Madrid’s multicultural neighbourhood, Lavapiés, is the best place to buy spices in Madrid, and incredibly also the whole of Spain.
Wander around a few of Lavapiés’s shopping streets and you’ll quickly find that every 5th commercial unit is a spice shop that also sells exotic vegetables and Lycamobile SIM cards. They’ve got almost every cuisine in the world covered but if you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for, it’s possible that the shop owner only knows the ingredient in their local language. Googling an image of it and showing the shop keeper usually works.
BEST SPICE SHOP
My favourite place to buy Indian ingredients is Asian Food Centre on Calle Miguel Servet 8, because of its huge variety of authentic products. Many brands you find in this shop are the same as those found in India and are priced very reasonably. I also buy my tea here: good old PG Tips.
Middle Eastern, North African, Sub-Saharan African, Caribbean and East Asian products are also sold here and in other shops in Lavapiés. You can find tahini, harissa, halal meat, yuca, palm oil, coconut oil, date syrup, rose water, dried fish, lime pickle, pickled jellyfish, lentils, black salt, durian, scotch bonnet chili peppers, basmati rice, fresh mint and coriander, just to name a few things. You can also buy beauty products here like soaps, perfumes and hair oils.
BEST INDIAN SWEET SHOP
For Indian sweets, the best place to go is Noman Sweet Shop on Calle Tribulete 13. The owners are very generous and will let you try anything before you buy it. They also have some home-made savoury snacks like vegetable samosas and onion bhajis. Open late, they’re a great place for a between-bar foodie pit stop.
- Parvenn Akter Spice Shop and Carnicería: Calle Miguel Servet 8
- Noman Sweet Shop: Calle Tribulete 3
- Nearest metro: Lavapiés
- Opening hours: Mon-Sun: ~10 am to 11 pm