Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats for Chocolate Haters in Westchester

These treat-filled shops house some of our favorite finds in the county — without a cocoa bean in sight, if you keep your blinders on.

Hey, not everybody likes chocolate. For many of us, that’s blasphemy. After all, the average American eats 9.5 pounds of chocolate a year. Yet, for up to 10% of Americans who pride themselves on being anything but average, chocolate aversion is a fact of life. (We even have a chocolate naysayer on staff).

But that doesn’t mean your chocolate-hating loved one won’t savor something sweet on Valentine’s Day…or any day that ends in Y. It just means looking beyond that box of chocolates. Life can still be like a candy store, patisserie, or bakery: You pick what appeals to you and avoid what doesn’t.

Bedford Candy Bar

627 Old Post Rd, Bedford; 914.234.8645

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Old-school candies and modern sweets alike line the tables and shelves at this shop on the village’s main street. Get Jelly Belly jellybeans galore and baskets of candy sold by the pound, such as caramels, hard candies, saltwater taffy, lollipops, and bubble gum.

Candy Rox

66 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville; 914.779.6750

This candy retailer may have the widest selection of Valentine’s-themed candy of all. You can build your own custom candy creations in ribboned tackle boxes, rox boxes, and jars. Red, pink, white, modern, retro, bulk, packaged — the list goes on (like your love).

 

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La Tulipe Desserts

455 Lexington Ave, Mount Kisco; 914.242.4555

A patisserie, a chocolatier, a gelateria — this European-style haven for dessert lovers deserves to be honored on the hallowed halls of food fame for its beautiful, complex, precise, titillating treats. Give a box of macarons in a rainbow of flavors such as passionata, rose, cassis, café, sour cherry, pistachio, and citron. Delight your partner in the morning with a few dainty canelé pastries with their crunchy caramelized shell covering a custardy core. Recently, the kitchen has created whimsical marzipan figures, such as crowned frogs cradling their hearts, waiting for a princess to pick them up, kiss them, and turn them into a prince. Pretty packaged candies and other goodies are carefully boxed in pink, designed to please all your senses and the most royal tastes.

macaroons
Photo by Amy Sowder

By the Way Bakery

574 Warburton Ave, Hastings on Hudson; 914.478.0555

What about your chocolate-avoidant loved one who can’t (or prefers not to) have gluten or dairy? Enter By the Way Bakery, which makes entirely gluten-free and dairy-free cakes, cookies, bars, and more. This Westchester rivertown bakery with two Manhattan locations plus one in Greenwich, CT, is also kosher pareve. Try the heart-shaped, half-dipped red, white, and pink sugar cookies with gold accents or the red velvet bundtlettes with special sweetheart sprinkles on top. Raspberry bars, blondies, lemon tea cakes, and adorable mini cakes are other sure-to-please options.

donuts
By the Way Bakery. By Amy Sowder

Sugar Bear Candy Store

125 Westchester Ave, White Plains; 201.952.6947

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Grab a bag (or a bear jar) at this store specializing in bulk candy that you can fill up with your sweetheart’s favorites among the 250 candy options. Blueberry ribbons, gummies, lollipops, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, and freeze-dried Skittles (yes, you read that correctly) are just a few of the dizzying number of options. Your gift could evoke joyful childhood memories with retro candies like candy cigarettes, wax bottles, candy necklaces, licorice laces, and licorice wheels. Find them on the third floor of The Westchester mall near Nordstrom, plus more than a dozen other locations in New York and New Jersey.

The Snackery

64 Purchase St, Rye; 914.481.1636

Have you ever had fresh, local, bakery-made Twinkies? If your partner or friend ever liked the Hostess version, they may fall for The Snackery’s two versions: gluten-free and carrot cake. Plus, there are decadent Rice Krispies treats, Linzer tarts, heart-shaped cookies, and yes, more Valentine’s Day sweets.

Penny Lick Ice Cream

1212 W Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck; (general number 914.525.1580)
580 Warburton Ave, Hastings on Hudson; 914.525.1580

If you love an ice cream lover, we *highly* recommend giving the gift of Penny Lick Ice Cream of the Month Club, either three pints or five, for three months in a row. You will be a hero. For. Ever. The ice cream flavors change often, but expect inventive options such as lemon bar, rum raisin, creamsicle, blueberry jam, honeycomb, and raspberry lime sorbet. Your frozen-dessert fan will get a best-selling flavor, surprise flavors, and exclusive club-member-only flavors delivered to your door within the county. And you can share allergies and preferences, so nothing chocolatey arrives. Order via Penny Lick’s Square page.

ice cream
Penny Lick Ice Cream. Photo by Amy Sowder

Bonus

Of course, Westchester has many more fabulous options for Valentine’s Day treats, such as SugarHi in Armonk for sugary selections that don’t have a lick of chocolate. And restaurants offer surprises that can hold up well in a to-go box (like Bedford’s Truck restaurant desserts near the front register. Thank us later).

Twinkies are great Valentine's Day treats
Truck’s Twinkie. Photo by Amy Sowder

Related: Westchester’s Top Chocolate Shops for Valentine’s Day Treats

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