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Good Place to Buy Herbs and Spices in Maryland?

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Is there any place, preferably in the MD area, that sells a large range of herbs and spices? Where I can measure my own would be even better. I'm currently in need of star anise (I'm making pho) but am always experimenting with something on any given day.


P.S. I know I can order great spices from Penzeys and such, but I'm talking about when I want to make something NOW.

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  1. David's Natural Market on Lynx Lane in Columbia has some loose herbs and spices - and maybe Roots Market in Clarksville. I'm not sure how large the selection is. I also heard once several years ago that there was a wholesale spice store of some sort in an industrial park in Arbutus but I never checked that out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SaraM

      Both are near me, and yes you can get the amount needed. Their selections aren't extensive but still fits the bill as needed. I wonder if that little spice guy in Savage Mills is still there? I haven't been in there in months so I'm not sure. Another field trip it sounds like.

      1. re: SaraM

        Found the star anise at Produce Galore (probably paid too much). There "exotic" selection isn't bad but I wonder about quality (how long has it been sitting there). Spoke to the lady who purchases for David's Natural Market and she said that she's going to probably start ordering star anise as well since she's gotten numerous requests lately. Otherwise, their selection also wasn't bad, especially since you can get how much you need rather than a pre-measured amount liek Produce Galore.

        Thanks again!

      2. I'm not sure if there are any in your part of MD, but latin markets are great places to buy dried spices. They are usually fresher and better quality than the stuff you'll find at your average grocery store. I buy mine in DC at Todito (Columbia Road, Adams Morgan), Supersave, Bestway, and Don Julio II (in Mount Pleasant).

        You might also try a Korean grocery store like Korean Korner (Viers Mill), Han Ah Rheum (Georgia Ave, I think) or Lotte (near White Flint). There's also an Indian and Thai grocery store in Silver Spring.

        Any of these would beat Safeway, Giant or Fresh Fields hands down.

        1 Reply
        1. re: butterfly

          There are two Asian groceries (Lotte and Special H?) not far from me in Ellicott City. There's also suppose to be an small Indian store in Columbia off of Red Branch (can't figure out where). Will give them a look this weekend. Thanks for the ethnic heading.

        2. Both the Bethesda and Silver Spring Co-ops have extensive bulk spice areas. Buy whatever you want--much cheaper. Silver spring is on Grubb Road just below East West Hy. Bethesda used to be on McArthur at Seven Locks, but I think it may have moved ??

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnb

            Hubby works in Silver Spring so I'll make him swing by and see if they have what I need. Hey! He's the one that wants to try making pho at home! Thanks!

          2. An amazing place... all the women wear those kind of pilgrim dresses and little white bonnets and most of the men have those kind of Abe Lincoln beards where there is beard only and no mustache. The market is pretty big and they have everything from fresh produce, baked goods, a butcher, deli, homemade ice cream... and a spice room. Lots and lots of spices in bulk. Take 95n to Baltimore and get off at 33b - 198 West to Burtonsville - about 3 miles on 198 and you will come to the intersection of 198 and Columbia Pike. The market is next to the post office. Open on Thurs Fri and Sat only. I live in Virginia and am on a contract in Burtonsville and stumbled onto the Dutch market on one of my chowhound forays to Burtonsville. I was floored... I walked around that market with eyes wide open for 20 minutes in awe at the Dutch Country people and this amazing market... you have to see it to believe it. Don't know if the people are Amish (they drive vans not horse and buggies), or Quakers, but they are refreshingly unique. You can also have lunch there. I would suggest you can do ALL of your shopping - bread, meats, veggies. For seafood go further up 95n to Jessup to Frank's Seafood Market, a wholesale place open to the public. (Strangely I feel like I shouldn't be giving out this information!)

            1. It sounds like you are talking about Penzeys mail order, when in fact, you can combine their spices with instant gratification at their Rockville store (on Rockville Pike).

              1. Why not visit Vann's Spices, 1617 Whitehead Road just outside of Baltimore.

                1 Reply
                1. re: onocoffee

                  Penzey Spices (or just Penzey?) Something like that. Anyway, it is in Rockville.
                  There is one in CT, too, and I was surprised to see one here, as well.
                  They are mail order, also, I believe. You may want to check online for info.

                  OOOPS. Just read pgreen's post. Sorry for the repeat. Great minds think alike!

                2. avoid driving around all together by buying online. I have had amazing service and great results at http://www.worldspice.com. They sell spices whole, or if you want grind them just before shipping. Prices strike me as very reasonable, and I just think they're great to work with. I have no complaints other than their website made me want way more spices than I can store in my small kitchen! Also great teas.

                  1. It depends on what you're looking for, but Latin Markets are good and cheap. Lily's in Columbia off of Dobbin Rd has a decent selection in the back, as do some grocery stores like Shopper's. I think you can find whole Star Anise in both places.

                    1. Germantown Dutch Market---cheap dried spices and very neat and clean space. The lady who packages the spices seems very conscientious. For fresh, any location of Grand Mart.

                      1. If you are near Baltimore, The Whiskey Island Pirate Shop (http://www.whiskeyisland.com/) visits the local farmer's market and has a shop on Sisson Street. Have picked up their spices at the farmer's market and they also sell in their location.

                        whiskey island pirate shop
                        2800 Sisson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21211