The Best Gifts for Food Lovers


Holiday shopping is stressful. If you stayed home to eat Thanksgiving leftovers with friends and family instead of shopping like a lunatic on Black Friday, good for you. When you’re ready to start thinking about what to get the food lovers in your life, Fork in the Road has some ideas. For the nerds looking for gastronomical essay collections and vintage mixing glasses, to the ones trying to rebuild their local food communities, here are 12 spots to find holiday gifts this year:

Nils Wessell’s shop Brooklyn Butcher Blocks makes beautiful walnut and cherry boards and blocks. His magnetic knife racks (covered in wood) and rough serving boards ($45) also make great gifts.

Buy junk bonds from Fort Defiance to invest in an evening of great cocktails in Red Hook and help the restaurant rebuild after the storm. Bonds will be worth half of what you paid for them and can be used like cash at the Fort (“It’s a terrible deal for you, but we really need the money!”), making it an unusual, thoughtful gift for cocktail lovers ($2 to $200). Also consider some lovely barware, like a Yarai mixing glass from Cocktail Kingdom, or hard-to-find bitters from West Village gem, The Meadow.

Cut Brooklyn’s limited-edition knives come with a lifetime guarantee and a lesson in how to keep the sharp, hand-forged edge. Consider visiting the workshop to place an order, or follow knife-maker Joel Bukiewicz on Twitter to see the work as it’s produced and snap up the one you like. Also check out the beautiful Japanese steel from Korin.

Get a pack of gift certificates from the Red Hook Lobster Pound to distribute among the lobster-lovers in your life and help rebuild their small business which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Certificates range from $28 to $1,000.

For antique books and beautiful, vintage cookware and serving pieces, check out Greenwich Street Cookbooks run by Joanne Hendricks (gift certificates are also available). And for even more specialty and out-of-print cookbooks, visit Kitchen Arts and Letters, one of my favorite places in the city. I’m certain they can point you toward the ideal present.

Give brownies, loaf cakes, or hot cocoa mixes from Robicellis, or packages of lollipops, brittles, and caramels ($7/dozen) from the candy makers at Liddabit Sweets.

As our wine columnist reported a while back, Red Hook Winery was hit extremely hard by the storm and may not recover. Meanwhile, their inventory that wasn’t damaged is available by the pack. Stocking up on a few two-bottle sets ($50), to take as hostess gifts to holiday parties, is a pretty great idea.

You can’t go wrong with a gift card to The Brooklyn Kitchen good toward books, equipment, and classes.