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The 2022 Eater Chicago Holiday Gift Guide

Tasty, beautiful, and quirky items to thrill any Chicagoan

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Chicago is a world-class food city, and as such, it’s certainly earned a top-notch gift guide that highlights its breadth, depth, and resilience. From a box of prime steaks selected by a legendary, family-owned restaurant to Indian condiments developed by one of the most popular virtual kitchens in town, there’s a special and thoughtful item for every kind of ravenous Chicagoan at a range of prices. One could spend all day evaluating the many delicious and attractive creations of local chefs, chocolatiers, artists, and writers, but this guide is streamlined to reflect a tight 10 holiday gift ideas for someone who loves food as much as they love Chicago. For additional inspiration, explore our 2021 gift guide.

A black counter is laid with several cuts of raw steak.
Founded in 1941, this restaurant is a Chicago legend.
Gene & Georgetti

The G&G Original steak box from Gene & Georgetti

Family-owned Chicago steakhouse and local icon Gene & Georgetti marked 81 years of business in 2022 — a significant birthday by any measure, and one that’s made all the sweeter after enduring the pandemic. Fans near and far can impress their loved ones with a taste of the legendary restaurant thanks to its collection of steak boxes, including the G&G Original, which features its most popular cuts: two 8-ounce center-cut filets, two 14-ounce prime New York strip steaks, and two 20-ounce prime bone-in rib-eyes.

A grey book titled “The Way of the Cocktail.”
This book earned Julia Momose a James Beard Award.
Crate & Barrel

The Way of the Cocktail by Julia Momose and Emma Janzen

Bartending supernova Julia Momose, the creative engine behind Chicago’s acclaimed Japanese drinking bar Kumiko, and writer Emma Janzen earned a coveted James Beard Award this year for The Way of the Cocktail, a beautifully designed book that offers a window into the philosophy and techniques of Japanese cocktail culture. Sip your way through recipes drawn from Japan’s 24 micro-seasons, as well as renditions of classics like the Manhattan and Negroni, riffs on Japanese hits like the whisky highball, and alcohol-free submissions with flavor profiles like yuzu and matcha.

A brown paper bag of with a red label that reads “The Hot Dog Box Fresh, Gourmet Popcorn Sweet Heat BBQ.”
Flavors include Sweet Heat BBQ, the Red Salt, and the Real Dill.
The Hot Dog Box, Chicago

Mac Dog Mix popcorn from the Hot Dog Box

As the name makes plain, the Hot Dog Box in Portage Park is best known for, well, hot dogs. But tucked among its menu offerings, patrons will find a fun and festive smattering of seasoned Mac Dog Mix popcorn. Available in Sweet Heat BBQ, Red Salt, and the Real Dill, the offerings make for a creative gift that could have friends and family (playfully) fighting over the popcorn bowl.

A blue box holds 16 chocolates in a variety of shapes and colors.
Fruity or nutty, boozy or spiced, these chocolates are almost too pretty to eat.
Good Ambler

Chocolate boxes from Good Ambler

Beautiful and delicious is a tough combination to beat in the field of gift-giving. Executive pastry chef Kevin McCormick of Good Ambler in Fulton Market is prepared to aid those in search of holiday present glory with his 5-piece, 9-piece, and 16-piece boxes of handmade chocolates. McCormick selects each immaculate bite from a range of flavors such as cognac ganache with honey, pineapple caramel, and chipotle with ancho chile-infused ganache.

Two large plush s’mores sandwiches with faces are arranged against a pink backdrop.
A snuggly s’more is a welcome companion on a cold winter evening.
XO Marshmallow

S’more Besties Plush from XO Marshmallow

For some, the measure of a good gift is something the recipient wouldn’t think to buy for themselves. It’s probably safe to say that an adorably squishy s’more stuffed toy — with a face — falls squarely into that category. There are plenty of cold winter nights ahead for Chicago, so a smiling s’more could make for a cheery companion.

