Seattleites love their organic grains and heirloom veggies. But there’s a reason that people use “kid in a candy store” to symbolize uncontrollable excitement—have you ever seen the look on a little sugarholic’s face when surrounded entirely by chocolates and licorice and gummy worms? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve rounded up our favorite places to indulge (responsibly, of course) and score some holiday treats for your little sweeties. Scroll down for the sugary deets.
Lolli & Pops
From artisan truffles to champagne flavored gummy bears to nostalgic candy from your youth, Lolli & Pops offers unique and one-of-a-kind sweets from all over the world. Items change daily with batch size and availability which makes each visit to the shop just as fun as the last. In addition row (and rows) of immaculately displayed candies and confections, Lolli & Pops candy consultants are always on hand to answer questions, suggest the best candy for your palette (and your sidekick's sugar tooth) and even provide samples, so you're sure you know what you're getting no matter how exotic or expensive the treat is. Bulk candy is sold by the pound, but if you go with the $15 mason jar, refills are only $5 for as much as you can stuff into the jar. Sweet!
Best reason to go: If you're looking for a candy that you had during your overseas adventure last summer, chances are you'll find it at Lolli and Pops. The shop is known for stocking its shelves with the finest candies and confections from around the globe, including chocolate from Madagascar, sour belts from Spain and sodas from Japan.
3000 184th St. S.W.
Lynnwood, Wa 98037
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
165 Bellevue Square
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
251 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, Wa 98188
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Named for owner Randy Brinker’s grandmother and built around a sense of sweet-loving community, Sweet Mickey’s has quickly become an institution in Ballard, an area with no shortage of sugary options. They host regular activities for neighborhood kids—think Halloween costume contests and readings of How the Grinch Stole Christmas—but it’s what's inside that matters: beautiful truffles, drawers of gummies, an assortment of licorice (lots of salty selections for Ballard’s Norwegian contingent) and even pints of ice cream from Bluebird.
Best reason to go: Fudge is one of those sweets that’s generally not worth the toothache, but not so at Sweet Mickey’s. Here, it’s made fresh in house—soft, smooth and addictively delicious—in about a dozen seasonal flavors that rotate throughout the year. You’ll almost always find dark chocolate sea salt caramel, which is understandably a best seller.
Not to be confused with the Confectional, a Pike Place storefront selling teeny tiny cheesecakes, this old-timey candy shop has been family owned and operated in University Village for more than 40 years. It would take you that long to try everything—the shop is a candy-coated dream worthy of Willy Wonka, with 100 different gummies, 30 types of imported licorice (both salty and sweet), 60 kinds of nostalgic candies like Ring Pops and Necco wafers, and more chocolate than you can imagine. And for holidays, the seasonal assortment of treats can’t be beat.
Best reason to go: Imagine a one-stop shop for all your party needs. This is that place. They’ve got piñatas for junior’s birthday; teacher, hostess and wedding gifts; the best selection of seasonal goodies for every holiday (look for DIY gingerbread houses during the holiday season) and even thank you cards for sending out after.
University Village Shopping Center
4608 26th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98105
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Seattle Chocolates Factory Store
For 25 years, Seattle Chocolates has been making, packaging and shipping more than a million pounds of decadent truffles, chocolate bars and seasonal and special occasion products out of its 60,000-square-foot Tukwila warehouse. And last February, with the launch of its first-ever Experience Chocolate tour, came its newly redesigned gift shop jam-packed with sugary goodness. Although you won't find an old-school vibe here, you will find a variety of truffle bars (the dark chocolate peanut butter is our favorite), jcoco chocolate tasting boxes that explore the different cacao percentages of dark chocolate and origins of chocolate, individually wrapped truffles, seasonal bars and Northwest-inspired gift boxes like the ferry boat truffle box which makes a perfect gift for your child's fave teacher.
Best reason to go: If you want to create your own custom gift box of truffles, Seattle Chocolates offers more than 20 different truffle flavors to choose from as well as chocolate "rejects" which can be purchased on the second Saturday of the month (while supplies last).
1180 Andover Park W.
Seattle, Wa 98188
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
OK, so technically it’s not a candy-only store, but unless you’re on a candy-only diet, we don’t think you’ll mind. Aside from making some of the best sandwiches in West Seattle and offering a killer lineup of homemade ice cream, Husky Deli has a delightful assortment of international candies—plus chocolates from brands like Cadbury, Milka, Ritter Sport and Kinder—near the back of the store. And much of it is behind a display case, so you’re less likely to deal with sticky-fingered bandits who end up with a handful of TK in their pocket.
Best reason to go: Sometimes simple is best, and a baggie full of chocolate-covered goodies can’t be beat: raisins for the kiddos, espresso beans for you.
4721 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98116
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Johnson Candy Company
Want to experience a real-life history lesson with your sweet-toothed tot? Head to Tacoma. Johnson Candy Company isn’t made to look like the retro sweet shops from the ‘40s and ‘50s—it is that place, preserved as if candy coated in all its vintage charm. Unlike these other shops, Johnson is still making their own chocolates, dipping some of them by hand even, on decades-old equipment. It’s a delicious trip back in time.
Best reason to go: Though you’ll find all the usual sugary suspects here, the real draw is the chocolates. They aren’t fancy or inventive—you’ll find no whacky foodie flavor combos here—but simple, delicious and clearly made with love. What more do you need?
924 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Tacoma, Wa 98405
Sugar Factory at The Shops at The Bravern
Located at The Shops at The Bravern, the new 15,000-square-foot Sugar Factory is part restaurant, part confectionery shop and part lounge, and it’s where you and your crew of sweet fanatics can satisfy your sugar tooth seven days a week. The company, well-known for their extravagant candies including their world-famous Couture Pops, has retail and restaurant locations across the US, including New York, Las Vegas, Florida and Chicago as well as internationally. But Sugar Factory Seattle is the first West Coast location for the sweet chain.
After you chow down on an insane milkshake and a Monster Burger, hit the Confectionery Shop which is located next to the floor-to-ceiling candy dot wall at the main entrance. Here, you will find a variety of candy bins lining the walls and it's where you can purchase the chain’s world-famous Couture Pops as well as chocolate covered gummy bears, jelly beans of various flavors and a wide selection of delicious chocolates. In addition to candy, two glass cases are filled with homemade ice cream and gelato alongside trays of fresh homemade donuts, cupcakes and cookies. It's all about the sugar at this sweet spot!
Sugar Factory American Brasserie Seattle
The Shops at The Bravern
11111 N.E. 8th St., Suite #120
Bellevue, Wa 98004
What type of candy makes you feel like a kid again? Leave us your tales of sweet nostalgia in the comments below.
—Kristina Moy & Chelsea Lin