These Are The Top 3 Candy, Chocolate, and Ice Cream Shops in Columbus

City Guide, Eat & Drink, Food & Drink Guides


Written by Step Out Columbus

Published on March 27, 2024
Photo courtesy of Schmidt’s Fudge Haus on Facebook

There’s a centuries-old saying that goes as follows: “There are 4 major food groups. Candy. Candy Canes. Candy Corn. And Syrup.” While I am not a big fan of candy canes and candy corn, I am a huuuuuge fan of candy, chocolate and ice cream.

That’s why I am so happy to be putting together my top 3 favorite candy, chocolate, and ice cream shops in Columbus to share the magic of sweet treats with you. Whether you are looking for a spot to buy some Easter treats or just to satisfy your sweet tooth, these places will do you right.

My list is ever-changing and dependent on a multitude of factors. Primarily, these spots have to be local. No chains allowed (unless, of course, the chain started in Columbus, in which case I’ll consider it).

Another thing to note: If you have issues with this list, please let me know how wrong I am for forgetting/not knowing about your favorite spots by using this link here. *NOTE* You must subscribe to our daily newsletter while submitting your formal complaint or else it will be taken with a grain of salt (and not the good, Himalayan Pink Salt either. Just regular ol’ salty salt).

Without further ado, here are the top 3 best candy, chocolate, and ice cream shops in Columbus!

Chocolate Shops

Anthony-Thomas Chocolates

15 Locations (Including a chocolate factory!)

With a rich, milky, and chocolatey history dating back to the post-World War II era, Anthony-Thomas Chocolates has become a household name in not only Central Ohio, but across the country. I’ve always said, if you can stay in business for nearly 80 years, you’re obviously doing something right. Plus, you can tour their chocolate factory without fear of a crazed purple-wearing chocolatier poisoning you with Fizzy Lifting Drinks and Everlasting Gobstoppers.

Photo courtesy of Anthony-Thomas Candy Company on Facebook

Pure Imagination Chocolatier

1205 Grandview Ave, Grandview Heights, OH 43212

Speaking of Willy Wonka, Pure Imagination Chocolatier takes inspiration from the famous book and movies and builds on it with an award-winning lineup of delicious handmade chocolates. The presentation alone is something to be admired, but they somehow taste even better than they look. Wanna know how good they taste? Head on over to their shop in Grandview to check it out! Or, you know, you could use your imagination.

Photo courtesy of Pure Imagination Chocolatier on Facebook

Schmidt’s Fudge Haus

220 E Kossuth St, Columbus, OH 43206

We’d be sorely mistaken if we didn’t include one of the OG purveyors of chocolates, fudge, and everything delicious in Schmidt’s Fudge Haus. With fan favorites like hand-dipped Buckeyes, chocolate pretzels, turtles, Schmurtles, and, yes, as much fudge as you could possibly want, this spot is a sweet treat fanatic’s dream (and your dentist’s nightmare).

Photo courtesy of Schmidt’s Fudge Haus on Facebook

Ice Cream Shoppes

Johnson’s Real Ice Cream

Multiple Locations

Something about Johnson’s makes me want to spell the word “shops” as “shoppes.” I don’t know. It just feels right. Like, we all love ice cream, right? Dairy Queen is great. That’s a good ice cream shop. But Johnson’s? That’s an awesome ice cream shoppe. Are you picking up what I’m putting down? It’s homemade, traditional, creamy, and just seems to taste better than getting ice cream from any old chain. Why? See my earlier quote about being around for nearly 8 decades.

Photo courtesy of Johnson’s Real Ice Cream on Facebook

Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream

1947 Hard Rd, Columbus, OH 43235

If you are like me and believe that the best ice cream is no-frills ice cream, then do I have the perfect spot for you. Mardis Gras Homemade Ice Cream features a variety of both traditional and international homemade ice cream flavors, leaving us with a truly unique and delicious ice cream spot. I’d even like to submit a motto for Mardi Gras to use, free of charge. Are you ready? Here it is: “Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream. No Frills. Just Creamy. And Delicious. And Also Underrated. Wait… How Many Words Can Be In A Motto? Why Are You Still Writing This Down? Stop Writing. Just Include The Part Until ‘Underrated.’ Seriously Stop Writing This Down.”

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream on Facebook

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Multiple Locations

“Wait, I thought you said no chains were allowed!” I did, but I also clarified the statement so as not to exclude Columbus-based chains (so I could put Jeni’s on the list). Oh Jeni’s. Our sweet pride and joy. I am always amazed when Jeni’s releases a new flavor that’s totally unique and out there, and yet it tastes so good. The Everything Bagel ice cream they had? Oh my. How were they allowed to make it taste that good? Beats me. Just keep the incredible flavors coming and I’ll keep showing up multiple times in the same day (at different locations, of course…).

Photo courtesy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams on Facebook

Candy Shops

Eagle Family Candy Company LLC

4590 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214

If there’s anything I love more than anything else in the world (besides chocolate, candy, and ice cream, of course), it’s a little hidden gem candy store. While they’re known for their hand-poured and homemade chocolates, they’re included in the candy category because they also sell delicious candy and, quite simply, they deserve to be on this list somewhere. Seriously, where better for a real-life hidden gem to hide than in the candy section of our list? We’re throwing all the rules out the window here at Step Out Columbus. If you were making this list, I guarantee you Eagle Family Candy Company LLC would charm you into doing the same.

Photo courtesy of Eagle Family Candy Company LLC

Colonial Candy

3620 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214

Colonial Candy has been Clintonville’s candy store for 58(!) years. Selling chocolates and candies from Ben Heggy (a century-old Ohio candy purveyor), this cute little candy shop is the perfect one-stop shop for any cravings or hankerings you may be having at any given moment. Shop online or check out the store in-person on Wednesdays. Whatever you do, just be sure to save us some.

Photo courtesy of Colonial Candy on Facebook

Buckeye Candy Company

355 Granville St, Columbus, OH 43230

If you’re looking for a candy shop where you can find, quite literally, every single candy you could ever possibly name, Buckeye Candy Company might be the only place that can satisfy. Just walking into the store gave me flashbacks to being 7 years old and buying a Baby Bottle Pop at a similar candy store, taking one good lick, and then dropping the entire container of sugar on the ground. What does that have to say about Buckeye Candy Company? It means no matter how trivial it may seem at the time, going to an awesome candy store like Buckeye Candy Co. will always result in great memories.

Photo courtesy of Buckeye Candy Company on Facebook

Food & Drink Guides

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