Gift giving is too often an extensive, panic-driven search to find the perfect present. No matter the recipient, it’s rarely easy to find something that fits budgets, Yankee swap rules, size requirements, and appropriateness for the receiver.
To make it all a little easier, Eater has put together a gift guide for the New York restaurant obsessives in your life. There’s merchandise from the city’s institutions, food from some of the best local pastry chefs, and plenty of items in between — all tested by the Eater New York staff.
New York-based artist John Donohue is on a never-ending journey to sketch all of the city’s restaurants. Until then, enjoy one of his many lovely prints that honor the city’s greats like Balthazar, Gramercy Tavern, Prune, and The Dutch. Donohue sells 365 copies of each print, which are available in nine-by-12 inches.
Make waves with this hard-to-miss beach towel proudly toting a grandma slice from GG’s in New York. Bonus: The towel is shipped inside a pizza box.
Noona’s Ice Cream
Noona’s founder Hannah Bae sharply infuses touchstone Korean flavors into creamy ice cream. While the toasted rice is a fan favorite with a following all its own, the black sesame, and turmeric and honeycomb are just as wonderful.
Butter & Scotch is churning out plenty of perfect pies for the pals in your life. The s’mores pie is a particular show-stopper, layering a graham cracker crust with gooey chocolate custard and a toasted marshmallow topping. That one is booze-free, unlike Butter & Scotch’s hefty bourbon ginger pecan pie.
Sweater from Katz’s
A comfy crewneck to keep the serious Katz’s fan in your life warm. The cozy sweater emblazoned with a photo of the longtime Jewish deli also comes in black with white letters, plus navy with yellow. As a delightful bonus, the back comes with the ever-catchy, ever-classic slogan “Send a salami to your boy in the army.”
Everything Bagel Kit
This small but mighty bagel kit from Farm Steady makes 12 everything bagels plus enough cream cheese for them all. It’s compact, easy to follow, and nearly complete with the exception of a few kitchen appliances. Perfect for the homesick New Yorkers — or the snowed-in New Yorkers.
Torta della Nonna
Maialino’s pastry chef Jessica Weiss wonderfully mirrors the Gramercy restaurant’s celebration of Italian tradition with the torta della nonna. Encased in an almond and butter crust, the eggy custard inside is reminiscent of a Portuguese pasteis de nata, with strong reminders of lemon and vanilla.
Completely change the pin game with these restaurant-inspired versions from LES pizzeria Scarr’s, Brooklyn ice cream shop Noona’s, and Emily Pizza. It’s a truly ideal way of discreetly showing your love for your favorite New York restaurants.
Price: Scarr’s Pin / Noona’s Pin / Emily Pin
Maybe you’ve had Levain’s perfect, six-ounce whopper of a cookie, and maybe you’ve mentioned it to a distant loved one who just needs to eat one to believe it. Each set comes with one of each Levain signature: chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and dark chocolate peanut butter chip.
This gold-plated necklace is a collaboration between the French bakery and designer Ariana Ost. It’d be a great gift for Maman’s biggest fan, but it’s also perfect for the moms in your life — maman means mom in French. The necklace also available in silver and rose gold.
Lauded New York City bartender Jim Meehan (PDT, Pegu Club) has created this definitive guide to being the next great bartender. Heavy on trade secrets, it’s more of an industry manual than it is a guide for the home bartender. It’s required gifting for the drinks nerd in your life.
Quality Eats Mug
Cheers to millennial pink and the steakhouse of the future with this supremely pink mug from Quality Eats. It’s also just a solid gift for the person in your life who really enjoys pink.
Runner & Stone Tart
Pastry chef Peter Endriss has been baking a variety of pies and tarts out of his Brooklyn restaurant and bakery since the start of the holiday season. Included in the lineup is a traditional linzer tart filled with raspberries in an almond crust that makes it feel like summer all over again.
Luger Cutting Board
For preparing damn good steaks at home — or anything else you’d put on a cutting board — the folks at Brooklyn’s iconic Peter Luger Steak House have created this beautiful cherry wood cutting board. It’s durable and even has deep wells all around the cutting area to catch spills.
Calabrian Chili Spread
Lower East Side deli Regina’s ups the ante on sandwich spreads with this Calabrian chili version that’s spicy but never numbing. Plus, the only other ingredients you’ll find here are extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Use it at home on sandwiches, toasted bread, or with eggs.
Wine from Long Island
Winemaker Kelly Koch has been working with the Macari family for over 10 years, celebrating grapes grown on Long Island’s North Fork region. Varieties span widely and include a 2014 Syrah that packs punches of spices and red fruits, as well as a super juicy 2014 Cabernet Franc. Hot tip: The Long Island winery is also a lovely day trip from the city.