Some people travel for fashion, others for landscapes and the beautiful photo ops they offer. At The Daily Meal, we are all about following our appetites — and in this case, our sweet tooth — around the world.
Inspired by Roald Dahl’s book Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Dylan Lauren (daughter of renowned designer Ralph Lauren) created the famous Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City in 2001. Since that time, it has appeared in movies and TV shows, including Hitch, the Russell Brand remake of Arthur, and Gossip Girl. Dylan’s Candy Bar created a candy culture in New York that made it chic to nibble on nuggets of chocolate and retro-style candy like Lemonheads and candy lips. Stars including Taylor Swift and the Beckhams flocked to the Candy Bar, making it a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike.
But New York isn’t the only city to visit if you’ve got a serious sweet tooth. At Sweet! Hollywood in Los Angeles, pop artist Jason Mecier creates one-of-a-kind candy portraits of celebrities for the store’s “Candylebrity” line. The store is filled with more than a dozen themed rooms, like the Wonka Room, where fans can get their fill of some of exclusive Willy Wonka-inspired treats.
At his Le Bonbon au Palais in Paris, candy connoisseur Georges Marques wanted to recreate his childhood schoolhouse, only his version is dedicated to candies with a historical twist.
Candylicious in Dubai carries over 5,000 kinds of candy, giving candy fanatics enough options to find at least a few dozen new favorite sweets. The store imports candy from all over the world, making it a one-stop shop for German gummies, Belgian chocolate, and more.
From a store filled with M&Ms to another specializing in nothing but chocolate, here is a list of candy stores worth traveling for all over the world.
Belgium: The Zaabär Factory Shop
There’s no way you’re going to Belgium without taking a tour of a chocolate factory. Belgian chocolate has long been a lure for chocolate lovers. More than 172,000 tons of chocolate are produced every year in Belgium, and there are more than 2,000 chocolate shops throughout the country, which is just slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. The Zaabär Factory Shop is one of the country’s best chocolate factories and offers an array of chocolate bars, cookies, chocolate-covered fruit, spices, nougatines, and more for sale. The almost 6,500-square-foot workshop includes a tasting area where you can sample the candy on offer and attend demonstrations and discussions on chocolate history, and the space also plays host to a “Chocolate Academy” where visitors of all ages can experience the art of chocolate-making firsthand.
China: M&M's® World
The Shanghai M&M’s store marries Chinese tradition with candy culture. At the door, life-size statues of the red and yellow M&M characters greet guests. The real treat here is the “Great Wall of Chocolate,” and just like the Great Wall of China, this wall can also be seen from space. Okay, maybe not, but it is the world’s largest M&M’s candy wall. The M&M’s store in Shanghai sells M&M’s in 22 colors and in three varieties: milk chocolate M&M’s, peanut M&M’s, and almond M&M’s. The 172,000-square-foot, two-story mecca was designed as a “retail-tainment” destination, so visitors not only walk away with a bag full of sweets but also a bag full of treats, be they t-shirts, mugs, or other merchandise. Daily performances by the M&M's characters make for a fun meet-and-greet show.
This article was originally published on December 3, 2014