October 01, 2020
How often do you satisfy your sweet tooth? Dessert lovers, chocoholics, and sweets-addicts have mastered the art of love and confection by introducing us to mouthwatering delicacies that leave us craving more. The Golden State does it best—candy from California is arguably the most sought-after and by far the most tempting you’ll ever have.
And it’s not just the sweets; California’s candy stores bring you a sugar rush thanks to their Dahlesque concepts and unusual designs. Skittles, M&M’s, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups might be among the state’s favorites, but once you try locally-made treats, you’ll change your mind in a heartbeat. We’ve rounded up the best candy from California for you to indulge in.
Based in El Segundo, Sugarfina is a luxury confections boutique for adults. It’s one of the few candy stores in California that sells cocktail-inspired gummy bears and it has over 125 varieties of candy. Dark chocolate coffee toffee, Parisian pineapples, Robin’s egg caramel, and royal roses are a few of the all-natural sweets made with high-quality ingredients.
Sugarfina’s creative confectionery doesn’t stop there; the adult candyland offers design-your-own candy trunks and candy bento boxes. You can even send a cute personalized "CandyDrop" to anyone on any occasion. Visit Sugarfina stores in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Glendale, San Jose, Brea, San Diego, and Beverly Hills. But be warned: One bite of Sugarfina’s candy and you’re instantly hooked.
2. Little Flower Candy Company
Little Flower Candy Company is a humble cafe, bakery, and candy kitchen in Pasadena. Starting out as a confectionery shop, Little Flower has since expanded its sweet offerings, but worry not, because the company still stays true to its origins. Spend a cozy afternoon here and fall in love with sweet little candies made in California.
The show-stoppers here are the chewy sea salt caramels and fluffy handmade marshmallows that are to die for—try the cinnamon sugar or chocolate flavor for a unique fluffy treat. Little Flower’s strawberry galettes and carrot turmeric muffins are just as delicious; the sweetness coats your mouth instantaneously, so grab a couple to complement your candy.
3. Lolli and Pops
Lolli and Pops has been making our lives sweeter since 2012. The California candy company has a large selection of heavenly chocolates, delicious caramels, tasty popcorn, and exquisite snacks. Fruity, cruelty-free gummies are available for vegans to munch on. Popular choices include truffle boxes, fillable candy jars, and yummy cake sets for people of all ages to enjoy. Picking a single snack at Lolli and Pops is mission impossible—everything here looks and tastes terrific. If you’re looking for candy from California, Lolli and Pops is where you need to go. The company has multiple locations in Glendale, Los Gatos, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Francisco, Northridge, and more.
4. Annabelle Candy Company
Annabelle Candy Company is the godfather of American candies. Founded in Hayward, in 1950, it has produced some of the most popular and traditional candies from California. Abba-Zaba's chewy taffy with a peanut butter center and Rocky Road’s sugary marshmallows, roasted cashews, and decadent chocolate are among the best-selling chocolate bars on the West Coast.
Anabelle’s continues to be a family-owned candy company and hasn’t stopped producing its beloved chocolate bars. A California favorite, Big Hunk is a chewy, honey-sweetened nougat bar with whole roasted peanuts that’s low fat and gluten-free. Buy Anabelle’s classic chocolate bars from well-known retailers such as Food 4 Less, Smart & Final, Nob Hill Foods, Ralphs, and countless others.
5. OCHO Candy
If you’re looking for organic, gluten-free candy bars, the Oakland-based OCHO Candy has your back. The all-American candy made in California hit the market in 2011. OCHO Candy’s motto is to remake old-school candy bars with real ingredients.
Famous for its use of non-GMO ingredients, OCHO Candy is the place to go to binge on sweets with no regrets. The dark chocolate coconut and peanut butter bars are delicious vegan options that remove potentially damaging oxidation and free radicals from your body. Peppermint and caramel minis are other popular choices—it’s hard to resist their organic chocolate-covered shells.
You'll find OCHO Candy at major retailers like Target, Meijer, Walgreens, and Albertsons.
6. Carousel Candies
Located at Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Carousel Candies has everything sweet imaginable when it comes to candy, ice cream, taffy, and fancy popcorns. Once you’re here, you must try the signature handmade saltwater taffy, which has remained unchanged for almost 50 years.
The fantastic candy shop won’t let you leave empty-handed; there’s always a bag of English toffee, pecan rolls, caramel apples, or gummies tempting you. A single bite of the peanut brittle alone is enough to captivate you with its sweetness. Experience what it truly means to enjoy candy made in California at this iconic store.
7. See’s Candies
See’s Candies—founded in Los Angeles by Charles See and his mother, Mary, in 1921—is one of California’s oldest and most iconic candy brands. Making over 26 million pounds of candy every year, See’s chocolates are made from scratch using fresh ingredients and Mary's timeless recipes. (Another fun fact: See's holds the Guinness World Record for the largest chocolate lollipop, which weighed in at an impressive 7,000 pounds.)
With a rich history and a vast selection of goodies, See’s Candies’ sour stars, milk California brittle, and raspberry and deep dark chocolate truffles are must-tries. While you’re there, have a café latté lollipop for a taste of the spectacular.
Several of the countless See's locations in California include Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, San Francisco, San Diego, Yorba Linda, Palo Alto, and North Hollywood. Enjoy a sweet outing at See’s Candies and the child in you will instantly wake up.
8. California Gummy Bears
Using non-GMO syrups and natural colors in its sweet creations, California Gummy Bears successfully made its way to becoming a favorite Golden State candy brand. Established in Los Angeles, the Kosher-based facilities produce fat- and gluten-free sweets for everyone to enjoy.
Juicy, fruity, and healthy, the Fruit Mix is everyone’s favorite pick. Combining all 10 delicious flavors—cherry, raspberry, strawberry, grapefruit, tangerine, mango, peach, lime, blueberry, and grape—the box is a tropical paradise. Redesigning gummy bears entirely, the California candy company pays homage to the official state animal. Have a pack of these original gummy bears, and your taste buds will thank you forever.
9. Jelly Belly Company
You can easily purchase jelly beans from any store or pharmacy, but why not get them from Jelly Belly Company, where the flavor possibilities are endless? Head to Fairfield to discover a sugar lover’s heaven: The Jelly Belly Candy Store has one of the largest selections of the little flavorsome treats.
Loved by many and consumed by all, it’s hard to say which jelly beans taste the best—you'll just have to try them all. Have an authentic Jelly Belly experience and tour the factory to learn about the production process of this classic candy made in California. Once you have your treats, try different flavors in one bite and make your friends jelly.
10. Miette Patisserie and Confiserie
Miette Patisserie and Confiserie is San Francisco's most delightful and charming pastry and candy store. The vibrant colors of Miette’s interior hypnotize you as you walk in; it’s reminiscent of a Parisian pastry shop.
In addition to its one-of-a-kind assortment of cookies, macarons, and cakes, Miette offers handcrafted confections and candy made with organic ingredients, mostly from local producers. Most of the time, you’ll see happy customers leaving the store with a variety of artisanal chocolates. Other favorites include the English toffee, caramels, and salmiak licorice.
You can find Miette in San Francisco, Larkspur, and Oakland. Stop by for a sweet afternoon with delicious candy from California.
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