Holiday Gifts for the Rhode Island Foodie
December 5, 2022
Shop local? We live the shop local mantra at Rhode Island Red Food Tours as we consistently shop at local shops and markets, and from our food tour partners. When we shop local, we keep dollars in our local economy, which boosts the bottom line of mom-and-pop owners who are our friends and neighbors.
We’ve curated a gift guide for the foodies in your life with some of our favorite finds! But don’t forget our Food Tours make great gifts too!
Stock Culinary Goods: Cast iron cookware by Nest Homeware
Rhode Island’s own Matt Cavallaro merges his passion for artistry and metals by handcrafting smooth surfaced, heirloom quality cast iron cookware that is meant to last for a lifetime. A RISD grad who launched the business in 2013, Cavallaro’s pieces are like art on your table, with ergonomic handles and beautiful detail. These pieces are the best of the best and ideal for the avid cook in your life.
Yoleni’s: Real Greek Olive Oil
We’re going to break it to you: not all olive oils are created equal. Google “olive oil scandal” and you’ll learn everything you didn’t want to know about the many challenges in the billion-dollar olive oil industry. Just taste the real, pure Greek olive oil at Yoleni’s on Providence’s Westminster Street and you’ll know the moment it hits your tongue, this is the real deal. Let the Phillippedes Family explain the real differences between olive oils.
These exquisite olive oils are the best gifts because everyone from the at-home chef to the hostess to the casual cook will love it!
Beehive Handmade: Pewter Measuring Spoons or Coffee Scoop
Be warned: the moment you step into Beehive Handmade’s studio in Warren, Rhode Island, you might have a hard time shopping for others as you’ll want to take home everything for yourself. Since 1999, the Water Street studio has produced modern and classic home goods, custom engraved jewelry, pewter holiday ornaments, and personalized baby gifts to be enjoyed for a lifetime. The studio shop is also conveniently available online as well.
On our last visit, we fell for the precious pewter measuring spoons inspired by traditional, New England style (with a pinch of minimalism added in for good measure). The set includes one tablespoon hand cast from lead free pewter in their original mold, one teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon.
Our other favorite gift is a lovely coffee scoop for the java junkie in your life. These are a few to choose from but we can’t help but love this fanciful one with a bird design. Your giftee will think of you every time they make their morning joe.
Borealis Coffee: Five Bag Coffee Sampler
There’s a reason Borealis Coffee Roastery and Café in Riverside, Rhode Island, the Borealis Coffee Company near the East Bay Bike Path in Bristol, and the roastery (with some retail) in Pawtucket, has a cult following. With their brew being served at nearly a dozen popular cafes and eateries throughout Rhode Island, Borealis sets itself apart with seriously savory java. For the coffee lover in your life, go big or go home with the five-bag sampler.
Leave it to the pros and have the Borealis team choose five favorites to go in this sampler.
Wald & Sea: Cutting/Charcuterie Boards
Charcuterie boards used to be a restaurant trend, but more recently, they’ve become an at-home DIY favorite, with classes being offered all over including at Bellevue Boards in Newport, Rhode Island. Who doesn’t want you to know how to make a pepperoni rose?
One of the most beautiful gifts for the charcuterie enthusiast in your life is a handcrafted board for displaying their talents. Wald & Sea on Newport’s Spring Street has a stunning array of charcuterie and cutting boards in a variety of sizes from Mosaic Woodworks, also based in Newport, made from sustainably sourced hardwoods, so no two are alike.
Homestyle: The Charcuterie Essentials Kit
Okay, so you got the charcuterie board (see above!), but you want to take it to the next level? Enter The Charcuterie Essentials Kit from Homestyle, the longtime Westminster Street shop known for its one-of-a-kind card selection of innovative decor, art from around the globe, jewelry crafted from precious metals or found objects, clever books, stylish accessories, and a few whimsical finds for kids.
A great gift for foodies everywhere, this Charcuterie Essentials Kit includes three different meat and cheese knives and comes in a cardboard box. The interior features a description of each knife and when to use them and a guide to creating your charcuterie board.
Ink Fish Books in Warren: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain
Danger: when you go to Ink Fish Books in Warren, you can get in trouble. It’s palpable charms can easily turn your “just running in” outing into and hours-long experience because their carefully curated selection of books and cool things seems endless.
For the wanderlust wanderer in your life with a taste for food and culture (you know…like food tour people!!!), we suggest World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain. The beloved and sorely missed chef-turned-global explorer has tales to tell and he saved them for this book which any reader, adventurer or culinarian will love. Consider this a lifelong guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler.
