When it comes to bringing the host a gift, there’s no question that it’s perfectly acceptable and inarguably convenient to grab a nice bottle of wine and carry it to the party in that cute (but re-used) gift bag. Nonetheless, there are those who might be looking for a few fresh and thoughtful ideas for host gifts, especially as we approach the very social holiday season. That’s why we put together a small collection of unique ideas for host gifts that we think you will feel great about bringing to your next gathering, be it with family, friends, friends of friends, colleagues and maybe even those new bffs we are just about to meet. Shop our curated selects below:
Chef-turned-spice-specialist Lior Lev Sercarz is the creator dubbed spice czar (Bon Appetit) behind the signature spice blends sold at NYC’s La Boîte. Lior has collaborated with culinary icons like Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud and artisans known as the “Spice Masters” to create crafted blends and single-origin spices, specialty pantry items and culinary gifts, to biscuits and chocolates. Lior and the La Boîte team are continuously crafting and curating products that are sure to inspire any foodie on your shopping list. Shop in person at 724 11th Avenue or online.
Housewares, especially those with a twist of style, can make a great host gift, and Big Night is one of those “only in New York” finds where there is a wide range to choose from. This jewel box is filled with dinner and party essentials from glassware, flatware, and linens, to specialty provisions like condiments, tinned fish, olive oil, cheese, caviar, and local ice creams. Shop online or at their locations in the West Village and Greenpoint.
Another style-forward resource for everything for the table is Gohar World, aptly described by the founding sisters, Laila and Nadia Gohar, as a “tableware universe.” Their philosophy centers around these four pillars: craft, time, tradition, and humor. Intricately designed in NYC, their designs are brought to life in family-owned ateliers around the world. Shop their selects online or at their newest location at 181 Lafayette St in New York.
Pick up a box of delicately crunchy macarons. The rainbow-colored treats are the specialty of Thierry Atlan, Best Craftsman of France Chocolatier (MOF), who opened a SoHo boutique with his daughter, Julie Atlan, in 2022. The macarons are crafted fresh daily in 18 flavors including Violet Cassis, Passion Fruit Mango, Salted Caramel, Strawberry Verbenda, Pistachio, and Nutella. All of which are gluten-free and almond-based (dairy-free options too). Shop online or in-store at 436 West Broadway.
We love everything coming from the kitchens and bars of Rita Sodi and Jody Williams, and these beautifully bottled cocktails are at the top of our list as a great host gift for any NYC restaurant aficionado. Don’t forget, no harm in pairing the cocktails with the Via Carota Cookbook – available to order online.
Save your host a few integral seconds in the kitchen with this Salt Crock from Le Creuset. The large side opening provides easy access to cooking salts and spices, and the dense stoneware blocks moisture to prevent cracking for long wear. Shop the Salt Crock here.
Literally every item at Coming Soon could be on display in a gallery. Yes, their unique collection of everything from gifts to furniture can be described as funky, yet refined and always original. Located in the heart of the LES, Coming Soon is a contemporary furniture, design and gift shop founded by Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria in 2013. Showcasing up and coming designers, shop in-store at Canal Street, or peruse their online shop.
The pickle trend is still alive and well, but don’t forget the popularity of a great jar of artisanal honey – especially when it’s a locally harvested product, whimsically packaged and sold by a family-owned business that has been working with bees since the 1800s. Fun fact: many claim that honey can help relieve allergy symptoms. Shop their honey online.
For those with an appetite to indulge in exquisite linens, we bow to French designer, Sarah Espuite and her collection of delicately hand-embroidered kitchen towels and tablecloths made in Marseille. Each piece has a story going back as far as 100 years which adds to the richness of these beautiful items. Shop online here.
Located just over the pond in London, Nata transforms your favorite delectable delights to seamless home decor that combines style and kitsch to make unique, conversation-worthy items. One of our favorites for the Martini lover are these culinary-inspired, soy wax Olive and Olive Trio candles – extra dirty. Sometimes the only function of something is to bring a smile, and that’s what we love about Nata’s fun objects. Shop their full food collection here.
A home is beyond just a vessel to change your clothes in or fall asleep on the couch. Lazy Jamie recognizes the importance and value of making one’s home someplace to enjoy being in. Their small curated selection of home goods features items that can typically be overlooked but now add a unique sensibility. Shop their online site here.
Ananas Ananas is a food-art studio founded by Verónica González and Elena Petrossian based in Los Angeles, CA. Each product is handmade in 100% food-grade stainless steel and is made in collaboration to honor local craftsmen in California who specialize in subaquatic welding. No piece is made the same, so your host is guaranteed to have something one-of-a-kind. Shop their website here.
Musubi Kiln offers more than just housewares, they offer a rich history of culture, emotion and storytelling through their products. For example, this set of Origami Crane Chopstick Rests go beyond just a rest – cranes are symbols for longevity and good fortune – making them a perfect sentimental addition to any tablescape and an opportunity to express one’s personality at the dinner table. Shop them online here.
If your host is practicing a zero ABV lifestyle, might we suggest stopping by Spirited Away, a booze-free bottle shop that has curated a collection of the most fabulous brands selling alcohol-free products. You’ll be welcomed with an assortment of beautifully packaged non-alcoholic beers, bitters, shrubs, amaros, mixers, sodas, and ready-to-drink cocktails.
Spirited Away is offering our clients 15% off with the code LIVunLtd15 until the end of 2023 for all hangover-free, holiday hosting. Shop online for in-store pick-up or delivery to Lower Manhattan.
For a little bit more creative freedom with your gift-giving, Abbode offers the opportunity to customize an item from their assorted housewares collection. Housewares include items such as dinner napkins, linen coasters and more. Shop their collection here.