Seven Foodie Gift Ideas

Seven highly curated, West Coast-inspired gift ideas that are a little out of the ordinary but just right for the foodist in your life.

‘Tis the season for gift guides and end-of-year lists. I am piling on with my own guide to the best treats and fun eats that can be delivered or hand-carried to someone’s door. I could not sample every item on this list (noted below), but have tasted most. While my palate is not the same as yours, I stand behind my picks as delicious and exciting options to gift to anyone on your list.

  1. Karl the Nog Vegan Chocolate Bar

Berkeley’s Tcho transitioned its entire retail product line away from cow milk, moving to  plant-based milks by 2023. Their work resulted in a playful array of bars such as Choco Latte made with oat milk and Aw Nuts! which blends almond butter and sunflower lecithin to achieve cow milk’s creaminess. Smooth moves flow through Karl the Nog, a seasonal bar pumped up with nutmeg and cashew butter to create an aromatic chocolate that sings of the season while riffing on the city’s signature weather element. $9.99 for three .83 oz bars or $49.99 as part of a seasonal, six-bar variety pack (six 2.5 oz. bars) that includes Pumpkin Up, when pumpkin pie assumes bar form but better because it’s infused with ginger snap cookie bits. It’s gluten-free, too!

2. Dandelion Chocolates Single-Origin Truffles

Box of  Dandelion Chocolates Single-Origin Truffles

A new confections collection from the San Francisco-based company allows at-home tasters to experience the range of flavors that Dandelion’s master chocolatiers source from around the world for their bonbons. The 15-piece assortment includes three each of Tumaco, Colombia – 2017 Harvest; Costa Esmeraldas, Ecuador – 2018 Harvest; Maya Mountain, Belize – 2018 Harvest; Kokoa Kamili, Tanzania – 2017 Harvest and Ambanja, Madagascar – 2018 Harvest. $55

*A sample of this product was not available.

3. Best of the Ferry Building Gift Basket

Best of the Ferry Building Gift Basket

Designed to provide a glimpse into San Francisco’s expansive food scene, the small batch goods are as flavorful as they are expressive of the Ferry Building’s food merchants and the Bay Area. A total of nine items, including two Fort Point Brewing beers, Le Marais Bakery’s cookie mix, a bag of Blue Bottle Coffee Beans and Recchiuti Confections peppermint thins, have fans across the world. $160

*A sample of this basket was not available.

4. Jacobsen Co. Raw Wildflower Honey

Perhaps you already know of Jacobsen Salt Co. and their commitment to harvesting sustainability crafted pure sea salts from the Oregon Coast? That same commitment to sustainability and craft is brought to their West Coast varietal honeys. 100% raw honey is never heated, blended, or ultra-filtered and each carries a distinct flavor profile that reflects the flora and forage of its region. I sampled West Coast High Desert, medium-dark in color with notes of sage and a pronounced anise (basil? Mint?) character that would make it perfect on toast with fresh cheese. 8.62 oz for $11 or ½ gallon for $70

5. Teleferic Barcelona Gourmet Gift Basket

foodie gift idea: Spanish appetizers and snacks from Teleferic Barcelona.

There may be no easier way to get ready for a holiday party than with this Spanish-themed gift basket from the Barcelona company with restaurants in Northern California. It is packed with goodies to make a 1-2-3 holiday party spread, including  the stunning ham known as Jamón Ibérico De Bellota Pata Negra, wedges of Manchego and, Mahón cheeses, olive oil breadsticks, anchovy-stuffed olives and Torres truffle chips. Rabitas Royal chocolate-covered figs, Marcona almonds and Teleferic Barcelona extra virgin olive oil and a bottle of Don Jacoba Reserva Rioja red wine help make it a soirée. $95

6. Flannery Beef

Meat from a father-daughter duo based in San Rafael, California (the extended family runs Bryans Quality Meats in San Francisco) might be just what is needed on your holiday table. Bryan and Katie’s prime dry-aged steaks are favored by brand-name chefs like David Kinch (Manresa), Joshua Skenes (Saison, Angler) and Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria Mozza, The Barish), but taste even better when cooked yourself. I’m partial to the Jorge Gift Box for the drama of the 32-ouncers beefy dimensions, $92

*A sample of this product was not available.

7. Bricoleur Vineyards Breakable Chocolate Wine Bottle

Bricoleur Vineyards Breakable Chocolate Wine Bottle that is broken open to show the dragees inside, plus ribbon and a glass of wine
photo credit Paige Green

In an exclusive for the Sonoma Winery, pastry chef Chris Ford of Los Angeles’ Butterlove & Hardwork created a breakable 750 ml chocolate wine bottle from dark chocolate before filling it with chocolate crispy rice dragées. Smash one open with the included mallet.  $175

*A sample of this product was not available.