A version of this post ran on Oct. 30, 2019.
Halloween might not be the same in 2020 as COVID-19 restricts trick-or-treating. But even if you can’t go door to door filling a sack of candy, there’s still plenty of candy to be devoured — and plenty of opinions about the sweet treats.
We can all agree candy is amazing. But which is the best? Everyone has their favorites, and it’s obviously subjective. Not a peanut butter person? You’re probably avoiding Reese’s. Not a chocolate fan? Weird flex, but okay, stick to fruity candy.
Here’s NJ.com’s definitive list of the 50 best Halloween candies.
50. Blow Pops
Their flavors are whatever. Their shape cuts your mouth. Biting into them is murder on your teeth. Then there isn’t even that much gum! Let’s blow this pop stand.
49. Now and Later
How about never?
Look like chalk. Taste like chalk. Are we sure these aren’t just chalk?
47. Hershey’s Chocolate
No disrespect to one of the biggest names in candy, but Hershey’s Chocolate is just plain boring. Sorry, not sorry.
46. Laffy Taffy
Excellent song by D4L, mediocre candy.
Actual pay day is so much better than PayDay the candy bar.
A knockoff of a mediocre candy, basically a Crunch Bar rip-off. Have some self-respect, Krackel!
One of those candies that you loved as a kid but are too sweet once you get older.
42. 100 Grand Bar
Do people actually give these out anymore? Do they even exist when it isn’t Halloween?
I can’t be the only one who used to think these were “Health” bars and thus was turned off to them. I am? Oh. Well, they’re pretty decent if you like toffee. If not, keep trick-or-treating.
Sometimes you don’t feel like a nut.
39. Almond Joy
Sometimes you do.
Malted milk balls are amazing. But no matter what, Whoppers always taste stale.
37. Mr. Goodbar
More like Mr. Okaybar, but whatever.
36. Mike and Ike
No frills, no thrills, but still a tasty chewy treat.
35. Swedish Fish
Are they even Swedish? Okay, Googled it, they are. They’re yummy but stick to your teeth. Try them covered in chocolate!
34. Good & Plenty
Sorry haters, licorice is delicious. So is licorice in a candy shell.
33. Milky Way
One of the six candies in the Great Twitter Candy War in September of 2019, and the obvious choice to kick out of the candy bag. Not bad, but not thrilling. Just boring.
Highly underrated as a candy. Yeah, chocolate is great, but have you ever had chocolate in a sweet, crunchy candy shell?
31. Tootsie Pops
The best filled lollipop by far. Delectable flavors (chocolate may be the best) and a chewy chocolate filling that holds up so that by the time you’re ready to bite there’s still plenty of Tootsie Roll for you.
Cloyingly sweet and torture for your teeth. Nerds Rope is amazing, but you ain’t getting one on Halloween.
29. Crunch Bar
Not sure whose idea it was to put puffed rice in chocolate, but it weirdly works!
They’re basically Reese’s Cups with caramel instead of peanut butter. What’s not to love?
27. Jolly Rancher
All the flavors are good — especially the coveted blue raspberry. You’re never bummed out to find these at the bottom of your candy bag.
26. Baby Ruth
Babe Ruth was so great that he got his own candy bar. Wait, it’s actually named for President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth? That’s way less interesting. This is another one of those candies you don’t really have unless it’s Halloween, making it a nice switch-up from the classics.
25. Dum Dums
The MVP of dry cleaners, banks and doctors offices everywhere. Simple lollipops with no filling, because they don’t need filling. Cream soda is the best flavor, but I’ll settle for a cherry or a butterscotch any day.
24. Charleston Chew
When I was little I thought these were filled with marshmallow. They’re not, but they’re still wonderfully chewy and basically taste like marshmallow. Some people freeze them, but I think my dentist would ban me from Halloween if I tried that.
Wildly popular, and I’m really not sure why. It has so much going on, and it’s incredibly hard to chew. After like three bites, you’re good.
If we were ranking different types, classic milk chocolate would still top peanut ones. When did the world get brainwashed into thinking peanuts were better than chocolate? Either way, a candy hall-of-famer.
