Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Apr 11, 2010 09:04 PM

Good Spices?

My wife and I were heartbroken when we finally used the last of the Vietnamese cinnamon that we purchased from Kalustyan's when last in NYC. We were going to order from their online store but the shipping was outrageous for a couple oz of spice. Does anyone know where you can get good quality spices, preferably in bulk?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Kalustyan's is honestly one of the only things i REALLY miss about New York :)

    a couple of places you might want to try:
    - India Sweets & Spices in Clairemont
    - OB People's Co-op

    Henry's also carries bulk spices, though i guess the freshness will depend somewhat on the turnover at each location. and the La Jolla Whole Foods has a limited selection of bulk spices at the end of the bulk aisle back toward the seafood counter.

    you can also order online from Penzeys...

    1. I'll second goodhealthgourmet's recommendations. My wife picks up all her Indian spices in bulk at India Sweets & Spices in Clairemont, and I just picked up some wild juniper berries from the bulk spices at OB People's Co-op.

      The only time I'll go mail order is for paprika, and a friend just brought me back some nice stuff from Morocco, so I can put that off for a little while.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cubano

        Can anyone purchase at People's?

        1. re: Jered

          yes, anyone can shop there, but without a membership you'll pay a slightly higher price.

      2. Bombay Bazaar on Black Mountain has good quality spices available in bulk - mostly Indian, or else those used in Indian cooking (like Spanish saffron)

        1. Costco carries Vietnamese Cinnamon.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cstr

            Really. I shop there almost weekly and haven't seen it. Which Costco do you shop at and how recently have you seen it?

            1. re: Jered

              it's labeled as "Saigon Cinnamon." they usually keep it with the other herbs & spices, and i'm pretty sure i saw it in Carlsbad this afternoon...i wish i had seen this before i went - i would have paid more attention for you!

              1. re: Jered

                I've seen it at all the Costco's I go to, goodhealthgourmet is correct it's labeled 'Saigon'

              2. Penzeys Spices won hands down in the Cooks Illustrated blind taste tests. They have Tung Hing, Korintje, Ceylon, and Vietnamese extra fancy cinnamon. Once you use Penzeys spices you will never go back. Their shipping is quite reasonable, and is based on the dollar amount you spend.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Captain Jack

                  The other great thing about Penzeys is that you can buy small quantities so you don't have a big ol' jar of something sitting around. I can't tell you how many times I've read a recipe and thought, "aha! I have that!" and then gone to the spice drawer to see that it was "best before Oct 2007" or some such date.

                  1. re: carli

                    Another vote for Penzeys. Wish they would open a shop in San Diego. Closest is LA