Whether your sweet tooth craves chocolate or candy corn or Kit Kats, the Bay Area is full of sweet shops just waiting to hook you up. And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to swing by your neighborhood shop and sample the wares. With many making their own sweets on-site, you can even see how it’s done before you fill up your bag to take home.


Photo Credit: Miette

San Francisco

The Candy Store
As you step into this cute Russian Hill boutique, the old-fashioned treats will make you nostalgic for the good old days. The walls are lined with candy jars filled with colorful confections. Necco Waffers, Big League Chew and candy lipsticks are all here. Check out their website for online options, and you can even give them a call for advice on how to find that candy you’ve been trying to track down.

1507 Vallejo St.
San Francisco, Ca
Hours: Tues.–Sun., 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Online: thecandystoresf.com

Shaws San Francisco
Even if you don’t live in West Portal, it’s worth a trip to Shaw’s to show your kids this San Francisco institution. Opened in 1931, this classic features gourmet chocolate, handmade fudge and truffles. Tons of candies can be found here too — think gummi bears, malt balls and Swedish fish to name just a few. And if that’s not enough, Shaws carries the beloved Mitchell’s ice cream.


122 West Portal Ave.
San Francisco, Ca
Hours: Everyday 11 a.m.– 10 p.m.
Online: shawssf.com

The Candy Baron
End any visit to Pier 39 on a high note (sugar high that is) by bringing the kids to the Candy Baron. This place is ALL about salt water taffy, with countless different flavors to choose from. Kids can grab what they want from the rows and rows of big barrels filled with candy. Flavors range from the traditional like chocolate and strawberry to the crazy like maple bacon and chicken and waffles. Be sure to check out the the rest of their candy selection for classics such as Razzles and Abba-Zabbas.

Pier 39
San Francisco, Ca
Hours: Everyday 10 a.m.– 9 p.m.
Online: thecandybaron.com

dandelion chocolate san francisco

Photo courtesy of Dandelion Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate
If your sweet tooth craves chocolate, then Dandelion Chocolate should be your stop. Born in 2010, this bean-to-bar chocolate factory makes its home in the Mission District with a hot chocolate stand in the Ferry Building. Dandelion prides itself in making its bars out of only cocoa beans and pure cane sugar. You can even see them in action if you swing by the factory for a tour (Wednesdays – Sundays, 6:10-6:50 p.m.). Chocolate classes for kids and adults are also offered.

Factory + cafe: 740 Valencia St.
Hot chocolate stand: One Ferry Building
San Francisco, Ca
Online: dandelionchocolate.com

Giddy Candy
Castro welcomed this sweet little candy shop in 2014 and it has been a neighborhood favorite ever since. Offering both local and international sweets, Giddy’s walls are lined with apothecary jars full of cinnamon bears, licorice bites and super-fresh gummies in all shapes and sizes. An indulgence for the eyes and the stomach!

2299 Market St.
San Francisco, Ca
Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Online: giddycandy.com

Papabubble SF
This Hayes Valley sweet spot specializes in handmade hard candies. Artistically made with simple ingredients, these show stopping confections are sure to make kids’ jaws drop. Even cooler? You and the kiddos can watch the candy being made in the shop.

488 Fell St.
San Francisco, Ca
Hours: Tues. – Sat. 11 a.m.– 7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.– 6 p.m.
Online: papabubblesf.net

Another Hayes Valley favorite, this is the place to go for delicious cupcakes and confections. Miette also has tons of candy options, and the packaging couldn’t be any cuter. Perfect for gifts! Other locations in the Ferry Building and Jack London Square.

449 Octavia St.
San Francisco, Ca
Hours: Mon. – Sun. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Online: miette.com

sugar san anselmoPhoto courtesy of Sugar


Downtown San Anselmo got a little sweeter when Sugar set up shop. Kids will flip over all the options here, while parents can enjoy the imported licorices, classics like Pop Rocks and local artisan candies. Be sure to check out the fun candy themed gifts (think gummy bear night lights and lollipop pens).

