Stuck on what to get someone on your list? For folks (like me) who spend all their time thinking about food, any gift that has to do with it is a good 0ne—especially when you can support the Portland food and beverage industry at the same time. Read on for our picks.
Spice up your giftee’s life with this three-pack of sambals from Singapore food maker and supper club Sibeiho. These sauces combine Oregon chiles with fragrant punches of shallot, garlic, and dried shrimp, each one distinct from the other. Try them on eggs, with chicken or pork, or on your breakfast avocado toast.
As the name suggests, there’s something for everyone in Portland culinary star and former Top Chef contestant Gregory Gourdet’s cookbook. It’s especially perfect for those who are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy and legume-free, or paleo, vegans and meat eaters alike—or just those who love good flavors.
Tradesman Apron from Orox, $350-$420
This Portland company was founded by a
fourth-generation leather craftsman with roots in Oaxaca, combining the spirits of Oregon (Or) and Oaxaca (Ox). You’ll spot these sharp, built-to-last aprons on chefs around town, including the entire staff at our 2021 Restaurant of the Year, República. The straps meet behind the shoulders rather than putting weight on your neck, and the deep leather pockets hold plenty of tools.
Equal parts eye-catching coffee table book and vast encyclopedia, this book was written by Dylan Thuras, a co-creator of Atlas Obscura, and Cecily Wong, a Portlander who grew up in a restaurant-owning family. Learn about Oregon’s bounty of mushrooms, make Benjamin Franklin’s milk punch recipe, and read about Senegalese eggrolls and Japanese Western-style cooking. You might even pick up some ideas for your next trip abroad.
Lunch Tasting Menu and Wine Pairings at Verdant at Abbey Road Farm, $150 per person
Treat someone you love to a lavish, fun lunch in wine country. Abbey Road Farm grows the grapes used to make their wines on site, and they also grow much of the produce that goes into the tasting menu. Chef Will Preisch, half of the team behind Holdfast, is in the kitchen serving a seafood-heavy menu that incorporates Abbey Road’s wines in creative ways. Courses might include oysters dressed with wine vinegar or wine lees ice cream with wine gelée and wine grapes. You’ll also get to sample a wide range of Abbey Road’s wines, from chardonnay to pinot gris to riesling to pinot noir.
Vermouth is all the rage this year—and we especially love this Portland-made sweet vermouth crafted from Oregon wines. Despite the name, it’s not cloyingly sweet, but tastes great in soda water with an orange twist, or in your favorite sweet vermouth cocktail. The liqueurs add interest to any drink, with botanicals ranging from lemon balm to pink peppercorn.
Coffee Subscription from Deadstock Coffee, $15–19 per bag
There’s nothing worse than waking up early in the morning and finding that you’re out of coffee beans—don’t let that happen to your loved ones by gifting them a coffee subscription. You can choose how often you want your recipient to receive the beans and for how long, and choose from a variety of coffees like the Fresh Prince (single origin medium roast from Ethiopia) or the Bali Kintamani (single origin light roast from Bali Kintamani).
For those kitchen geeks who lovingly season their vintage cast iron pans, try gifting them this Portland-made cast iron griddle. The griddle is designed to fit over two burners so you can heat the entire thing evenly for a massive cooking surface—or set it to two different temperatures, as chef Luna Contreras of Chelo does. “I like that I can caramelize duck and leeks on one corner and make tortillas on the other,” she says.
Show off your love for Portland’s proudly Mexican coffee shop, La Perlita. Known not only for its signature Mexican mocha—a blend of espresso, chocolate, and comforting cinnamon topped with crushed cacao nibs and freeze-dried raspberry powder—the shop also works closely with farmers to exclusively roast beans from Mexico under its own line, Reforma Roasters.
Wine Club Subscription from Bar Norman, $48–126 per month
Take the charm of natural wine destination Bar Norman into your giftee’s dining room with a monthly wine club subscription. Your recipient gets to pick up specially selected sets of two, four, or six bottles a month from star sommelier Dana Frank's shop, complete with info and tasting notes about each bottle.
For the coffee aficionado in your life who would rather compare coffee tasting notes than wine and wouldn't dare add cream or sugar to a premium roast, this special release coffee from Proud Mary should be a hit. This coffee from longtime producer Tesfaye Bekele took third place in the 2021 Ethiopia Cup of Excellence competition. It boasts a smooth and delicate chocolatey flavor, with fruity notes reminiscent of plum—a treat to wake your taste buds in the morning.
For those people on your list who insist they have everything they could want or need, consider donating to Family Meal in their honor. The Portland nonprofit provides relief grants to Oregon agriculture and food service workers experiencing medical crises—a necessity when many jobs in the industry don’t offer health care or sick leave. These grants help workers cover necessary costs like utilities and rent.
Buy a Restaurant Gift Card
Whether your giftee is a regular at their favorite restaurant every Saturday or whether you’d like to treat them to a new restaurant experience, a gift card is always welcome—and much appreciated by small business owners.