Remember those days when you would ride your bike over to your local convenience store? While you sailed through the neighborhood streets, visions of chocolate bars, sour candies, maybe even a pack of baseball cards danced through your head. A quarter held securely in your fist, you had all the money you needed to make your dream come true. These days, sweet shops abound thanks to people's sense of nostalgia and a desire to indulge oneself. Oh, go ahead. We all deserve to treat ourselves every now and then, don't we? Here is a sampling of the best places to satisfy that sweet tooth:
Lark Cake Shop
Silver Lake, CA
Lark Cake Shop is a small independent cake shop that is a real gem of the neighborhood. Located in Silver Lake, this bakery makes delicious baked goods that taste better than homemade. The frosting is light and not overly decadent, which makes it a little too easy to eat more than your fair share. The signature cupcake is the Old Fashioned Ice Box Cupcake. Be sure to try it when you visit. But you really can't go wrong with any selection. If you want to spoil your appetite with a meal before getting dessert, check out Marielas Taco which is also on Sunset. It's a hole in the wall taqueria which makes it extra good and cheap.
Los Angeles, CA
If you ever have a craving for a candy bar that you ate as a child while living in Japan, check out Rocket Fizz in Westwood Village. Chances are, they have it. Rocket Fizz has pretty much every sweet from every corner of the globe as well as candy bars that you thought were discontinued. You want a Whatchamacallit? A British Cadbury Bar? A Japanese Hi-Chew? It's all there. There is also a party room upstairs that you can rent for kids. How fun would it be to have a party in a candy store? If you want to try something new for lunch, go to Bibigo. It is Korean fast food. The kids will probably like the beef bulgogi or the chicken teriyaki, and so will you.
Sherman Oaks, CA
Just like the iconic actor the store was named after, Humphrey Yogart will never go out of style. Open for almost 30 years, this frozen yogurt store has seen competitors come and go. What makes this place so enduringly unique? Blend-ins. You can customize practically any flavor using their dense, creamy, hard-packed vanilla frozen yogurt. You choose the fruit or candy blend-ins, and then the torpedo blend-in machine goes to work, making your yogurt just for you. If you have nut allergies, it is better to opt out of this place. They also serve yummy sandwiches and salads if you want to grab some food too.
Powell's Sweet Shoppe
Long Beach, CA
"Come with me, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination..." Walking into Powell's Sweet Shoppe, you can't help but feel like you have transported yourself into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Of course, it helps that they have the music from the movie playing as background music. Powell's is a great place to grab a bag of mixed candy, or find some old loves like Mr Goodbar or a Big Hunk. They also have yummy gelato if you are not in the mood for candy but still want something sweet. As if there are not enough things in the store to give your kids a big case of the "gotta-have-it's," there is also a Hello Kitty section and other goofy gifts to give you a good chuckle. There are a lot of places to eat around Powell's as it in on a main drag on 2nd Street. For a no-fuss lunch, grab sandwiches at Angelo's which is basically next door to Powell's.
If you want to indulge with some delicious, decadent chocolates, go to Mignon Chocolate in Old Town Pasadena. It is a family business from Iran that has been making chocolates for almost 80 years. They are similar to Belgium chocolates—little truffles that are dainty and adorable on the outside but packed with flavor on the inside. Their prices are very reasonable considering the quality. The store is so colorful that it is impossible to not feel your mood lift even before you snack on the little drops of sunshine. There are so many places to venture in Old Town Pasadena. It is a great area to walk around and spend the day. There is a Barnes & Noble nearby if you want to stop and relax for a while too.
It is hard to believe there are just a few more weeks of summer, and then it is back to the daily hustle and bustle of school. Southern California has so many wonderful vacation spots that it would be easy to squeeze in several more excursion... read more
When thinking of a place that holds interests and activities for everyone in your family, from babies to grandparents, you'll be hard-pressed to form a list. Add the word free and you cut it down even smaller, but it does exist. Do you remember... read more