The 10 best salt water taffy shops
photo by Jennifer Johnson
We’ve searched from coast to coast to bring you the best salt water taffy in the country. Some like to keep it simple, never messing with the sacred history of taffy, while others, bring new ideas and flavors to the age old sweet. So, wherever your travels may take you this summer, don’t forget to pick up a box of salt water taffy at one of these shops, you won’t be sorry.
Ainslee’s Depoe Bay, OR
In 1947, Graham and Helen Ainslee opened their Salt Water Taffy Kitchen in Depoe Bay, a quaint fishing village on the rugged coast of Oregon. To this day, the shop only uses the finest ingredients and makes everything in house. Visit the glassed in kitchen to watch the entire taffy making process from start to finish.
Cabot’s Candy, Provincetown, MA
Since 1927, Cabot’s Candy has been selling hand-pulled taffy, first at local fairs on Cape Cod and eventually out of their brick and mortar stores (one in Provincetown and one in Harvard Square). The business is still family owned and operated and they continue to delight visitors each summer. In addition to their 36 flavors of taffy, they make delicious homemade fudges and peanut brittle.
Diamondhead Taffy, Honolulu, HI
Tired of the same old taffy flavors? Diamondhead is for you. They take inspiration from local Hawaiian products, mixing up original flavors such as coconut, guava, passionfruit, mango, and li hing mui (dried plum). They also add extra texture and zing with egg whites and locally harvested sea salt. You can shop all their flavors online.
Dolle’s Candyland, Rehoboth Beach, DE
In 1910, Rudolph Dolle Sr. purchased a small salt water taffy stand on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk adjacent to the carousel he owned, and Dolle's Candyland was born. The iconic Dolle's Candyland still manufactures and sells candy in the original location on the Boardwalk where it all began, as well at 67th Street and 120th in Ocean City, and on their website.
Fralinger’s, Atlantic City, NJ
A taffy pioneer, Joseph Fralinger popularized the now iconic confection in his native Atlantic City in the 1850s after previously working as a fish merchant and glass blower. Fralinger goes down in history for introducing Atlantic City visitors to the perfect souvenir, a one pound oyster box filled to the brim with salt water taffy.
The Goldenrod, York Beach, ME
Established in the heart of Short Sands Beach in York in 1896, The Goldenrod has been tempting vacationers for generations. You can watch the taffy being pulled and cut into “kisses” from the large glass windows of their Victorian storefront. The Goldenrod turns out eight million pieces of taffy kisses per year and sells candy, housemade ice cream, lime rickey’s, and many more sweet treats.
Marini’s Candies, Santa Cruz, CA
Victor Marini emigrated to Santa Cruz from Italy with his family in 1905 where he was originally a barber before entering into the candy business. What started as Marini’s popcorn stand on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in 1915, eventually grew into a serious candy making operation famous for their salt water taffy. Today, Marini’s ancestors continue the tradition of making fine taffy and candies.
Roman Candy, New Orleans, LA
At the young age of twelve, Sam Cortese began selling leftover “Roman Candy” his mother Angelina, a Sicilian immigrant, made for special occasions out of his family’s fruit and vegetable cart. The candy sold so well, Sam was inspired to create his own rolling candy factory in the year 1915. To this day, Cortese’s grandson Ron Kotteman and his mule, Vidalia, can be seen rolling the same Roman Candy Cart his grandfather built through the Lower Garden District and the French Quarter.
Salty Road, Brooklyn, NY
Count on Brooklyn to bring revived interest and unique flavor profiles to this age-old confection. Marisa Wu launched Salty Road Taffy in Brooklyn seven years ago and continues to put out captivating new flavors such as sunny banana, made with caramelized fresh banana purée and tart passion fruit. All of their taffy is available on the Salty Road website.
Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, Salem, MA
The country’s oldest candy company, Ye Olde Pepper Co., dates back to 1806 when Mary Spencer, a shipwrecked woman, peddled a sugary confection called “Gibralters” from the steps of the First Church in Salem. The company eventually got into taffy making and some of their delicious New England-inspired flavors include Cape Cod cranberry, maple syrup, and chocolate mousse.