Christmas is just around the corner, and instead of buying yet another bauble from a massive major retailer, consider supporting Houston’s restaurants while giving a unique gift.
From locally-designed hats and shirts to spice blends and scarves, this creative Houston restaurant merch will impress even the pickiest of recipients. And, in most cases, you won’t even have to wait for shipping — many of these gifts can be added on to your usual takeout orders, which is a truly efficient holiday shopping solution.
Love Buzz 420 t-shirt, $20
Designed by Los Angeles artist Wizard of Barge, this charmingly creepy tee is the perfect pairing with a pepperoni pizza and a couple beers. Not feeling the grim reaper vibe? Pick the “Trippy” tee, which boasts a weed-smoking slice of pizza. Order online via Love Buzz’s website.
Lei Low tee, $20
Rep Houston’s finest tiki bar with this t-shirt that’s sold alongside Lei Low’s top-notch tropical cocktails. Order online for local pick-up or priority 2-day shipping.
Fluff Bake Bar tee, $20
Emblazoned with the face of iconic ‘80s crooner Lionel Richie and his most legendary lyrics, this tee is a must for both pun enthusiasts and cookie lovers. Head to Fluff Bake Bar’s website to order.
Anvil Bar and Refuge hat, $27.50
This extremely cool hat designed by Houston studio Letterset is an essential for any Houston cocktail enthusiast, especially when paired with one of the bar’s stellar negronis or mezcal margaritas. Visit Anvil’s website to order and pick up at the bar. Shipping is also an option.
8th Wonder Brewing fanny pack, $10
Fanny packs are all the rage with The Youths right now, and this Houston brewery’s take on a utilitarian classic is totally a fashion do. While placing an order for a sixer of Raspberry Sabrosa or Dome Faux’m, definitely add one of 8th Wonder Brewing’s sweet fanny packs to your order. Not exactly your style? Grab one of the brewery’s tote bags, hats, or creatively designed tees. Order online via 8th Wonder’s website.
Truth Barbeque hat, $30
Pitmaster Leo Botello’s Truth BBQ brought Hill Country barbecue cred to Houston, and now this camo snapback will help establish any barbecue enthusiast’s bonafides. According to the description, it’s also perfect for any upcoming hunting trips, even if smelling like brisket makes it hard to be stealthy. Order online via Truth’s website.
Masala tins ($12) and scarves ($12 and up) from Pondicheri
Bring chef Anita Jaisinghani’s vibrant flavors to your home cooking with ingredients from the Pondi Pantry. Multiple different types of masala, including coffee masala, barbecue masala, and curry masala are on offer, along with skincare products, chutneys, and chic scarves made by artisans in Gujarat, India. Order online via pondishop.com.
Cook Like a Local by Underbelly Hospitality chef Chris Shepherd, $35
Just in case you didn’t pick up chef Chris Shepherd’s love letter to Houston in cookbook form last year, there’s no better time than the present. Now that we’re all cooking at home more, knowing how to make Shepherd’s famed Korean braised goat and dumplings is an essential skill. Order online via the book’s publisher.
Mexican hot chocolate kit from Xochi, $60
This gift box from chef Hugo Ortega’s Downtown restaurant is perfect for cozy season, complete with the restaurant’s housemade chocolate and a molinillo, a tool that’s used to froth up the “perfect cup of Mexican hot chocolate.” The gift box also includes a personalized copy of Ortega’s book, Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico. Order online via Xochi’s website.