This year, more than ever, everyone deserves some comfort and joy. The Eater Twin Cities gift guide is here to provide just a few local shopping ideas, of gorgeous items to enjoy and give this holiday season.
Norway in the USA Teacups
Porsgund white and blue cups. These gorgeous cups impart a bit of serenity with each sip. The white porcelain is decorated with swirling cobalt blue design that nestles into the hand with exquisite ease.
Worker B Honey and Teas
Worker B raw honey and loose leaf tea. Plan B is the local pollinator promoting company that sells its rich and luxurious honeys online and are able to ship anywhere across the country. Its teas are a mix of organic herbs and florals. Mix in the raw honey that imparts complex flavors, all derived directly from where the honey bees roam. The Basswood and Clover has a silky texture on the tongue with hints of floral greenery and soft hints of flowers, perfect for amping up any cuppa.
Buy: Tea $40 | Raw Honey $13
Cup of Joy Tea
It’s a literal cup of joy - something everyone could use in 2020. Joy Sorich is a breast cancer survivor and tea lover who was looking to enjoy a chemical free cup. When many products failed her, she decided to make her own blends. These soft, floral brews pair beautifully with thick and fuzzy clothes and a good movie.
Buy: Cup of Joy $4 to 18
Mosser Glass Cake Stands
Glass cake stands. These stunning stands are made in a family-owned factory in Cambridge, Ohio. Use them to serve a showstopper cake, or pile of cookies. These beautiful stands also make for lovely displays of treasured items at home. They are too pretty to reserve for just one or two occassions a year. Perfect for an elegant plant stand or jewelry tray on your dresser. These vintage styled standers are made by hand in Ohio, but can be purchased in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles at Golden Fig Fine Foods in St. Paul.
Buy: Golden Fig Fine Foods, starting at $36.95, Amazon ($53)
Create an Alma Retreat
Alex Robert’s stunning hotel and restaurant also sell a beautiful line of body care items. Since most vacations are canceled, a gorgeous way to getaway is to book a night in Alma’s boutique hotel. The easy in and out, low contact stay boasts Scandinavian designs that are so elemental and pure, it’s impossible not to get a great night’s sleep. Part of the allure of booking one of these stays is not only the fresh pastries brought to the door for breakfast, it’s the gorgeous aromas that envelope each room. A light herbal scent, each mixture is made for the rooms based on the season. Fall scents are available as a soap, oil, incense, and hand sanitizer. Perfect for the Aveda-lover in your life, these products are even better (and locally made.) Enjoy a stay in a room to experience them in their natural habitat, or order online for pick up at the restaurant.
Buy: Alma Hotel Stay $250/night, Alma Fall Body Products from $6
From Up the North Shore
Gorgeous art from Tin Cup Designs and coffee from Fika bring memories of Superior’s shores home.
Jordan Sundberg loves her hometown of Duluth. It’s evident in all of her prints from the wide sweeping views of the Mesaba trail to a distant iron ore ship seen from a birch stand vantage point. All of her art brings to life the stark beauty found up the North Shore. Her ricing moon notecards are a perfect vessel to carry notes to much-missed friends.
Buy: Tin Cup Designs Ricing Moon Notecards $22
Fika Coffee is tucked into the ground floor of a building off Highway 61 in Lutsen, Minnesota. These smooth roasted beans are a nice, medium toastiness and impart the clean, no-nonsense beauty of a trip along the North Shore.
Buy: Fika North Shore Blend $15/lb
Level Up on Spice
The pantry called: it’s boring in there. Many restaurants are adding pantry provisions to their lineup and these are a few that demand space on your counter.
Hai Hai Coconut Chili Crisp. Chef Christina Nguyen has always been the queen of sauces. This delightfully crunchy, zingy sauce can go on just about anything and make it better. Scrambled eggs? Done. Tacos? An added tropical zip takes a detour to a new flavor realm. Brownies? Sure. Let’s get weird. Order for take out at the restaurant.
Young Joni Kimchi. James Beard Award winning chef Ann Kim’s kimchi has long been a staple of her pizza restaurant menus, since even the early days of Pizzeria Lola. The lady Za Za or the Kimchi Cowboy at Hello Pizza wouldn’t be the same without a hefty dose of the funky fresh spiced stuff. Now, this incredible condiment is for sale at Kim’s restaurants, as is a super cool tote bag bearing this cool Kimchi logo.
14 Spice. It doesn’t take many uses before chef Mik German’s all purpose spice blend becomes a must-have seasoning staple. These zesty, peppery, snappy blend makes just about everything, from leftover turkey sandwiches to burgers to standing rib roast even better. Some of the Twin Cities top chef’s swear by this stuff.
