If you’re seeking out the sweet stuff in New York City, you’ve got a lot of options — to help you navigate “the sea of swirly-twirly gumdrops” we’ve put together a guide to some of the best candy and chocolate shops near subway stops.
Economy Candy has it all. The iconic spot on the Lower East Side has been operating in the city for well over eight decades, and they just opened a second outpost in Chelsea Market. This is the shop’s first expansion in its long history here, and the new (smaller) storefront will operate under the name: A Taste of Economy Candy.
According to PIX11, the original store was a shoe and hat repair shop, which also sold candy. “During the depression, people didn’t have the money for that, but candy went a long way to making you happy,” current owner Mitch Cohen said. And with that, in 1937 they officially became Economy Candy.”
Today, you can find over 2,000 types of candy, chocolate, and more.
You're just about a 2-minute walk to Economy Candy from these subway lines at the Delancey St - Essex St station, or from the A C E and L at 14th St for the Chelsea Market outpost
Another old-school gem is Schmidt’s Candy in Queens. This old-fashioned candy shop creates classic sweets from traditional German recipes and has been in operation since 1925. And their origin story is tied to the subway system!
When the BRT (Brooklyn Rapid Transit) and BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit) were born, and “the subway tied the Queens shopping hub of Jamaica to the Big Apple... Grandpa Schmidt had the notion to open his shop at 94-15 Jamaica Avenue, under the BMT. His plan was to bring coveted old-world German chocolate recipes together with the finest ingredients. And that, he did. In doing so, Schmidt's Candy came to life.”
And you can still visit that same location today, which is still run by the Schmidt family.
Take the J to Woodhaven Blvd, and you're just a 2-minute walk away
Touted as Manhattan’s oldest chocolate shop, Li-Lac has a wonderful history that begins in 1923 Greenwich Village, where founder George Demetrious opened his first shop on Christopher Street. To this day, the shop uses “original recipes and old-world cooking methods” from the 1920s, creating their goods through small, hand-made batches. You can now pick up their special chocolates at multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
If you're on a train, it's probably able to take you to one of the Li-Lac Chocolate locations around NYC!
See’s Candies was founded in 1921 in Los Angeles and has become a legendary brand in the chocolate industry since. In 2017, they finally brought their goods to New York City with a shop on 8th Avenue, where they offer over 100 made-from-scratch originals. Looking for a box of chocolates for yourself or someone sweet? This is the place to go.
See's is a short walk from all of these subway lines
The Sweet Shop
This one isn’t an old-timer, but it does have a retro vibe and hard-to-find candies. The husband and wife team behind the shop, Glyn and Kelly Jaime, say they wanted to combine their love of sweets and “all things vintage, retro and nostalgic" to create a place “where you can almost step back in time." Stop by for candy necklaces, Pop Rocks, and so much more (including gelato!).
Just a 5-minute walk from the Q stop at E 72nd!
Jacques Torres is an internationally known brand at this point, but the French pastry chef holds it down in New York City, where he’s got a couple of shops to help you with any sweet tooth cravings (including one right in Grand Central Terminal). While chocolates are the specialty here, don’t sleep on those large chocolate chip cookies (some of the best in town!).
Jacques Torres is in Grand Central, and Dumbo, a short walk from the subway!
Here you'll find incredible craft chocolate from Rizek Cacao in the Dominican Republic. From chocolate bars to chocolate in their beverages and baked goods, it’s worth swinging by this shop. Rizek Cacao was founded in 1905 and has been in the same family for generations. Read more about the Rizek family in the NY Times.
Kahkow is about an 8-minute walk from the L at Bedford Ave in Williamsburg
Ray’s Candy Store
Okay, Ray’s isn’t your typical candy shop, but the New York institution has been around since 1974, with a now 90-year-old Ray Alvarez a fixture behind the counter. His shop has become a beloved part of the cityscape. While you can pick up your standard bodega candy here, Ray’s specialties include fried Oreos, egg creams, beignets, and pure old-school New York vibes.
Ray's is about a 10-minute walk (or short bus ride) from the 2nd Ave F stop
Stick With Me Sweets
In a tiny storefront on Mott Street in Nolita, you'll find gorgeously decorated bon bons in flavors like Yuzu, Wild Strawberry, Kalamansi Meringue Pie and Black Sesame & Passion Mango— there's even a New York, New York version, which has chocolate-coated candied pretzels enveloped in peanut butter praline and sea salt caramel ganache. Owner Susanna Yoon, who spent time creating pastries at Café Boulud and Per Se, opened Stick With Me Sweets in 2014 and even won "Oprah's Favorite" accolades for her bon bon boxes.
A 5-minute walk from the Spring Street 6 and Bowery J/Z
Another Queens classic! This confection factory sells old-fashioned chocolates (and other tasty goods) and has been a New York favorite for over 70 years. They’ve been around since 1949, and say they've “dedicated ourselves to perfecting the superior taste and quality of our chocolate.” Mission accomplished. And they also stay true to their belief that “everyone should be able to afford great tasting chocolate.”
Madelaine Chocolate is a short walk from the Beach 98th Street stop
Love chocolate but following a vegan lifestyle? Check out Confectionary!, which serves up delicious chocolate (and more!) for the vegan set. Founded in 2016, this East Village shop serves up sweets that are "entirely vegan, made with good ingredients," and from local produce when possible. And what's more, the eco-conscious owners use 100% post-consumer recycled paper boxes and packing materials as transport for your vegan goods.
You'll find this vegan sweet shop about a 8-minute walk from the 1st Ave L stop
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Dylan's Candy Bar is a chain of boutique candy shops owned by Dylan Lauren (Ralph Lauran’s daughter). Sleekly decorated, you can find all types of candy in bulk at this shop, from gum drops to gummy bears to malt balls and a variety of chocolates — get inspired and can create your own bags of treats. There are also vintage candies, tween-friendly gift packages, and some rather excellent Dylan’s Candy Bar Peanut Butter Truffle Cups. There's a large location at Hudson Yards, which has a cafe offering ice cream and milkshakes, and another at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo.
The Dylan's Candy Bar at Hudson Yards is a short walk from the 7, and the location at the Arlo Hotel is near the 1, A, C, and E trains.
Have a favorite sweet shop in NYC? Tag @MTAaway on Instagram in your photos.