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David Lissner
for restaurants

Five last-minute Chicago food gifts

El Milagro tortilla chips

Pair locally made tortilla chips with jarred salsa and hot sauce for a last-minute Christmas gift.

Still doing your Christmas shopping? Don’t overlook the grocery store, where you’ll find loads of local items you can pull together for great last-minute gifts.

  1. Booze: It may be a cliche, but it’s always appreciated. Many liquor stores are open and happy to sell you a bottle of cheer, or check out the liquor aisle at the supermarket. We like Midwest specialties, such as The Big O, a ginger liqueur just introduced to Chicago from Kansas, or products from North Shore Distillery. Local beers are good, too.

  2. Pasta kit: Head to the grocery store and grab some interesting pastas, jarred sauce — locally made brands, such as those from the Tuscany restaurants, are widely available — and a colander from the housewares aisle.

  3. Meat lovers’ kit: Barbecue sauces such as Sweet Baby Ray’s and other local favorites, steak sauce and a pair of barbecue tongs.

  4. Mexican snack pack: Tortilla chips, such as locally made El Milagro; salsas, such as those made by Frontera Grill; hot sauce and a bowl.

  5. Sweet treats: Wrap up a selection of locally made candies.

Merry Christmas!