528 San Anselmo Ave.
San Anselmo, Ca
Hours: Sun. – Thurs. 10:30 a.m.– 5:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
Online: sugarmarin.com

The Candy Store on Main Street
How many candy shops are steps away from a gorgeous view of the Bay? Located on Main Street in the quaint town of Tiburon, this candy shop is the perfect spot to take the kids after exploring. Here you will find kid approved treats like ice cream, gourmet chocolate, fudge and candy apples. Try visiting by ferry since the terminal is right next to Main Street.

7 Main St.
Tiburon, Ca
Hours: Mon. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.


East Bay
Sweet Dreams Candy and Boutique
Candy + cool gifts = happy tykes. This Berkeley store has been around since 1971 and is a great combination of yummy treats and unique gifts. Try some of the delicious chocolate turtles and shop their selection of fun items like crazy socks and novelty mugs. There is a second location in Orinda.

2901 College Ave.
Berkeley, Ca
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Online: sweetdreamscandyandtoys.com

Candy Cove
Pick a pail and fill it up! Kids can grab their own pail and roam the store filling it with all their favorites (mom approved of course). Some candies are priced as little as a nickel so kids can bring their own coins in to spend. Artistic youngsters can make their own Pixi Sticks here with the Pucker Powder machine. Another fun option for indecisive little ones are the $1 grab bags! Sugar free candies are also available here.

14991 Farnsworth St.
San Leandro, CA
Hours: Mon. – Fri., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sat, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Online: ilovecandycove.blogspot.com

rocket fizz campbell

Photo of Rocket Fizz by Kate Loweth

South Bay/Peninsula
Rocket Fizz
Prepare for sensory overload as Rocket Fizz offers thousands of options, all kid approved. Salt water taffy, candy classics, imported favorites like Violet Crumble, candy necklaces–they’re all here. Did you know there are several different varieties of Kit Kats? There are and Rocket Fizz has got them. You can’t miss the awesome selection of bottled soda here. Classics like grape and orange soda are represented along with wilder ones like Martian pop and bacon flavor!

Locations in Palo Alto, Campbell and Mountain View
Online: rocketfizz.com

Lolli and Pops
Candy goes glam over at this new shop where there’s something for everyone. From traditional favorites like Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids to house-made chocolate bars with flavors like strawberry champagne, you won’t leave empty-handed. Grab some gelato on a hot day or pop open one of the many root beers and ginger ales that fill the fridge. They specialize in gourmet chocolate gift boxes so keep it in mind when you need to say “thank you.”

Locations in downtown Los Gatos and Oakridge Mall (San Jose)
Online: lolliandpops.com

Sweet Shop
The whole family is bound to fall in love with this hidden gem tucked away in residential Los Altos. The wood shingled cottage is storybook worthy, and once inside the countless colorful glass jars filled with goodies will surely bring smiles. Inside is a candy wall with M&Ms, gummies and gumballs but this sweet shop offers so much more. Frozen yogurt, espresso drinks, and fresh baked goods are all served. The sweetest part here is that all proceeds go to local public schools! Bonus for dog lovers: The cool outdoor patio is dog friendly.

994 Los Altos Ave.
Los Altos, Ca
Hours: Tues. – Fri., 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sat., 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Online: sweetshoplosaltos.com

Young’s Ice Cream & Candy Bar
Treat the kids to something special at this classic soda shop. Candy options are plentiful here, but the big draws are the old-fashioned milkshakes and sundaes made with Loard’s ice cream. Banana splits make everything better. Little ones will appreciate the large stuffed animal selection.

2020 Broadway St.
Redwood City, Ca
Hours: Sun.– Thurs., 12 – 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 12 – 10 p.m.

Multiple Locations

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe
Walking into Powell’s is a bit like stepping back in time into a classic candy shop from years ago. As you wander through the nostalgic selection of candy, you’ll rediscover gems like Crows, Big Hunk, Bottle Caps, and Nerds. They even have fun retro sodas. With Willy Wonka on repeat on TV screens in the back of the shop, it’s hard not to fall in love with this place. Bonus – they also serve gelato!

Locations in Willow Glen (San Jose), Burlingame and Berkeley
Online: powellsss.com

Where do you go to curb the candy cravings? We want to know below!
–Kate Loweth & Melanie Ulate