We’re not going to be the 10,000th media publication to tell you that “the holidays look a little different this year.” But we will tell you that if you’re planning to support local businesses through your holiday shopping, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of food-and-drink gift ideas (that your friends and family will actually want) from Seattle-based restaurants, espresso bars, sweet shops, and more. And since it’s quite possible that your recipient may not live here, we’ve noted the spots that offer national shipping. Happy gift-giving season, Seattle.
Smoked Chocolate Chips | Ships Nationally
Gifting someone a $15 jar of chocolate chips almost sounds like a prank. But these are not just any chocolate chips - they’re Hot Cakes’ smoked chocolate chips. Cold-smoked over alder wood, these are the base of this molten lava cake shop’s excellent soft serve magic shell. If there’s a chocolate fan in your universe who would love a sweet experience that tastes like diving headfirst into a campfire (without risk of injury), grab one or two. Perfect for cookie-baking, melting into hot fudge, or just eating straight from the jar.
Nunya Sauce | Ships Nationally
While we’re on the topic of pure genius encapsulated within a jar, it’d be impossible not to mention Marination Ma Kai’s Nunya sauce. This Hawaiian Greatest Hit drizzles their incredibly creamy and spicy sauce on everything from kalbi beef tacos to kalua pork quesadillas. And it would excel as the new kid in your refrigerator door that barges in unannounced to shake things up. Sorry, Miracle Whip. The full ingredient list is a company secret, but imagine a sriracha mayo spiked with sesame oil and maybe a hint of lime. Want to give something sweet instead? They also sell liliko’i caramel.
Coffee Beans | Ships Nationally
“Seattle’s a coffee town!” says everyone. But if you’re shopping for an espresso expert, where can you find the very best beans? Enter Espresso Vivace. Their vita and dolce blends, sold in 12-ounce bags for $16 and $17 are some of the greatest things to come from Seattle (along with Pearl Jam and watching people throw fish for entertainment). Vivace sells whole beans only, so make sure your recipient owns a grinder. And if they don’t, please allow us to point you in the direction of The Best Gifts For People Who Are Into Coffee.
The Land Of Cheese & Honey | Ships Nationally
This year, give the gift of cheese. Beecher’s is a Seattle staple - and you’ve probably watched the shop’s staff stir around fresh curds in their giant Pike Place vat. They sell a bunch of gift packages, and if you’re looking to include something sweet and salty for the price of one, you should opt for The Land Of Cheese And Honey. This $69 collection includes their Flagship cheddar, Marco Polo peppercorn, and New Woman jerk-spiced cheeses, along with (really good) homemade honey oat crackers and a jar of Jacobsen’s Walla Walla honey.
Girl Meets Dirt
Cheese Board Companion Box | Ships Nationally
Speaking of cheddar, a cheese board is just not complete without preserves from Girl Meets Dirt on Orcas Island. They feature local stone fruit, herbs, and California citrus, with flavors ranging from shiro plum with mint to pear with orange and peppercorn. Their cheese board companion box for $76 contains our personal favorite selections, including jars of their ruby red apple, pink bartlett pear, Italian plum, and quince cutting preserves.
Matcha Kit | Ships Nationally
If you’ve been working from home this year, you might know the importance of a caffeinated beverage at your desk. And if you’re shopping for a green tea-drinker, they’d appreciate a Matcha Kit from Miro Tea in Ballard. This great cafe serves fantastic organic Japanese matcha, and this kit includes a whisk, a whisk stand, a scoop, and two ounces of tea powder. It pairs really well with one of their teapots or mugs, too.
A Whiff Of Waffle Cone Scented Candle | Ships Nationally
One of the best parts about grabbing a scoop from Salt & Straw has absolutely nothing to do with ice cream. It has a lot to do, however, with the scent of freshly-griddled waffle cones wafting out the door. This phenomenal ice cream shop has replicated a similar creamy, caramel-y smell in scented-candle form for $30. This is the only item on this list that I bought two of - one as a gift and one all for me.