Four bottles of wine are arranged on a concrete block structure.
At-home drinking is simple — one could even say, easy — with a wine club membership.
Easy Does It

Wine Club membership from Easy Does It

The world of wine can be an overwhelming one, frequently fraught with perplexing jargon and prices all over the board. Those who’d rather avoid wandering helplessly among rows of bottles can place their drinking fate in the hands of experts at Logan Square wine bar Easy Does It by choosing one of three wine packages, the Milwaukee ($45 per month, two bottles), the Medill ($75 per month, two bottles), or the Monument ($115 per month, four bottles). At checkout, purchasers can select between two reds, one red and one white, or two whites.

A jar of chili crisp with a green label that reads “Vargo Brother Ferments.”
A tasty addition to nearly everything, chili crisp makes for a thoughtful gift.
Here Here Market

Chili crisp from Vargo Brother Ferments

The chile crisp market is an increasingly competitive one, which makes sense for those who are familiar with the magic it brings to savory and sweet dishes alike (mega-fans love to hype it as a topping for vanilla ice cream). This version from chefs and fiancees Sebastian Vargo and Taylor Hanna, however, stands apart with ingredients sourced from local community gardens, as well as their backyard. Rich and fragrant, it’s made with smoked shiitakes and four types of chiles.

A metal pin designed to look like a spinning wheel divided into sections that are labeled with different international cuisines.
Step right up and spin the wheel.
Ponnopozz

What to Eat Enamel Spinning Pin from Ponnopozz

Chicagoans are, undoubtedly, spoiled for choice when it comes to making dining plans. But with the city’s wide variety of restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world, all those options can get overwhelming. Ravenswood retailer and art studio Ponnopozz is here to help with a handy spinning pin (it’s also available as a magnet) to provide a little inspiration for mealtime. Attach it to a jacket or bag in case just in case.

Tasting India

The Full Experience from Tasting India

Since 2020, Chicago chef Jasmine Sheth has nurtured Tasting India, her virtual restaurant that features a rotating menu of regional Indian cuisine, from a fledgling operation to a noteworthy contender in the city’s restaurant scene. Ever the entrepreneur, Sheth has expanded her purview into spices, condiments, and other kitchen products. Choose among the plethora of options like nutty, fruity, spicy Bombay Chili Crunch; aromatic and versatile Goda Masala; and allium-rich Vadouvan Masala. Or, go all in with the Full Experience, a complete set of Sheth’s retail offerings, for a winter season filled with flavor.

A cookbook with the title “Justice of the Pies.”
Maya-Camille Broussard was a finalist for the 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker.
Penguin Random House

Justice of the Pies by Maya-Camille Broussard

Baking whiz and food entrepreneur Maya-Camille Broussard became a nationally known name with an appearance on the Netflix show Bake Squad. Chicagoans, however, have long known of her pastry prowess thanks to Justice of the Pies, her pie business with a social mission to partner with local organizations to support people in need. Broussard, a finalist for the 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker, recently released her first cookbook with 85 recipes for sweet and savory pies, as well as tarts and more. Home bakers can try their hand at her popular salted caramel peach pie and sumptuous fig and pig quiche. Readers will also find stories about Broussard’s late father and inspiration, criminal defense attorney Stephen J. Broussard, as well as details about the social justice luminaries that fuel her passion for bettering the world.

XO Marshmallow

6977 North Sheridan Road, , IL 60626 (773) 654-3142 Visit Website

Gene & Georgetti

500 North Franklin Street, , IL 60654 (312) 527-3718 Visit Website

Justice of the Pies

135 North Kedzie Avenue, , IL 60612 Visit Website

The Hot Dog Box

4020 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60641 Visit Website

Kumiko

630 West Lake Street, , IL 60661 (312) 285-2912 Visit Website

Good Ambler

216 North Peoria Street, , IL 60607 (312) 872-7165 Visit Website

Easy Does It

2354 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 420-9463 Visit Website
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