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How Much Candy Can You Get With $5?

We take a fiver and a sweet tooth to Chicago stores

Candy. Think back to the days when it seemed as if you could buy the whole candy store for a dollar.

Maybe kids always think that. Recently on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, I overheard a conversation between kids and their dad, who let them roam wild in Dylan's Candy Bar with $5 each in their hands, but they couldn't go over the $5 budget. The kids thought they'd tricked their dad, but the real joke was on them — unless they were smart enough to put their earnings together, making it $15. I didn't stay to find out.

The scene stayed in my head the rest of the day. How much candy could I get for only $5? I hit a number of Chicago-area candy stores to find out and to rank them from worst bargain to best. (Each photo shows what I scored for 5 bucks.)

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune


If Charlie Bucket turned the chocolate factory into a chocolatorium (industry term), it would be modeled after Kilwin's. Those who go to the decadent-but-pricey Hyde Park branch of the chocolate store can find something to their liking. Fudge and chocolates range from $2 to $32, so the decision on whether to spend the whole $5 on a chocolate Twinkie ($4.95) versus buying two treats — a chocolate Oreo ($2) and a chocolate covered sprinkle rod ($2) — was incredibly difficult. In the end, I chose quantity over quality, but I will be back for that Twinkie one day. 5246 S. Harper Ave., Chicago, IL.

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

Dylan's Candy Bar

When you enter Dylan's, brace yourself not only for the chaotic modern Candyland, but also for the prices. Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan, created a high-end candy store filled with everything from bulk gummies and chocolate stations to ice cream, fudge and nostalgia candy stations. A half-pound of bulk candy is $7.99. However, there are many single treats available for under $5, such as a Rainbow Whirley pop ($3.75), personalized candy bars ($2.50), a block of Dylan's fudge ($4) and Nik-L-Nip mini wax drinks ($3). If you carefully fill up a small plastic bag (with chocolate pretzels, cola-flavored gummy bottles and paper dots), it will cost about $2.20. If you're looking for quantity and only have a fiver, skip this store. 445 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL.

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Visit the Chicago Tribune to read the rest of the story and find out where $5 went the farthest.