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Best place in GTA to buy Vanilla Beans?

Does anyone know of good places in and around Toronto to buy vanilla beans? If there is a selection of different types that would be ideal. What is a price that one can expect to pay? I'm looking for quality but also a good deal. thanks!

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  1. I don't have much experience with buying vanilla beans but I found some nice, fresh and plump ones at the Big Carrot for 99¢ each. So far the best price I found. (if you go to the Big Carrot, you'll find the vanilla beans in the bulk spices section)

    1 Reply
    1. re: pâté chinois

      Does the Big Carrot still have vanilla beans for 99cents each?

    2. If you search the Home Cooking board for vanilla beans and ebay, you can hear about some good experiences from people who have purchased online at a substantial discount.

      1. any bulk barn should have them too

        1 Reply
        1. re: mgs

          dont go there...bulk barns usually have very dried out ones...ask to check em out and open the bottle if you must go there.

        2. I am going straight to the Big Carrot when I finish work-I have never heard of vanilla beans as low a price as that! I just paid $5.99 for two wizened up little shreds at Loblaws this past weekend!

          1. House of Spice (Kensington Market) has a pair of beans for about $4.

            1. There is a vendor at the Dufferin Grove Market on Thursday who sells a variety of vanilla beans. Reasonable price $2-$3, cheaper if you by 5 or 10. Very fresh and fragrant.

              1. I buy them from Domino's downstairs at St. Lawrence market. I think they are $3.99 for two fat fresh ones.

                But wow, 99 cents at the Big Carrot, I'm checking that out.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Mila

                  I just bought vanilla beans last weekend from Domino's and it was $5.99 for two. I think we will all be at the Big Carrot

                  1. re: sweetie

                    Yikes, I was off. Thanks Sweetie and see you at Big Carrot.

                    1. re: Mila

                      big carrot...here we all come!

                2. Just back from Carrot Common with half a dozen, fresh plump vanilla beans in my little twist-tie plastic baggie...the gal at the check-out seemed puzzled by the coding so I explained that they were 99 cents each and I had 6: she said that seemed like an awful lot to pay for such a small bag so only charged me for 5. I just paid for 6 what I usually pay for 1!!! I think I will buy ALL my groceries there!

                    1. re: dlw88

                      Does anyone know a site with free shipping?

                      1. re: mlukan

                        Does the big carrot STILL sell the vanilla beans for 99 cents? I noticed the posts were dated 2006 so if anyone who shops there regularly could let me know if that's still the case, I'd appreciate it :) Thanks

                        1. re: BamiaWruz

                          Here is a more recent thread. The 99 cent price at Big Carrot was good at least until the end of last year. Don't know what variety or country of origin they might have. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/469731

                          For good prices and selection there are lots of vanilla bean sellers on eBay ("Buy it Now"), 1 lb for about $20. A purchase I made came by regular $U.S. mail, no border fees http://cgi.ebay.ca/1-lb-Certified-Org...

                        2. re: mlukan

                          i purchase mine from a us company called vanilla saffron imports, i can get a pound for $20 us which gets me in excess of 100 beans, they also sell high quality saffron at good prices as well.

                      2. We've moved the discussion about the wholesale prices of vanilla beans to the General Chowhounding Topics board. You can find the thread here:


                        1. I've had occasion to source vanilla beans for photo shoots recently and would suggest the following: St. Lawrence Market, which has several vendors, including Domino's and Schefflers, both of whom have several varieties. But even better was Provincial Fine Foods Cheese on Church (beside Cumbrae's), they had an excellent selection from an importer (whose name I don't remember) all of which were much plumper and perfect compared to than anything else available anywhere. Be forewarned, they were MUCH more than .99 each. I spent more than $100 in the various stores to have a good selection.

                          1. hey chowhounders,

                            has anyone in toronto/canada ordered from www.vanillafoodcompany.ca ? the prices seem fairly reasonable (compared to other cdn. online retailers) ... ebay would still be (marginally) cheaper but this company seems to be more 'direct'...

                            any thoughts?


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: lilaki

                              Put a www. in front of your url, and a lot more will respond.