Halloween has passed and you've been eating the same three types of candy for the past week. We invite you to indulge your sweet tooth with something with a little more craftsmanship than a fun-size Snickers. Take a ride to one of these local confectioners and try something a little off the beaten, sweetened path. Click through the links to get to the websites of each restaurant. Crepe Guys
These folks serve savory crepes as well (I highly suggest the pizza crepe), but what they really excel at is the sweet treat. True to the French street carts, you can get one of four flavors of the French pancake treats filled with Nutella and bananas, or just Nutella, or just fruit. They serve them with pie fillings, even ice cream. Hitting the table hot, fresh, and topped with a massive pile of whipped cream, the sweet crepes at Crepe Guys are one of the best little finds tucked into a Castleton strip mall.
Yep, they’re literally square. This geometric donut shop has been in business since 1967, making it one of the original offbeat sweet producers. The slogan is, of course, “Never cut corners,” an ethos that is both cheeky and indicative of the high quality donuts coming out of the bakery at Square Donuts. The cutting machine that they use stamps out the square donut and hole in a dough-efficient sheet, which means less waste. No surprise, then, that with such an economically ingenious concept, Square donuts has expanded across the city and the state. Check the website for all the locations.
My friends and I anecdotally refer to this place as “cold wizard magic ice cream place” because it is mesmerizing every single time. Here’s how it all goes down: you can get liquid base of your choice (whether it's regular cream-based ice cream, dairy-free fro-yo, custard, whatever), and a huge selection of additional flavors and toppings. It gets thrown in a bowl together, and then liquid nitrogen is poured over the mixture and stirred until it freezes solid. So there are almost infinite combinations of bases, flavors, and add-ins. You can literally have whatever kind, flavor, and size of frozen treat you want, out of the same shop, all thanks to that huge tank of nitrogen by the door. And it all was made possible by the Shark Tank TV show. Thanks, TV!
Indy’s first craft donut shop was a huge hit from the first day, and with good reason. These guys turn out creative, flavorful donuts with combinations of maple and bacon, French toast, cookies ‘n’ cream, mocha, and so many, many more. These are definitely single-donut-only kind of pastries, with fillings of custard and jelly. They’re also a little pricier than your average donut shop, but that shouldn’t sway you from giving them a try. If you need recommendations, check out our review here.
This new Irvington spot serves several varieties of gluten-free candy, and it’s all really friggin’ good. Though the selection is somewhat limited, G-free eaters can indulge without having to think twice (they also have some vegan selections). Check their website for all the locations you can get it, or grab a bag of their to-die-for sweet and spicy pecans next time you’re at Goose the Market. They also make a candy called Frittle, which is just as crispy and delicious as peanut brittle, but a little salty and not nearly as heavy or sticky.
While popcorn is certainly not a new trend in Indiana, the flavorful, creative spins the ladies of Just Pop In! put on their kernels is worth a special trip. Their line of Local Flavor popcorn is not only a delightful showcase of their collaborations with other Indy-based businesses, but also puts interesting spins on sweet favorites with 4 Birds Bakery Oates & Maple Cookie Crumbles popcorn, or Twist Lounge’s Zee Zee pop (right), a spicy caramel corn. Not a bad idea for a gift idea or a Halloween party snack, either.