15 Unique Rhode Island Local Gift Ideas for Foodies, Cooks and More
November 9, 2023
Here at Rhode Island Red Food Tours, we dine local as much as we shop local for unique gifts and Rhode Island makes it easy as the Ocean State is rife with creative talent (Providence isn’t called The Creative Capital for nothing)! 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. As the holiday season is upon us, we’re highlighting some of our favorite unique RI finds whethere you are a foodie, a cook or just a localvore that supports locally-loved shops that we hope inspires you to shop local too.
Here’s our curated gift guide for the foodies in your life. But don’t forget: our Food Tours make great gifts too! Our gift certificates can be used for our tours in Newport or Providence and can be redeemed whenever your gift recipient is ready (and they never expire)!
RHODE ISLAND RED FOOD TOURS: GIFT CERTIFICATES
If you’re looking for that unique gift that anyone in your life can enjoy whether you’re a so-called foodie (and btw, let’s face it, grandmas were the first foodies, hands down!) or not, a food tour is the perfect gift for everyone. Experiences are the hottest gifts today, they create memories which you can’t throw away and of course, everyone loves food. It’s a great way to learn about the restaurants and restaurateurs, neighborhood history and local culture while walking and meeting new people over the love of food. Share the love of small local eateries with coworkers, family and friends and create new memories!
Rhode Island Red Food Tour gift certificates don’t expire and are available in any denomination.
STOCK CULINARY: The Rhode Island Condiment Gift Basket
Stock Culinary Goods is Providence’s independent store dedicated to kitchen culture. Here you’ll find thoughtfully sourced tools, cooking resources and gifts galore. The Rhode Island Condiment Gift Basket includes Dave’s Coffee Syrup, The Backyard Food Company Dilly Beans, Rhed’s BBQ Sauce, Newport Sea Salt, an Ocean State Pepper Co. Spice Blend, Ellie’s Jam and Sea Smoke Hot Sauce.
UTILITY: EVERYBODY GRINDER by Ellen Van Dusen
The newest kitchen retail shop to come to Rhode Island is not like any other. You’ll know the moment you walk in the door of Utility that this is not going to be a quick trip. Whether you’re a professional chef looking for the best bread knife or you just can’t help yourself from picking up the coolest new gadgets or you simply need some retail therapy, UTILITY will fill all those needs and wants. We love these fabulous Salt & Pepper Grinders by Ellen Van Dusen. She is the founder of Dusen Dusen a Brooklyn-based textile and home goods brand.
Awesome gifts of the season can be found here right here. Everyone from the professional and at-home chefs to the hostess to the casual cook will love it!
BEEHIVE HANDMADE: Arrow Cheese Markers
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.
These arrow cheese markers instantly smarten up your cheese and charcuterie boards. Label your favorite cheeses with the paper banners for a festive touch or, gift these to your favorite party hostess. They’re guaranteed to ensure a cocktail party with fun and style. Available in brass, nickel, and copper. Includes four metal picks and forty paper banners. Note: handmade in Rhode Island.
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 and CHARCUTERIE BOARDS
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: Kim Hovell x Annapolis Candle: Sparkling Sea Boxed Candle
At Homestyle you’ll find art pieces from around the globe, jewelry crafted from precious metals or found objects, clever books, stylish accessories and brilliantly designed objects that makes great gifts, including this stunning candle that’s an art piece on its own and offers fragrance notes of agave and amber. Created by artist Kim Hovell, each hand-poured candle is made with renewable wax and burns for more than 50 hours. Created with essential oils to elevate your every day, your holiday will sparkle and shine with festive designs by Hovell.
Hotpoint Emporium: Garlic Grater Dishes and Garlic Storage Jars
This inspiring artists co-op in Bristol offers one of a kind finds by local painters, ceramists, photographers, potters and more. Ceramicist Jayne Raphael of Needham, Massachusetts, loves to cook, to eat, and to play in clay, and all her favorite things collide throughout her line, Original Raphael Pottery, as most of her clay creations center around food. Pick up one of her garlic grater dishes and/or garlic storage jars for the garlic lover in your life!
INK FISH BOOKS IN WARREN: New Releases
Warning: when you go to Ink Fish Books in Warren, you can get in trouble. Its palpable charms can easily turn your “just running in” outing into an 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!!!), there are a ton of selections, and the staff at this independent bookstore can point you in the right direction.
GROUNDSWELL TABLE & PROVISIONS: Flamingo Estate Products
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.
Anyone will love the household essentials for the pantry, kitchen, bath and bedroom by Flamingo Estate high atop the hills of Los Angeles, hidden by a lush orchard and dense gardens. A collective of more than 75 regenerative farmers cultivating Mother Nature’s most precious gifts, there’s something from everyone from this line in Groundswell’s Home + Garden shop.
RHED’S HOT SAUCE: THE 3-PACK HOT SAUCE GIFT SET
We gave you the scoop on Rhed’s in this 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.
QUEEN OF HEARTS: Gatsby Meridian Coupe Glasses
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 these Gatsby Meridian Coupe Glasses with draping glass and polished gold details to give this stemmed glassware Jazz Age flair. Made from high-quality glass with a gold-plated base, these coupes elevate any cocktail, shaken or stirred. Impress the cocktail lover or mixologist in your life with this beautiful contemporary drinkware. This versatile cocktail glass makes the perfect Christmas, birthday, anniversary, or housewarming gift.
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!
FROG & TOAD: Providence beanie
When you’re looking for those quirky novelty gifts if your a Rhode Islander you know, Frog & Toad is the only place to go (with two locations in the city!) – and has been for more than 20 years! We’re loving this knit Providence beanie hat. It’s unisex, one size fits all, and has serious street cred. You’ll also find hand-knit sweaters, jewelry, handbags, throw rugs, pop culture odds and ends, locally-printed and designed graphic tees, Fair Trade handicrafts from around the globe, and many more gifts for just about everyone.
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. Their Holiday Extravaganza is rooted in Craftland’s origins, when it started as a holiday pop-up shop. Today, artists and artisans start applying to be a part of the Holiday Extravaganza at the end of summer to have their handiwork join the work of more than 150 artists, mostly from Rhode Island.
We hope we helped you with some of your holiday shopping for the season! What a great way to get in the holiday spirit by starting the celebrations this season supporting these small mom & pop businesses and gifting unique gifts not found on Amazon!