Nothing says “Happy Holidays” better than a box of cheap eggnog chocolates—unless you’re tasked with finding a gift for food-lovers with highly elevated palates. Luckily, Vancouver is known for its gourmet offerings, and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites such as sustainable seafood platters and artisan gift baskets filled with local goodies.
Here are six mouthwatering gifts that will impress all the foodies you know.
East Van Goodies
Edible Canada’s East of Main gift basket ($100) keeps it hyperlocal by featuring tasty goodies handcrafted by some of the most popular artisan food vendors around town. It includes items like strawberry jam from East Van Jam, honey from Hives for Humanity, sweet spiced pretzels from Batch Sweet Kitchen, and dark Peru chocolate from East Van Roasters, among other tasty things. It’s also a gift that gives back by supporting Hives for Humanity and East Van Roasters, businesses that provide opportunities for at-risk individuals in the community.
Find it at Edible Canada (1596 Johnston Street).
It’s almost that time of the year again, when calories don’t count and you can eat to your heart’s content. For those with a deep love for baked treats, we suggest picking up Beaucoup Bakery’s new holiday cookie tin ($60). The aesthetically pleasing gold tin holds four kinds of cookies (30 pieces): palmiers, chocolate Sablés, almond-and-orange florentines, and spiced Viennese sablés with orange (also known as spritz). These are not the type of treats you leave out for Santa, because they’re too good to share. Limited quantities are available in-store, and ordering is recommended.
Find it at Beaucoup Bakery (2150 Fir Street).
Keeping with the local theme, Commissary Connect, a company that runs shared-use commercial kitchens in Vancouver has put together its annual holiday gift boxes ($50). Many well-loved local food vendors have added products to the boxes, including Tayybeh, To Die For Fine Foods, Kula Kitchen, West Coast Gourmet Snacks, Kanadell, and Dipped Doughnut Co. Expect to find everything from popcorn to cookies to spreads in this festive package. The best part of this gift is that it supports the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
Find it on Commissary Connect's website.
Forget the yule logs and charcuterie boards: seafood platters are the new go-to gift for any holiday party. Local seafood purveyor Fresh Ideas Start Here is known for its creative and fuss-free do-it-yourself kits (such as poké, taco, and uni pasta options), but this year they took it up a notch. Caviar ($100) and baked-lobster kits ($55) are the newest additions, which will undoubtedly impress all the foodies in the room. For those looking for something a little more low-key, there are FISHcapades party platters ($75), which include smoked salmon, smoked fish candy, shrimp, and more. Ordering is recommended.
Find it all at Fresh Ideas Start Here (2959 West Broadway and 180–7515 Market Crossing, Burnaby).
Chocolate and confections are pretty much on steroids this time of year, and with good reason: who doesn’t like holiday-themed sweets with seasonal flavours like nutmeg, eggnog, and peppermint? West Vancouver’s Temper Pastry has a full collection of festive treats, including Christmas lollipops, chocolate stocking stuffers, and panettone. This year, it’s also offering a vegan gift box ($75) that features vegan chocolates, candied pecans, a dark-chocolate candy-cane bar, and hot chocolate. It’s the perfect package for any type of food lover.
Find it at Temper Chocolate and Pastry (2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver).
The Dirty Apron is more than a cooking school; it’s also the creator of unique holiday gift baskets that can put people into food heaven. This year, the culinary establishment will be offering the O Canada Snacker ($69), which includes tasty bites from across the country, like Candy Meister’s all-natural candies, Tout de Sweet’s gourmet popcorn, and Professor Pretzel’s honey-mustard pretzel mix. Gift baskets are customizable, and can be ordered in advance.
Find them at the Dirty Apron Cooking School and Delicatessen (540 Beatty Street).