tourists who visit the Stollwerck chocolate company’s retrospective exhibit every year.
Apparently, Danes consume an average of 36 pounds of candy per year – not bad for a hot candy destination. (Don’t tell the Swedes!) It’s no surprise, then, that this country is home to some of the best candy stores in the world. In Copenhagen, you can visit the famous candy shop, Soemod’s, for natural and preservative-free candies, or buy caramels at Karamelleriet.
When you need a break from chocolates and caramels, there’s no shortage of Copenhagen bakeries full of mouth-watering pastries to keep your blood sugar up for days.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
There’s hardly a destination more indulgent than Dubai. Famous for luxury and extravagance, Dubai already offers a one of a kind travel experience. If you can make it out to this part of the world, be prepared to experience the candy tour of a lifetime at some truly world-class candy shops.
In fact, Dubai is home to what may be the world’s largest sweet shop: Candylicious. Located in The Dubai Mall, Candylicious is the kind of candy store kids dream of, overflowing with color and pretty much every kind of candy you can imagine.
And since Dubai is a global hub, you can get a taste of pretty much everything all in one city. Atayeb Chocolate, for example, offers the best chocolates from all over the globe, while Papabubble gives you a candy factory experience, letting you see behind the scenes of how the candy is made.
We can’t finish this blog without talking about what may be the actual birthplace of chocolate: Mexico. Though cacao isn’t necessarily grown in Oaxaca, this city has deep roots as a trading hub. So, you can find the best of the best of pretty much anything (including world-famous Oaxacan cuisine).
It’s well-known that the Mesoamericans were the first to cultivate cacao for consumption — possibly fermenting it into bitter beverages, possibly for religious use, as early as 1900 B.C.E. Over the millennia, Mexican chocolate has come to be used in the hot, spiced Mexican hot chocolate, in sweet-and-savory dishes like mole, and more.
But Mexico isn’t just great for its rich chocolate traditions. Visitors across the country can enjoy the strong, spiced flavors of tamarind- or chile-covered fruit candies and paletas (lollipops).
With Candy Club, the Candy Comes to You
No upcoming vacations to look forward to? Don’t worry – Candy Club can help bring candy from some of the best candy stores straight to your doorstep. We source world-class gourmet candy, then ship it right to you every month. Explore your options today!