The annual midnight raid of our kiddo’s trick-or-treat bag is just around the corner. Why not mix it up a bit this Halloween season and stock up on unique sweets to give to the neighborhood kids . . . and yourself! Skip the Snickers this year and check out these one-of-a-kind local candy shops that offer something new — in both flavor and ambiance. Scroll and indulge!

photo: Silvia Trigo via pexels.com

For Retro Fun: Candyality
Candyality is a retro candy lover’s dream. You’re sure to find a case of colorful Chuckles, a jumbo carton of candy cigarettes or a box filled with candy necklaces. While you’re there, indulge in Chicago’s first licorice bar, which offers a world-class selection of sweet vines or taste the rainbow of M&Ms – Candyality has over 21 colors!

Three locations in Southport Corridor, Water Tower Place and Andersonville (or order on GrubHub); Online: candyality.com

For Sweet (& Spicy!) Treats: Dulcelandia
At Dulcelandia, you’ll find every Mexican candy and chocolate treat under the sun. Be adventuresome and give some of the more interesting sweets a try; we like Rollos de Cocco (jumbo milk coconut rolls) and chili-covered mango lollipops. Every kid (and adult!) will love the Obleas, wafers covered with a creamy caramel.

Three locations in Little Village, Logan Square and Brighton Park; Online: dulcelandia.com:

photo: Dylan’s Candy Bar

For a Massive Sugar Rush: Dylan’s Candy Bar
With 2 floors and 13,000 square feet jam packed with candy, if you can’t find that sugary treat you’ve been searching for high and low here, you won’t find it anywhere. A darling lollipop tree, thousands of candies from around the world and even a full service café make Dylan’s Candy Bar the place to experience the ultimate sugar rush.

445 N. Michigan Ave., Mag Mile
312-702-2247
Online: dylanscandybar.com

photo: Mark D. via YELP

For Penny Candy & Popcorn: Little Popcorn Store
See if you can squeeze into this teeny tiny penny candy shop – actually a storefront squeezed into the small space between two larger buildings. Then, fill your little paper bag to the brim. Choose from old-fashioned (bullseyes and flying saucers) to new-fangled (pop rocks and sour patch worms) and be sure to take a giant bag of the freshly hand-popped popcorn to go.

111 W. Front St., Wheaton
630-690-7712
Online: littlepopcornstore.com

For Seasonally-Inspired Treats: Katherine Anne Confections
Go gourmet this Halloween and pop into Katherine Anne Confections, a Chicago sweets shop that has an eye for delicious, locally and seasonally inspired sweets. The rotating selection of hand-dipped truffles, soft honey caramels and pillowy marshmallows are made with the best of the best ingredients, and the seasonal flavors (pumpkin malted milk balls, peanut butter apple truffles, pumpkin maple bacon chocolates ) are to die for.

2745 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square
773-245-1630
Online: katherine-anne.com

photo: Bruce Iam via pexels.com

For Exotic Asian Sweets: Aji Ichiban
Forgo the ordinary this Halloween and take your trick-or-treaters on a tour of Asia via candy. At Aji Ichiban, you can take your pick from thousands of candies and sweet and salty snacks from Asia. The shrimp and squid flavored treats are especially interesting, while the wide range of sweet gummies are sure to be gobbled up in a flash. Customers are encouraged to sample before buying, making shopping for Halloween treats here especially sweet.

2117-A S. China Pl., Chinatown
312-328-9998

For Going Nuts: Superior Nut & Candy
Located in the heart of Chicago in the Historic Stockyard Industrial Park, Superior Nut & Candy is Chicago’s go-to spot for bulk Trick-or-Treating supplies. The individual bags of Trail Mix and Chocolate Covered Peanuts are especially sought-after goodies, while the mini bags of yogurt pretzels and dried fruits offer a healthier option for trick-or-treaters. While many people count on Superior for large, bulk order, they also offer a unique service for local customers who want to order limited quantities for pick up: Call 773-254-5345 and ask for the Superior small order department.

1111 W. 40th St., Back of the Yards
773-254-5345
Online: superiornutandcandy.com

photo: Graham’s Fine Chocolates

For Hand-Dipped Delights: Graham’s Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream
Family owned and operated, Graham’s Chocolates in charming downtown Geneva is a must-visit during the fall. Their fine, hand-dipped chocolates and housemade ice cream are a draw year round, but in the fall, this delightfully sweet shop truly shines. Count on an assortment of unique caramel apples, rich hot cocoas, chocolates shaped in every Halloween mascot under the sun, and pretzels dipped in chocolate and decorated in their best fall colors.

302 S. 3rd St., Geneva
&
119 W. Front St., Wheaton
Online: grahamschocolate.com

For Factory-Direct Favorites: Ferrara Pan Candy Company Outlet
Ferrara Pan has been cranking out candy classics since 1908, and at the Ferrara Pan Outlet, you can buy his sweet candies fresh from the factory, with awesome prices to boot. You’ll find all your childhood favorites – Lemonhead, Nerds, Sour Jack, Atomic FireBall, Laffy Taffy and more – packaged in their sweet retro boxes, perfectly sized for little ghosts and goblins.

7301 W. Harrison St., Forest Park
708-405-3017
Online: ferrarapan.com

photo: Whimsical Candy

For Unique, Artisanal Candies: Whimsical Candy
This adorable downtown candy shop features small batch, handcrafted sweets that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s truly a hidden gem in the city. Since all the products are handmade with fresh, natural ingredients, you’ll feel a little less guilty about indulging. We dare you to try La-Dee-Dahs – white-chocolate nougat/sea-salt caramel swirls dipped in chocolate – and promise you’ll come back for more.

175 N. Franklin St., The Loop
312-781-0053
Online: whimsicalcandy.com

For All Things Chocolate: The Fudge Pot
Go overboard this year and order personalized chocolate lollipops featuring your family’s favorite Halloween ghosts and goblins at the Fudge Pot, a family-run shop in Old Town that has made families drool over handcrafted chocolates, made fresh daily, since 1963.  Take some of the delicious caramel apples, toffee and truffles for your own at-home Halloween celebration.

1532 N. Wells St., Old Town
312-943-1777
Online: thefudgepotchicago.com

photo: L.A. Burdick

For Gourmet, New England Style Chocolates: L.A. Burdick
Founded by Larry Burdick in 1987, and now continued by Chocolatier Michael Klug, L.A. Burdick Chocolates just opened their first Chicago location. Each bonbon here is hand-piped, hand-cut, hand-garnished and hand-packed. You’ll find all of the signature L.A. Burdick’s chocolates you adore, including their Signature Chocolate Mice, bonbons, seasonal offerings and vegan selections. In the fall and winter L.A. Burdick will warm the hearts of many with its beloved Drinking Chocolate.

609 N. State St., Near North Side
312-635-8975
Online: burdickchocolate.com

— Amy Bizzarri

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featured photo: Bruce Iam via pexels.com