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May 20, 2010 08:33 PM

Where to buy good Indian spices in SF, North Bay or Redwood City area

We usually buy them at Indian Bazar on Valencia but interested in other suggestions as I live in Sonoma and dont get to the city very often - sometimes just drive through down 19th

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  1. since FullPalate posted this
    I'm now shopping at Jai Ho Indian Grocery
    Parking in the Safeway Shopping Center on Webster Street - the store is located near Popeye's Fried Chicken -
    1462 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

    ... making snacks of besan batter-fried peanuts

    Do you shop at Apna Bazaar in Cotati or Food Maxx in Rohnert Park?
    or, Malabar in San Rafael?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cynsa

      thanks will definitely try that. I had seen the older posting but not scrolled down all the way as the entries at the top were 4 yrs old

      I dont get over to Rohnert Park or Cotati often but maybe it's worth a trip to check out those 2 places

      1. re: sonomajom

        It's been a while since my last visit to Bazaar in Vallejo. But unless it has changed dramatically,it is a much more fully stocked grocer than Apna. If you are choosing between the two, I'd head to Vallejo.

        Apna Bazaar
        7500 Commerce Blvd, Cotati, CA 94931

    2. Vallejo! Called 'Bazaar' and it has very little indication from the outside that it is a very large, well-stocked Indian grocery. It's in a mall at the end of Sonoma Blvd

      I was blown-away when my brother took me. Look for a Popeye Chicken on the corner of the mall.

      1. There is a small store in RWC (forget name) on Broadway but am not a fan...use it only for emergencies. Will you be coming thru Peninsula/South Bay this weekend? In Cupertino, not far from Hwy 85 on De Anza is Kumud Groceries. Good selection of vegetables as well as other goods.

        Also, it looks like there is a new Kumud Groceries in Belmont (don't know if it's related) right off 101...haven't been. This is in addition to Namaste Plaza on Ralston just past El Camino which is decent.

        Namaste Cafe
        1390 N McDowell Blvd, Petaluma, CA 94954

        Kumud Groceries
        10255 S De Anza Blvd, Cupertino, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: ceekskat

          I was in Kumud in Cupertino and Namaste in Belmont last week, and the new Kumud in Belmont on Tuesday. I've been to Namaste more often and it has a better selection of seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs than either Kumud. Namaste always has long green fresh chilis, not found at either Kumud. Tindora is in season and Namaste had some, whereas neither Kumud did. I used to shop at the Kumud in Newark, and it had more interesting vegetables than these recent visits to Cupertino or Belmont. Kumud does have more variety of brands on the floor. The pulses were priced a little bit higher than Namaste. Kumud's spice selection seemed a little larger but I've not tapped out Namaste's yet, but getting close!

        2. For almost all of my needs, Rainbow Grocery beats the Indian specialty offerings hands down. What they have is fresh, which is all too often not true elsewhere. If you're looking for Indian groceries, not just spices, that's a different story. But for spices, Rainbow rules.

          Rainbow Grocery
          1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          4 Replies
          1. re: BernalKC

            Wouldn't have thought of looking for Indian specialty spices at Rainbow . . . what do you buy there?

            (soaking kokum noir as we type . . .)

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I guess my needs are pretty basic. But RG goes well beyond basics. Looking at my spice rack I have many (6) peppers (whole, ground, coarse ground), cumin, coriander, cloves, allspice, fenugreek, fennel, ginger, cardamom (black, brown), turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, carraway, a fairly generic garam masala... plus they have fresh items like ginger, lemon grass, turmeric. My impression is, if they can move it, they stock it, otherwise not. What they have is always fresh and so much more piquant than the norm.

              1. re: BernalKC

                Thanks, fenugreek and black cardamom aren't that common. But I guess you're saying that Rainbow doesn't have 20 different masala blends from various regions in India. The Indian grocers I go to in the South Bay seem to be in perpetual motion trying to restock the shelves and bins so I haven't had a problem with freshness. I take a look at Rainbow the next time I'm there and give it a try.

                Jai Ho
                1462 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                1. re: BernalKC

                  Agreed--I've found Rainbow to have the freshest spices in the Bay Area. Of the above, their ground turmeric and cardamom are noticeably fresher than I can get at Indian groceries in Berkeley, and their sichuan peppercorn/prickly ash is the freshest I've been able to purchase.

            2. We (live in SF - mission) and buy our indian groceries from:

              Patel India Foods
              650 San Bruno Avenue East, San Bruno - (650) 583-6559


              Fiji Market
              621 San Mateo Avenue
              San Bruno, CA 94066-3611 (650) 589-6388

              None of these compare to the superior stores in the South Bay, but they are good enough for your regular needs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bong

                Sorry forgot about the one we use the most!

                Neelam Pacific Market
                492 San Mateo Avenue
                San Bruno, CA 94066-4437
                (650) 583-5024

                Pacific Market
                901 Golf Course Dr, Rohnert Park, CA