For over 80 years this nostalgic sweets shop has been serving up some of the best banana splits in town. Margie’s Candies is a beloved Chicago landmark, known for both its specialty candies and absurdly large ice cream sundaes.
Owned by the Poulos family since its opening in 1921, this Bucktown staple has seen its fair share of Chicago happenings. Though it was originally named the Security Sweet Shop, it took on its current name in 1933 when George Poulos renamed it after his wife, whom he met at the shop as a child. Enjoying a sundae at Margie’s will put you in good company — the Beatles indulged here with some lady friends after a show at Comiskey Park in 1965. It’s also been said that Al Capone was a frequent patron of this local candy shop.
Covered in knickknacks, dolls and newspaper clippings, the place maintains a feeling of nostalgia that’s hard to match. Stepping through the door here brings you back in time, nearly to the shop’s inception. The decor remains essentially untouched, including several authentic Tiffany lamps, an antique marble soda fountain and ripped booths accented with personal old school miniature juke boxes. But while the decor is certainly an attraction, it’s not the reason people flock to this confectionery.
The real reason? Chocolates, truffles, fudge, marzipan, toffee and more. But what I come here for is the ice cream. The place has more than 50 sundaes on their menu made with homemade ice cream, so clearly one trip here is never enough. The menu challenges those with an appetite, including items like “The World’s Largest Sundae” and the “Royal George,” which boasts a measly twenty five scoops.
Come hungry and patient: the line can be long, but trust me when I say it’s well worth the wait. It’s open late, so Margie’s makes for the perfect spot to end a summer night… (or continue a date that’s going well, perhaps?!) There’s also a lesser-known branch in North Center, though it doesn’t have the same unique ambiance as the original. Oh, and if you’re thinking ahead… an elastic waistband is always a good idea.
Location: 1960 N. Western Avenue