Chicago

Dulcelandia
Displaying enough candies to fill every pinata in town (many of those for sale here, too), this local importer of Mexican confections is a treat for the eyes and a challenge to the adventurous (candy con chilies anyone?). This store (one of 7 in and around Chicago) has the advantage of being in the South Side's Little Village neighborhood, perhaps Chicago's most colorful and flavorful barrio. Try: Paleton de cajeta quemada (goat milk lollipops).
Chicago Candy & Nut
It's the factory store for 60-year-old Arway Confections on Chicago's Northwest Side. You'll find baggies of dark chocolate-covered almonds, cashews, cherries, hazel nuts, macadamias, raisins, peanuts, pecans and anything else that's unloaded on the dock -- along with sponge candy and other goodies. Try: Peanut butter pretzel nuggets.
Blommer Chocolate Company Store
North America's largest chocolate maker, they've been doing it at this River North old-timer (and filling the neighborhood's air with heavenly aroma) since 1939. They sell bags of chocolate in every known shape, including some animals, but don't expect fancy stuff -- just quality. Try: Revere dark chocolate bar.
Canady Le Chocolatier
Here, south of the Loop, the chocolates are so exquisite, eating them seems shameful. The Cappuccino Cup (dark and light chocolate plus butter cream and chocolate shavings) is almost ridiculous -- until you contemplate the even more outlandish, gold-dipped morsel called Date with King Tut. Time it right and you may be able to watch the process. (There's a window into the kitchen.) Try: Ganache au trois.
Mr. Kite's Gold Coast Confectionary
An unashamedly old-fashioned candy, popcorn and ice cream shop, it's been coexisting comfortably with Chicago's Rush Street beef and booze district since 1987. (It moved to this location, not far from its original on State Street, about 5 years ago.) The chocolates are created here, sometimes before your very eyes. Try: S’mores (plain, caramel or peanut butter).

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