Best Spice Shop - 2012
Big-box grocery stores devote about three feet of shelf space to spices, crammed with name-brand jars full of bland powders that may not be so fresh. To get specially sourced, carefully curated spices, there's always the Internet. But if you want to skip the shipping fee and, more importantly, inhale the aroma of your prized picks before you commit to putting them in your food, there's nothing like a trip to Penzey's. Not only is a specialty spice shop a great place for locating hard-to-find treasures, like mahlab and black cumin, but it's also useful for stocking up on quality pantry staples, like cinnamon, mixed peppercorns, Italian seasoning, and paprika. But be careful: What you thought would be a quick errand can easily turn into a half-hour of wandering around gaining culinary inspiration.