Every kiddo dreams of a magical candy store reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory––so we’ve found the sweetest local candy shops to wow your little sugar plums. They’ll delight in finding everything from giant gummy bears to freshly made fudge and caramel apples covered in sprinkles just waiting to be gobbled up! From nostalgic, old-fashioned candy cottages to trendy, hip new shops on the scene, scroll down for where to satisfy that sweet tooth.

photo: Rool Paap

It’ Sugar
Over-sized gummy bears and giant boxes of marshmallows put this quirky candy store on the map. You’ll also find standard-sized sweets to satisfy. We love this brightly colored store where you can fill up your bag from the vast selections in the candy bins.

Sweet Tip: Prep little sweeties to see the giant-sized candy. However, it can be too much, so, offer to choose a few of their faves from the bin.

Gaslamp City Square
450 5th Ave., St. 101
San Diego, Ca
619-330-6077
Online: itsugar.com

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Plaza Bonita Mall
3030 Plaza Bonita Rd., #2268
National City, Ca
619-863-4646

Carlsbad Chocolate Bar
A candy store and chocolate bar all rolled into one! You’ll find both handmade and imported treats, like dark chocolate covered caramels and peanut butter cups. Your little sweet thing may go for the candy bins with gummy sharks and sour treats. Either way, add a gourmet coffee and cocoa and you’ve capped off a nice fam dinner date.

Sweet Tip: Head to Carlsbad Village to eat, then sit outside this sweet shop for dessert.

2998 State St.
Carlsbad, Ca
760-434-4479
Online: carlsbadchocolatebar.com

photo: Michelle Franklin

Sugarfina
Although a luxury candy store geared for adults, kids love Sugarfina sweets too! In addition to using gourmet ingredients from around the world in their sweets at Sugarfina, we love the gummies shaped like ice cream cones and flamingos! Littles love the sugar lips and the birthday cake caramels. Who wouldn’t?

Sweet Tip: Though well worth it, the candy is expensive. They offer nice packaging so, it makes a great gift.

Read our full review of Sugarfina here.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., #E-25
San Diego, Ca
858-546-8858
Online: sugarfina.com

Beach Sweets
San Diego is a seaside city, which means San Diegans know a thing or two about salt water taffy. We’re happy to report that Beach Sweets, located in Ocean Beach, offers taffy that even the most critical taffy lover will adore. It is a quintessential candy shop that’s reminiscent of simpler times. Kids will love browsing the eclectic selection of candy and homemade chocolates. Beach Sweets will have you understanding the phrase, “like a kid in a candy store” like never before.

Sweet Tip: One of their signature treats is called ‘Wipeout’ and it’s too good to pass up. It’s Rice Krispies cereal, peanut butter, marshmallow and white chocolate, (aka: pure heaven!).

5022 Newport Ave.
San Diego, Ca
Online: beachsweets.com

photo: B. Candy

B. Candy
There are plenty of cute photo-ops at this vibrant candy store where you’ll find bins of gummy bears, sourballs, Twizzlers and Swedish fish. Additionally, this sweet shop has toys, ice cream and cupcakes. So, when you stop by with the littles, everyone leaves with a big smile on their face.

Sweet TIp: Can’t make it to Corona Del Mar? B. Candy delivers!

3100 East Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, Ca
Online: bcandy.com

Lolli Sweets
This darling candy shop is a hidden gem in Liberty Public Market. It’s the perfect spot for dessert after dining at the marketplace. Further, you’ll find bins of gummy bears, sharks, chocolates and more. What’s more, kids big and small leave happy with their sweet tooth satisfied.

Sweet Tip: It is a little on the expensive side, so monitor how much goes in the candy bag.

2820 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, Ca
Online: libertypublicmarket.com/artisans/lolli-san-diego-sweets

photo: Virginia Hill

Cousin’s Candy
Candy shops have a tendency to conjure up nostalgia and none do it better than Cousins Candy in Old Town San Diego’s Historic Park. This shop is almost as much about the experience as it is about the delicious candy. The staff wears aprons and are there to chat with you rather than just ring you up. Pull candy from barrels and find some of the best licorice you’ll ever taste at Cousins Candy.

Sweet Tip: Need to reward your little star in a big way? Check out Cousins Candy’s Your Favorite Kid Gift Basket. Good behavior may just last forever after this.

2711 San Diego Ave.
San Diego, Ca
Online: cousinscandy.net

Candy Pro Warehouse
Planning a themed birthday party? Then look no further than this sugar-filled warehouse in National City. Not only will you find great prices, but also party suggestions and candy galore. There are old-time treats and modern-day faves. Plus, there’s a great assortment of Mexican candy. Fill up today.

Sweet Tip: If you’re looking for a certain candy that’s hard to find, then this is a good place to look.

2626 Southport Way
National City, Ca
619-477-6225
Online: candypros.com

photo: Candyland Company Facebook

Candyland Company
Stop here before heading to the movies and (other family outings). Stock up on Fun Dip, Red Vines and other movie-sized boxes. Moreover, they have a nice selection of Mexican candy and good prices.

Sweet Tip: You’ll find plenty of candy in bins and the store is clean and easy to maneuver.

356 W. Valley Pkwy
Escondido, Ca
760-522-9055

Candy Depot
Bins and bins of candy to fill your bag to the brim. You’ll find Sour Patch Kids, chocolate covered gummy bears, salt water taffy and chocolate covered raisins to name a few. It’s a good place to seek out when you’re in downtown San Diego.

Sweet Tip: They validate parking if you buy a minimum amount of candy.

3955 5th Avenue, Ste. 110
San Diego, Ca
619-683-2334
Online: candydepotusa.com

photo: Bernardo D. via Yelp

Fuzziwigs Candy Factory
This pint-sized gem right in downtown Coronado overflows with sweet goodness. Grab a long gooey gummy worm, scarf down the yummy salt water taffy and bite into a caramel apple with sprinkles. Known for unique items, you’ll even find silver and gold colored M & M’s. Further, your sweet thing can pack a famous Fuzzwig’s baggie full of his/her favorite treats.

Sweet Tip: Try the Coronado Crunch. This sweet homage to their hometown is packed with Rice Krispies, peanut butter, marshmallows and chocolate. Then find a big open space to let the kiddos run off all that sugar!

1126 Orange Ave.
Coronado, Ca
Online: fuzziwigscandyfactory.com

Wisteria Candy Cottage
School’s out at this longtime East County candy store where they’ve been stirring up chocolate since 1912. You’ll find delicious caramel macadamia turtles and freshly made fudge. Your crew will love all the chocolate goodies in this hands-on place.

Sweet Tip: Be sure to call before you go. The shop is normally closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

39961 Old Highway 80
Boulevard, Ca
Online: wisteriacandycottage.com

Where’s your favorite sweet shop? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

––Nikki Walsh

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