Exotic spices are nothing new to New York; the spice trade goes back to the city's earliest days. But nothing they ever saw in old New Amsterdam could have prepared them for the range and quality of the spices to be found in the city's best importers. Any one of these stores would be worth fitting out a clipper ship for.
If you're at all into Southeastern Asian food, hurry down to this tiny grocery, where you'll find more spices, seasonings, and food products than you ever heard of. Fish sauce is just the beginning.
Anyone unfamiliar with just how weird Hong Kong food is ought to take a walk over to this specialty store, where everything short of mouse wine and meat floss is available, including some truly wild snack foods.
This place is the final word in Indian spices. It's where the Indian chefs and grandmothers shop, and there's no better boast than that.
A well-curated spice store, Spice Corner has, more importantly, a friendly and attentive staff that will guide you through this perplexing world.
This place is one of the city's truly great Mexican markets, with a selection of chiles, both fresh and dried, that is second to none.
This indo-pak megastore has an enormous range of good, from exotic spices to fresh produce (including some amazing peppers) and dessert confections that really pack a punch.
Going by the simple ratio of cost to quality, nobody can beat Trader Joe's, at least at the things they do best, like wine and dry goods. Beware the horrific lines though.
Upscale, modern, and immaculately clean, this Israeli spice store is the New York branch of the biggest importer from that country. So the spices are always fresh and of the highest quality. Get the zaa'tar!