Groundswell Table & Provisions: Selections from The Free Spirits Company
Insider’s tip: before you explore the campus of the Groundswell mini-empire at Tiverton’s Four Corners, properly nourish yourself with one of the cafe’s expertly foamed lattes and perhaps a savory pastry or unbelievable croque monsieur. Once properly sustained, head to the neighboring Garden & Home Shop where you’ll find gift inspiration galore.
Our suggestion for everyone’s liquor cabinet today: one of the many selections from The Free Spirits Company. For your favorite friend who wants to feel like they are part of the party and likes to create cocktails without the booze, there’s non-alcoholic gin, tequila and “milano,” which is the company’s answer to aperol. What a concept!
Rhed’s Hot Sauce: The 3-Pack Hot Sauce Gift Set
So we told you all about Rhed’s in our last blog post on great food and drink gifts with Rhode Island roots, but we want to take a moment to wax poetic about the Rhed’s hot sauce 3-pack. The perfect gift for the friend or family member who loves hot sauce, well on everything, you can even play your own version of Hot Ones!
Order online or visit the Farm Fresh/Sims Market in Providence. The set includes three 5 oz. bottles of hot sauce of your choosing (or leave it to the pros to pick) packaged in a decorative gift box with artwork by local Rhode Island artist Ashley Van Etten of Willywaw.
Wickford Gourmet Factory Outlet: The thing you didn’t know someone needed
Some people are not easy to shop for – fact. But it seems like the Wickford Gourmet Factory Outlet has what you didn’t even know you were looking for. Folding omelet pan? They have it. Cool textiles? A ton. Glassware? Yep. The perfect platter? 100%. Cool cookie molds? But, of course. Just go to this interesting emporium right on Main Street in charming Wickford Village.
Queen of Hearts: Rainbow Fish Dinner Plate
Queen of Hearts owner Karen Beebe is known as a leading tastemaker in Rhode Island, and her keen eye for fashion and style has poured over into her shop’s unique finds. We adore this Earthenware freehand-painted rainbow fish dinner plate by Sobremesa by Greenheart, a fair-trade lifestyle brand.
Our gift suggestion: stack the plate with a selection of Italian holiday cookies from nearby Scialo Bros Bakery (founded in 1916!): wrap, add a bow, and voila!
Hawt Chocolates: Artisan made Bonbons
Want to make an impression with your Christmas or holiday gift (hello boss, colleagues or clients)? Check out these artisan made bonbons that are almost too beautiful to devour! Hawt Chocolates founder Miguel Allis, who is from Mexico City but now calls Rhode Island home, created these gastronomic gems to give people comforting food experiences, the same way food has always linked him to his homeland, his family and warm memories. (Fun Fact: ‘Hawt’ started as an acronym for ‘Having a Wonderful Time.’)
Flavors include eggnog (spiced eggnog ganache in a white chocolate shell), cranberry and dark cherry, whiskey caramel, salted caramel, hazelnut praline, and of course, Rhode Island coffee milk. Order now for shipping before Christmas!
Craftland: Ceramic Bowls by Michelle Phaneuf
Is it even a Rhode Island gift guide if Craftland isn’t included? This landmark art & gift boutique emporium in the heart of Downcity Providence has an expertly curated collection from local makers and artisans including the collection of beautiful Rhode Island bowls made from white stoneware clay by lauded ceramic artist Michelle Phaneuf.
Each bowl boasts a hand applied and kiln fired custom decal with a Rhode Island icon. Some include and anchor, Providence Bridge, Beavertail, the Providence Power Plant and more. Take a closer look here.
FoodLove Market: Castle Hill Cookies
Castle Hill is known for many things: it’s sweeping view of where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, it’s relaxing hillside smattering of Adirondack chairs, it’s luxury accommodations, and arguably it’s most delicious (and most affordable) treasure, it’s chocolate chip cookies. At Foodlove in Middletown, you can find six-packs of the coveted cookies beautifully packaged and ready to stuff in a stocking, gift to a teacher or neighbor, or even, keep for your own holiday “santa-ity.” (We’ll never tell!)
Shhhhh…Feeling a little DIY this season? We’re hooking you up with this authentic Castle Hill Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!
Frog & Toad: Calico Cat Sake Set for 2
For the sushi lover in your life, it’s the perfect sake set for two! This authentic set, direct from Japan, is ceramic, compact and simply too cute for words, and Frog & Toad offers shipping as well as curbside pick up. BYO sake and you’re giftee will have the most stylin’ table around.
We hoped we’ve helped you and inspired so your holiday gift shopping is fun and easy this year — all while supporting local Rhode Island businesses!