Hitting the Sweet Spots: Dallas’ Hidden Candy Gems
Past the whirly, twirley gumdrop waterfalls and up Oompa Loompa Mountain sits Candy Junction. We suggest you take a detour and stop by some of the store’s real-world counterparts here in the Dallas Region.
The “Say Yes” sweet tooth crew has an impressive CV that includes:
- mashing up grape Nerds, strawberry Pez, SweeTARTS, Pixie Stix and watermelon Pop Rocks to create the controversial element 119 Wannagagium (atomic symbol GAg is still under review by scientists);
- attempting to freak out our mothers by puffing candy cigarettes and cigars within their lines of sight; and
- depriving children of the best Halloween and Christmas candies because they don’t truly appreciate it.
Given that track record, it made sense for “Say Yes” to compile a list of old-timey/over-the-top Dallas-Fort Worth destinations for fellow sugar fiends. Our criteria? As always, destinations must transport visitors to an alternate solar system. In the candy version of this scenario, the sun is a tremendous ball of lemon cotton candy, Mercury is a red hot, etc.
We did not include chocolatiers, because YUM CHOCOLATE DESERVES ITS OWN LIST. MORE WORDS IN ALL CAPS: Those who prescribe too strongly to this list will especially anticipate our upcoming list of DFW’s Hidden Orthodontists (not a real list).
In no particular order:
1701 N. Market St., Dallas, TX
Delivery is currently available for this shop in Dallas’ Historic West End hits all the old-timey notes, spot-on: It’s located in a 150-year-old neighborhood, a few steps up from the street, with mounds of candy easily visible through plate-glass windows. Patrons rave about the freshly baked waffle cones and ice cream. If you’re lucky, West End Elvis might serenade you on your way in, on your way out, or both.
Blooms Candy & Soda Pop Shop
1106 W Main St, Carrollton, TX 75006
To get the full-on, old-school experience, take the DART Green Line to the Downtown Carrollton Station, and take the skywalk to an enclave that urban renewal forgot. There’s a Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, Amici Signature Italian, a wine bar (55 Degrees) and a nearby ice cream parlor. Then, there’s Blooms, with its selection of GINORMOUS lollypops, metal lunchboxes and candies from the 1920s to the 1990s (anise hard candy, Black Cow suckers, Chick-O-Stick, etc.). Did we mention there’s a variety of 250 sodas in bottles? There’s just something about finding a place like this, which is nearly invisible to the thousands of vehicles traveling by via an elevated stretch of I-35E.
105 W Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201
Three major influences shape Atomic Candy:
- it’s clear whoever runs this joint never grew up because they’ll stick just about anything that doesn’t run away on display;
- Denton is a college town and whoever runs this joint gladly gorges upon Nutty Professor weirdness (lots of kitsch about UFO’s, Big Foot, political humor); and
- the shop is located on Denton’s busy, still-intact courthouse square, increasing the chance for hipsters with handlebar moustaches by roughly 20 percent.
Mom and Popcorn
215 E. Louisiana St., McKinney, TX 75069
Those who launched Mom and Popcorn in McKinney realized that popped corn is one of those perfect edible vehicles for delivering tastes to the human palate. Bacon cheddar? Buffalo ranch? Dill pickle? Pina Colada? It’s like Orville Redenbacher and Willy Wonka had a fight, and everybody won.
Of course there’s taffy available by the pound, and walls and barrels full of novelty candy and tons of oddball/rare sodas. But popcorn’s the star here.
Deep Ellum, Dallas location: 2701 Main Street, Suite 160
Arlington location: 1707 N Collins Street, Suite 111, Arlington, TX 76011
If you’re into specialty sodas (KISS Kola?), retro signage and taffy (banana cream pie?), Rocket Fizz is a must-shop.
“From some old fashioned candy and hard-to-find treats to Japanese candy and true rarities, this place has it all,” writes Yelper Jim B. “Also they have a really great selection of sodas. It will be tough to walk out of there empty-handed, so beware. [It’s] right across the street from Pecan Lodge, so seems like a natural to stop in afterward.” Located in Deep Ellum and Arlington, the company website reported 88 locations of Rocket Fizz nationwide as of January 2018, with nearly another 50 on the way.
Fort Worth location: 503 Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Grapevine location: 2156 E Grapevine Mills Cir, Grapevine, TX 76051
If Mae West was right (and who are WE to contradict her?) too much of a good thing really is wonderful. By that standard, It’Sugar is crammed with wonderfulness: 2-pound Rice Krispies Treats, 1-pound Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and 5-pound gummy bears, to name a few. Not everything It’Sugar sells is gigantic, but the largeness makes an impression.
It’Sugar has locations in 27 states across the United States including Grapevine and Fort Worth. It’Sugar’s Forth Worth Sundance Square location upholds the old-timey tradition of sweet shops being located near town squares.
Legacy West location: 7700 Windrose Ave., Plano, Texas, 75024
Northpark location: 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas
As you might have realized by now, each candy store has its niche. Sugarfina’s specialty is candy geared toward more-refined palates. Sugarfina doesn’t just sell gummies and chocolates – the shop sells bears made with Dom Perignon vintage Champagne. Its chocolate caramels are maple bourbon caramels made with Maker’s Mark. While other candy sellers have a strong homespun feeling (Handerpants?), Sugarfina’s shops located in Plano and Dallas are orderly and harmonious. They even sell assortments bento-box style.
9005 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218
Hypnotic Emporium’s roots are immediately betrayed by its star menu item: An ice cream sandwich made with a cut-in-half, warm donut. Hypnotic Donuts, of course, is the progenitor of its next-door White Rock candy shop. Hypnotic Emporium pays homage to the classic, old-time ice cream parlor with stools and long counters, and emphasizes hand-scooped ice cream, splits, shakes, sundaes and malts. The front of the store features hard-to-find sweets like the Aero bubble-aerated candy bar, Pez, Bosco milk chocolate bars and Abba-Zaba taffy bars. The menu lists a “Cloud Cone,” describing it as a waffle cone wrapped with cotton candy. Must be a typo.
The Candy Barrel
140 East Exchange Ave., Suite 109, Fort Worth , TX 76164
You’re back again in the Old West at The Candy Barrel. This shop is located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District, which served as a final rest stop for cowboys before they began their cattle drive up the Chisolm Trail. Of course, back then, it’s unlikely the cowboys had access to 53 flavors of taffy. The emphasis at this shop is candy by the pound.
Did we miss any? Tweet us @SayYesToDallas