37 Mott St., at Pell St.; 212-233-7650; ajiichiban-usa.com
This Hong Kong-based chain lives up to its claim as a “munchies paradise” if the muncher has a yen for grape marshmallows, sesame coconut candies, or imported Japanese chocolate in banana, coffee and strawberry flavors.
• For Trick-or-Treaters: Hard soda candy in cola, and apple cider flavors ($5 per half-pound), and mini Wrigley’s gum ($6).
• Treat Yourself: Preserved mandarin peel ($4 per half-pound), Thai Durian milk candy ($2.99 per pound), and wasabi peas ($8.50 per half-pound).
168 Ave. O, bet. W. 4th and W. 5th Sts. (Brooklyn); 718-232-0275
Although ready-to-eat chocolate is for sale, this do-it-yourself store mainly provides ingredients and utensils to make your own sugary concoctions. Merckens melting chocolate comes in a rainbow of colors, and can be shaped by playful molds of ghosts, pumpkins, and skeletons.
• For Trick or Treaters: Chocolate Frankenstein ($1), and the Halloween lollipop ($1).
• Treat Yourself: Halloween chocolate castle ($15).
Dylan’s Candy Bar
1011 Third Ave., at 60th St.; 646-735-0078; dylanscandybar.com
Sure, the prices are over the top, but this place wins first-prize when it comes to décor. Imagine giant plastic candy canes that reach to the ceiling, stools resembling oversized peppermints, and lollipops three times the size of the toddlers that invade every weekend.
• For Trick-or-Treaters: Gummy eyeballs ($1.49 each), harvest-colored kisses and sour pumpkins ($9.99 per pound).
• Treat Yourself: Chocolate chopsticks ($12), and the fake flip flop filled with salt walter taffy ($15).
108 Rivington St., bet. Essex and Ludlow Sts.; 212-254-1531; economycandy.com Owner Jerry Cohen claims he’s a real life Willy Wonka and his shop, a neighborhood landmark around since 1937, is filled floor to ceiling with baskets, boxes and shelves of confections—from old-time penny candy to halva to imported truffles. Giant Pez dispensers and decorative vintage toys complement candies that you probably thought were extinct. Squirrel Nut Zippers, anyone?
• For Trick-or-Treaters: Bubble gum cigar (59 cents), chocolate eyeballs ($5.99 per bag), and wax fangs (2 for $1).
• For Yourself: Edible legos ($2.99), and Kosher rock candy swizzle sticks (35 cents each).
Elk Candy Co.
1628 Second Ave., bet. 84th and 85th Sts.; 212-585-2303; elkcandy.com
This family-owned candy store has been a fixture on the Upper East Side for 73 years. Famous for the marzipan made on-site, the store casts its signature delicacies into whimsical shapes: carrots, pigs, ladybugs, and, at this time of year, pumpkins ($3.95 to $4.95 each).
• For Trick or Treaters: Chocolates shaped like rolls of film ($1-$1.25 each), Indian corn ($1.95 per half-pound), and jelly pumpkins ($2.75 per half-pound).
• Treat Yourself: Truffles in rum, mocha, hazelnut and French chocolate ($21 per pound).
Hershey’s Times Square
• 1593 Broadway, at 48th St.; 212-581-9100; hersheystimessquare.com
You don’t need to travel to Pennsylvania for a Hershey experience. This neon-lit, midtown tourist trap is an irresistable attraction for relapsed chocoholics.
• For Trick-or-Treaters: Bags of miniatures ($3.50 each), and bags of Jolly Rancher hard candies ($3.50).
• Treat Yourself: 5-pound Hershey’s chocolate bar ($39.95).
94-15 Jamaica Ave., bet. 94th and 95th Sts. (Queens); 718-846-9326
Owner Margie Schmidt seems to wield magic powers, and even describes herself as a big witch stirring her spoon in a black kettle in the store’s basement. Opened in 1927 by her grandfather, her lair is an old-fashioned candy shop, with all its delectable goodies made by hand.
•For Trick-or-Treaters: Ribbon candy ($7 per pound), and gooey caramels ($12.95 per pound)
•Treat Yourself: Marshmallows in maple walnut ($12.95 per pound), and chocolate-covered cherries ($12.95 per pound).
The Sweet Life
63 Hester St., at Ludlow St.; 212-598-0092; sweetlifeny.com
Brother-and-sister team Sam Greenfield and Diane Schwartzberg bought this tiny 23-year-old neighborhood store last year and stocked it to capacity with gummies, hard candy, dried fruit, and raisin-and-peanut clusters which they make on the premises.
• For Trick-or-Treaters: Gummy spiders or gummy teeth ($4.99 per pound), and gummy pet rats ($2 each).
• Treat Yourself: Kebab made from six marshmallows skewered on a stick and drenched in milk chocolate ($2), hand-made macadamia nut clusters ($20 per pound), and pumpkin pie fudge ($8.99 per pound).
88-06 Sutter Ave., at 88th St. (Queens); 718-845-2536
Since 1990, owner Tommy Tibball has laid claim to the largest candy selection in Queens: 500 nostalgic varieties including Necco wafers, candy cigarettes, chocolate coins and circus peanuts. Tibball likes to give back to the community so on Halloween from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., he gives away free cotton candy to trick-or-treaters, and free coffee to adults.
• For Trick or Treaters: Bazooka (5 cents), Mary Janes (5 cents), Pixie Stix (10 cents), Lemonheads (10 cents), wax juice bottles (15 cents), and peel off candy buttons (15 cents).
• Treat Yourself: Satellite wafers ($25 for 300 pieces).