The Food Lover’s Guide to Houston

Where to Buy Spices & Herbs

Every food lover knows that fresh spices can make a world of difference, so skip the spice aisle and check out these markets instead.

By Katharine Shilcutt and Robb Walsh March 3, 2014 Published in the March 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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They know their dried chiles at Flores Spices & Herbs.

Flores Spices & Herbs

6520 Airline Dr.
Dried chiles, bulk spices

The largest spice market in Houston started out back in 1984 as a dried chile stand in the stalls behind Canino’s at the Farmers’ Marketing Association on Airline. Now located across the street, Flores Spices & Herbs is the city’s foremost purveyor of chile peppers, offering nearly every variety on the market. And since chile peppers can be so confusing (there are no less than three different types of guajillos available in Houston, for instance), this store is an invaluable resource. It’s also the best place to find chipotle powder, ancho powder, and Mexican oregano—or just about any other seed or spice you can think of—and the incredible selection of bulk spices means you can put together your own custom spice blends for very little money. To stay on top of the chile trade, Flores has an office and warehouse in the McAllen Produce Terminal in the Valley.


516 W. 19th St.
Bulk spices and spice blends

The Penzeys store in the Heights carries more than 250 spices and blends, which makes it a good place to look for hard-to-find spices. Headquartered in the Milwaukee area, Penzeys has 70 or so stores in 28 states, each selling more or less the same products. The company’s special, and pricey, blends include Chile 9000, Sweet Curry, and Cajun Spice, plus whimsical creations like Raspberry Enlightenment. 


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