There are people who eat…and then there are foodies. Or wine lovers. Or coffee snobs. Those who only dine out, and those who love to tackle a new recipe at home every night of the week.
If you’re shopping in Vancouver for a foodie this holiday season, we’ve got the ultimate gift guide to help inspire some delicious giving.
The Home Cook
It all comes down to skill, content, and gear for kitchen warriors.
For skills, consider gifting classes at any of Vancouver’s many excellent cooking schools, like Dirty Apron or Cook Culture. Or, you can pin-point just what your lucky would-be chef loves (vegan, Italian, bread, cookies, and so on) and find just the right workshop or session for them at another facility offering cooking classes.
Content means recipes. 2017 was a tremendous year for cookbooks from Canadian (and Vancouverite) chefs.
If your recipient needs gear, hook them up with a gift card to a shop like Gourmet Warehouse (or the aforementioned Cook Culture or Dirty Apron). Lots there!
The Coffee Snob
There are never enough beans in the world for the coffee enthusiast on your list. They probably already have a preferred brewing method, so may as well feed their habit. Hit up any of Vancouver’s many prolific local roasters to nab a special bag of beans. Some roasters, like 49th Parallel, offer subscription programs, too.
The Tea Lover
For those who love leaves–tea leaves, that is–set them up with some goodies from a tea shop like Silk Road in Kits. Build your own gift pack (in their eco-friendly packaging) of teas and trimmings, or pick one of their awesome wellness kits to help inspire a tea drinker’s happy, healthy new year.
We’re spoiled for choice in Vancouver for those who follow plant-based diets. A gift card to Vegan Supply will go a long way, or head there yourself to put together a wicked gift basket. Another option is to send them on Vancouver Food Tours’ new vegan tour, where they can sample eats from some of the city’s best loved plant-based eateries. Or go right to the source and get them a gift cert to any of Vancouver’s amazing vegan restaurants.
The Spice Seeker
Thrill some tastebuds with a selection of hot sauces (check out Art Knapp in Surrey’s epic “Wall of Flame” for a dizzying assortment of options). Or, if your heat seeker likes things sweet, Noodlebox is selling special spicy truffles, made in collaboration with Vancouver’s Chocolate Arts.
The Wine Lover
It’s actually pretty easy to please a wine lover when we live in B.C. Tastings, bottles, winery visits are are pretty achievable. Many wineries offer special holiday packs or subscription services, so if you know a favourite, you can surely make some magic. If you’re searching for recommendations, the pros at New District can help you online or in person, too, to help you find that perfect bottle.
Alternatively, a special item that just hit the market are these wine jellies from Abbotsford’s charming Singletree winery. Available in Citrus Pinot Gris (with lemon juice, orange rind), Spicy Pinot Noir (cinnamon, star anise, clove), Hot Siggity (red chili, red pepper, Siegerrebe) and Siegerrebe (straight up) you can find these at the winery or at Tradex in Abby.
The Beer Fan
Similarly, craft beer lovers can easily be pleased in Vancouver. Since we’re already into December, it’s your call if you want to get a late start on a craft beer advent calendar. Something like the annual Central City/Parallel 49 collab, called the Great White Wonder Adventure pack, features 24 bottles you can crack open any day.
DIY your own gift assortment, or give the gift of a tasting crawl or tour–maybe with your companionship. Or, score Super Early Bird tickets and new VIP packages for the 9th annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, which are on sale now.
For someone whose mantra is “SHOP LOCAL!” then give ’em what they want. If you’re in the know and don’t mind the legwork, put together a gift basket of locally-made goods (hit up an upcoming craft or farmers’ market to score big). Load up on honey, dips and spreads, cookies, chocolates, crackers, jams and jellies, sauces, and more. Who wouldn’t love a tub of Kaylin & Hobbs pickles, Wildebeest‘s smoked olives, or Johnny Hetherington Ketchup, hmm?
That said, there are places that do the work for you… Harvest Community Foods has two great options: Their Holiday Gift Boxes ($45) are filled with house-made items including pickles, jams, preserves, and granola mixed from local grain farmers. Also included is a gift certificate for two for lunch at Harvest. For a more decadent
pick, try The Love of Local Holiday Gift Box ($80), which features items from neighbourhood favourites like East Van Roasters and Hives for Humanity, along with a gift certificate for Harvest’s CSA bag program.
The Fine Diner
Aiming to please the culinary connoisseur who dines out all. the. time? You’re going to have to take them out, or go for the GCs. Some of the most-talked about high-end restaurants in Vancouver right now include Botanist, Mak N Ming, St. Lawrence, Bauhaus, AnnaLena, Kissa Tanto, and 1886.
The Sweet Tooth
Get yourself to one of Vancouver’s many insanely good treat spots. We’re talking Thomas Haas, Thierry, Chez Christophe, Chocolate Arts, Gem Chocolates, Karameller, Lisa Lou’s, or Beta5. It’s harder to gift pastries or ice cream, but oh-so-nice to treat the treat lover on your list to a sweet outing. Vancouver is beyond packed with incredible bakeries and ice cream shops.
If there’s a cocktail lover on your list, you can fuel their fire with some local fire water, aka some spirits distilled in B.C. Odd Society in East Van is the trailblazer–their Salal Gin is a great pick–or Resurrection Spirits is the newcomer. Locally-made Bittered Sling bitters perk up any home bar, too.
“I’d rather GIVE a present than get a present,” says the big-hearted philanthropist on your list. Still, you want to get them something, right? Go for a gift that gives back. Two of our favourites this year include the Commissary Connect $45 gift box (proceeds go to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank) and the JT’s Hot Buttered Rum Mix fundraiser (proceeds go to the Fawkes Academy).