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Gift Guide
Photograph: Pixabay Gift Guide

Love local: Boston holiday gift guide 2020

Here are our recommendations for the best gifts in Boston to give for the holidays

By Time Out Boston Staff and Eric Grossman
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Yes, we know it's 2020, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't reward yourself and others with gifts from top local makers and emerging Boston brands. Whether it's a tasty treat, an awesome experience, or a game-changing life hack, these gift ideas all have local connections. Best of all, you can purchase most of these items with just a few simple clicks; no need to go brave the cold or the masses this holiday season. If nothing here strikes your fancy, you can always consider a gift card to one of the best restaurants in Boston or a membership to one of the best museums in Boston. Looking for cool local stuff to do this holiday season? Check out our Love Local hub as well as our list of the best holiday lights in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Give the gift of the city's finest cuisine and cocktails

Time Out Market Boston
Photograph: Eva Sakellarides

Time Out Market cards

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

Not sure what to get the foodie in your life? Let your favorite culinary enthusiast curate their own feast by giving them the gift of a Time Out Market card. Available in any dollar amount, the card is good for any vendor or bar at Time Out Market Boston. Cards can be purchased at the Brand Ambassador stand at the Brookline Avenue entrance or from a bartender at the bar.

2020 Boston Gift Guide

Eastern Standard Provisions Company
Photograph: Courtesy Eastern Standard Provisions Company

1. Perfect pretzels from Eastern Standard Provisions Company

Eastern Standard Provisions Company—from restaurateur Garrett Harker and master baker Lauren Moran, who studied under the culinary icon Jacques Pepin—is churning out Oprah-approved pretzels in multiple varieties. These snacks are available for purchase on ESPCO's online store, as well as on the menu at some of the Boston-area’s best restaurants and breweries.

formaggio kitchen
Photograph: Sarah Bentivegna

2. Hard-to-find foodie treats at Formaggio Kitchen

Shopping West Cambridge

You can't go wrong stopping by the area's premier gourmet shop to pick up some locally-themed treats. Perhaps some Mass-made chocolate, cheese or candy? You‘ll also find condiments, charcuterie, confectionery and speciality ingredients, ranging from flowering teas and heirloom cattle beans to Hawaiian red sea salt and Piedmontese chickpea flour. 

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Hilliards Chocolates
Photograph: Courtesy Hilliards Chocolates

3. Classic local sweet treats from Hilliard's Chocolates

Founded in 1924, Hilliards Chocolates is among New England’s leading makers of artisan chocolates and specialty candies. The family-owned business is now in its fifth generation, and customers across the country can order up seasonal faves such as caramel-dipped apples and pumpkin pie fudge, plus signature selections like almond toffee crunch and pecan caramel apple bark. Hilliards Chocolates can be purchased online at or at retail stores in North Easton, Norwell and Mansfield, MA.

Brix Wine Shop
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Rebecca B.

4. Awesome wines from Brix

Shopping Liquor stores South End

Brix offers a hand-picked selection of wines and exceptional service—staff are happy to help pair the perfect wines with your holiday meal or gathering. Better yet, give the oenophile in your life a treat by gifting them a new or offbeat take on their favorite varietal.

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Bully Boy Distillers
Photograph: Courtesy Bully Boy Distillers

5. Virtual holiday parties with Bully Boy Distillers

This holiday season, Bully Boy Distillers is offering interactive themed cocktail classes led by the distillery’s lead bartenders. With themed options like seasonal sours, whiskey business and speakeasy classics, or a custom menu to please all the imbibers in your group, each one-hour class ($500-$700) promises to be a fun, festive and engaging way to celebrate the holidays with your crew. Companies can purchase and ship Bully Boy spirits directly to the homes of their employees. Email virtualcocktailclass@bullyboydistillers.com to schedule and confirm all details.

Vermont Wagyu
Courtesy Vermont Wagyu

6. World-class beef from Vermont Wagyu

Restaurants American

Give the gift of some of the finest beef New England has to offer. This family-owned farm ships its all-natural, 100% full-blood Wagyu beef direct to households throughout the U.S. The steers are descended from Japanese seed stock and prized for its superior buttery flavor, intensely marbled cuts and for being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The farm practices whole animal butchery, making everything from tenderloin, ribeye and strip steaks to short ribs, burger meat, chorizo and marrow bones available to customers online, farm-to-table.

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Eataly Boston Pop-Up Holiday Market
Photograph: Courtesy of Eataly

7. Fine Italian finds at Eataly

Shopping Grocery stores Back Bay

Visit the one and only Eataly to pick up high-quality culinary gifts from Italy. Guests can shop safely and discover overflowing gift boxes, fluffy panettone, hard-to-find wines and more. You can also give the gift of magical Italian culinary traditions via virtual cooking classes.

Summer Shack lobster pot pie
Courtesy Summer Shack

8. Lobster pot pies from the Summer Shack

Restaurants Seafood Back Bay

The Summer Shack has just launched online delivery for their lobster pot pie, which can be shipped anywhere in the US. (It can also be picked-up in store.) Each delicious, nine-inch lobster pot pie features a creamy base filled with potatoes, carrots, dry sherry, heavy cream, green peas, shallots, garlic, thyme and one pound of lobster meat, all packed into a soft, buttery puff pastry. The pie serves four to six people, though we think you deserve an entire one for yourself for getting through 2020.

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