Candy hearts

Looking to treat your Valentine to some unique sweets? Go overboard this year and give your lover rollos de coco, a personalized chocolate lolipop, retro candy cigarettes or even some delectable dried squid candies. Here are four Chicago candy shops that search high and low for the best candies from around the world. 

Candyality (520 North Michigan Ave.; 3737 N. Southport)

When was the last time you puffed on a candy cigarette? How long has it been since you had a good chuckle while digging into a box of colorful, gummy Chuckles? At Candyality, you'll find all your retro favorites. Out of money this Valentine's Day? How about a lovely candy charm necklace? While you're picking out the perfect gift for your Valentine, indulge in Chicago's first licorice bar, which offers a world-class selection of sweet vines.

 

Dulcelandia (3300 W. 26th St.; 3855 W. Fullerton Ave.; 4616 S. Kedzie Ave.)

Dulcelandia

You don't need to travel to Mexico to find every Mexican candy and chocolate treat under the sun here. Dulcelandia is a visual delight, thanks to the hundreds of colorful piñatas that line the ceiling. But the real surprise is found in the unique candy and chocolate offerings. Be adventuresome and give some of the more interesting sweets a try - we like rollos de coco (jumbo milk coconut rolls) and chili-covered mango lollipops.

 

The Fudge Pot (1532 N. Wells St.)

The Fudge Pot is your new go-to spot for personalized chocolate. Nothing says love more than a bouquet of chocolate heart lollipops featuring your sweetheart's name. Looking to get married this Valentine's Day? Take home the giant chocolate engagement ring with the words "Will you marry me?" scrawled across the band in white icing. The chocolates in this Old Town institution are all handcrafted and made fresh daily.

 

Aji Ichiban (2117-A S. China Place)

Aji Ichiban

Treat your Valentine to a tour of Asia via candy at Aji Ichiban in Chicago's Chinatown. You can take your pick from thousands of candies and sweet and salty snacks from across Asia. Start with a candy appetizer of dried squid sweets, enjoy some shrimp hard candies for your entree, then end with sweet gummies in exotic fruit flavors. Customers are encouraged to sample before buying, making shopping for Valentine treats here especially sweet.

Photos: Candy hearts by Brent Moore via flickr; Dulcelandia by Jeremy Bushnell via flickr; Aji Ichiban by kitchenwench via flickr