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7 Specialty Food Shops in San Diego

These stores are super specialized—one sells nothing but pickles!
Hot Licks | Photo: Madison Parker

By Ligaya Malones

Hot Licks

Peruse and taste all manner of fiery condiments starring habanero, ghost, and scorpion peppers. A locked cabinet houses petite yet powerful pepper extracts for the most devoted heat seekers—signed waiver required.

Seaport Village

The Spice Way

Since 2015, this North County shop has carried difficult-to-source spice blends from around the world. Find za’atar from the Middle East, Ethiopian berbere, and dukkah—an Egyptian mix of herbs, nuts, and spices traditionally served with bread and olive oil.


Uncle Keith’s

Gourmet Foods Run by Keith and Crystal Fairley, veterans of the Navy and Air Force respectively, this shop inside Pangaea Outpost in Pacific Beach stocks all things hot: bottles of hot sauces, jars of pepper jellies, and their proprietary habanero-ranch and Sriracha-style sauces. Look for their vivid red shelves.

Pacific Beachunclekeiths


Collins & Coupe

Shaken or stirred, this cocktail supply store will level up your home bar with whimsical tiki mugs or new or vintage glassware. The snug shop stocks small-batch bitters, shrubs, and syrups, and offers cocktail-making workshops, too.

North Park collinsandcoupe


7 Specialty Food Shops in San Diego

7 Specialty Food Shops in San Diego

Old Town House of Jerky & Root Beer | Photo: Madison Parker

Old Town House of Jerky & Root Beer

In this whitewashed adobe, find more than 50 different root beer labels and an expansive selection of jerky including turkey, elk, and alligator.

Old Town

Happy Pantry

Tucked away in an industrial park, this shop is all about fermentation. Among the gut-loving finds: sauerkraut, kimchi, and a rotating kombucha menu in flavors like sage grapefruit and pineapple lemon verbena.



The Original Pickle Store

This new shop brims with nearly 100 pickled products from small, independent purveyors across the country. Here, wild dill pickles are stocked next to kelp pickles and premade brine, as well as a bloody mary mix on tap enjoyable by the growler.

University Heightseatextrapickles

7 Specialty Food Shops in San Diego

Hot Licks | Photo: Madison Parker

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