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The Eater NY 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Presents for the home cooks, restaurant obsessives, and food enthusiasts in your life

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The holidays will look a little different this year, with many choosing to stay at home due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and many others spending them apart from their families. With that in mind, gifting will likely take on even more meaning this year.

That’s also reflected in this year’s gift guide, which is larger that it’s been in the past. This selection of local gifts includes spice mixes from the late revolutionary chef Floyd Cardoz, a new wine subscription from Eater, and cute merchandise like totes and t-shirts from some of the city’s best restaurants.

Still want more options? Check out Eater’s list of gift guides across the country. For now, check out these 18 gifts for the restaurant and food lovers in your life.

Several sweets including chocolate bars, bon bons, hot chocolate tins, all placed in a brown box Vesta [Official]

Vesta chocolate gift sets

The craft chocolate purveyors at Vesta have taken the small-batch, bean-to-bar movement and applied the same sourcing process to sweets that include more than just chocolate bars (although they’ve got those, too). Vesta’s range of gift packages include hot chocolate, brownies, cookies, bonbons, cacao hazelnut spread, and more.

Price: $70 to $185

Against a golden-brown background sit a tall red bottle of alcohol along with two wine glasses that have a white drink in them Santa Teresa [Official]

Virtual speakeasy with Santa Teresa 1796

Venezuelan rum company Santa Teresa 1796 has partnered with bartenders from cocktail hotspots around the country, including Ireen Ha from Dante, Samantha Casuga from the Dead Rabbit, and Meaghan Dorman from Raines Law Room, to offer virtual cocktail classes throughout the holiday season. A bottle of rum is included with the purchase of each ticket.

Price: $50

A bowl of oysters with three different sauces in front of it along with a bunch of unopened oysters as well Seamore’s [Official]

Seamore’s oyster shucking kit

Local seafood mini-chain Seamore’s put together an at-home oyster shucking kit that come with 24 East Coast oysters, a shucking knife and protective glove, plus all the condiments, including mignonette, cocktail sauce, and a mini Tabasco sauce. Make-at-home kits for lobster rolls or shrimp tacos are also on deck.

Price: $75

A picnic spread featuring a white blanket, some green leaves, cookies, a brown aperitif, and some cut up grapefruits Jamie Fass [Official]

West-bourne’s something special set

After permanently shutting down her casual, all-day restaurant earlier this year, owner Camilla Marcus has kept the restaurant’s online pantry shop going, selling some of the most popular goodies and custom spice mixes from the laid-back cafe. West-bourne’s something special set packages some of the in-house hits like the popcorn trio and the togorashi chex mix along with baked goods from Lani Halliday, and a bottle of the aperitif Ghia, among other items.

Price: $150

A cookbook with several slices of piece on plates placed on a pink table Petee’s Pie [Official]

Petee’s Pie cookbook

In Pie for Everyone, released this fall, Petee’s Pie owner Petra Paredez has divulged plenty of pie-making secrets from the beloved Lower East Side bakery. There’s a range of over 80 recipes for all types of pie enthusiasts covered in the book, plus lots of tips for getting the foundations of pie-making down pat, from achieving flaky crusts to nailing perfectly balanced fillings.

Price: $26

A hot sauce bottle placed among cut up vegetables with chile sauce on it 886 [Official]

Sze Daddy chili sauce

Eric Sze, the chef and owner of playful East Village Taiwanese restaurant 886, has a chile sauce that’s a take on the spicy and savory Taiwanese condiment shacha sauce. Sze’s creation includes garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, Korean chile powder, star anise, and scallions among other ingredients. It’s ideal for tossing on salads, steaks, fried chicken, or all on its own if you’re into fiery condiments.

Price: $8

A poster depicting the exterior of thai restaurant Fish Cheeks Max Kho [Official]

With Warm Welcome’s restaurant posters

With Warm Welcome, the group that amplifies Asian-American voices in the restaurant industry through its podcast, magazine, and online store is selling dozens of posters by designers like Max Kho and Seohui Chi. The prints depict NYC favorites like Adda Indian Canteen, Fish Cheeks, Wayla, and others, along with beloved dishes like the kimchi burger at Nowon.

Price: $30

A jar of Goan masala laid against a background of the red orange spice blend scattered about Burlap and Barrel [Official]

Floyd Cardoz’s spice line

The renowned late chef died from complications related to COVID-19 in March, but his wife Barkha Cardoz decided to complete his last unfinished project, in partnership with NYC shop Burlap and Barrel. The line of spice blends includes a fragrant garam masala, a more subtle Goan masala, and a heat-packed Kashmiri masala. Profits from sales of the blends will be split between Barkha and Burlap and Barrel, with a portion of the proceeds going towards Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a nonprofit that Floyd supported during his career.

