How It’s New York:  Because New Yorkers who’ve had a taste crave more more more.
How It’s Irish:  Because Irish people know the sad truth about American versions of these bars.

For years, I’ve asked every Irish or English musician I know going on tour, heck let’s face it, anybody going that way, to bring me back a Kit Kat bar.  When I went to Scotland for Celtic Connections last year I brought home a bag of them.  Kit Kats are just plain different there (it also was handy that it was something people could pick up for me at the airport).

Now Jigs Patel, with his London Candy Company on the Upper East Side, has made that request unnecessary– I can hop the 6 and pick them up myself.  My brother Stephen lives in the area and turned me on to it; it’s also a nice place to have a cup of coffee and watch the world go by.  The shop opened just two months ago, and stocks Walkers Chips, all kinds of Cadburys, Lions, Crunchies and more.  They’re going to launch a line of cakes inspired by the chocolates in June. They have a facebook page and I like!

I stopped in there Monday, before going to the interview Gabriel Byrne did with Edna O’Brien at McNally Jackson books, described here.  I did ank interview with Mr. Patel, the owner, who explained that the reason the chocolate is so much better is because the laws about chocolate are stricter:  fewer stabilizers, no corn syrup, more milk… yum.  For those who are interested, there are jelly babies and fruity candies too.

Of course, these things already existed at the Butcher Block in Sunnyside,  which stocks all kinds of Irish food (and is worth the trip!) but it’s delightful to have this dedicated shop in Manhattan for the nosh.  On Monday the candy of the day was a Snickers’ bar, with a sign on the door encouraging customers to try it.  I have  two criticisms:  they need shopping cartts!  And, in addition to candy-themed cakes, I want to see some cream buns.  Yum.  

Meanwhile, I can still ask everyone to bring me a floaty pen.

The London Candy Company is located on 1442 Lexington Avenue, at 94th, and you can get more information by calling 212-427-2120 or emailing

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.