I know, I know, I said last year was the last Hopper Holiday Gift Bag, something I started during the pandemic to help show support to local restaurants and food businesses. Sadly, the crazy logistics were just too much for this busy lady to keep it going. But huge thanks to my recent sponsorship and collaboration partner Feed, because together we’re bringing back SF’s best collection of tasty holiday goodies and treats for its fourth year!
This year’s bag is the tablehopper’s Taste of San Francisco Holiday Gift Box. And here’s the best part: Feed will be able to deliver the box all up and down the West Coast (click the deliver link to see where!), from Seattle to Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as to Phoenix, Scottsdale, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, and more! I knowwwww, you can get a tablehopper’s Taste of San Francisco Holiday Gift Box sent to your doorstep here in the City, or Sebastopol, and easily ship one to your cousin in Denver who really loves SF!
I’m so excited to share the lineup of 12 oh-so-delicious, unique, gourmet products from local restaurants and makers below (many of these are personal faves!).
Huge gratitude for all of you who continue to support the many makers and independent restaurants and pop-ups and food businesses featured in this annual gift box. Some of you order one every year, and it’s so appreciated! As you know, it’s still rough out here: pandemic-related issues keep dragging on, inflation is hitting hard, and our local businesses continue to fight to survive, so let’s do what we can to show up for and celebrate them!
But inflation be damned, this abundant gift box is packed full of some of the most delicious, local, hand-crafted, small-batch, and festive treats, all curated by yours truly! I’m talking about 12 stellar, San Francisco Bay Area–made products, the majority of them from people of color, queer, and women makers, as well as small businesses that have been hustling extra-hard to stay afloat. It’s a great way to discover some new businesses, while supporting some of our local and longtime faves, too. This year, our gluten-free folks will be happy about the cookies (and sweets). And, look at that, the price dropped this year!
You can order it for yourself, or you can split up the gift box into stocking stuffers for your friends or as host/ess gifts, share a box with a friend, or send a gift box to someone who really loves SF and doesn’t live here.
And: there’s a donation included with each box sold to the SF-Marin Food Bank, who could really use our support right now as they continue to help folks get food on the table. The struggle of affording groceries is especially difficult during the holidays, when food is so emotionally tied to good times with loved ones.
CHECK OUT THIS YEAR’S TASTY GOODS:
Under the Mistletoe Chocolate Collection by Kokak Chocolates (4-pc.). Have you visited Carol Gancia’s queer woman–owned chocolate shop in the Castro? You need to try her hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies! This Filipina chocolatier’s artisan chocolates are incredible, and we’re excited to feature her holiday chocolate truffles that are crafted with single-origin, heirloom chocolate. The four-piece holiday box includes peppermint, sea salt caramel, pumpkin spice, and blueberry jam (without blueberry ganache). You can read more about the special cacao Gancia uses and the offerings at her shop in my piece from this summer.
Salted Chocolate Honeycomb by Petite LaFleur (2.5 oz bag). You’re about to meet your new, favorite, salty-sweet treat. This LBGTQ-owned business is from Suzanne LaFleur, formerly a pastry chef for SF restaurants like Perbacco and Yoshi’s SF, and a production manager at Dandelion Chocolate. Her signature amber honeycomb is made with local honey from a beekeeper in Oakland and finished with dark chocolate and sea salt.
Granola by b. Patisserie (8 oz.) Pastry wizard Belinda Leong is celebrating opening b. Patisserie with Michel Suas 10 years ago (in 2013). While famously known for their kouign amann, a quiet favorite among diehard b. fans is the granola (people visiting from out of town are known to buy multiple bags to bring home). A nutty and sneakily addictive blend of purple wheat, rice crispies, sliced almonds, maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, and puffed kamut, this granola is adored for its crunchy clusters and GBD (golden brown and delicious) flavor. Good luck having it last until breakfast, it’s far too easy to snack on.
Sam Wo Restaurant Authentic Hot Mustard (4 oz.). Have you ever had Sam Wo’s chashu/BBQ pork rice noodle roll with their hot mustard? It’s one of my favorite SF bites, and we’re potentially going to be saying goodbye to Sam Wo, one of the oldest restaurants in Chinatown (since 1908) next year. BIG SIGH. So, I wanted to be sure you had a jar of their special and nose-tingling hot mustard in your fridge, which is where you’ll need to place it as soon as it arrives. I love it with dumplings (especially har gow), pork, and on special sandwiches.
Calabrian XO Chili Sauce by Pasta Supply Co. (6 oz.). I fell in love with this spicy, umami-loaded XO sauce back when chef Anthony Strong had his restaurant Prairie in the Mission, and was so happy to see it live on at his new pasta emporium in the Inner Richmond. XO sauce was invented at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong in the 1980s, and is made from dried shrimp and scallops, Jinhua ham, shallots, garlic, chiles, and oil. Strong’s version subs in Calabrese chile (peperoncino) and ’nduja (spicy and smoky spreadable pork), plus some anchovy, tomato, olive oil, sage, salt, and spices. FLAVA BOMBA. It’s fantastic with dumplings, fried eggs (uh huh), on pasta and vegetables, brushed on grilled meat, and I barbecued a head of cabbage slathered with it to incredible results. Stash some in the freezer so you can enjoy more later.
