Calling The Windy City "The Candy City" is not a typographical error. Nor is it a real nickname -- but this town of big shoulders and big sirloins has long had an affection for sugary treats (hometown inventions include Baby Ruth candy bars). Here's a sampling of some of the better places to satisfy that sweet desire.
Set in a storefront in a neighborhood that still has remnants of its immigrant-Italian past, this shop sells 15 varieties of its resident candy, some with especially creative names (e.g., Mazel Toffee). Try: Lavenilla (French lavender, Madagascar vanilla, covered in white chocolate).
Choose from 19 varieties of gummy bear (including, of course, Cubbie Gummies) at this shop within walking distance of Wrigley Field, or splurge on a Snickers Cluster. Also here: Truffles named and flavored for Chicago celebrities. Try: Oprah truffle (champagne).
Little has changed since its founding in 1921. Margie's -- on a non-trendy corner of the trendy Bucktown neighborhood -- is nearly as famous for its indulgent sundaes as it is for its traditional chocolate treats made on site. Try: Turtle (caramel, pecans, chocolate).
The rapidly expanding maker of luxury confections (2 other Chicago locations, plus NYC, Las Vegas and more to come) got its start 13 years ago not far from this boutique near DePaul University. Combining chocolate with hickory smoked bacon was an early act of genius. Try: Black pearl truffle (chocolate with ginger, wasabi and black sesame seed).
The 2 corporate giants do battle logo-a-logo at the base of the Old Water Tower on the Magnificent Mile., with its Belgian imports, is around the corner. No real surprises here -- aside from the waffles at Leonidas -- but the 3 shops are listed because, well, they're chocolate.
A Hong Kong-based chain with a presence in many US cities, this outlet in Chicago's Chinatown features sweets from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan not found at Hershey's, Ghirardelli or Leonidas. Many -- like salted kumquat and Buddha's hand fruit -- are dried morsels sold in bulk; others are wrapped. Try: Durian milk candy.