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Nov 23, 2009 09:57 AM

Fun gifts for a Phila Foodie

I hope that you can help. I'm trying to think of xmas gifts for my husband who loves to eat, drink, and cook. Any good Philly food stores or farmer's markets that I should check out? I plan on going to Foster's Homeware, Reading terminal, and Dibruno's since they always have fun stuff. Gift certs to Whole foods or Trader Joes wouldn't be good since I usually do the food shopping. I'm open to restaurant gift certificate ideas. In the past, I've given him gift certs to Osteria, Steven Starr and Jose Garces restaurants and lots of cookbooks.

Maybe there's some good websites out there? Just curious to see what you might be getting your fellow foodie friends for the holidays. Any interesting or different ideas?

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  1. There's an Amish booth that sells honey in the rear-right of RTM. It's the best honey I've ever had. I always grab some when I'm in Philly and ask friends and family to do the same for me.

    1. I'd skip Fosters and DiBruno's and instead head to Green Aisle Grocery on East Passyunk Avenue, the Head House farmers market, or to the State Store for a bottle of Root.

      9 Replies
      1. re: MLTimes

        Why would you skip Foster's and DiBruno's? I haven't been to Green Aisle yet, and I love the Head house famer's market - but it will be closed after Christmas for several months. Root is great if you like sweet liquors

        1. re: Bigley9

          I'm not sure why the post-Christmas closing date for the HH Farmers market is relevant, as the OP is looking for a Christmas present, which is typically shopped for in the time before, not after, Christmas.

          I'd skip DiBruno's because it's largely overpriced, overly hyped and their products aren't particularly special or unusual any more as the culinary landscape in Philadelphia progresses.

          Foster's, too, has little that can't be found elsewhere and for less money. The best thing in Foster's was the Hands on Knife Skills Class. Since they had to close the store on Market Street, does anyone know if this class is still offered?

          Last thought, the one gift I didn't mention was either a cooking class with or seats at a dinner prepared by Shola or Alex & Aki (or all three). That, to me, is an ultimate food-related gift.

          1. re: MLTimes

            I wouldn't want to have to wait for four months to use my gift certificate!
            I disagree about Foster's products, esp now in the new 3rd street store. They do still have the cooking classes, the kitchen from Market street was moved to the lower level at the new 33 N 3rd store.

            1. re: Bigley9

              Why is there a wait to use a GC? I hope Shola isn't flying south for the winter. Did I miss some news about his plans?

              The only other GC's mentioned in this thread are to WF and TJ's, both of which the OP vetoed. The other recs were for actual gifts, not GC's.

              Good to know Foster's has preserved their kitchen. I really do think the Knife Skills class is a great offering.

              1. re: MLTimes

                my bad - I assumed a gift cert to the headhouse market

        2. re: MLTimes

          i would skip dibruno's too - way too expensive for what they sell. claudio's might not always have as many cheeses but their prices are infinitely better. unfortunately, they don't just make up the price anymore. *sigh* long gone are the days of getting a bag of everything for the holidays for less than $30....if you're on 9th street and want kitchen wares you should stop in fante's...

          tria is a great place for eating, drinking and relaxing (not on a weekend night). maybe a cooking school lecture in the back of reading terminal too?

          1. re: mazza3

            Foster's has cooking classes and depending on his interest you might find one that he'd enjoy. They are typically just a few hours each.

            1. re: mazza3

              Tria has a "Fermentation School" that does classes about and tastings of wine, beer and cheese:

              1. re: barryg

                Get him a Reading Terminal Market shirt at the PA General Store in the Market.