Obe Ata Din Din Sauce by Eko Kitchen (8 oz.). Nigerian chef Simileoluwa “Simi” Adebajo brings a taste of Lagos to SF with her pop-ups and catering, and her rich, roasted pepper stew is going to be a welcome new player in your kitchen. Treat the gluten-free sauce like a shakshuka base for eggs in the morning, or simmer chicken with it, use it like a dip for plantain chips, or as an accompaniment to fried or roasted potatoes. Contains canola oil, bell peppers, red onion, garlic, ginger, habanero, and a secret house spice blend. Refrigerate after opening.
Furikake Chex Mix by Sunday Bakeshop (4.4 oz.). When it’s the holidays, I always think of Chex Mix (and bowls of it at my grandma’s). Did you know the original party mix dates back to 1952?! 70 years later, we’re still grazing on it, although leave it to chef Elaine Lau of Oakland’s Sunday Bakeshop to offer a riff that makes it even more snackable: with furikake seasoning with soy, seaweed, and a little spice. Party time! (Try their Pandan Coconut Caramel Corn next!)
Amaretti Cookies by Emporio Rulli (22 oz.). Yeah, you read that right, you’re getting a big ole jar packed to the rim with these tasty, beautifully textured, bite-sized amaretti cookies, so you have plenty to share! Baker Gary Rulli is a master of traditional Italian recipes, and these gluten-free cookies are no exception: this bittersweet-flavored macaron is a specialty treat that originated in the Lombardy region of Italy, and dates back to the Renaissance! Made with Mission almonds, bitter almonds, sugar, pasteurized egg whites.
Neapolitan Espresso by Mr. Espresso (12 oz.). You need an espresso to go with your cookies! For 45 years, Mr. Espresso has been supplying local restaurants with their trademark oakwood-roasted coffee, since 1978. Founder Carlo Di Ruocco pays homage to his Neapolitan youth with this medium-dark roast and blend, with notes of dark chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel. A tablehopper favorite in my trusty Gaggia espresso machine at home, one shot transports me right to Southern Italy. Auuuuuuuuu.
Scarlet Fire® Hot Sauce (5 oz.). I’m an avid hot sauce collector, so I love it when one comes along that can occupy a unique space on my shelf with its flavor profile (and eye-catching Jim Pollock artwork—plus, Deadheads get the name reference). It sounds like it’s going to be a scorcher, but this small-batch and vinegar-based hot sauce from Marla Simon plays well with food—you can really taste the fruity and spicy flavors of the chiles (Fresno, habanero, and Thai chile) and the sweetness of the carrot. I enjoy it with eggy breakfast dishes, oysters on the half shell, anything cheesy (mac and cheese!), on broccoli soup, and try it in a Bloody Mary! I was happy to see Scarlet Fire become a Good Food Award winner this year, too.
Nam Jim Ped Spicy Cilantro Sauce from Kitiya (8 oz.). La Cocina entrepreneur Kitiya Ditpare recently launched a fantastic line of Thai sauces (maybe you remember her spiced nuts in last year’s gift bag?). Her nam jim ped is a tangy and spicy cilantro sauce with notes of garlic, green onion, and lime that is amazing as a dip with plantain or thick potato chips (you won’t stop), so tasty with fried eggs (treat it like a salsa verde!), and the perfect accompaniment to shellfish, seafood, and dumplings. It’s a great marinade for chicken (recipe here). You can also use it to zhoosh up your soup, salad dressing, yogurt sauce, tacos, and drizzle some inside a grilled cheese sandwich. If you like it funky, add two tbsp. of fish sauce to the jar. Refrigerate after opening.
Seasons Greetings from SF Letterpress Card from Coffee n Cream Press. We’re including this adorable letterpress card of an SF skyline so you can send some love from SF to someone (we’re leaving it blank for you!). Each card is drawn, designed, and printed in-house on owner Leah Jachimowicz’s Vandercook Letterpress, folded and packaged one card at a time, right here in San Francisco.
Supporting subscribers received a special code for a free jar of Red Jalapeño Chile Flakes, thanks to Burlap & Barrel (this vine-ripened chile is from Fire Tongue Farms in Santa Cruz). Try it on eggs, hummus, or on soup and beans. You’ll also get a code from Feed for 15 percent off your next order! Thanks for becoming a supporting subscriber! 💋
Almost everything will be shelf stable, but thanks to Feed, we can deliver a couple cool items that will need to get into the fridge when you receive your delivery, so don’t let the box sit out for a couple days. Unfortunately, there are no substitutions or custom orders. If there’s something you can’t eat or enjoy, I’m sure you can find someone who will! Yay, regifting! All sales are final, no refunds or returns.
Items are subject to change and availability—since we’re dealing with so many items here (12!), there’s a small chance we’ll need to make a change or swap an item. Please trust it will be delicious. Thank you for understanding, we’ll keep you informed of any changes.
The gift box is available to pre-order now, and boxes will be shipped starting Tuesday December 19th (the arrival date depends upon where you live; it will be December 20th–22nd, the website will tell you when you have it in your cart). You can continue to order the gift box into December, as long as supplies last!
On behalf of all our local restaurants, makers, and food businesses, thank youuuu! We appreciate all your kind and generous support. Our Bay Area hospitality industry is so special, thanks for showing up for it. And very heartfelt thanks to Feed for helping me continue to do this! Ho ho ho!