Ray’s Candy Store is the most legendary shop in NYC for late-night munchies. At 86, its owner works the overnight shift to serve his customers fried Oreos and egg creams.

Ray's Candy shop in the East village - fried Oreos

  • Ray’s Candy Store in New York City’s East Village has been serving late-night munchies since 1974.
  • Owner Ray Alvarez, 86, is well known for his deep-fried Oreos, egg creams, milkshakes, and chili cheese dogs.
  • Cult-like customers have been raving about the shop for decades, saying it’s an “unchanged gem in a transforming neighborhood,” and “an institution that has brought joy for generations.”
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Ray’s Candy Store, an East Village institution, has served late-night munchies since 1974. Owner Ray Alvarez, 86, is well known for his deep-fried Oreos, egg creams, milkshakes, and chili cheese dogs.

 

The store has kept street wanderers and New York University students well fed into the night as they hang around Tompkins Square Park. Cult-like customers have been raving about the shop for decades, saying it’s an “unchanged gem in a transforming neighborhood,” “an institution that has brought joy for generations,” and that “it was as good as I remember at 6 years old.”

Ray's Candy shop in the East village - shop owner Ray Alvarez

The family-run business continues to serve the same food since it opened and has had recent visits from Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner, La La Anthony, and Food God, who documented his time there, saying, “Everybody’s talking about this place! EVERYBODY!” We visited the shop to get a behind-the-scenes tour, see how their late-night grub is made, and speak to Ray to learn how he turned his small business into a beloved institution.

Join the conversation about this story »