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Travelers with a sweet tooth weakness, do not proceed any further in this post. What follows is Spot Cool Stuff’s selection of the 6 most interesting-looking, diabetes-inducing candy stores. A trip to any one for these shops (well, except for the last one) is likely to result in a sugar overdose. Ye be warned.
Note: These are all primarily candy stores. We’ve reviewed our favorite chocolate stores in a separate post.
This shop in the mammoth Dubai Mall is probably as close as you can come to a real-life Willy Wonka candy experience without wrangling some umpa lumpas and creating one yourself. The Candylicious flagship is 1,000 square meters (10,000 sq ft.) making it the largest candy store in the world. Before you even get to the store you’ll likely see the Candylicous Car circling about. Highlights inside the store itself: a lollipop tree, a Candylicious Airplane kids can ride and an old-timey soda fountain.
This chain of self-described “caramel artisans” have stores in Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York, Seoul and Taipei, but it is their Tokyo location that we pick as our favorite. At all Papabubbles you can watch candy being made in the store and dig into free samples. (NB: walk into a Papabubble during a candy making session promising to “just look” you’ll likely be walking out with a purchase). The Tokyo Papbubble is especially great because of the wacky Japanese candy designs, including candy sushi and giant caramel toothbrushes.
Littleton, New Hampshire USA
Chutter’s claim to fame is the world’s longest candy counter. It’s 112 feet (34m) long, which is the entire length of the store. Jars of gum, sugar fruit slices and candy knickknacks are stacked three deep the entire length of the counter. So . . . let’s see . . . each jar is about 5 inches wide . . . multiply by 112 feet long . . . multiply by 3 jars jars wide and you get . . . a whole heck of a lot of candy.
Het Oud-Hollandsch Snoepwinkeltje
(The Old Dutch Candy Shop)
There are surely many other corner shops like this in the world—or we like to think so—but we decided to select Het Oud-Hollandsch Snoepwinkeltje as the epitome of the wholesome local candy store. Located in a working class area of Amsterdam, this is the sort of place where kids save up coins, spread them out on the counter and gleefully select treats out of apothecary jars. The ubiquitous owner, Mariska, seem to know every regular by name. The video below gets across the spirit of this place even to those who don’t understand Dutch.
Jelly Bean Factory
The otherwise powerfully unexciting San Francisco Bay Area town of Fairfield has what is among the world’s best interactive candy experiences: Jelly Bean University. Go Fighting Licorice! “Students” don lab coats, learn about jelly bean making and take a try at creating concoctions. Those who survive the rigors of it graduate with a Degree of Beanology, which will surely increase your job prospects. “Classes” are restricted to six students; reservations required.
The Jelly Bean Factory also offers free 40-minute tours, an enormous candy store and a cafe where you can order, among other items, a jelly bean shaped pizza.
[via Life Magazine]
Hello Kitty Sweets
Depending on your point of view, it’s either Hello Kitty heaven or hell. (Who are we kidding? It’s hell.) Hello Kitty Sweets offers a culinary experience inspired by Japan’s famous cartoon cat. At the walk-in counter a selection of candies and chocolates are for sale. Beyond that there’s a dinning area where the store’s customers—comprised primarily of single middle-aged women and surprisingly unpopulated by any children—can feast on Hello Kitty cakes, pastries and even a few entrees. None of it is particularly tasty. But then what do you expect from an eatery inspired by a cat with no mouth?
In case that’s not enough of a cute overload for you, stay in one of the shop’s Hello Kitty-themed hotel rooms. Picture a room full of Hello Kitty products surrounded by pink. Lots and lots of pink.
When you go: Hello Kitty Sweets can be a bit hard to find. It’s on Da An Road near the intersection with Zhong Xiao, around the corner from Bistro 98. If you are looking for Hello Kitty merchandise head to the nearby Sogo department store.
There were lots of runners up for this post—enough that maybe we’ll do a Best Candy Stores Part II in the future. Know of a store you’d like up to include. Share your sweet thoughts in the comments section: