Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Jan 13, 2009 05:05 PM

Best place to buy bulk spices?

Where do you go to buy bulk spices and herbs ?
Bonus points if they have bulk nuts, rice, dried beans, etc.

looking to stock up on some basics (peppercorns, chili flakes, salt, oregano, cinnamon), plus some more hard-to-find stuff like sichuan peppercorns, pine nuts, hungarian paprika, pepitas.

I just despise buying the little jars at Trader Joes or Wholefoods.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Devon Ave. has numerous Indian/Pakistani markets with dirt cheap spices and some beans (plenty of lentils). You won't find a huge range of spices but whatever they have is generally a good value. For a far more varied selection, Penzeys is great:

    1. I get mine from the Spice House, which has stores in Chicago (Old Town), Evanston, Geneva, and Milwaukee. Great spices, total freshness, and their staff is extremely knowledgeable. You can buy in bulk, in any quantity, with or without containers, and if you want, they can refill the containers they use. I believe it was founded by the daughter of the founder of Penzey's.

      Penzey's, mentioned above, has two store locations in Illinois, in Oak Park and Naperville.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Ditto Penzey's...excellent quality and customer service and I like that when you order online, they usually send a freebie in there to try.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          I will pur my vote in for the Spice House - it is great!

        2. If you're looking to fill up your Italian pantry, you might give Graziano's on Randolph a look:

          1. While they don't have a hugely varied selection, Costco has good quality spices in bulk containers really cheap! IIRC, I recently bought a probably 12 oz. jar of Saigon Cinnamon for around $5 there.