We have searched some of our favorite local stores over the past week to build a holiday gift guide for foodies. You cannot go wrong with any of this, and always try to shop local when you can.
Loblolly has tons of great stocking stuffers lined up this year, and it is not all ice cream. Their bags of hot chocolate mix is some of the best around, they are doing boxes of macarons, plus they have giant handmade marshmallows. Be sure to pick up the special Rock Town Bourbon Marshmallows, they are fantastic.
Speaking of Loblolly, when you stop into the corner store be sure to check out their Bella Vita ice cream charms and necklaces. It is the perfect way to highlight your preference in cold treats. You can also stop by Bella Vita’s shop downtown on Louisiana for more locally made jewelry that is not necessarily food related.
Strattons has become our favorite little place for locally made food products. They have a huge selection of everything from chocolates to spices along with local produce and more. It is a perfect spot to create a gift basket of local ingredients.
O’Looneys stepped up their holiday game in a big way this year with their own holiday gift guide. It has everything a home bartender needs from bar tools to alcohol. Our favorite part might be the cocktail kits that are custom curated from some of our top local bartenders. Plus, who doesn’t love a nice bottle of bourbon or mezcal? It is honestly the place we shop every year for our staff gifts.
Onyx, quite simply, roast the best coffee around. The Springdale based spot has grown to become one of the most prestigious coffee roasters in the country. Unfortunately, some of their better roasts are very hard to find in Little Rock. Last year I decided to pick up their Roaster’s Choice subscription pack and it was one of the best decisions of my coffee drinking life. They ship either weekly, bimonthly, or monthly, and with the Roaster’s Choice it is a different roast each shipment based on what they have in that is cool and unique.
Craft beer continues to boom in Little Rock, but instead of just enjoying the craft beer movement, get involved with it. Water Buffalo has everything from home brew starter kits to more advanced equipment to get going in home brew. Owner Nolan Buffalo tells us it only cost around $130-150 to get everything you need to get started home brewing.
Kent Walker has some of the best cheese around, which makes a great gift by itself. The shop also features a strong selection of local food goods and meats to go along with their high quality cheese. Another great spot to stop in and create a gift basket.
Eggshells is the ultimate store for foodies. They have every kitchen gadget, knife, and pan you could every need along with grills and local food products. If you have a specific need it is a great spot, or better yet, just give a foodie a gift card here and let them go crazy.
Once you reach a certain age and have kids, the presents start to mean a bit less. One of my favorite things to do is to have a getaway night, even if it is in my own city. Capital Hotel has long been a great spot for this, however more and more I am impressed with what is going on at the Burgundy Hotel. They can put together a nice package of a hotel stay and dinner at Table 28, which is one of our favorite date night places in town, for the person who just needs a night out on your gift list.
Little Rock’s own distillery has a lot to offer for the holidays. In addition to the Rock Town Bourbon Marshmallows mentioned above, they also have bourbon pecan caramels made by Izard chocolate that are amazing. If you want something a little more liquid (and why would you not) they are bringing back one of my favorite gift options of all time, the home whiskey aging kit.
You should really just buy everyone pie for Christmas and call it a day, there is absolutely no way you can go wrong. However, for those of you who insist on buying real presents that you can’t eat, Honey Pies has a really cool vendor space featuring rustic and hand crafted goods from LK Rustic Market, Me and McGee, and Lady Like Jewelry. Plus while you are in there you can get pie for yourself, because you are thoughtful like that.