Five Top Places to Find Sponge Candy in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY, is best-known in the food category for chicken wings and beef on weck, but there is a locally-popular confection that calls Buffalo home as well: sponge candy. Similar to toffee, it's also known as honeycomb, hokey pokey or cinder toffee, and while it can be found elsewhere, there's nothing quite like Buffalo sponge candy – it's so popular here, it's even been turned into ice cream and beer.

While it's exact origins are unknown, a product similar to today's sponge candy dates back to 1929 and the Cadbury Sponge Candy Company in Great Britain. Sometime in the 1940s, the current incarnation of sponge candy could be found in the northeastern United States, but a Buffalonian knows the best sponge candy is found right here in the "Queen City." The sponge candy from these five places is among the best we have to offer.

1. Platter's Chocolates

Platter's Milk Chocolate Sponge Candy was recently included in Food Network Magazine's "Sweets from Every State Survey," but there's more than just milk chocolate available from Platter's: dark chocolate and orange chocolate are also available, and now there is "peanut butter sponge" – the sponge candy is enrobed in peanut butter before the chocolate dip – in both milk and dark chocolate varieties. Platter's storefront is located at 954 Oliver St. in North Tonawanda.

2. Parkside Candy

One of Buffalo's oldest confectioners, Parkside Candy dates back to 1927 and has five locations throughout the Buffalo-Niagara area, including 3208 Main St. in Buffalo. Parkside's sponge candy is available in milk, dark and orange chocolate flavors.

3. Watson's Chocolates

For more than 70 years, Watson's has been creating chocolate confections in the Buffalo area, and its sponge candy is no exception – they estimate production of 35 tons annually. The chocolate enrobing the sponge is smooth and creamy and available in milk, dark or orange flavors. Watson's has eight locations, including one in the popular Southern Tier destination of Ellicottville and one in Victor, NY, near Rochester.

4. Alethea's Chocolates

Alethea's, located at 8301 Main St. in Williamsville, makes its confections fresh daily at the on-site chocolate factory. The company keeps things simple when it comes to sponge candy – just milk and dark chocolate are used for this popular treat.

5. Wegmans

Ex-pats of Buffalo will usually tell you they miss two things: Tim Hortons and Wegmans. Now that Wegmans is expanding, more people may be introduced to the pleasures of both the store and sponge candy. Wegmans' sponge candy coating is not smooth like Watson's – extra chocolate is drizzled over the already-hardened chocolate for some texture. It can be found in milk, dark and orange chocolate flavors at various locations.

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Paula Thompson is a freelance writer and photographer from and lifelong resident of Williamsville, NY, a northern suburb of Buffalo.