Tie Dye Hoodie | Ships Nationally
Monorail Espresso is a fantastic espresso window Downtown that has been around since the ’80s, and their coffee and merch is some of the best in town. Their latest sweatshirt is a vibrant yellow tie-dye hoodie with a design by local artist Connor McPherson for $55. For something equally as stylish but more in-tune with the overall mood of Seattle, there are two different dark gray crewnecks to choose from as well.
Puerto Rican Pantry | Ships Nationally
For anyone who loves to cook or just is missing a few spice-drawer staples, Addo will come in handy. They’re selling homemade sazón, spicy sazón, sofrito, adobo, spicy adobo, annatto oil, and more - even a sazón-scented candle to keep the kitchen smelling great long after cooking. Anything from their Puerto Rican Pantry list that’s non-perishable can be shipped nationally, and prices start at $8 - check it out on their website.
Musang Blanket | Ships Nationally
If you have some safe outdoor hangs in your future, a trusty blanket is going to be key. This excellent Filipinx restaurant on Beacon Hill sells a green blanket adorned with their decorative wildcat logo for $35, and should keep anyone warm during these winter patio moments. Plus, it’s a great reminder to order some delicious takeout from Musang, too.
Holiday Gift Box | Ships Nationally
The best way to support multiple small businesses at once for the holidays is to send a gift box with Savor Seattle. Their collection of packages has something for everyone and involves many local vendors like Toffee-O Popcorn, Theo Chocolate, Chukar Cherries, and more. Choose between eight different options, from a holiday sweets box to a New Year’s Eve-inspired box with all the snacks you need to say “Bye 2020, don’t let the door hit you extremely hard on the way out.”
Pacifique Northwest Wine Tote | Ships Nationally
The wine-lover in your life deserves a beautiful and sturdy tote bag, like L’Oursin’s $30 Pacifique Northwest tote, for easy (and stylish) bottle-shopping. It’s made from canvas, includes felt sleeves that hold bottles in place, and has a flat bottom to prevent anything from rolling around. Plus, that person would be very glad to know that you supported one of the best natural wine bars in the city with this gift.
Holiday Pack | Ships Nationally
Lady Yum is like the Jelly Belly of French macarons - the options are seemingly limitless, from butterbeer to bomb pop. And for the holidays, they’ve released some seasonal flavors like peppermint bark, gingerbread lemon, pear frangipane, frosted sugar cookie, and cherry coconut cordial. You can buy these in 10- or 15-packs ($25 and $37.50, respectively) that can be shipped nationally. If buying for someone local and you want to add some bubbles to the mix, there are some Champagne-pairing gift packages available for pickup, too.
Pinckney Cookie Cafe
Brown Butter Brown Sugar Bourbon Spice Cookies | Ships Nationally
Tis’ the season to bake cookies for the ones you care about - but if that’s not in the cards this year, ship them a big box of cookies from Pinckney instead. Mainly, their incredible brown butter brown sugar bourbon spice cookies, which are chewy, nutty, and made with an entire bottle of Woodinville Whiskey Co. bourbon per batch. A dozen of these is a phenomenal addition to a cookie platter, even though it’s pretty much guaranteed to make the gingerbread men jealous.
Holiday Sample Pack | Ships Nationally
Nothing quite says “someone loves you” like cured sticks of really good meat. And Salumi (now known as Coro) in Pioneer Square knows their way around some salami. There are many different gift packages to choose from, but they’ve created a $50 assortment specifically for the holidays, including four different salamis: lemongrass with cumin, cardamom with orange, curry black pepper fennel, and a festive one studded with red and green peppercorns. Plus, refrigeration is not required, so these will ship well.
16 Ounce Glass Can | Ships Nationally
All beverages objectively taste better poured in a sleek glass - it’s science. And since Anchorhead serves our favorite cold brew in town, it only makes sense to recommend a few $8 can-shaped glasses for the person in your world who exclusively drinks iced coffee year-round. This glassware will also work for beer, lemonade, and yes, even plain water.
