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seeking saffron

Can someone advise me where to purchase reasonably priced saffron in San Francisco or the bay area?

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  1. I got my last tin at Vik's in Berkeley - I think it was around $40. The also have saffron at Milan's on University.

    5 Replies
      1. re: Zeldog

        1 oz....guess it's not the real thing though :(
        I've used it and been happy with the results.

        1. re: mochimunchie

          If you are sure it is an ounce, it is about half what penzey's charges. I really haven't seen it for $200

          1. re: wally

            yes, it's an ounce...comes in a nice tin...from Spain...imported by Vik's.
            I think it is just a lower grade as I do need to use a generous pinch to get the level of saffron flavor I want. Still, it works fine for me.

            1. re: wally

              The Penzey on line catalog has .25oz high grade Spanish saffron at $81.99.

        1. Trader Joe's sells 0.7 gram for about $5. Not a great price, but no complaints about the quality.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Zeldog

            That's about $200/oz, sounds fair.

          2. Penzey's spice house in Menlo Park sells a few different varieties. As I recall they went up in price depending on the quality. They have a pretty detailed description of each in the store but I can't recall the exact details right now. I bought a middle tier Spanish one that was great, much stronger flavor than the stuff from Trader Joes.

            1. Link

              Penzeys Spices
              771 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

              1. I usually get mine at Trader Joe's but I've seen them at Cost Plus as well.

                1. Spanish Table carries several sizes of saffron. The most reasonable seems to be 4g for $30 or $210 per oz. I would also think that the quality here would be pretty good.

                  1. Vanilla, Saffron Imports, on Valencia in SF, sells excellent Iranian saffron at very good prices. You can buy from them online. Here's the link:


                    By the way, they also sell a number of different excellent vanilla extracts (Tahitian, Madagascar, Mexican, etc.) and vanilla beans, also at very good prices.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Nancy Berry

                      Thanks for this link. I read through the info pages on saffron - very educational.

                    2. i like shopping at the fab herb store: Lhasa Karnak. There are 2 locations in Berkeley.
                      Competitive prices (& possibly the cheapest), and great quality. I think they have 2 kinds of saffron -- plain and fancy.

                      1. ps- at LhasaKarnak.com you can order online. For years, I especially have loved their bulk mint tea -- super flavorful.

                        1. Does anyone know how long saffron keeps, i.e. shelf life, and does it degrade?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Veggo

                            Apparently several years when stored in a tightly sealed container. Potency decreases slowly and after a while you may have to add more to get the same effect.

                            1. Queen of Sheba Market on Sutter at Larkin - saffron imported from Iran, far superior to most you will find from Spain.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: poulet_roti

                                I'll bet that they get their saffron from Vanilla, Saffron Imports.

                              2. Another vote for Trader Joes

                                1. This happens to be a subject I know something about. My daughter was setting up a web site to sell saffron, but abandoned the idea last year. We were buying saffron from San Francisco Herb and Spice (always the best spice prices) for $30.00 oz. Good quality Mancha premium grade. Then came the drought...priice is now $144.00 oz. Daughter decided too risky at that price. SF Herb sells the same grade for $7.90 gram. The prices have been fluctuating so much, I see saffron as a spice of the past. I have seen slightly better prices for Iranian, but for some strange reason, people don.t seem to trust Iran.