As Willy Wonka well knew, the best candy is pure imagination distilled into something sweet that delights the taste buds and floods your brain with sugar-induced serotonin. (Or it’s bait for a trap designed to ensnare greedy little boys and girls.)
Wait, you wanted a specific type of candy? Lucky for you, we’ve tasted lots and lots of candy over the course of our many taste tests. So, no matter what kind of candy you like, we probably have a recommendation for the best candies for you.
We’ve come down off our sugar high and we’re ready to talk about the best candy out there, from the best hard candy to the best gummy candy and everything in between.
- Sour Skittles
We looked for candy that was really, seriously sour when we were conducting our best sour candy taste test. And Sour Skittles hit the mark. Managing editor Gwynedd Stuart wrote that these colorful chews had a “face-slapping sourness” and “that classic Skittles crunch we love.” For the full experience, follow Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick’s advice and place the candy directly on your tongue to really appreciate that wave of sourness.
Read the full best sour candy ranking
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart
- Haribo Goldbears
Here’s what we wanted out of the best gummy candy: not too soft, somewhat translucent, vibrant flavor, and bonus points for a fun shape. Enter Haribo’s classic version of gummy bears, Goldbears. As editor-in-chief Justine Sterling wrote in her review, “These require time to chew but you’re rewarded with long lasting flavor. And, notably, each color of bear has a definite and distinct flavor.” Plus, who doesn’t love eating a tiny bear? Naturally, these also topped our lists of the best gummy bears and the best Haribo candies.
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Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart
- Starburst Original
We tasted all the Starburst products we could get our hands on and the classic chews took the crown for both texture and flavor. “The word here is toothsome,” wrote Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo in his review. “What makes this candy so wonderful is the variety of flavors available in a pack. Lemon and cherry are fruity and tart, and the orange is sweetly refreshing.” We also can’t discount the simple, tactile pleasure of unwrapping a tasty square.
Read the full best Starburst products ranking
Credit: Merc / Starburst
- Werther’s Original Caramel Hard Candies
When was the last time you had a Werther’s Original? Do us a favor and try one ASAP. “This is a smooth, buttery, decadent hard candy you can savor for a long time,” Danny wrote. “It’s a damn treat, and it puts any argument against hard candy to bed.” We loved the powerful caramel and toffee flavor, as well as the inclusion of real milk and cream in the mix. Don’t count these hard candies out just because they’ve been around since people called movies “the talkies.”
Read the full best hard candy ranking
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart
Not only did the Watchamacallit take the top spot in our best candy bar ranking, it also won a Sporked Award for being the best candy we tasted in 2022. “This bar really has it all,” Gwynedd wrote in her original review. “A thin, delicate coating of chocolate; a slightly salty, peanut buttery flavor; a little bit of a crisp-rice crunch; and chew from the luscious caramel within.” It is so deeply satisfying.
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Credit: Merc / Instacart
- Peanut M&M’s
Apologies to those who suffer from peanut allergies, but we couldn’t help but name Peanut M&M’s as the best M&M’s. Chocolate and peanut are a match made in candy heaven. And these candies inspire creativity. Just look to how Gwynedd eats these candies for proof: “I bisect them with my teeth and eat half the chocolate and half the shell; then my second bite is whole peanut, plus half chocolate and half shell, which, in my opinion, gives you the perfect ratio of components.”
Read the full best M&M’s ranking
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target
- Russell Stover Sugar Free Assorted
Zero sugar doesn’t have to mean zero flavor and zero fun. “If you like variety, this one’s for you. Here’s what you get: Dark Chocolate Mint Patties (much like York), Pecan Delights (kind of like Turtles), Peanut Butter Cups (you get it), chocolate-coated caramel, and, my personal favorite, chocolate-covered coconut,” wrote Gwynedd. Even if you aren’t on a sugar-free kick, you’ll like these assorted treats. Russell Stover Sugar Free assorted chocolates also topped our list of the best sugar free chocolate candy.
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target
- Theo Dark Chocolate Sea Salt 70% Cacao
Dark chocolate is like the salad of the candy world, but this bar is so good it can go head-to-head with the colorfully packaged, “fun” candies. “Theo is smooth and creamy but still has that pleasant bitterness you come to expect from dark chocolate,” Danny wrote in his original review. “[It] achieves that perfect balance of bitter, sweet, and salty, and it proudly displays its dark chocolate personality.”
Read the full best dark chocolate ranking
Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon
- Moser Roth Toffee Crunch Chocolate Bar
With its sectioned packaging designed to keep the chocolate fresh, the tiny bits of toffee that give the bar a nice crackly texture, and the smooth flavor of the chocolate itself, this Aldi chocolate bar is a real winner. We tried a lot of Aldi chocolate—almost 30 varieties, in fact—so it really says something that this one came out on tip. “This is hands down the best Aldi chocolate bar,” Justine wrote.
Best Sour Candy
Best Gummy Candy
Best Hard Candy
Best Candy Bar
Best M&M’s Flavor
Best Sugar Free Candy
Best Dark Chocolate
Best Aldi Chocolate