We’re sure by now you’ve gathered that the holidays look a little different this year. But even if you aren’t with your loved ones, the least you can do is send them a curated trio of single-origin spices. We’ve rounded up 25 gifts from some of our favorite Bay Area bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, so you can give your friends and family something special this holiday season - and support local businesses.
For The Person Who Got Really Into Cooking This Year
Help them stock their kitchen.
Build-Your-Own-Spice Trio ($36)
If you’re gift shopping for someone who only has Everything But The Bagel seasoning and kosher salt in their spice drawer, check out Diaspora Co. The Oakland-based spice shop has a build-your-own trio pack - and you can pick from small jars of cardamom, turmeric, cumin, and more to put in it. They also ship nationwide.
For someone who constantly sends new recipes in the group chat, buy them anything from Omnivore Books, and they’ll be happy. The food-focused bookstore in Noe Valley has tons of cookbooks from restaurants in SF and beyond, and vintage books and magazines. Their Cookbook Club will even get you four signed selections a year for $160.
Holiday Dips & Spices ($45)
This new online market is selling a set of dips and spices that seem perfect for the holidays. The set comes with cured sumac, sunflower za’atar, and three dips of your choice (options include tahini, spicy zhug, and goat cheese labneh).
Original All-Purpose Rub ($15)
Since its grand opening in October, people have lined up for hours to get their hands on Horn Barbecue’s brisket. But since a platter of beef ribs fresh out of the smoker isn’t exactly shippable, a bottle of Horn’s original all-purpose rub might be the next best thing.
For The Person Who Got Really Into Sourdough This Year
(Bonus points if they still have the same starter from March.)
Thorough Bread and Pastry
Linen-Lined Bread Proofing Basket ($10.85)
Nothing says, “Yeah, I make bread” like your very own linen-lined proofing basket. Thorough Bread and Pastry also has other bread-making essentials, like metal scrapers or a baker’s couche, available for pick-up at their spot in Duboce Triangle. If you’re buying for someone who has yet to venture into the vast world of sourdough, get them this starter kit.
Josey Baker Bread
Josey Baker Bread: Get Baking - Make Awesome Bread - Share the Loaves ($28)
Aside from making some of our favorite bread in the city at The Mill (and recently discussing the joys of sourdough with Jake Gyllenhaal), Josey Baker also has a cookbook, so you can try his recipes at home. It’s got 54 bread recipes, from pizza dough to Dark Mountain Rye. You can get it here, through Omnivore Books.
For The Person With A Sh*t Ton Of Tote Bags
We all know one. Or maybe you are one?
Scallions Tote ($15)
We love Mister Jiu’s, and we love scallions equally as much, if not… more? The Chinatown restaurant’s scallion tote bag is a great gift for someone who frequents farmers’ markets - or won’t shut up about all the green onions they’ve grown in mason jars this year. The tote comes in yellow or white.
UMAMI Tote ($18)
This tote from the Japanese store/bar in Oakland is perfect for someone who’d appreciate cute drawings of things like urchins, anchovies, and ice cream. The other stuff in Umami Mart’s online store is also worth checking out - they’ve got a near-overwhelming inventory of beautifully-designed glasses, and barware, and a great selection of sake and whiskeys (a membership to their sake club would make a fantastic gift, too).
Black Coffee Tote ($22)
Red Bay Coffee is one of our favorite coffee roasters in Oakland. We love everything about them, from their Slow Burn and Carver’s Dream coffee blends to their merch. If you love them too, show it with this Black Coffee tote.
The coffee and wine bar in Berkeley has a black-and-white canvas tote bag with their logo on it, along with pantry items like hot sauce, tinned fish, and za’atar - all of which would also make excellent gifts.
For The Person In Your Life With An Obscene Amount Of Graphic Tees
Nothing wrong with adding one more to the collection.
Jeremy Fish x Señor Sisig Pocket Tee ($30)
The Filipino food truck has a ton of really fun t-shirts, stickers, bandanas, and pins in their online store. But if we had to choose just one piece of merch, we’d go with this pocket tee, which features the Señor Sisig pig logo.
Christmas Sweatshirt ($39)
Given the state of the world, the person you’re giving a gift to will probably have their fair share of holiday Zooms this year. So give them something that fits with the theme: Zeitgeist’s Christmas sweatshirt. Just note that the sweater is only available until December 14th. For every purchase, Zeitgeist will also donate $2 to their staff’s GoFundMe.
Del Popolo Graphic T-Shirt ($20)
If you want to gift a t-shirt with a design worth framing on the wall, this one from Del Popolo might be it. On the back of the t-shirt is a great illustration of a pizza-shaped sun and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
Hawaiian Shirt ($35)
We all know someone whose go-to wardrobe staple is, for better or worse, a Hawaiian shirt. If you feel like enabling their obsession this year, Anchor Brewing has one that’s decorated with a bunch of their old beer labels.
Tacos El Patrón
Official Tacos El Patrón Shirt ($20)
Whenever we’re in the Mission and craving quesabirria tacos, we immediately head to Tacos El Patrón. And we’d be happy to rep their mustached logo loud and proud on any piece of clothing. This black tee is a great start.
Long Sleeve ($25)
Ube Area makes some excellent ube and mochi pastries that you can find at Excelsior Coffee or Hula Hoops. Their merch line-up is extensive - they have t-shirts, tote bags, masks, and hats - but this long sleeve might be our favorite.
For Your Friend Who Won’t Stop Posting On Strava
We get it, you’re outdoorsy.
Camping Coffee Set ($40)
For someone who keeps a set of camping chairs in their trunk at all times, get them Verve’s camping coffee set for their next outdoor adventure. It comes with instant coffee, a portable brewer from Dripkit, a camping mug, and even a small Verve enamel pin.
Bagel Bandana ($10)
Bandanas are great for everyone, including but not limited to: your dog, your friend, or your friend’s dog. And this one from Boichik Bagels is possibly our favorite that we’ve seen, ever. It’s got tiny bagels all over it. We’ve already ordered one for every single person we know.
Get Jag Hoodie ($55)
We’re all trying to get a little more fresh air these days. So a sweatshirt from Liholiho Yacht Club could come in pretty handy. It’s printed with their slogan, “Get Jag” - a Hawaiian saying that’s all about letting loose - and you can order one here.
Black Hat ($27)
We ordered the pepperoni pizza from Square Pie Guys many, many times in 2020. And if you know anyone who’s done similarily, their baseball cap, which has a simple square of their classic pepperoni pie on it, is an excellent gift.
For People Who Like Presents They Can Eat
Because they read our site, right?
Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie
Nougat Gift Box ($36)
The bakery in the Mission specializes in desserts made with botanical ingredients, like flowers and fruits. And for the holidays, you can order a box of nougat made with mangoes, figs, or pumpkin seeds. They also ship throughout California.
Anchovy Toast Kit ($68)
This holiday kit from the new anchovy and wine bar in the Fillmore is a wonderful gift for someone whose love language is tinned fish. It comes with two packages of anchovies, tomato vinaigrette, EVOO, and a recipe for anchovy toast. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
Salumi Set ($95)
For the cured meats lover or serial picnicker in your life, get them Che Fico’s salumi set. If unwrapping a massive box of Italian cheeses, house-cured charcuterie, crackers, olives, and jam doesn’t make them happy, we don’t know what will.