One of my earliest and most dramatic sweets-related memories is eating every single box of the Reese's Pieces I was supposed to be selling for the 4th grade band fundraiser. I'm afraid I cannot report that things have gone uphill from there. Here are a few of my favorite Portland sugar shacks. You know, for when I run out of band candy.
This Belmont sweet shop's bin candy selection is good, and the retro/novelty candy selection and soda fountain are great, but it's the nearly 300-strong pop selection that makes my sugar-loving jaw drop--they've got everything from dozens of different root beers to odd-but-amazing novelties like Buffalo Wing and Bacon sodas.
In my wildest dreams, I have a room in my house devoted exclusively to the fruits of the cacao bean, and that room happens to look exactly like this Restaurant Row choco-boutique. Peruse gilded dark chocolate icons, sample rich toffees and barks, fill a box with beautiful bon bons like the Thai peanut butter cup & habanero caramel crown, and get a slice of Mom’s chocolate cake for…um, Mom (it might disappear en route to her place). In the summer, do not leave without a big drippy chocopop.
If you’re particularly susceptible to the gray day blues, you should…well, you should probably move to Tucson or Zihuatanejo, actually, but if that’s not an option, just make pilgrimages as necessary to this magnificent mood-lifting chocolate mecca, for deep dark bars from cacao-loving lands both far and near, restorative confections like Sahagun’s Luscious Caramels, and the peerless house Drinking Chocolates. By the second sip, you’ll be a fiercely loyal, stayput Portlander again.
This tiny specialty shop feels like the pantry of someone you really should be best friends with--entire walls are devoted to artisan salts, wines, and chocolates. You'll always find the perfect gift for the gourmet in your life, even if that gourmet is just you.
It’s my theory that many a first date deal has been sealed at this popular Portland dessert den, courtesy of the wall o’ champagne, sultry décor, and far-reaching rows of ornate Parisian-pretty desserts and sweet treats like the ooey, gooey, chewy housemade Oregon cherry nougat, delicate fruit gelees, and mighty macaron rainbow. (PS: Delight your date with one of Pix’s colorful macaron posters & cement your second date dreams...it'll only cost you a quarter.)
Board this boggling bus o’ sweets to find a mobile litany of sugary pickmeups both contemporary and old-fashioned—they sprawl over every surface, hang from the windows, and totally take over the back of the bus, sort of like you in high school but without the angst, spitballs, pimples, and detention.
As dazzled as you're going to be by this tiny charmer's gleaming candy jars and try-everything policy (equally sweet owner Amani Greer means it too), don't pass up the housemade cotton candy--GMO & high fructose corn syrup free, it almost feels...healthy. (!)