The Official Foobooz Gift Guide
From ramen bowls to foie gras, this is the gift guide for all your Philly food-loving friends and family, hand-picked by the Foobooz team.
I think we can all agree that the best gifts to give (and receive!) are ones that are highly personal — gifts that reflect an intimacy and a real thoughtful consideration of what would truly improve the life of gift-receiver. But I mean…who has time? In lieu of this type of gift giving, focussing your giving around a theme — the abundance of amazing restaurants in Philadelphia, in this case — will save you from a last minute, soul-sucking trip to the mall. Here’s our list of gifts we’d happily give. (Or receive!)
The Kettle Black, Wake and Bake T-Shirt, $20
This is a gift meant only for a certain type of person. Ideally, someone who is in on the joke and loves a good French pastry. (Our favorite type of person.) Available online and in the bakery.
Little Fish, locally designed tote, $35
We love a tote. Little Fish has a very cute one. Fill it with snacks and maybe some tinned (little) fish for a gift that I would very much like to receive. Available at the restaurant.
Bibou, foie gras log, $110/lb
Honestly, this is a very baller gift that should be reserved for someone who will enjoy how over-the-top it is. Give the restaurant 48 hours notice anytime before December 21st, and they’ll make you a very special foie log you can serve as an appetizer or give as a gift to your fanciest friend. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your log.
Hungry Pigeon, Boozy Fruitcake, $40
Fruitcake gets a bad wrap, but Hungry Pigeon’s version is rich, boozy, and is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit. For an extra special gift, pair with a bottle of Manatawny Stillworks Keystone Whiskey, which is a key ingredient in the fruitcake. Reserve online for pick up at the restaurant.
Sate Kampar, Kaya Jam, $12
Stocking stuffers are hard — they require a level of casual perfection that is difficult to pull off. Enter kaya jam, a rich, lightly sweet, coconut-based spread that makes a piece of toast feel like a luxury. Available at Sate Kampar, Riverwards Produce or Primal Supply Meats.
Pasta Lab, fresh pasta, prices vary
For host gifts, I like to casually offer another delicious meal, and a beautiful bag of pasta is an elegant and super-thoughtful way to do it. I epecially like Pasta Lab’s stuffed pastas for this purpose, since they can be frozen and pulled out when you need a last-minute gift. Available at various farmer’s markets.
Boardroom Spirits, Nocino walnut liqueur, $39.99
Though I’m sure it’s delicious stirred into carefully measured manhattans, old fashioneds and Negronis, I’ve been simply mixing it with an indiscriminate splash of bourbon for an extremely easy non-cocktail. Made with a blend of walnut, brandy, local honey and spices, it tastes like Christmas in a glass. Available at Christmas Village, Reading Terminal Market, Boardroom Spirits Distillery in Lansdale, Boardroom at the Market in Allentown and Northbound Restaurant.
Flow State Coffee Bar, refillable mug, $59 for free refills through January
For the freelancer in your life, gift a refillable mug from our favorite co-working space/cafe/dessert shop, which also gets them unlimited free refills for the month of January (when we’ll all be needing a lot of caffeine.) Available in the cafe.
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January is just around the corner! Set yourself, or a loved one, up to a caffeinated start by purchasing a Flow State mug & a whole month of coffee for $59! #lookatthatsexymug #january #100dollarvalue #monthofrefills #giftideas #doublewalled #stainlesssteel #corkbottom #hotforhours
Laurel, The Laurel Cookbook, $35
Nicholas Elmi and Adam Erace’s new cookbook brings the reader into one of Philly’s best kitchen. This is the book for the home cook in your life who wants to spend all day in their kitchen, learning new techniques and pretending to be a line cook. Signed copies available through Laurel’s website.
Palizzi Social Club, Dinner at the Club: 100 Years of Stories and Recipes from South Philly’s Palizzi Social Club, $20
A membership to Palizzi Social Club would be a lovely Christmas gift, but those are difficult to come by. A copy of Joey Baldino’s new book, which chronicles the history of the restaurant and lets the reader in on a few culinary secrets along the way, is probably the next best thing. Available wherever books are sold.
Michael Solomonov, Israeli Soul, $35
For the home cook looking to expand their repertoire, gift Israeli Soul, the 2018 book from the team at CookNSolo. Where Zahav was more focused on the cooking they do at the restaurant, Israeli Soul is an entry point to the country’s cooking traditions, and is far more approachable to the average (or skilled) home cook. Signed copies available here, or wherever books are sold.
Reem Kassis, The Palestinian Table, $26
Philadelphia-based cookbook author Reem Kassis explores Palestinian foodways in her award-winning book, The Palestinian Table. Pair with a copy of Israel Soul for a deep, experiential exploration of an often-misunderstood region of the world. Available wherever books are sold.
Jarmel’s Ceramics x Middle Child, various ceramics, $30
In addition to their highly curated section of edible goods, all of which would be excellent stocking stuffers, Middle Child is currently stocking ceramics by Philly-based artist Jarmel. Might we suggest a cute, Middle Child-themed cup with a MC gift certificate tucked inside for the hoagie lover in your life? In store only.
Untitled Co., magnetic end grain knife block, $220
Though born in Brooklyn, Untitled Co. now produces most of their goods in Philly. These wall-mounted knife holders look stunning, but are functional as well, keeping knives out of the way but in reach and preventing dullness by protecting them from being jumbled around in a drawer. Order online here or find information about upcoming markets appearances here.
Neighborhood Ramen, ramen bowl, $40
Neighborhood Ramen does not do their ramen to go, but if you know someone who is experimenting with making it at home (or just really likes gigantic bowls of cereal) get them one of the restaurants custom bowls. Buy them in the shop or DM @neighborhoodramen for details.
Jezabel’s Cafe, handmade cutting boards, $30-$75
Jezabel Careaga is a cafe owner, cooking teacher and woodworker who sells her handmade pieces at her cafe in West Philly. In addition to being absolutely gorgeous, her cutting boards are made from locally sourced hardwoods and are one-of-a-kind in color and shape in order to reduce waste. Available at Jezabel’s Cafe, located at 206 South 45th Street.
Primal Supply Meats, Dinner party with Anthony Andiario, $165 per person
Every few months, Primal Supply hosts a dinner party with an amazing local chef, complete with food, drinks. Upcoming parties are with chefs like Anthony Andiario of West Chester’s Andiario, and Ange Branca of Sate Kampar. Available online.
Baology, dumpling class, $75 per person
You know what they say: give a man a dumpling and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fold a dumpling and he’ll eat for the rest of his life. Or something like that? Treat the dumpling-lover in your life to a dumpling class with our favorite Taiwanese spot in town and maybe they’ll pay you back by making you some dumplings at home. Reservations here.
Philly Mag, Philly Cooks Tickets, $115 per person
You may have heard that experiences are the gift this year. Give the Foobooz lover in your life tickets to Philly Cooks, our signature event featuring food and drinks from some of the best chefs in the city. Taste dishes from many of our 50 best list, and come hang with the Foobooz team. Tickets online.