We love Lucky Envelope Brewing for their terrific raspberry sour and patio that we daydream about visiting again with friends once it’s safe to do so. But we also love them for this casual $15 knit beanie, with a sky blue color and red Lucky Envelope logo. It’s minimal, classic, and looks good with a plaid flannel - just like your cherished Seattleite friends and family.
The Works: BarkBurger, Frenchie Fries, Never-Melt Milkshake | Ships Nationally
It almost seems sad to hand over this damn adorable plush Shake Shack meal to your dog just to completely tear apart and destroy, but to be fair, that’s what we’d do with an actual ShackBurger, crinkle fries, and vanilla shake, too. This set is $20 and should be perfect for your pet, plus it probably comes in a really exciting cardboard box that’ll also provide hours of entertainment.
My Noodle Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside The Lines | Ships Nationally
Seattle chef Rachel Yang’s cookbook, My Noodle Bowl, was published in 2017. But we wanted to shout it out in 2020 since Revel (one of Yang’s fantastic Korean restaurants) reopened this year after their space was completely renovated. So if you’ve ever found yourself at Revel, Joule, or Trove (we miss you Trove), happily hunched over a bowl of seaweed crab noodles, short rib dumplings, or fried cauliflower with bagna cauda, and want someone you love to be able to make these delicious dishes at home, it’s a perfect present. Support a local bookstore by ordering from Book Larder or Elliott Bay Book Company instead of throwing even more money at a 1.7 trillion dollar company.
The Pastry Project
Pastry Kit | Ships Nationally
The Pastry Project is a Pioneer Square baking operation that provides free pastry education to those who face barriers to opportunity, and a great (and easy) way to support their mission is to buy delicious baked goods for your friends and family. If you’re buying for someone who lives in the Puget Sound area, you can give them a “goody box” subscription, which is a pickup-only collection of monthly-rotating sweets, from vanilla bean black cherry cheesecake to chocolate espresso layer cake. And if you want to ship something, you can gift a pastry kit (which has everything non-perishable that you need to make batches of things like malted chocolate confetti cookies or brown sugar toaster pastries), or a crewneck sweatshirt featuring either a cinnamon roll or pink cookie design.
Discovery Box | Ships Nationally
This Lebanese and Moroccan spice shop sells plenty of pantry staples, like za’atar, tahini, dukkah, ras al hanout, sumac, and seasoning blends for shawarma and kefta, that work well as gifts - as well as gift packages that include multiple items. But it would be wrong to not also notify you of this incredible $20 t-shirt of an illustrated harissa jar surrounded by aromatics, designed by local artist Tashina Suzuki. Note that medium is the only size left.
Pint Pack | Ships Nationally
This plant-based scoop shop serves outstanding cashew- and coconut-milk-based ice cream in flavors like chocolate tahini with cookie dough, brown sugar vanilla, and salty caramel with activated charcoal. They ship their pints nationally, and we think it’s impossible to not make a person happy by gifting them this ice cream. Just note that if you’re going to surprise someone with a four-pack ($56) of maybe the best vegan ice cream in the country, you might want to hint that they’ll need to make room in the freezer.
Happy Little Apple Diner Mug | Ships Nationally
Everyone needs a good, reliable diner mug in their lives, even if it’s destined to be a graveyard for paper clips and lint. And we are into this one for $10 with a cartoon apple from Yonder Cider in Phinney Ridge. Use it for coffee, use it for Yonder’s tasty semi-dry cider, or use it for eating M&Ms with a spoon. Let it also be known that their crewneck sweatshirt is especially comfortable.
Two Beers Brewing Company
Art Prints | Ships Nationally
If you know someone in Seattle who likes beer, chances are they have a favorite brewery. And if it’s Two Beers, it’s a good idea to celebrate their two best brews in art print form to hang on their wall. Posters of Day Hike and Wonderland Trail are available, and would look really cool framed and side-by-side if you’re OK with this gift doubling as a DIY home project.