These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things: 20-Plus Local Food and Drink Gift Ideas

click to enlarge A mixed nut tin from Hillson Nut is a holiday tradition. - COURTESY HILLSON NUT
Courtesy Hillson Nut
A mixed nut tin from Hillson Nut is a holiday tradition.

It’s never okay to arrive empty-handed when invited to someone’s home, but it is especially uncouth during the holidays. Host gifts needn't be extravagant to be appreciated. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite food and drink items from Cleveland-area businesses that will bring good tidings and cheer to all.

A deluxe tin of mixed nuts like cashews, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts and Brazils from Hillson Nuts, an 87-year-old Cleveland company, is a holiday tradition.

Give a gift certificate to Dean's Supply, Cleveland’s leading restaurant supply warehouse, and the recipient can shop for everything from meat thermometers to high-end knives.

Full of sweetness, a pastry tray from Davis Bakery, which is nearing 85 years in business, is loaded with deli delicacies like rugelach, coconut bars and cream cheese pastries.

Grab a bottle (or two) of M Cellars exquisite Brut Rosé, an estate-bottled sparkler made in the traditional Champagne method right here in the Grand River Valley.

If you love Cleveland Kraut, give Dilly Garlic Pickle Spears a whirl. Made from the same team, these pickles from Cleveland Kitchen are uber-crisp and delicious.

Be adored by arriving with a box of pastel-colored French macarons from Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes on Cleveland's west side.

Snag a gift certificate for a Weekly Supper Club at Gatherings Kitchen, which is part restaurant, part cooking class and 100-percent fun.

A bottle of Tom’s Foolery Applejack, which is brewed, bottled and aged right here in Northeast Ohio, also happens to be a paragon of the class.

Once you taste Heritage Fare Garlic Hot Sauce from this Cleveland-based company, you’ll wonder how you managed without. So will your host.

Literally works of art, the handcrafted wood cutting boards, spoons and salad bowls from Three Hexagons will become treasured family heirlooms.

A 3- or 6-month coffee subscription from Pour will net your host a consistent stash of freshly roasted beans from around the world.

It’s tough to top a holiday assortment of caramels, creams, nougats, toffees, fruits and nuts from Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates, a Cleveland Heights treasure since 1939.

You won’t find fresher, more flavorful single-varietal olive oils than those sold at the Olive Scene. Also a great source for vinegars.

Panettone, the celebratory Italian sweet bread enjoyed throughout the holidays, is nearly impossible to master. Instead, grab one from On the Rise in Cleveland Heights.

Step up the host's charcuterie game with some “Cleveland caviar” from Old Brooklyn Cheese Co., lively mustard made with pickled, beer-infused whole mustard seeds.

Some of the best maple syrup in the world hails from Geauga County, and some of the best maple syrup in Geauga County comes from trees managed by Richards Maple Products.

Noble Beast Brewery’s Cookies & Milk with Coffee is an Imperial Stout that is aged for more than a year in bourbon barrels before being bottled in festive 500 ml bottles.

Campbell's Sweets Factory sells a 9-pack of its epic Caramel Popcorn Balls, made the old-fashioned way in giant copper vats. Nobody would know if you arrived only with eight.

For the tea lover, grab a gift certificate to the Tea Lab, Cleveland’s premier source for high-quality teas and tea-brewing accessories.

The next best thing to a bag of hot, malty and fresh mish-mosh bagels from Cleveland Bagel is a jar of their Everything Mix. It also is less perishable and easier to gift.

Be a hero by arriving with an epic cheese board from Marchant Manor, a keepsake wood board piled high with artisan cheeses, dried and fresh fruit, roasted nuts, olives, cornichons and charcuterie. 

About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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