Friends, we are down to the wire. Christmas 2020, is just a few days away, and those shipping delays every website warns you about as you add to cart? They are very real. If you safely are able, an actual in-person visit to a brick-and-mortar store might solve the problem, but many local spots also offer same-day delivery for people who live in the region...and, of course, there are some gifts that can acceptably arrive even after the holidays end. Here are some of the best last-minute ideas and shopping spots for the Bay Area food fan on your list.
Hot Cocoa Bombs from the San Francisco Proper Hotel
Everybody’s talking about hot chocolate bombs, those high-drama cocoas (yes, I know how that sounds) that bloom open when exposed to hot liquid. San Francisco’s Proper Hotel offers a set of 4 for $24 that you can order for pickup within thirty or so minutes during business hours, made with dark chocolate, Valrhona cocoa, and house-made marshmallows.
Steak and Chop Knife Kit from Cream Co.
Oakland farm-direct meat producers Cream Co. has a multitude of offerings available for pickup, but one of their gift-y-est is this $300 set that includes a ribeye for two and a double pork chop paired with a set of six stainless steel steak knives from R. Chazeau, by way of local shop Bernal Cutlery. And if you can’t make it to Cream Co.’s location this week, orders placed online by Sunday 12/27 will arrive on New Year’s Eve, so that’s an option, too.
Buy: Cream Co. ($300)
Castro Pride collection from Kokak Chocolates
Kokak Chocolates is the new chocolatier on the block, opening in the Castro District in the middle of the pandemic. They’re available for walk-in business all week, so you can stop by or arrange local delivery (it’s too late to ship, as you know) of any of their boxes of handmade, small batch, single origin treats. I’m partial to this Pride box, which for $18.95 feels like a great way to celebrate love...and rainbows are pretty.
A bottle of the Day Wine
SF-owned wine business the Day Wines dedicates 10 percent of its proceeds to women’s health-focused groups like Planned Parenthood, and it offers free, same-day delivery across San Francisco, which means you can order it today and have it delivered to your women’s-health-conscious pals by tomorrow. Their 2018 Sauvignon Blanc comes from Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, and is fresh and fruity without being to rooty-tootily sweet. It’s a $20 bottle of sunshine.
Buy: The Day Wines ($20)
A Market Box from Chef’s Cart
Look, it would be weird (and, probably, kind of gross) if you put a big box of perishables under the tree. But a market box of fresh produce is a true delight to receive, especially one that’s curated from the trio of chefs at Chef’s Cart, a local produce delivery company that — unlike many out there — allow single box orders instead of requiring a subscription commitment. They deliver in SF on Saturdays and Thursdays, and in Oakland, Alameda, and Daly City on Saturdays, so just drop in the name and information for your recipient, choose the delivery day, and you’re all set — day of, they’ll get a bounty of 6-7 seasonal items like fruits, veggies, and leafy greens.
Buy: Chef’s Cart ($40)
Give a gift to their favorite restaurant
If you know your recipient’s favorite bar or restaurant, you can give them a gift they’ll treasure forever — the knowledge that they helped support its workers during this terrible time. Just go to GoFundMe and search for their favorite spot’s name, then drop a donation in their name. Print it out, put it in a cute card, and your gift giving is done. Perhaps, for example, you could donate to longstanding SF speakeasy the Rite Spot in the name of a friend you used to meet there for drinks. Or for a friend who loves Nigerian food, maybe Eko Kitchen’s rebuilding fund is a good fit. And I know a couple folks in the Sunset and Parkside who are giving donations to Underdogs Too’s employee fund to friends and family in lieu of stocking stuffers this year. If you’re struggling to find a restaurant using GoFundMe’s search function, SFist also has a nice list of local fundraisers you can look through to find one for your pal.
Other Avenues Are Possible
This one’s for the history buff/food fan on your list: Other Avenues Are Possible: Legacy of the People’s Food System of the San Francisco Bay Area looks at how the local food movement played out within the Bay Area co-op grocery store system, including Rainbow Grocery and the city’s oldest co-op, the Outer Sunset’s Other Avenues. Think Game of Thrones meets Dynasty meets the Whole Earth Catalog. As of publication times, copies were still in stock at Other Avenues, which is open every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Call to confirm they’re in stock at 415-661-7475.)