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Since moving to Rhode Island, I stopped purchasing the boring pair of gloves at mall stores or random gift cards as I picked out my groceries. Instead, I make my way to boutiques for unique items that make one-of-a-kind gifts.
For the holidays, are plenty of places to go to gift the taste of Rhode Island -- and your fellow foodies will thank you. Here are a few of my favorites.
For the home cook in your life
- Finishing salt from local waters beats anything you’re buying in bulk, elevating your dishes and craft cocktails. Hand harvested from Brenton Reef along Ocean Drive, Newport Sea Salt Co. follows a traditional and unhurried process of making small-batched, pure and natural sea salt where nothing is added or taken away.
- No one has time to make everything from scratch at home (if you do: teach me your ways.). But you can say “no” to the big brands you’ve seen in every home kitchen for the last few decades. Grab sauces and other BBQ goodies from the Backyard Food Company in Warwick, seasoning from Ocean State Pepper Co., fresh pasta from Priva Farina in Warren, and hot sauce from Rhed’s inside the Farm Fresh building in Providence. Bonus: Gastro’s Craft Meats usually has sampler sizes and gift baskets.
Food and dining experiences
- Live with someone who isn’t exactly the sous to your executive chef self? Cooking classes for adults and children are available at Newport Cooks or TasteBuds Kitchen in East Greenwich.
- Never really took the time to explore the restaurants in downcity in Providence? Or how about on Broadway (aka “restaurant row”) in Newport? Grab a gift card to Rhode Island Red Food Tours. You can read more about them here.
- Whether the person you’re shopping for is a foodie or an eat-ramen-every-night kind of person, Feast and Fettle ships home-cooked meals, but does the cooking for you.
- Not sure what to go with? Grab a gift card for a local restaurant.
One-stop shops for all the R.I. food items
- If you need to purchase a few Rhode Island-made items like olive oils, vinegars, and plant-based goods all at once, head to Olive Del Mondo (either in Providence or online), Stock Culinary Goods, or a Dave’s Fresh Marketplace.
- The way to a person’s heart is to cook for them. When I host company, especially around the holidays, I keep a steady supply of imported items items on hand. My go-to’s are Yoleni’s for Greek olive oils and feta cheese, and Venda Ravioli for imported cheeses and fresh pastas (go ahead and say you rolled out the dough yourself, I won’t tell).
For the sober or sober-curious
- Bottles of wine and packs of craft beer are holiday staples for those who drink. But the holidays can be the most difficult time of year for those trying to stay sober. If the person you’re gifting to enjoys zero-proof cocktails, try non-alcoholic shrubs for mocktails from Anna’s, cocktail and soda syrups from Bootblack Brand, and tea (which can be used for infused mocktails) from the Black Leaf Tea and Culture Shop.
Still not seeing everything you need? Check out our full foodie gift guide.
Visit Food & Dining in Rhode Island for more. Because everyone’s gotta eat!