San Francisco, CA
So you've decided to make your own Garam Masala, a fitting goal for any aspiring foodie. You do have copious amounts of cinnamon, green and black cardamom pods, cumin, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, chili, and cumin on hand, don't you? Bombay Bazar does.
Open: 11-9 Weekdays, 11- 10 Weekends
This Inner Mission classic has been on the same site for 30 years now, though the popular Bombay Ice Cream addition was added only ten years ago. You can find all the staples of Indian cooking here – jars of ghee, fresh curry leaves, rose water, lentils and more. Half pound bags of whole or ground spices are only a fraction of the price they'd be at other stores.
If that's not enough, in the center of the store is a separate room showcasing saris, bindis, jewelry, and other fashion needs.
Then swing over to the chaat and ice cream counter for a scoop of Almond Saffron Pistachio, Mango or maybe Rose petal. If you're adventurous, try the house special dessert called Falooda – it's an ice cream shake made with basil seeds, rose noodles, milk and rose syrup. On your way out the door, don't forget a bag of samosas for the road – they're savory, vegetarian, and incredibly addictive.
This is by Sarah, who is up for one of our new writer positions. Welcome Sarah!
(All photos by Sarah Schoomer for The Kitchn.)