Price: $11.99 apiece or $33.99 for the set

A stock image of a black t-shirt with a small image of a yellow dumping appears over a red background Pearl River Mart [Official]

88 Lan Zhou short-sleeve t-shirt

Nonprofit Welcome to Chinatown has been working through the pandemic to support businesses in the neighborhood that have been impacted by the economic downturn. Part of that effort includes a merchandize shop with caps, crewnecks, mugs, and more, sold in partnership with New York institution Pearl River Mart. This limited-print shirt, created by graphic designer Harry Trinh, helps support 88 Lan Zhou, a Chinatown mainstay that closed its doors at the end of October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Price: $35

Two tall bottles with a clear liquid, one standing and one sitting flat on a table against a white background Matt Grub/Supergay Spirits [Official]

Supergay Spirits vodka

This upstate New York small batch vodka company was started by one of the founders of queer biannual print magazine Gayletter, Tom Jackson, along with Aaron Thorp, a New York bar and restaurant vet. It’s made with local corn and filtered through activated coconut charcoal, which makes for a particularly smooth-tasting vodka. The vodka is sold at several local liquor stores across the city but can also be ordered online.

Price: $29

A white cardboard box with jugs of milk and packets of boba sitting on top Jennifer Nguyen/Tea and Milk [Official]

Tea and Milk’s DIY boba kits

This Astoria-based tea shop — known for its high-quality, well-sourced boba teas — started selling DIY boba tea kits earlier this year to help fund the team’s efforts to pay staff during the initial shutdown, donate drinks to hospitals, and buy and donate PPE to local clinics. Each kit comes with the customer’s choice of loose leaf tea plus brown sugar, raw boba, and instructions on how to put it all together.

Price: $32 to $40

A truffle slicer with a dark wooden handle and a stainless steel blade, which has the words “Everyday I’m Trufflin’” printed on it Trufflin [Official]

An “Every Day I’m Trufflin” truffle slicer

New York City loves its truffles, but none perhaps more so than Liv Woudstra-Robinson and Cornelious Robinson, the founders behind local truffle supplier Trufflin. First spotted by Eater staff at Koreatown pop-up Joomak, the company sells a stainless steel truffle slicer, emblazoned with the words, “Everyday I’m Trufflin.” A selection of seasonal French truffles is also available for sale.

Price: $40

A hand in a tweed jacket holds out a tote with a list of words written in light and dark blue fonts Jewish Food Society [Official]

A schmaltzy tote from the Jewish Food Society

The holidays are an excellent excuse to bring a new tote bag into your rotation, and Eater wholly recommends this one from New York City-based non-profit the Jewish Food Society. Through recipes and food history, the local organization works to “preserve beloved Jewish foods and to celebrate new ones,” according to its website. This tote, designed in partnership with creative studio Fuzzco, pays homage to shakshuka, challah, herring, and more.

Price: $25

The upper half of four bottles of wine, with tops of different sizes, heights, and colors Eater

Eater Wine Club subscription

Reasons to uncork a bottle of wine are in no short supply right now, and Eater has New York City covered with this new monthly subscription. Available in packages of two or four bottles per month, the club’s shipments are curated by a different restaurant each month. The first package comes from Zwann Grays, the beverage director behind popular Prospect Heights restaurants Olmsted and Maison Yaki.

Price: $70 to $110

Four patterned ceramic mugs are stacked on top of four additional ceramic mugs, with different patterns and colors Recreation Center [Official]

Ceramic coffee mugs from Recreation Center

Small-batch ceramics brand Recreation Center creates mugs that “contribute to a less boring and more colorful day,” according to its website, something most stuck-at-home workers could likely benefit from right now. The shop’s selection of patterned ceramics, created by Brooklyn-based artist Josephine Noel, includes patterned mugs, cups, bowls, and plateware. Shop the selection at her website or through Brooklyn jewelry store Mociun.

Price: $40 to $52

A cream blanket with the words “the Four Horsemen” and a colorful hand-drawn logo rests on top of a wooden side table The Four Horsemen [Official]

A fleece blanket for outdoor dining from the Four Horsemen

Williamsburg supplier of natural wine and good times the Four Horsemen is selling fleece blankets through its online store, perfect for bundling up on the couch or at your favorite restaurant outdoors. The cream-colored blankets are embroidered with a pandemic-adapted version of the restaurant’s logo, featuring a horse with a mask over its mouth.

Price: $25

Re-opening Continues Across Densely Populated New York And New Jersey Areas Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

A gifted donation to the Street Vendor Project

New York City food businesses have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and street vendors — which rely on tourists and office lunch crowds to stay afloat — have been particularly at-risk of closing. At the heart of that struggle is the Street Vendor Project, a local non-profit that advocates on behalf of street vendors and provides affordable legal assistance to vendors facing fines from the police. Donations in any amount can be made to the non-profit under someone else’s name.

Price: $1 to $100

An oval plate with brownish meat with a pair of chopsticks next to it. An orange spice packet sits next to them Omsom [Official]

Omsom starter kits

Sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham kicked off OmSom in the middle of the pandemic, selling starter packs of Asian sauces and spices in collaboration with buzzy NYC Asian restaurants like Fish Cheeks, MáLà Project, and Jeepney. Since its launch, OmSom has grown to include starter packs that lay an easy foundation for several Southeast and East Asian dishes, including lemongrass barbecue, spicy bulgogi, and fiery Mala salads.

Price: From $12 for a 3-pack of one spice blend up to $55 for a kit with all of Omsom’s spice blends.

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