NYC Dining: Kalustyan’s

123 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
(212) 683-8458

If you like to cook Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, then you know how important fresh spices are to making your dishes taste good. You certainly can’t get fresh ground spices at the average supermarket because they hold onto stuff for years at a time and by then, they’ve lost all their pungency and their essential oils have dried up or gone rancid.

One of my favorite spice stores to visit is Kalustyan’s, a New York institution that’s been open since 1944 and is lauded by NYC restaurant chefs and many cookbook authors. Here you can find just about every kind of spice imaginable, and in many different varieties. Need black peppercorns? They got a a whole bunch of different kinds here — Ecuadoran, Brazilian, Indonesian, Telicherry, Malabar, Kerala and Vietnamese, just to name a few. Madras Hot Curry Powder? Garam Masala? Biryani Mix? Mexican Cumin? Persian Saffron from Iran? No problem — they got over 1000 different items in their spice catalog alone. And if you can’t make it to the store, they’ll gladly ship to you, just head over to their web site.

Storefront on Lexington Ave.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry link” below for more of Kalustyan’s.

The counter area has all sorts of interesting cookbooks.

Need dried fruit for a healthy snack?

Or some nuts?

This huge aisle has pulses, grains, flours, and different kinds of condiments and sauces.

This is just the curry section alone.

Make sure you get some of the nice Middle Eastern pastries on the way out.

7 Responses to NYC Dining: Kalustyan’s

  1. Bux says:

    I was introduced to Kalustyan’s in the mid 60s by a friend who had recently returned from a couple of years in India. He wanted to cook some Indian dishes for us and someone had given him the name of Kalustyan’s as a place to source spices and seasonings. At the time, it was probably Manhattan’s premier source of Armenian (as the name might suggest) and Middle Eastern ingredients, but also carried an array of food, spices, condiments, etc, from around the world including the Indian subcontinent. Today, as Curry Hill has grown around it, the selection of Indian spices and ingredients is even better, although it now has a lot of competition in the immediate area. I still don’t know of a better place for Armenian or Middle Eastern foods either.

    When my daughter lived around the corner from the shop, the prepared food on the second floor made for excellent take out. The selection of spices served as inspiration for my son-in-law. I remember a particularly interesting and appealing spice crusted lamb dish. It’s still a regular stop for all of us. It’s amazing how much selection is packed away in that shop. I was not aware of the extensive mail order business, but part of the joy is browsing in the shop and trying things that appeal.

  2. ash says:

    I totally disagree

    Go next door to ‘Foods of India’

    Much cleaner and you will never find a cockaroach in your spices.

  3. Kaci says:

    I am completely addicted to their pickled limes. All of their condiments are outstanding, but I keep multiple jars of the limes stockpiled.

  4. GR says:

    Watch out
    for their restaurant upstairs – my office is two blocks away, and we all went to Kalustyan’s until half-a-dozen of us got food poisoning.
    Also, the groceries downstairs sometimes sit far too long (bugs in the flour, etc).
    The good stuff is very good, however. Just proceed with caution.

  5. I’ve not eaten from the upstairs, or found bugs in any of the ingredients, but their spices are outstanding and I’ve had them hand blend fresh selections for me. The place next door is good, too, but Kalustyan’s has always been my go to place.

  6. Pan says:

    The mujadara upstairs is awesome! Good dolmas, too. I love Kalustyan’s! I like to get their Armenian string cheese, too, which is in the back. They carry a variety that comes with hot pepper and parsley (I think it was), which isn’t so easy to find in places which carry the regular kind of string cheese. If some of you have gotten bugs in your spices, I’m very sorry. But for all the years I’ve patronized the store, whenever that happens will be the first time for me.

  7. […] I recommend Kalustyan’s for spices. Never again will I get McCormick’s at the local store. […]

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