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Jul 8, 2010 09:17 AM

Spices in Chicago

So I've recently moved to Chicago and discovered it has a lot of amazing wholesale food places (eg, Fulton Market neighborhood). I'm trying to find a place that has good dried chili peppers to grind down for some rubs, and also trying to find a place for things like saffron. I'm pretty broke though. Any ideas of where to find good, cheap, spices?

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  1. The shops on Devon have bulk spices at very low cost. Not everything, but many common spices in Indian dishes. Saffron and "cheap" don't co-exist well. Costco has had good saffron for a fair price in the past, as does/did Trader Joe's. I have heard more than one tale of friends traveling abroad and picking up bulk saffron for a song only to find it was more safflower filler than saffron (the names can be interchangeable but the products aren't).

    1. A little bit of spice often goes a long way; you can get top quality and still save by only buying as much as you plan to use reasonably quickly. And the best places to buy spices aren't necessarily all that expensive; check them out:

      The Spice House - - Chicago/Old Town, Evanston, Geneva
      Penzeys - - Naperville, Oak Park

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Being north the Spice Hose is my go to place for Spices and Rubs - all are excellent

      2. Most of the Mexican markets carry a fair selection of packages of dried chilis at low prices. Some also have bulk supplies. The Cermak Produce at 4234 North Kedzie or any of their locations along Cermak or 26th Street will be good bets for bulk at prices much lower than Spice House. If OP gives area preferences, the list could be targeted better.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Eldon Kreider

          Area preferences would be West Loop and vicinity.

          1. re: ddieringer

            Maxwell Street Market on Sundays.