Somehow, Christmas is right around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but I definitely still have some shopping to do. That being said, if you want to please the foodie in your life, these are some of my favorites!
What’s great about this list of last minute foodie gifts is you get to support local businesses. Seems like a win, win to me! Keep reading for the gifts your friends and family will love!
Look, it’s not hard to figure out why Chaval is so popular. Amazing brunches, unbelievable dinners, the list could go on and on.
And of course, let’s not forget that Ilma Lopez is a James Beard nominated pastry chef and is one of the owners of Piccolo and Chaval with her husband.
So what kind of swag can you get? Beanies, signed Kalamata’s Kitchen cookbooks, cakes, and Spanish Eggnog! I don’t think it gets much better than that.
High Roller & Mr. Tuna: Merch
So if you’ve seen me around town, it’s likely you’ve seen me rocking crewneck sweatshirts. I don’t know what it is, but 2018 has been the year of the crewneck sweatshirt for me.
The one at the top of my list right now is Mr. Tuna’s. Talk about the perfect foodie gift!
I am #obsessed with Mr. Tuna’s hand rolls and I’m not afraid to admit it. So why wouldn’t I profess my love for Mr. Tuna by wearing this SWEET sweatshirt?
Make it a quintessential Portland outfit by pairing it with skinny jeans and your favorite Bean boots.
Now, you may not be able to find the navy blue sweatshirt shown above, because I might have bought the last one.
But hey, they have plenty of other merchandise available, including a sweet gray crewneck sweatshirt, hoodies, t-shirts, and even a onesie! Gotta start those Mr. Tuna fans young, am I right?
There’s no crewneck sweatshirts to be found at Highroller (sob!) but their merch is pretty cool. For that friend who likes buying local but with a vintage twist, this Highroller throwback jersey shirt is perfect.
For food lovers that also love metal music (I know you’re out there) Highroller has a beyond sweet metal band sweatshirt. Why not be a metalhead and a lobsterhead?
Maine State Prison Showroom: Cutting Boards
I know, a prison store doesn’t exactly sound like a gift cornucopia, but it is. Thomaston is kind of a haul, but going to the prison store is one of my favorite spots for Christmas gifts.
For foodies in particular, I love the cutting boards. They are individually handcrafted by prisoners at the Thomaston Prison.
The quality is undeniable, and the prices are at least half of what you would pay for something similar (and probably mass produced) at a store like Home Goods.
If you really want to wow this Christmas, the butcher block cutting boards are your best bet. This is for the foodie who has a kitchen with plenty of space and likes cooking and preparing meals.
The simple wood cutting board goes with any design concept, and since it’s handcrafted, it’ll probably last 50 years or more!
Wine Wise: Wine Sail & Wine Walks
For the foodies who already own everything, I like the idea of giving experiences. And many foodies happen to love wine.
So buying them a Wine Sail or a Wine Walk with Erica Archer, Sommelier, is a food and wine experience they’ll never forget. Wine Wise is all about education and drinking fantastic wines!
Wine walks are available year round, but if you want to purchase a wine sail, you’ll have to schedule it for next season.
After all, it’s way too cold to be sailing around Casco Bay, even if you are drinking wine on a gorgeous boat.
The Maine Brew Bus: Tour
Not everyone who is a foodie loves wine. Some love beer instead. Or hey, why not love wine, beer, and food?
There are tons of tours to choose from like curling and brews! Or drinks about town! Or Friday night flights! I’m literally not even scratching the surface here for how many tours are available.
Check out their website and see which tours you’ll be giving this holiday season. Maybe even buy one for yourself!
Maine Food For Thought Tours: Tour
There’s a lot of tours to choose from in Portland, but if you’re looking for a tour with great food and supporting a great cause, give someone a Maine Food For Thought Tour.
Maine Food For Thought is about sustainability, and focuses on highlighting restaurants in Portland that are taking things to the next level.
Unlike other food tours, it’s less about hitting the newest restaurants or hot spots, and more about learning the stories behind Portland’s best restaurants. Once you get customers in the door, how do you make sure you’re serving them a product that you can be completely proud of?
Maine Food For Thought Tours just finished their first season, and will be gearing up for year 2 in the spring. Give this tour and change someone’s lifeview!
The Cheese Shop of Portland: Cheese
I can’t imagine why you would go to a place called The Cheese Shop and not buy cheese. Seriously. Yes, cheese can be a gift, and it can be a great gift at that. The Cheese Shop has every different kind of cheese that you never knew existed.
Foodies that love cheese love nothing more than getting cheese. Trust me. If someone gave me a wheel of really nice brie or a log of fresh goat cheese, I would not be mad in the slightest.
Take your foodie gift to the next level by pairing cheese with some of their charcuteries. Have you ever tried a piece of ham that explodes on your tongue because of how long it’s been aged and cured?
It’s pretty much life changing. So buy the delicious cheese from The Cheese Shop and be the greatest friend around.
Dean’s Sweets: Luxury Dessert Sauces
You can’t have a foodie guide without some food, right? If you’re not aware, I love Dean’s Sweets. The truffles, the unique flavors, the out of this world hot chocolate, I love it all!
So when I got the opportunity to taste test their new hot fudge and caramel sea salt sauces, of course I said yes. Full disclosure here: I’m not a big hot fudge sundae person usually.
One, because I’m lactose intolerant. Two, because I love mint chocolate chip ice cream and when I have the option, I almost always order it.
That being said, these sauces are decadent. Like, you can drizzle this on ice cream after heating it up, and it will be better than the ice cream. If you’re not a sundae fan, these sauces can easily be used in other ways.
The hot fudge chocolate sauce would be amazing when added to a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day. If you know someone with a sweet tooth, or they love the finer things in life, you owe it to them to buy these gourmet sauces from Dean’s Sweets. You’re welcome!
The Portland Dine Around Club: 2019 edition
I know the Portland Dine Around Club isn’t technically food, but it saves you a hell of a lot of money! Which you can then use to spend on more food, because it’s a foodie life.
For only $30, PDA gives you coupons and deals to restaurants all over southern Maine. Pro tip here: start using it as soon as you buy it.
Mine somehow got lost for three months after I bought it, and then I didn’t end up using it nearly enough.
But even if you do that, it’s definitely still worth it. I got a lot of half-price breakfast sandwiches at Mister Bagel, a free taco at El Rayo, and reduced movie tickets to Smitty’s in Windham.
If you added up the value of this book, it’s probably a couple thousand dollars in deals all together. Look, buying gifts can get old fast. Pick yourself up a 2019 PDA and give yourself the gift of saving all year long.
Two Fat Cats: Whoopie Pies
Okay, final gift on the list! Whoopie pies from Two Fat Cats, because it’s Maine. Whoopie pies really aren’t a thing outside of the East Coast.
I’m from the Midwest, and we aren’t obsessed with these desserts there, I swear. Send whoopie pies to a friend from Maine that moved away. Or send whoopie pies to your friend that’s never been to Maine.
It could be the thing that finally convinces them they need to visit Portland. Whatever you do, whoopie pies from Two Fat Cats are just great.
Don’t be surprised if you walk out with other tasty sweets, because that’s just what happens whenever I go to Two Fat Cats.
I hope this last minute foodie guide has been helpful for all you procrastinator shoppers! Let me know in the comments or on social media what you’ll be buying for your foodie friends this holiday season.