To say the absolute least, the restaurant industry needs our help right now - especially after all they’ve done for us throughout this heartbreaking year. That’s why we made this guide. It’s got some great holiday gifts like a Wu-Tang-inspired cocktail strainer for your at-home bar needs, a unicorn oven mitt, and some one-of-a-kind restaurant merch. But the best part? All these gifts donate a portion of profits to causes that support the restaurant industry.
Serving New York
Serving New York would be a cookbook worth buying even if 100% of the proceeds weren’t donated to ROAR and the Robin Hood Restaurant Relief Fund. The book features recipes from some excellent New York restaurants like Olmsted, Charlie Bird, and over 40 more spots. If the hardcover happens to be sold out, you can still order a digital copy, and feel great knowing that your money helps provide assistance for NYC restaurant workers.
Merch 4 Relief
Merch 4 Relief is an organization that works with various restaurants - like NYC’s Wildair or LA’s Broad Street Oyster Co. - to produce original merch like shirts, sweaters, and hats. 95% of the profits from that merch go right back into the individual restaurant, and the other 5% goes to general restaurant worker relief funds or the artists (all of whom are current and former restaurant workers) who created the design. The best part, though, is that the clothes on this site are really cool designs you’ll actually want to wear.
Family Meal Recipes
Family Meal has curated 38 recipes from NYC restaurants, and profits will help raise money for New York restaurants and their employees. You can either purchase a complete hardcopy cookbook with all the recipes, or download recipes - like Pies ‘N Thighs’ buttermilk biscuits or lu rou fan from Win Son - individually for a donation of your choosing.
Raekwon Cocktail Strainer
The bartending apparel company Mover & Shaker Co. did a really fun collab with hip-hop legend Raekwon to make what is quite possibly the coolest cocktail strainer on planet earth. A portion of proceeds from the strainer, which is shaped in the iconic ‘W’ from the Wu-Tang Clan, go towards Another Round Another Rally’s efforts to raise emergency funds for the hospitality industry.
Made in Chinatown Merch
Made In Chinatown is a collection of new merch from businesses in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Profits will go to Chinatown businesses - pretty much all of which were hit very hard during the pandemic. Show them some love and support, and bring home a Jing Fong mug or an Eggloo tote while you’re at it.
Texas Treats Gift Box
These snack boxes from Assembly Kitchen and the Texas Food and Wine Alliance are excellent gifts for any hungry Texan in your life. Boxes include some great food from local Texas chefs, like veggie tamales, smoked fresno salsa, Spanish chorizo, and chocolate chili cookies.
Negroni to-Goni T-Shirt
This shirt from Love & Victory is a celebration of 2020’s real hero: the to-go cocktail. 50% of profits from the shirt will be donated to the US Bartender’s Guild’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, to give your favorite bartender the support they need to make you more negronis when this mess is finally over.
With Warm Welcome Posters
With Warm Welcome - a podcast that features conversations between Asian American restaurateurs, chefs, and tastemakers - has some really cool original restaurant posters for sale, inspired by restaurants like Cote, Di An Di, and Junzi Kitchen. Besides the fact that these posters will make your kitchen look 300% better, 50% of sales will be donated to various charities like Heart of Dinner.
Unicorn Oven Mitt
This “unicorn” oven mitt from Neon Lace Company not only sparkles, but $2 from each purchase goes to The Okra Project, an organization that was founded to pay Black trans chefs to cook free meals for Black trans people. During the pandemic, they’ve expanded their mission serve the Black trans community in a variety of ways. Each mitt is also hand-dyed, so it’ll be unique and special, like the slightly burnt cookies you’ll pull out of the oven while wearing this.
All the Restaurants Original Prints
All The Restaurants is an ongoing project from artist John Donohue, who is attempting to draw every single restaurant in New York City. He’s not quite there yet, but he does have a very impressive selection, which he sells in 5x7 and 9x12 prints. Donohue is currently donating 50% of all print sale profits to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.