From Hershey’s® massive chocolate kingdom to gourmet shops specializing in everything from truffles and maple creams to ice cream and popcorn, Pennsylvania is home to masses of artisans eager to fill your stomach with sugary delights.
Read on to uncover some of the best sweet shops in Pennsylvania, perfect places to take the family or pick up a yummy gift for a loved one (or yourself).
1. Bring your appetite to Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey, when the town gets even sweeter with chocolate-dessert buffets at The Hotel Hershey, hot-chocolate slumber parties at Hershey Lodge, opportunities to create your own truffles at The Hershey Story Museum and much more.
2. Admire reindeer, elephants, castles and other whimsical displays – all made of chocolate – at Daffin’s Candies’ Chocolate Kingdom in Sharon. Guests can pick up homemade candies, chocolates and gifts onsite at the world’s largest candy store.
3. Taste the sweet bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania’s forests at Loch’s Maple in Upstate PA’s Endless Mountains. In addition to producing its own maple syrup, the family-owned company also makes decadent maple creams, candies, toppings, popcorn and more.
4. See how pretzels and other goodies receive the perfect chocolate coating during the Asher’s Chocolates factory tour in Souderton. Snack on delicious samples and take home your favorites from the retail store.
5. Pulakos Chocolates’ signature chocolate-covered strawberries and sponge taffy have brought smiles to Pennsylvanians since 1889. Taste the confections for yourself at the chocolatier’s flagship store in Erie.
6. Lauded as the “best chocolates in America” by Bon AppÃ©tit, Ã‰clat Chocolate in West Chester features master chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s dazzling concoctions. Imagine Shiraz-infused truffles and Destination Bars featuring chocolate blended with exotic ingredients like Osaka wasabi and Peruvian corn.
7. Generic hot chocolate packets will never satisfy you again after a visit to Sazon Restaurant & CafÃ© in Philadelphia, where you can choose from more than 20 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate and 12 flavors of truffles, along with a menu of home-style Venezuelan cuisine.
8. Nestled in a former 1932 bank building in quaint Foxburg, Divani Chocolatier’s goodies are handmade in small batches with a signature Belgian chocolate. Enjoy a soul-warming beverage from their barista while you take in the cozy atmosphere.
9. The Mountain Marshmallow, a treat of homemade caramel and marshmallow blended with walnuts and milk chocolate, is The Sweet Shoppe’s signature treat. Craving something out of the oven? The shop also supplies the city of Kane with a lineup of cupcakes, cream horns, cannoli, cookies and pies.
10. Locals adore the variety at Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe in Crawford County. Take home more than 40 varieties of chocolate and 15 kinds of fudge; the triple-chocolate-covered strawberries are heavenly.
11. Peanut brittle gets a pleasing makeover at Brittle Bark in Mechanicsburg, where flavors like CinnaSwirl and Cherry Pecan Tart keep customers coming back for more. Try the Pretzelmania: salted pretzels, cinnamon crisps and ribbons of coconut covered with brittle made from almonds and pretzel balls. Then, the dreamy concoction is draped with white and dark chocolate.
12. Live demonstrations at Callie’s Candy Kitchen in the Pocono Mountains allow visitors to see how mouth-watering chocolates, brittles, hard candy and fudge are made. Just one taste of the Pocono Crunch will reveal why the combination of butterscotch, rice crispies and cashews is the artisan’s best seller.
13. Whether you fancy traditional caramel corn or newer flavors like cookies and cream and birthday cake, Incredible Popcorn in Bloomsburg has a mix to tickle every palate. Dessert flavors include rocky road, s’mores and caramel turtle.
14. Founded by in 1931, New Wilmington’s Tavern on the Square is an eatery in the heart of Western Pennsylvania’s Amish Country known for its comfort food offerings and legendary sticky buns – so moist and delectable you might even be compelled to take a Sticky Dozen home.
15. Penn State Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation, uses about 4.5 million pounds of milk per year to meet demand for its ice cream, sherbet and cheeses. Look for flavors named after the university’s faculty, like Cherry Quist, a creamy black cherry and vanilla ice cream that pays tribute to John Almquist, a professor emeritus of dairy science.
16. Visit Gardners Candies Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Museum in Tyrone to learn how 16-year-old James “Pike” Gardner founded the business in 1897, and fall in love with his appetizing inventions, including the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway®.
17. At Wilbur® Chocolates Candy Americana® Museum and Candy Store in Lititz, you can browse candy-related memorabilia, watch chocolate makers in the candy kitchen and pick up a box of Wilbur Buds®, the iconic company’s signature specialty.
18. Hand-dipped caramels, clusters, pretzels, crackers and more are heaven at Wolfgang Candy Company in York. Their Das Sweeten Haus Retail Store offers a wide selection of treats and a peek into the candy-making process.
19. Sarris® Candies’ old-school ice cream parlor in Canonsburg is a delight for all ages, while their retail store features a photo-worthy 1,500-pound chocolate castle and sugary gifts for all occasions.
20. Those with special dietary restrictions find safe haven at Sweet Freedom, Philadelphia’s first gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly bakery. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and muffins are so yummy you won’t be able to tell they are made with special natural ingredients.