Do you think Gent is too small for international food shops? Looking for the perfect ingredient to spice up your meal or make it taste just like it did back home? Sometimes the supermarkets just don’t have what you need, but with our guide to spice stores and international food shops in Ghent, perhaps you’ll find what you’ve been missing – or something new and delicious!
Go here for: the variety and the prices
This unassuming little shop on the corner across from St. Jacobs church is chock full of bags of herbs, spices and teas. You can find common herbs here but also things like olive leaf, orange blossom and black sesame seeds. There are also spice mixtures, such as tandoori spices and a stoofvlees mix. As you wander the aisles of little bins, you also come across wasabi nuts, and dried fruit and nuts. There is nothing fancy about this place, but that is also reflected in the reasonable prices.
Melanie’s World of Wine & More
Go here for: Mexican ingredients
Melanie’s World is a small store that has a large range of product offerings. As the name suggests, Melanie stocks a hand-picked selection of wine from all over the world but there is much more here. If you want to make Mexican food, this is the place for you – real corn tortillas, as well as masa if you prefer to make your own, refried beans, chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, canned jalapenos, and a variety of other Mexican items fill the shelves.
In addition, she stocks Asian spices and products, including Korean goods. And if you have a hankering for Philippine dried mangoes, you can find them here. One of the best things about the shop though is Melanie – she is incredibly friendly and helpful and she updates her products to keep up with current trends and shopper’s interests.
Dille & Kamille
Go here for: the extracts
At first sight, Dille & Kamille does not look like your typical international food shop – they focus on baking and cooking utensils and other goods. However, look closer and you can find herbs and extracts. They have your common herbs, such as oregano and basil, and a variety of sea salt combined with garlic, rosemary or chile pepper. They also have teas, pestos and chutneys. There is real vanilla extract – not the imitation found in most shops in Ghent. They carry Nielsen – Massey extracts including Madagascar Vanilla Bourbon extract, almond extract, orange blossom, rosewater, lemon and peppermint, as well as maple syrup. If you are looking for a large container of baking soda, you can also find it here.
Go here for: the wide assortment of Asian products
While Dun Huang might not be considered a “spice shop” per say, it is full of all kinds of unique products for cooking your favorite Asian meals. They do carry spices such as curry powders, garam masala, coriander, cumin and others. But the real draw is the array of sauces – you have so many soy sauce options you won’t know what to pick! There are also all types of chilli sauces, sesame oils, rice wine vinegars, etc. And if you want to make sushi, all you need is here – rolling mats, cutting tools, nori, large bags of sushi rice and everything else you might need. They also offer frozen wonton wrappers, gyoza and dumplings, edamame and other treats. The noodle aisle is full of ramen, rice noodles, and other varieties. You will also find their tofu a cut above the supermarket brand.
Go here for: spices and condiments in bulk
OHNE shops are a local chain focused on reducing packaging waste. All their food, mostly organic, comes in bulk, so come with your own containers or purchase some on the spot. You can stock up on oats, flour, pasta, or buy local dairy products and cakes at their fresh counter. They also have a good selection of herbs and condiments, as well as different nut-based spreads (peanut butter, almond butter …). Finally, this is the place to buy cleaning and washing products by the litre or kilo. OHNE has several locations around Ghent and East Flanders.
Other Asian food markets
Go here for: Reasonably priced Asian products
Located in the Coupure area, this Thai market carries many of the same products as Dun Huang, including tofu, TRS brand spices, large bags of rice, assorted noodles and Asian sauces. They also have many choices of coconut milk and cans of water chestnuts. They carry bags of baking powder instead of the tiny separated packs you can get at the supermarket.
Himalaya Exotic Market
Go here for: large bags of beans and Asian spices
This market is basically a dayshop that has a nice selection of Indian and Asian products on one side of the store. They carry the typical TRS brand of spices, beans and legumes but they have big bags of these items which are hard to find elsewhere. They have black eyed peas, all variety of beans as well as harder to find herbs and spices such as Walnut Root Bark, Indigo leaf, Goond and Tamarind. They have large bags of both fine and coarse cornmeal, buckwheat and semolina flour and all kinds of masala. There are many brands of ghee to choose from too. I did find though that some products were past their expiration date, so be sure to check when buying things like yeast or other products where freshness is key.
Other international food shops in Ghent to try
You have probably heard of this shop because of their famous Ghent mustard, but customers can also purchase peppercorns, extracts, vinegars, herbs & spices.
Tevhid Supermarkt is a large international food shop in Dampoort with an extensive selection of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern products. You can find spices, an olive bar, phyllo dough, tahini and many other packaged and fresh products. They also guarantee that all their products are 100% hallal.
Along this street you will find several international food shops of Ghent, like the Odra Supermarket, selling mainly Polish products and African & Asian Foods, who stock dried fish and large sized bags of beans and spices among many other products.
Odra Supermarkt – Polish food shop in Ghent
Check out also our guide to buying essentials – where to find the main shopping street, the best fruit and vegetable markets in Ghent and a list of main grocery shops. You can also read all about best bookshops in Ghent and where to find creative and hobby supplies.
Any spice gem we missed? Let us know in the comments below or by send us an email.