"Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schultz once said, "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." Missouri has so many amazing places to satisfy even the biggest chocolate craving, you might want to take a road trip for your sweet tooth.
Christopher Elbow, Kansas City: With craft chocolate, decadent bonbons and seasonal treats, this nationally recognized chocolatier is a don't-miss stop for any traveler.
Bissengers, St. Louis: The handcrafted chocolatier has been a St. Louis staple for more than 90 years, featuring everything from exquisite collections to one-pound chocolate bars.
The Candy Factory, Columbia: Among the wide variety of chocolates made fresh daily at this charming old-fashioned candy store, you'll find a piece of Missouri suitable for snacking.
Cherry Mash, St. Joseph: Chase Candy Company has been making the perfect mix of cherries, chocolate and peanuts since 1876. It's available at lots of places, but you can get it direct from the factory here.
Askinosie Chocolate, Springfield: Indulge in award-winning chocolate that not only tastes good, it does good. Learn how during a tour of the factory, offered every Tuesday.
Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company, St. Louis: Get hands-on with a free tour of the factory where they make their handmade chocolates – and enjoy a free sample at the end.
If you like your sweet treats with a side of nostalgia, Missouri has a large helping of old-fashioned small town (and big city) soda fountains. You can't get a meal for 30 cents like you could in the 1940s, but you can still sit at a classic lunch counter and order up a phosphate or root beer float.
Crown Candy Kitchen, St. Louis: With a vintage juke box, Coca-Cola collectibles and a soda fountain, Crown Candy has the best of both worlds – candy and ice cream plus lunch and dinner.
Old Vintage Mercantile, Caledonia: Get swept back in time at this authentic circa 1909 mercantile with its old-fashioned candy, fudge, homemade premium ice cream and lots of vintage fun.
Soda and Scoops, Rolla: Get your kicks – as well as candy, soda and ice cream – on Route 66. Enjoy an old-fashioned hand-scooped ice cream soda served by a real soda jerk.
Little Os Soda Shop, St. Charles: Step inside for a taste of the '40s with candy from yesteryear, ice cream treats, Gooey Butter Cake and even a Gooey Butter Cake milkshake.
The St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain, St. Louis: This new offering at Union Station is old school but so cool. Check out classic favorites with over-the-top twists and enjoy the Fire and Light Show from the patio.
Clinton's Soda Fountain, Independence: The charm and tradition of the old-fashioned soda fountain continues right down to the checkerboard floor and 100-year-old marble counter. You'll find all the classics, but when in doubt, order Harry's Favorite – a butterscotch sundae with chocolate ice cream – named for Harry S Truman, who worked at a soda fountain in the same location.
Saults Drug Store, Fulton: Just like in the old days, this independent pharmacy features an old-fashioned soda fountain serving cones, shakes, malts and phosphates.
This is just a sampling to help you get started. You can find many more sweet shops throughout the Show-Me State.
Written by Barbara Brueggeman