[Retro Roadmap] A Sweet Treat In Buffalo: Parkside Candy
A bit rough around the edges outside, but delightful inside.
Boxes of assorted chocolates are often a game of chance; you can’t tell from the outside what you’re going to get on the inside. One false bite and what you had hoped was a vanilla cream turns out to be a jellied fruit nougat (blech).
In the same vein, you’d never know what a delicious treat of the visual and confectionery kind awaits you just from looking at the exterior Parkside Candy in Buffalo, New York. But once you enter you’ll be glad you took the chance and went in.
From the outside you are given some clues as to what you might find: “Candies, Luncheons, Ice Cream” proclaims the sign above the door. Written on the side of the building, in big cursive letters, the statement “Creators of the FINEST CANDY” and just before you enter, a smaller sign describes the daily sandwich and soup specials.
But nothing prepares visitors for the unexpected display of classical detail that await behind the double panel glass doors. The oval-shaped interior is outlined by dainty dentil molding at the top and anchored by a vintage checkerboard floor below. Walls and ceiling are festooned with intricate plaster details of urns, swags, flowers, and cherub faces. The color palette is a combination of restful pastel hues, echoing a more genteel time.
Walnut arched alcoves are flanked by mirrored doors and offer a quiet place to sit. As a history of the space notes, “Luxurious nooks included as part of the decoration plan permit one to enjoy to the full the restful beauty of the shoppe.”
Mirrored doors flank the cozy nooks where one can enjoy their ice cream, candy, or luncheon. (Photo courtesy Adam Smith)
Built in 1927 by the Kaiser family and owned by the Buffamonte family since 1979, the shop is the showplace for the candy made in the manufacturing plant that takes up the back portion of this two-story building.
Designed by architect G. Morton Wolfe, the interior shop space was meant to be a “modern salon where friends and patrons might come and enjoy rare fountain sweets and dainty luncheons,” according to a historical pamphlet celebrating the 1927 opening.
While a small selection of soups and sandwiches are available for those who fancy a savory bite, the real highlight here are the sweets. You can take your pick from the hand-dipped ice cream from the antique soda fountain, or indulge in one of the onsite-made candies, including their famous sponge candy.
Sundaes, milkshakes, and more are available at the soda fountain. (Photo courtesy Adam Smith)
A Buffalo-area regional delicacy, sponge candy is sugar and corn syrup cooked into a frothy mess, then cooled, cut into pieces, and covered with chocolate. Bite into a crunchy cube and the hardened foam dissolves into a dark sugary treat on your tongue.
Unlike the mystery chocolates that may tempt you from that heart-shaped Valentine's gift, you are guaranteed to be rewarded with a sweet trip to a bygone era when you venture inside Parkside Candy.
Visit Parkside Candy
3208 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214