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Skip The Gift Card: Six Holiday Shopping Tips From Denver's Restaurants and Chefs

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Olive & Finch gift baskets
Olive & Finch gift baskets
Photo: Olive & Finch

With the holiday shopping in full swing, Eater surveyed the most attractive Denver options that are rooted in the restaurant and dining community. For the food and restaurant fanatic in your life, skip the gift certificate or kitchen gadgets and consider these fresh ideas.

1. Give wine and tequila-loving friends a taste of Richard Sandoval's tequila library concept at La Biblioteca. There are metal lockers that can be rented for spirit storage for six months at a time. The private lockers are available to store a personal bottle of tequila or other spirits. Bottles are labeled, dated and kept under lock and key and available whenever guests choose to come in. Lockers cost $50 for six months, and guests pay for additional mixers. Call 720.904.0965 to reserve the lockers.

2. For home chefs, select a gift card for a cooking class at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts. Located in LoDo, Cook Street offers a variety of recreational classes for everyone on your list - from culinary date nights, cake decorating, wine classes, French cooking, bread baking to cooking with beer and whiskey. Available in any denomination, Cook Street's gift cards allow your guests to select a culinary class of their choice. For more information visit or call 303.308.9300.

3. Need to impress in a pinch? Pick up a gift basket from Olive & Finch. The new cafe offers three baskets— The Coloradoan, The Sweet Tooth, and The Entertainer— filled with fruit, coffees, cookies, salts, homemade napkins, and more. Baskets range from $75 to $115 and can be shipped anywhere in the country. Visit Olive & Finch, or call 03.832.8663 to purchase.

4. Buying for a sweet-tooth? Hot chocolate and macaroons from acclaimed pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom were so popular last year that the Spuntino owner packaged them into a dairy and gluten-free gift for the holidays. The chocolate mix and the macaroons go for $14.95, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Humane Society. Every package is assembled fresh the day of the pick up, so order in advance by calling 303.433.0949 or emailing

5. There are many food and wine events coming up in the next few months in Denver. One of them is a bucket-list item for many food lovers that makes for a great holiday gift. Tickets for the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, which will take place next year from June 20 through 22, are available here.

Also available are tickets to José Andrés and Nobu Matsuhisa's dinners at Matsuhisa Vail on January 4 and 5. Tickets cost $250 per guest, and reservations are available both evenings between 5 and 10 p.m. To make reservations and purchase tickets, call 970.476-6628 or visit

6. Support local authors and gift your beer and food loving friends a copy of Colorado's Top Brewers, a recipe-paired craft beer book by Eater's own Emily Hutto, or Denver & Boulder Chef's Table, an exploration of Colorado's restaurants through recipes by Ruth Tobias. Colorado's Top Brewers and Denver & Boulder's Chef's Table are both available on Amazon.

· Hot Chocolate From Pastry Chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom [EDen]
· La Biblioteca Opens With Tequila Lockers and More Than 350 Spirits [EDen]
· Olive & Finch Eatery Bakery and Market Opened in Uptown [EDen]
· Colorado's Top Brewers and Great Recipes From Local Chefs Now Featured in Two Books [EDen]

Al Lado

1610 Little Raven Street, Denver, CO 80202 (303) 572-3000 Visit Website