The 2022 Foobooz Holiday Gift Guide

Philly-specific, food-centric gifts for friends, family, and that random coworker you got for Secret Santa this year.

It’s that time again…

Hi, hello, and welcome to gifting season, the time of year when it’s customary to freak out about whom you’re supposed to be buying presents for: Your brother’s new boyfriend? Your mailman? Your coworker? Do people buy tchotchkes for their coworkers in 2022?

Unfortunately, only you can determine who is on your gift list this year. But we’re here to provide suggestions about the Philly-specific, food-centric gifts they’ll love. A candle that smells like a chic East Passyunk restaurant? A shirt to remind you to hug your bread? Coffee beans that are far better than whatever Trader Joe’s dark roast they currently have stocked at home? Whether you want to spend $20 or $200, here are the gifts that will reinforce why these people like you in the first place. (Because you have excellent taste, duh.) Happy holidays.

Caphe Roasters’ single-origin beans from Bali taste a little like dried cherries and chocolate. / Photograph courtesy of Càphê Roasters

Five-pound bag of Càphê Roasters’ coffee – $95
There’s something fun about gifting a physically large item. In this case, a bag of coffee that will last for even the most intense coffee drinkers. Better yet, gift it to the most sleep-deprived person in your life, and watch them perk right up.

Camuna Cellars hat – $25
If someone in your life has recently started mentioning natural wine, mead or cider in every other conversation you have with them, gift them a Camuna Cellars hat with some adorable flowers on it. These say, “I know you like wine, but I didn’t have space in my carry-on for a whole bottle.”

Eeva’s bumper stickers are cute and also cost $2 a pop. / Photograph courtesy of Eeva

Eeva’s pizza bumper stickers – $2
If you’re not already the favorite member of your friend group, give out these babies and you soon will be. We enjoy everything Eeva comes up with (pizza, totes, hats, you name it), so check out their other merch while you’re at it.

People’s Kitchen donation – any amount
The People’s Kitchen is among our favorite food-related nonprofits in the city. It’s a collective of chefs and community members that work to provide health and delicious meals to food-insecure Philadelphians. They also operate community gardens and offer free classes around food issues. A donation to the People’s Kitchen is a move in support of a better version of this city.

Lasagna ornament from Castellino’s – $16
In addition to serving one of our favorite hoagies in Philly, Castellino’s in Fishtown has a market full of tinned fish, Luxardo cherries, vinegars, and fancy snacks. But they also sell charming, sub-$20 gifts like this lasagna ornament. If the lasagna isn’t doing it for you, maybe the cheese wedge or soft pretzel ornaments will.

Taco heart’s homemade flour tortillas make for excellent low-lift presents. A stack of ten will cost you $6. But you might as well get a bacon, egg, cheese, and avocado taco while you’re there. / Photograph provided by Taco Heart

Taco Heart flour tortillas – $6
Listen, we don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts for the periphery people in our lives. We assume you don’t either. For something low-lift (but truly exciting), head to this new Bella Vista breakfast taco joint and buy a stack of 10 blistered, chewy flour tortillas. These will stay good in the fridge for at least a week, but we have a hard time believing they’ll last that long before being snarfed. Order for pick-up ahead of time online or stop by the shop in person.

Photograph taken by Omoi Zakka

Glassware from Omoi Zakka – $14-$35
This Old City shop, which mostly sells Japanese home goods, stationary, and kitchen stuff, is good for the soul and dismal for the bank account. Take these glasses shaped like a baby tiger’s tiny little leg, for example. Does your girlfriend need these to sip sake or use for cocktails? No. But does she want them? Of course.

Bloomsday Cafe’s wine club – $99/month
Each Bloomsday membership includes three curated bottles a month, plus tasting notes to help you learn as you drink. Consider this for the person in your life who wants to learn more about wine — your friend who suddenly loves orange wine, or your parents who have expanded from drinking exclusively pinot noir. A couple of months subscription is a nice way to brighten up the beginning of the new year.

A long sleeve from Downtime Bakery in Mt. Airy to remind someone to hug their bread more. / Photograph by Dayna Evans

Downtime Bakery shirt – $25-$30
Restaurant merch always seems like a good gift idea until you realize that some of the widely circulated shirts may be uncool now. Which is why we recommend the bread-hug shirts from Downtime Bakery, which advertises itself as (probably) Philly’s smallest bakery. While you’re getting your shirts, grab a dozen of Dayna Evans’s chewy-tender sourdough bagels.

Felt + Fat mugs – $41
A handmade ceramic mug will always be a good gift, especially when it’s made locally. For a coffee drinker, a mug is something that you hold every day, just as you’re starting your morning. Get one (or a set of four) for a friend or family member you’d like to hug every day, but who maybe lives a little far away.

You’re probably going to need to buy someone a nice bottle of wine this holiday season — that’s where Mural City Cellars comes in./ Photograph by Neal Santos

Mural City Cellars Wine – $17-$35
The holidays typically require you to bring a bottle of wine to at minimum four functions. Prepare yourself by stocking up at Mural City. In addition to being delicious, these wines are made with grapes grown within a 300-mile radius of the city and then blended at Mural City’s Fishtown winery, so they make a nice conversation piece.

Herman’s Market
We can’t give you a specific recommendation on what to buy at Herman’s, because their market selection is constantly changing. Some past favorites include a drum-sized tin of Spanish potato chips, single-origin chocolate bars, fancy pasta, non-alcoholic wines and cocktail alternatives, local cheeses, and an incredible selection of tinned seafood. Stocking stuffers and small gifts abound.

Bring a box of butter cookies to your holiday host and they’ll probably invite you back next year. / Photograph courtesy of Isgro

Isgro cookie box – $27-$80
Christmas means cookies. But if you’d rather skip the baking this year, get a box of assorted Italian cookies to take to the person hosting you for the holidays. Dip these in coffee on Christmas morning or just opt for snacking all weekend. We like the box with assorted butter cookies. You do you.

Jezabel’s alfajores – $26-$28
If Italian cookies don’t spark an interest, how about the most delicious alfajores in the city? Jezabel Careaga bakes up these crumbly, dulce de leche-filled cookies, dips them in chocolate, and then ships them all over the country, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them at home or smashing them in your backpack.

The team at Mish Mish received so many compliments on the candle in their bathroom, they decided to partner with Particle Goods on their very own version, now available for purchase. / Photograph courtesy of Mish Mish

Mish Mish’s candle – $28
Mish Mish’s bathroom smells kind of smoky, kind of savory, and surprisingly luxurious, all thanks to the signature candle they burn in there. In what can only be described as a genius marketing move, that candle is available for sale in collaboration with Particle Goods. At $28, it’s a good gift for a cool new friend you only sort of know or your coworker whose name you drew in the office secret Santa. Also: The restaurant is about to sell Mish Mish totes, too, in case that’s of interest.

Di Bruno Bros. gift baskets – prices vary
At some point this holiday season, you might find yourself in need of an easy gift that feels a little personal but doesn’t require much thought. Di Bruno Bros. gift baskets are those gifts. Browse the site and pick what your recipient might like (they’ve got everything from a cheese-tasting basket to a Philly soft-pretzel-making kit), then order online and don’t give it another thought until you receive a grateful text from the lucky person you gifted.