Editor's Note: We met Jordan Roschwalb because of his company, Pintrill, which makes awesome custom pins in the shapes of things like Drake's head and the prayer hands emoji. Upon further inspection, we learned that Jordan's fervent passion for pins is rivaled only by his passion for candy. When he pointed out that The Infatuation was woefully in need of a candy map, we challenged him with scoping out and reviewing New York City's best candy stores. Because if kids get to trick-or- treat, so should you.
A little background: I love licorice but not the classic flavor. F*cking gross. I like the different fruity stuff you can find in Holland and other Scandinavian countries. I enjoy the color of it and the massive variety, and when it’s fresh it can’t be beat. Also, my mom eats the stuff religiously.
Anyway, I never considered myself a candy connoisseur. It kind of just happened. About three years ago, I went to Europe with my girlfriend and fellow candy lover (she understands the difference between Frozen Junior Mints and a frozen York peppermint patty) and for some reason we found it necessary to visit candy stores everywhere we went. That started the candy craze. When I got back, I started to look for all different sweets and thats how my craze for candy started.
When I accepted The Infatuation's challenge to roll by all the best candy stores in town, one of the best days of my life ensued. Here’s where I went and what I thought.
RATING: 8.6 || This place is great. It’s a classic neighborhood spot uptown, but worth the trip for classic gems. I opted for a few pieces of wrapped candy: two Necco Banana Splits and two cherry suckers. Everything cost me $1 in total, and was really fresh. They also have a variety of candy to grab bag.
RATING: 5.1 || This is a tourist hot spot, and it sucks. So the best you can do is try to find what’s good. Maybe it’s in the ice cream or the fudge or even this new mix between a truffle and fudge I came across? But then you find out nothing is homemade. It’s all outsourced and overpriced. I opted for a grab bag here, thinking it would be pretty fresh because so many people are in and out all day. I was wrong. I spent about $6.50 here and that was a waste.
RATING 7.9 || Don't let the exterior fool you – this place is a gem. If you’re looking for candy, this is a great spot, especially at the left counter. I spent $1.80 here and got a ton of junk food. All the candy is wrapped and it’s everything you love and nothing you don’t. From classic peanut chews to all flavors of Laffy Taffy, there really is something for everyone. If you’re looking for wrapped individual pieces of candy for pennies, this is the place to go. And it has character.
RATING 9.5 || This is the mecca. The prices are pretty average and the selection is the best anywhere, for classics and newcomers to the candy game. Economy has been run by the same family for three generations now – it was opened by the current owner’s grandfather in 1937. Every time I come here I feel like it’s my first time, and every time I come here I find something new, which is why I love it.
RATING 6.5 || Papabubble specializes in designer candy, but this spot is too limited to really give you everything you want. If you’re a candy lover, it’s worth stopping in. Most bags of hard candies are $7. It’s also cool to watch the candy made in front of you, and the abundance of samples really gives you a chance to try before you buy. All in all a fun experience.
RATING 9.0 || This is a front runner for me. The store has a great selection and is very well spread out and organized, making it easy to form a plan of attack and also making it simple to make sure you didn’t miss anything The shop is family owned and operated and very moderately priced. I was able to get a good size bag of candy and some salt water taffy for under $8.
RATING 4.0 || Unfortunately for me, I was really turned off by this spot as soon as I realized I needed to ask someone to access candy. I bounced – candy stores are not museums.
RATING 9.0 || I really love this place. It’s my favorite in the city aesthetically. Unlike every other place I went, you walk in and you know exactly where you need to go – there is a start and a finish, and the candy is great, too. The candy is super natural, which you can taste and see in the colors. The downside is that $7.50 gets you a very small amount of very yummy candy, which always keeps you coming back for more, and spending more. Their variety is always changing, so you want to try everything new.
RATING 6.1 || This was not my first time coming here, but I only do because of the proximity to my apartment and because it’s really my only choice in the area. The candy selection, although not terrible, is ultimately put off by how difficult it becomes to take candy out of the jar and put it in the bag.
RATING 6.1 || I hit this spot up not because it’s the best in town, but it’s pretty convenient if I’m near Union Square and going to the movies. I know that I can stop by and pick up some Willy Wonka Shockers which are sometimes hard to come by. If you aren’t familiar, think Sweet Tart but chewy, more sour, and like 20-30 in a roll.