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Feb 13, 2008 08:03 AM

Online Spice Stores You Trust??

Any online spice stores you absolutely LOVE?!?!?!

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    Independent Seattle operation with a huge selection, always fresh, and it's owner has been my go-to guy for odd spice requests for years.
    In particular, this place is a godsend if you're working from non-typical recipes, poor translations, or are looking for something that you've never heard of before you found that particular recipe and it has possible different names in the U.S.
    Also, amazing dried chili selection.

    13 Replies
    1. re: sebetti

      Penzey's is great. They also have stores in some areas I always stop in when I am in the Norwalk CT area

      1. re: mmalmad

        I use Penzey's also. There's a store a little ways from where I live but I usually shop on line. The taste differential between supermarket herbs and spices and Penzey's is quite noticeable.

        1. re: mmalmad

          I have a Penzy's 15 miles from where I live...and I do go there and appreciate them but I would much rather travel 180 miles north and get my spices at World Spice, when I have the opportunity.

          1. re: sebetti

            That's interesting. What is it about World Spice that makes them so special? A 180 mile drive is quite a distance.

            1. re: Gio

              1) Always fresh (lots of traffic)
              2) It's not pre-packaged so you can purchase the amount you want.
              3) Incredible knowledge base (owner). (yes, he wrote a book)
              4) Has hard to find and rare items.
              5) Smells wonderful
              6) Visit the website (; that will help.

              And finally, I don't actually go just to buy spices, I have friends up there so I'm up there several times a year. I'll hold off buying spices if I know I'll going up in the near future.

              If Penzy's is what you have close by, do it, they're fine. But if you want to specifically address the OP's question, it's no contest. World Spice is simply a step (or two or three) above.

              1. re: sebetti

                Once I tried World Spice, there was no going back. I live in Seattle, it's true, but it takes a lot to get me to go anywhere near Pike Place Market this time of year (they're right below the Market on Western Avenue). World Spice is worth fighting my way through the tourist hoardes. The quality of their spices is fantastic. Another thing that got my attention was the collection of business cards under the glass on their countertop--it looks like just about every notable local chef and foodie celebrity shops there, too.

                And yes, the store does smell heavenly!

                World Spice Merchants
                1509 Western Ave, Seattle, WA

                1. re: MsMaryMc

                  Talk about "online spice stores you trust." World Spice trusts you! You place an order, and they mail you a bill with your order, and then you mail them a check to pay for the spices you received. Truthfully, I find this a little cumbersome, but I am happy that businesses still exist that trust consumers.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    I just placed an order a couple of weeks ago, and they accept online payments now! Kind of threw me for a loop actually, so I just ended up doing my order old-school (which reminds me I still need to send a check...), but now I know for next time!

            2. re: sebetti

              I buy from Penzy's too. Orders always right, customer service is, and the spices are wonderful.

            3. re: mmalmad

              I have been ordering from Penzeys for almost 10 years, and I have yet to be disappointed. They will occasionally slip in a sample of a new spice blend, the spices are always fresh and the price is very reasonable.

              I have visited their brick and mortar stores in Grand Rapids Michigan, and Columbus Ohio, and their employees are always knowledgeable and friendly.

              1. re: mmalmad

                I like penzey's quality over all, but their spice blends can be hit or miss.

              2. re: sebetti

                So far I have to say, the shopping experience with worldspice has been great! I ordered from both Penzy's and worldspice...and so far world spice is in the lead. Thanks for the help!

                1. re: sebetti

                  Just want to throw my $.02 in for worldspice as well. I've been ordering from them online for years and have never been dissapointed. Fresh, great prices, outstanding customer service. Can't be beat. Their housemade blends are great as well. I try a new one every time I order, particularly their curries.

                2. I get almost all of my spices from (there is a family relationship w/ penzeys btw).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jgg13

                    I'll second They have a better selection and a more maneuverable website than Penzy's and WorldSpice. I have had nothing but good results with TheSpiceBarn too.

                    1. re: Civil Bear

                      I will add my voice to The Spice House - they too provide kosher spices out of their Milwaukee location -

                      1. re: weinstein5

                        I hope that you can forgive any unintended insult or overt ignorance, but what is a kosher spice? I only know a little of kosher law, but how is it possible that plant-based product would not be kosher?


                        1. re: Kelli2006

                          no problems - you are right since the majority of spices come from plants they should be kosher the concern comes when a a spice purveyor might use other ingredients as fillers, flavoring agents that might come form non-kosher sources - so a spice purveyor that is under supervision has agreed to only have and use products that are kosher and allow themselves to be inspected -

                  2. Thanks all! I'll be sure to check out penzy's and worldspice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rehanasv

                      Just for reference, it is Penzeys, with 2 Es. And I love them very much.

                    2. kalustyan's. I love kalustyans. I must have referenced them in 3 or 4 different topics here in the last 2 weeks


                      i always hear good things about penzey, but the first time i went to their site i wanted to order whole fenugreek, and they only sold it pre-ground. I haven't been back

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: thew

                        2nd Kalustyan's. It's a great selection.

                        1. re: LNG212

                          third to Kalustyans which is a lot more than a spice store. The home made mango chutney and preserved lemons are awesome, as are the real deal Persian pistachios -- once you tasted those you can't eat californian (go for the "extra salt" version). How lucky am I to work just a few blocks from the store...

                          1. re: bengoshi

                            Totally love the store. I'll go looking for one or two things and always end up leaving with a bagful. :)

                            1. re: LNG212

                              yeah.. i cant step in there for just something, without leaving with $100 or more worth of stuff

                      2. I just wanted to add that the descriptions of spices on penzey's are top notch.