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Food & Drink

Top Spice Shops In Denver

August 22, 2011 4:30 AM

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Penzey's Spice Shop (credit: Young Kim)

Penzey’s Spice Shop (credit: Young Kim)

dsc03329 Top Spice Shops In Denver

Penzey's Spice Shop (credit: Young Kim)

If you like to cook, you surely value spices and herbs that impart special flavor to all dishes and authentic flavors to those exotic recipes every culinary adventurer loves to try. Why use little tins and jars of spices that were packaged who-knows-how-long-ago when fresh herbs, spices, mixes and rubs are available in spice stores or ethnic groceries sprinkled around the metro area? Just walking into a spice shop is a heady experience, and buying small quantities of fresh flavorings and replacing them before they lose their flavor and aroma will kick up the flavor of everything you cook or bake. Here are some to explore.
dsc03338 Top Spice Shops In Denver

Penzey's Spice Shop (credit: Young Kim)

Penzeys Spice Shop

Multiple locations (Arvada, Boulder, Cherry Creek, Littleton, 2 in Colorado Springs)
(800) 741-7787
Penzeys wrote the book about big-time retailing of bulk spices. Starting as a single store in Wisconsin, this family-owned branched out into mail order and later online sales, but now has some 30 retail locations nationally. The old country store look draws cooks and foodies like a magnet draws iron filings. Six of the Penzeys retail stores are on Colorado’s Front Range. With all the growth and popularity of spices, Penzeys remains true to its roots and still grinds, blends, packs and ships its huge line of spices and blends.

rancho liborio copy Top Spice Shops In Denver

(credit: Rancho Liborio)

Rancho Liborio

Multiple locations (Aurora, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, Thornton and Westminster)
This small, California-based supermercado chain has everything, including spices, required for making authentic Mexican dishes. Large selections of popular brands of Mexican seasonings are displayed in and around the produce department. Little cellophane packets hold fresh and ground spices, dried herbs and seasoning blend. The produce department itself carries fresh herbs year-round as well as numerous kinds of dried and fresh pepper, occupying every rung on the Scoville scale from mild to wildly hot. Technically, peppers fall in neither herb nor spice but vegetables in the genus capsicum, but numerous varieties are used season food.

savory spice shop Top Spice Shops In Denver


Savory Spice Shop

Multiple locations (Boulder, 2 in Denver, Littleton, Colorado Springs)
(888) 677-3322
Much like Penzeys retail locations, Savory Spice Shops all are decorated in a warm country style with open shelves filled with aromatic herbs, spices, blends and rubs, all ground weekly in small batches. It is also possible to buy very small quantities, ideal if you just need a pinch or a sprinkle of this or that and store staff are eager to assist spice novices. Mike and Janet Johnston, avid home cooks and bakers, opened the first Savory Spice Shop in Denver in 2004. Janet enjoyed some national recognition with “Spice & Easy,” a six-episode TV series demonstrating the creative use of spices to perk up popular recipes.

world food bazaar Top Spice Shops In Denver


World Food Bazaar

242 Havana St., Unit # C
Aurora, CO 80010
(720) 858-1112
This sizable grocery market in one of metro Denver’s most vibrant international market carries a dazzling variety of foods from the Indian subcontinent and Africa. Canned goods, halal meats, produce, housewares, apparel and more fill this neatly organized store. When ambitious cooks who are less familiar with exotic ingredients come in with enticing Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian recipes or Dalda ka Dastarkhwan, the go-to book for Pakistani recipes in English, the patient folks at the World Food Bazaar will find the right spices, which go by different names in different languages. Imported spices and herbs under the Laziza, Shan and Swad labels impart authenticity to those country’s fabulous foods.

– Mile High Cheapskates Claire Walter & Laura Daily keep Denver/Boulder residents informed about the latest deals, discounts and freebies at

View Comments
  • RBWatt

    We like to support local businesses rather than large chains (i.e. Savory Spice Shop over Penzey’s), and have found that Savory, at least the one in Littleton, is indeed a wonderful place to go! You can get any quantity of spice you want, don’t have to buy a whole jar if you just need a tablespoon for instance. The quality is excellent and very fresh. That’s where I get all my spices now.

  • PJT

    Don’t miss the “Spice Guy” at the farmer’s markets (Cherry Cr.Pearl St and others) as he has small packets at a reasonable price. It is a great way to try new flavors.
    He combines spices for dip mix(e.g.balsamic chive) which can use fat free sour cream or yogurt with fresh veggies . One can be adventuresome with a small investment.

  • JMH

    We also love to support Colorado locations. That’s why we go to Penzeys in Arvada. Penzeys is a family owned business. The quality is also excellent.

  • RBW

    JMH: don’t kid yourself – Penzey’s is a national chain. Look at their catalogue; hardly local. Savory is just Colorado, and only a few at that.

    • JMH

      Didn’t say is was local, just I like to go to the Penzeys store in Arvada. Savory has expanded to CA, NC, TX,FL and NJ. Both stores have a lot to offer their customers. HAPPY COOKING!!

    • JrzDefector

      Actually, RBW, Savory is almost as national as Penzey’s. I stumbled into one in March in North Jersey just before I moved out here. It was kind of funny though because they have all these spice blends that name check towns, neighborhoods and rivers in Colorado, and I’m standing in the store thinking “jeez, those names are familiar-sounding…”

      • Colleen

        While you are seeing Savory shops more nationally, they are locally owned and operated. Whether they be in CA, CO, FL or NJ. There’s a big difference in dealing with local owners/operators. Also, the flexible amounts Savory offers can’t be beat, as well as the quality. I find these days that Penzeys quality is slipping. Just my opinion tho…

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