Admit it: You left some (most?) of your holiday shopping to the very last minute. Now there’s not even time to order something on Amazon. Luckily, Chicago still has amazing brick-and-mortar independent businesses that will come to your holiday rescue. Here are five ideal food gift ideas that will save you from holiday tragedy.
The A La Card Chicago deck is a collection of 52 cards that each give you $10 off at some of Chicago’s best restaurants. At $30 for the whole pack, they’re a pretty great bargain, plus, this year, there’s a new deck just for Cheap Eats, which gets you $5 off at some slightly less fancy places like Aloha Poke, Manny’s Deli, Eastman Egg Company, and Smallfry. Pick one up online, or at The Book Cellar (4736 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square).
If you’re going the consumable route, Pastoral always makes for a good first stop. This year, they’ve joined forces with Brooks Winery to create an exclusive Pastoral Cuvee, an Oregon Pinot Noir with rich cherry and cinnamon notes, blended in collaboration with the winery. It's $24.99.
Since they opened, Butcher & Larder (1427 W. Willow St., Industrial Corridor) has been the destination store for people who love great meat. This year, B&L released a line of house-made charcuterie, so if you’ve got a salumi nut in your life, pick up some fennel salami, speck, or coppa, all made from local ingredients and aged on-site.
Just in time for the holidays, one of Chicago’s best chocolatiers has released a new item. The Truffle Ganaches collection at Katherine Anne Confections (2745 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square) includes 12 beautiful, handmade chocolates, made with local Kilgus dairy and fruits from local farms ($30). If you're lucky, the recipient might share one with you—but you might as well grab some extra caramels for yourself, just in case.
For the kitchenware freak on your list, grab basically anything at Neighborly (2003 W. Montrose Ave., Ravenswood). They’ve got a gorgeous collection of dishes, handmade cutting boards, lunchboxes, kitchen towels, spices and gadgets, all of it made in the Midwest (and much of it Chicago-themed).