With the pandemic, many of us won’t be traveling to visit friends and family this holiday season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t send a piece of Philly to your loved ones’ doorsteps.
From cheesesteaks to whoopie pies to make-your-own Philly pretzel kits, the city is filled with delicious treats you can ship nationwide. Here are some options to check out.
Note: Due to COVID-19, many places are experiencing delays in packaging and shipping times. Order soon for a timely arrival.
Price: Varies by roaster and product
Whether you’re a diehard La Colombe drinker or a fan of Philly’s smaller coffee shops, you can share a cup of your favorite coffee with friends nationwide. Gift a monthly Ultimo subscription, a ReAnimator holiday gift set, a Rival Bros. blend benefiting city nonprofits, or a La Colombe draft latte variety pack. Greenstreet and OX ship beans, too. Our picks? The Vietnamese coffee brew kit from Càphê Roasters and the snap-chilled coffee and beans from Philly newcomer Nilaa.
Order at: Ultimo: ultimocoffee.com/take-action; Reanimator: reanimatorcoffee.com/collections/all; Rival Bros.: rivalbros.com/shop; Greenstreet: greenstreetcoffee.com/shop; La Colombe: lacolombe.com/collections/all-drinks; Ox: shop.oxcoffee.com; Càphê Roasters: capheroasters.com/shop; Nilaa: nilaacoffee.com/buy-coffee
Price: $99-$109 for a four-pack
We’ll let you choose the winner of the best giftable cheesesteak debate. There are plenty of options. Online marketplace Goldbelly ships cheesesteaks from Pat’s, Jim’s, Donkey’s Place, Campo’s, John’s Roast Pork, Joe’s Steaks, and beyond. There’s even a vegetarian option, Questlove’s signature Impossible Meat cheesesteak.
Cheesesteaks are delivered as make-your-own kits or fully assembled sandwiches, frozen and shipped with ice packs. Storage and reheating instructions are provided. Most options keep for a couple days in the refrigerator or up to two months in the freezer.
Philly chocolates and confections
Price: Varies by product
Philadelphia has a rich history with sweets, churning out candy since the early 1800s. Today, the city brims with artisanal chocolate makers and sweet shops, most of which ship nationwide. For some extra-Philly options, check out Aurora Grace’s Gritty Bar ($8), Lore’s LOVE sculpture chocolates ($3.95-$7.95), or Mueller’s Liberty Bell truffles ($25.95).
Thereis also plenty to browse online from Shane Confectionery, the oldest continually-run candy shop in the country. Or, for treats from one of Philly’s newest chocolate crafters, check out Fiore Fine Foods’ holiday menu ($6-$24). All items under the “Specialty Chocolate” section are available to ship, including hand-painted chocolate bonbons ($24), peppermint mallomars ($9), and soft chocolate torrone ($6). (Specify your shipping address in the messaging section. A 20% service fee and shipping charge will be added).
Order at: Aurora Grace: shopauroragrace.square.site; Lore’s Chocolate: loreschocolates.com/product-category/uncategorized; Mueller Chocolate Co.: muellerschocolate.com; Shane Confectionery: shanecandies.com/shop; Fiore Fine Foods: fiore-finefoods.com/christmas-pastry-gelato-preorder
Philly baked treats
Price: Varies by product
It’s been a rough 2020, and we all deserve a cookie. Or a whoopie pie. Or a whole box of treats. Here are a few popular Philly spots that make it easy to send baked goods to loved ones. Consider gifting yourself while you’re at it.
Well-known for its Argentinian cookies, Jezabel’s offers two varieties of its buttery alfajores. The first features classic shortbread-style cookies sandwiching dulce de leche and finished with shredded coconut. The second has dulce de leche between two chocolate cookies that are dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with rose petals. A combo box has three of each. Cookies come individually wrapped inside a box with a bow.
This Reading Terminal Market stand has grown a reputation for its signature buttercakes, and for whoopie pies that come in flavors like FlufferNutter and Honey Lavender. You can order items individually or combine them in a gift box. Call the bakery at 215-928-0340 to place your order. Boxes are shipped on Wednesday for anticipated Friday or Saturday delivery.
Metropolitan curates all sorts of gift boxes, including those for chocolate lovers, the health conscious, and snack enthusiasts. Its Holiday Breakfast Box includes gingerbread pound cake, local honey, Metropolitan coffee, and cranberry orange preserves. Consult Metropolitan’s shipping deadlines before purchase.
A four-time James Beard Award semifinalist, Essen owner Tova du Plessis has garnered a following for her Jewish specialties, like chocolate-halvah babka, challah, and chocolate rugelach. She’s packaged some of her most popular items into gifts boxes, including a Jewish Bakery Sampler ($89) and a Choose Your Own Two-Pack ($59).
Order at: Jezabel’s: jezabelscafe.com/orderonline/alfajores-5yhl3; Flying Monkey: flyingmonkeyphilly.com/menu; Metropolitan Bakery: metropolitanbakery.com/collections/gift-boxes; Essen: goldbelly.com/essen-bakery
Other fun gifts
Poi Dog Maui Lavender Ponzu and Chili Peppah Water
We had to say goodbye to Poi Dog’s beloved ahi poke bowls when the financial hit from the pandemic closed the restaurant. But you can still enjoy a taste of its Hawaiian flavors. Starting Dec. 15, Poi Dog will offer two sauces online. The ponzu ($14) is made with lavender blossoms from Maui, steeped with dried bonito in Japanese yuzu juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. It’s a fun, floral soy sauce substitute for dipping fried dumplings and sushi or for seasoning a pan of noodles.
The Chili Peppah Water ($8.50), a staple condiment in Hawaii, lends a moderately spicy, vinegary tang to all sorts of food. It’s made with local hot and sweet peppers brewed in vinegar, with hints of ginger and a saltiness from Hawaiian Sea Salt. “We say, ‘Chili peppah water over everything,’ and ‘everything’ refers to rice, meats, macaroni salad, and vegetables,” says former Poi Dog co-chef and owner Kiki Aranita.
Di Bruno Bros. Gift Baskets
Price: Varies by product
An Italian Market staple for 80 years, Di Bruno Bros. makes it easy to gift cheese, charcuterie, and other specialty fare. For a foodie splurge, check out the Italian Market Crate ($150), filled with a variety of signature items, from smoky meats to olives to barrel-aged balsamic vinegar to a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano. The Taste of Di Bruno basket is a smaller and cheaper alternative ($65). Or to gift a Philly DIY experience, consider the Philly Soft Pretzel kit ($80), which includes the ingredients and instructions for making pretzels, along with mustard, cheese spread, and pepperoni.
Fox & Son Gluten-Free Mini-Funnel Cake and Corn Dog Kits
Shopping for gluten-free friends? Reading Terminal Market’s fancy corn dog stand has you covered. Fox & Son offers a variety of 100% gluten-free kits and mixes online, including a make-your-own corn dog kit ($11.69) as well as their best-selling mini-funnel cake kit ($22.49).
Order at: foxandsonphilly.com/shop