For some people, gift cards have become synonymous with a lazy gift, but this year buying gift cards is essential for supporting small businesses through this hard year. So if you want to give a thoughtful and creative gift while still supporting small businesses, we’ve put together some ideas for gifts that support local restaurants.
3 Course Meal Gift Card Basket
For gifts that support local restaurants, get a gift card for a place to get appetizers, a place to get dinner, and a great place for dessert for a special 3-course meal gift. If you’re familiar with the restaurants you can even make suggestions for things to order. You can also put in a bottle of local wine and spirits to go with dinner and a nice candle to drive home the dinner theme.
Breakfast Gift Card Basket
Many local coffee shops sell their blend of coffee, so you can buy some coffee along with a gift card to a breakfast place. Tuck it in a mug from the coffee shop if they sell merch or find one make by a local artisan. Some cafes (like Bloom Café in Valencia) sell mixes so you could include a local pancake mix for your breakfast theme. You might even be able to find some local maple syrup to include from another local small business.
Warm and Cozy Gift Card Basket
If your gift recipient isn’t into coffee, many cafes (like Square Café in Regent Square) are offering trendy, fun hot chocolate bombs. Add some cookies from a local bakery (Oakmont Bakery and Prantl’s Bakery are perennial Pittsburgh favorite but there are so many delicious options all over the city) and a pair of slippers or a blanket and you have the coziest gift option. You can even throw in a book or movie to further personalize the gift to your recipient.
Dinner Challenge Gift Card Basket
Get a gift card from a super affordable pizza shop or diner and a gift card from a fancy restaurant to create a challenge oriented gift. Tell your recipient to try to make an order as close to the gift card amount at each place and take a picture of the receipts to prove they completed the challenge. This can be a fun game for someone younger in your family or who doesn’t usually go for fancy food.
Day Trip Gift Card Basket
Get gift certificates for a fun day trip for your recipient. You can choose a variety of food gift cards for food and even some activity gift cards. You can choose somewhere close by or a little more of a trip. You could even pick touristy spots in the recipient’s own city for a “Tourist in Your Town” theme.
Drinks Gift Card Basket
The Pittsburgh area has a wide variety of breweries, wineries, and distilleries you can support to put together a gift for recipients who love a good drink! If you know their tastes well, choose some specific bottles or a growler, or you can just get some gift cards and put them with some nice glassware to drink them out of. You can go with a cocktail theme and include some recipe cards and ingredients. Or you can do a tasting sampler of wines or beers to try.
Pittsburgh Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
- 67 Pittsburgh Breweries to Visit in and Around the City
- 11 Pittsburgh Wineries and Distilleries that Offer Delivery and Pick Up
- 20 Pittsburgh Wineries, Cider Houses, and Meaderies to Visit
Check with Restaurants Near You
We’re highlighting some unique gifts that support local restaurants in Pittsburgh over on Instagram and we’ve seen some unique and creative options from Pittsburgh Restaurants. Check out your favorite restaurants on social media and see if they have any options that inspire your gift-giving. Here’s some that we’ve liked it!
Mediterra Café offers gift baskets that you can create yourself or pick a premade one.
Scratch & Co has a selection of pickled, fermented, and fruit butters that would make a lovely food-themed gift.
Forma Pasta is offering a delicious holiday bundle of pastas and sauces.
Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream is offering delicious-looking Gourmet Hot Cocoa gift baskets.
You can find even more ideas here: Pick Up These Holiday Gifts from Pittsburgh Restaurants
Gift Card Presentation is Everything
Don’t forget, you can always just go with a gift card to your recipient’s favorite restaurant and present it in a cute/ unique way. Here are some ideas to uniquely present gifts that support local restaurants.