Put Something Local on the Bar
Skaalvenn Aquavit. Aquavit is having a moment nationally, but some of the best distillers of this snappy spirit are all in Minnesota. This proudly Nordic variety is an outstanding example of all this built-for-winter sprit can be. Serve it ice cold for powerful notes of anise, caraway, and orange peel. Mellow it out with a little soda water as a mixer. This is an excellent bottle to send someone afar that’s missing Minnesota.
Tattersall Manhattan. Making drinks at home isn’t quite as fun as watching an expert bartender mix up a powerful sipper at a restaurant. This ready made sipper was created by the staff at Tattersall, Minneapolis’ most popular distillery. With smooth and spicy rye, and a bit of mellowing sweet vermouth, these Manhattans are made for sipping fireside.
Dampfwerk Hegolander. This family owned distillery makes beautiful products built for sipping. The Hegolander a digestive bitter absolutely perfect for soothing a stomach filled with rich, holiday food, or sipped on its own after the annual holiday viewing of Die Hard. If you wanted to create the perfect Apres Ski pairing, start with a shot of the new peppermint schnapps, Pfefferminz from this distillery, eat, finish with this. That is Minnesota winter done right.
Drink Monday. The only non-local sipper on the list, this non-alcoholic gin is part of a new generation of spiritless spirits built for the home bar who would like a sophisticated zero proof drink. Flavored with all the herbs of a London-dry style gin, but none of the burn, or regret, this is a fun addition to any drink lineup.
Buy: Drink Monday gin $40, online and at The Golden Fig, St. Paul
Douglas & Todd Bourbon Cream. Ditch that old Bailey’s bottle at the back of the bar for this rich and smooth bourbon cream. Made with all the flavors that made day-breaker drinking so much fun, this is just good sipped straight as it is laced in coffee.
Norges Glass. This is a glass to obsess over. This crystal clear glass is smooth and shaped for perfectly tucking into a hand. There’s a weight to this glass that demands attention, along with its sleek Scandinavian design. The thickness of the material promises a quality built to last. Whether sipping a smooth spirit, or nursing a Manhattan, or even enjoying a bit of breakfast juice, this is the glass built for high quality beverages.
MN Pure Clear Ice. Do not skimp on the ice! Even if the holiday parties have been pared down to one or two attendees this year: ice matters. MN Pure & Clear Ice knows that, and offers doorstep delivery (along with a surprising array of local products on its website). Order otherworldly spheres, great hunks of rocks for the really good bourbon, or shards for mixing cocktails. This pristine ice elevates every drink to top-shelf status. Buy at quliaty area liquor stores or online for delivery.
BA Craftmade Knife Roll
The restaurant-favorite apron maker has added a knife roll to the lineup. These gorgeous knife rolls are the perfect gift for the serious chef in your life. Kevlar material keeps the blades and carrier safe, with a waxed canvas that’s made for withstanding long hours and plenty of abuse. The magnet enclosures snap shut like they mean business and the canvas strap makes the whole kit easy to carry
Buy: BA Craftmade $85-200
Birchwood Cafe’s Winter Warmer Kit
Minneapolis’ favorite activist cafe has a toasty little set. Loving Birchwood Cafe is more than just appreciating that iconic savory waffle. This small restaurant has long been involved in activism from supporting farmers during harvest season with crop mobs, to outspoken allyship, to paying its workers a living wage. Bring a taste of all that goodness home and support the kind of business many want to have as a part of our community for generations to come with a little winter warmer set. The ready-to-wrap gift box comes with two snuggly hats, two handmade mugs, and a bevvy of warm beverages. The tea, hot cocoa, and Peace Coffee will warm any soul right down to the heart cockles.
100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer
The only everyday sweet cookbook you need. Sarah Kieffer, author of the Vanilla Bean Baking blog has published her second book and it is an absolute must-have for the home baker. 100 Cookies has cookies, bars, and other treats for every mood, including an obsessive’s-appealing selection of chocolate chip cookies, complex flavor mixes and techniques for the advanced baker and the most humble-perfect blondies for the novice. There is even a section devoted to her viral pan-banging cookies that took the Internet by storm last year. If you’re wondering what to ship to your far-flung holiday cookie loving crew, send this book.
Buy: Red Balloon Books, $27.50 in St. Paul, Black Garnet Books in Minneapolis $25.30, Amazon $24.75
Patisserie 46 Cookies
Sweet holiday treats from a world-class chef. Patisserie 46 and its sister business Rose Street Patisserie in St. Paul are serving all kinds of sweet treats, including some lovely cookies for those that want the sweets without having to actually soften the butter on the counter. Order ahead for speculous cookies shaped like little sweaters, spiced thumbprints, or jewel-colored jars of preserves. Order online for curbside pickup.