You’re not too cool for chocolate-covered raisins, I promise. Sweetness and chew of the raisins are elevated by the chocolate covering. You’re willing to trade me all your Raisinets? Let’s make a deal.
20. 3 Musketeers
Sometimes you want a whole bunch of crunch and texture in your candy. Sometimes you just want creamy nougat. 3 Musketeers delivers.
19. Milk Duds
A whole box of these chocolately caramel bites is probably too much and will have your jaw sore, but a fun-sized box is absolutely perfect.
18. Junior Mints
Small bites of refreshing mint and chocolate, which are surprisingly good in pop corn. Don’t knock it until you try it!
17. Caramel apple pops
A similar flavor to actual caramel apples without the massive mess or commitment that comes with biting into one.
16. Reese’s Fast Break
Spoiler alert, putting Reese’s Peanut Butter in a candy bar is basically a cheat code.
They’re like thicker, chewier, tangier taffy. Watermelon is the best flavor, and we still don’t know what the mystery flavor is. Guess we gotta keep eating them.
14. Hot Tamales
Cinnamon is criminally underutilized when it comes to candy. These are sweet and spicy, a nice contrast to the other saccharine sweet candies that fill your Halloween bag.
13. Reese’s Pieces
They’re like M&Ms that you filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter. Wait, isn’t that exactly what they are?
12. York Peppermint Patties
Chocolate and mint is an unbeatable combo, and both aspects of these hockey pucks of chocolate minty goodness are on point.
11. Sour Patch Kids
Too many of them will burn your tongue, but the right number of these chewy, tangy bits will hit the spot in a way few other candies will. Even if you’re eating child-shaped sugar.
An oldie but goodie. If you prefer Red Vines, you might as well turn in your Halloween costume. They have so many different great variations — Pull ‘n’ Peel is a personal favorite — but whatever flavor or shape you get you’re in for chewy fruity fun.
The rainbow used to taste better before they swapped lime for green apple, but it still tastes pretty damn good. Chewy and tangy with a bunch of different variations, the classic bag is still the best.
8. Candy corn
This may not earn me the Pulitzer I deserve, but I’ll do it anyway — candy corn isn’t good. It’s great. Sweet with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a taste that’s unquestionably reminiscent of the season. It’s amazing. Come at me (please don’t come at me).
7. Tootsie Roll
Sometimes you crave chocolate. Sometimes you crave chewy confections. Sometimes you can’t decide between the two. That’s where tootsie rolls come in. The best of both worlds. A perfect, bite-sized piece of chewy chocolatey goodness.
6. Reese’s Take 5
You may not remember all five ingredients in this genius concoction (chocolate, peanuts, caramel, peanut butter and pretzels) but you know it’s delicious. There aren’t enough sweet-savory combinations in the Halloween candy game, making Take 5 that much better.
It’s hard to agree which flavor is best (strawberry is overrated, lemon is underrated) but there’s little denying how tasty these fruity little squares are. Getting two cherries in a fun-sized pack is the candy version of a double-yolker.
Crispity and crunchity. Neither are words, but does it matter? Butterfingers aren’t just a delicious peanut butter and chocolate combo, their texture is nearly unrivaled. Now if only they still made Butterfinger BBs…
3. Kit Kat
Old reliable. Crisp wafers covered in chocolate. There is something wildly satisfying about breaking off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar, and it’s even more satisfying when you bite into it.
Cookies are great. Candy bars are great. That means Twix are great, squared. The crunch of the cookie, the chew of the caramel and the creaminess of the chocolate prove that it’s quality over quantity when it comes to candy bars.
1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
The king stays the king. The cup stays the cup. Honestly, if you’ve met someone that doesn’t like these peanut-butter filled beauties, they must be allergic to peanuts. In which case, we are so, so sorry. Chocolate and peanut butter is as good a combination as you’ll find on this earth. Reese’s Peanut Butter specifically is creamy and sweet, making it the best candy in the game.
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