As edible souvenirs go, it’s hard to beat candy and chocolate. Fortunately, Philly has a wealth of chocolatiers, confectioners and pastry chefs whipping up batches of interesting treats for you to take home for family and friends. Though we won’t judge you if you devour it all on the plane, instead.
Brothers Ryan and Eric Berley have owned the vintage ice cream shop game in Philly since they opened the gleefully transporting Franklin Fountain in Old City a decade ago. More recently, they’ve done the same thing with confections by rescuing Shane Candies, one of the oldest candy shops in the country, breathing new life into the boutique with old-school style treats like black licorice twists, scratch-made fruit slices in flavors like watermelon and grapefruit and chocolate-covered Liberty Bells. 110 Market St., Philadelphia, 215.922.1048
Anthony’s Italian Coffee & Chocolate House
When Anthony Anastasio debuted this charming café in 1995, it was the first coffee shop to open in the Italian Market in 50 years and presaged Ninth Street’s revival. In the following years he opened a separate candy shop, then in 2014, moved that shop into the space that once housed his great-grandfather’s food store, next to the café. Go here for pretzels wrapped in thick layers of dark chocolate, figs stuffed with almonds, handmade torrone, cashew turtles and more. 903 S. 9th St., Philadelphia, 215.627.2586
Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates
As if Marcie Turney, the chef and co-owner behind Little Nonna’s, Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Bud & Marilyn’s and other Center City restaurants, isn’t busy enough, she also has a chocolate line.
Marcie Blaine is a store within a store, the latter being Verde, a lifestyle and flower boutique in Midtown Village she has with partner Valerie Safran. Blaine does barks, caramel and chocolates in spice-forward flavors like the Gaucho, laced with smoked paprika and cinnamon, and the Italian Flirt, a wad of pistachios, pine nuts and caramel wrapped in chocolate. 108 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, 215.546.8700
John and Kira’s
John and Kira’s exquisite hand-painted candies and chocolates are a little tricky to find. The beloved confectionary doesn’t operate a retail store. Instead you’ll need to search for their gourmet treats at Philly’s gourmet groceries or track them down at a farmers market like Rittenhouse Square on Saturdays or Headhouse Square on Sundays. Their adorable Bees, filled with honey caramel, are the signature item, but don’t miss the Urban Garden series of chocolate bars infused with herbs and spices grown at neighborhood gardens and the dried golden figs stuffed with whiskey ganache and dipped in chocolate. 800.747.4808
Favors and Flavors
East Passyunk Avenue pulses with hip businesses. Flavors and Favors is not one of them. The chocolate shop has been in business since before the Avenue was cool and adheres to a straightforward, timelessly appealing strategy of selling chocolate-dipped everything: pretzel rods, fresh strawberries, Swedish Fish, cake pops, whole pears, Rice Krispie Treats and more. They arrange the cocoa-covered treats in elaborate trees and towers, making the shop a favorite stop for gifts and parties. 1827 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, 215.271.7621
Out in the suburb of Conshohocken, chefs Chip Roman (of Blackfish restaurant) and Fred Ortega (former pastry chef of the Rittenhouse Hotel) teamed up to create a line of chocolates and candies that shimmer like exotic jewels. Assortments include pistachio truffles, strawberry verbena bonbons and apple caramels, plus bars and barks in packaging that would make the Mast Brothers jealous. Pick them up at gourmet markets around town or make the trip to Conshy; their newly opened Tradestone Café also serves breakfast and lunch, so you can make a day out of it. 117 Fayette St., Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, 484.368.3096