Dining With Denise Neil

Last-minute gift ideas for the Wichita food fan on your list

A T-shirt from Yokohama Ramen Joint is an ideal gift for noodle fans.
A T-shirt from Yokohama Ramen Joint is an ideal gift for noodle fans.

If you have a food fan on your holiday shopping list, restaurant gift cards aren’t your only option.

They’re not a bad idea, mind you — especially since so many Wichita restaurants are now offering bonus cards to those who buy. But Wichita restaurants and breweries are full of other unique, last-minute gifts that would fit nicely under the tree or inside a stocking.

Here are a few things you could pick up:

Wichita restaurant cookbook: Early this year, portrait photographer Jenny Myers put out a cookbook called “Cook ICT” that’s filled with recipes from local restaurants and gorgeous portraits of local chefs. Recipes come from restaurants like The Hill, YaYa’s EuroBistro, District Taqueria and Molino’s. The books are $24 and are for sale in several local restaurants, including Kanai Sushi, Cocoa Dolce, Chester’s Chophouse, Beautiful Day Cafe and Doo-Dah Diner.

Rad T-shirts: Fans of the Wichita dining scene might appreciate a gift pack of T-shirts from some of the city’s most popular eateries. R Coffeehouse just came out with a shirt that extolls the awesomeness of the corner of 11th and Bitting in Riverside. Doo-Dah Diner, 206 E. Kellogg, sells T-shirts in a variety of colors featuring its logo and the Wichita skyline. Yokohama Ramen Joint’s whimsical T-shirts declare the wearer’s love of ramen. And the Donut Whole at 1720 E. Douglas has an array of logo T-shirts for sale in new colors. And nearly all the local breweries offer the hippest of shirts and hats.

The gift of glass: Many of the local breweries also are selling logo swag, including beer glasses. Wichita Brewing Company’s glasses are particularly cool and are shaped sort of like an aluminum can. Hopping Gnome, 1710 E. Douglas, River City Brewing Company, 150 N. Mosley, and Central Standard Brewing, 156 N. Greenwood, also have printed glassware.

Flavorful extras: Several restaurants have condiments and sauces that fans can enjoy at home. Freddy’s Frozen Custard has for years sold its french fry seasoning at its stores, and this year it added bottles of its mayonnaise-based fry sauce. And When Pigs Fly at 7011 W. Central has bottles of its famous barbecue rub for sale. Some restaurants also will sell bottles of their salad dressing. Le Monde Cafe and Deli, 602 N. West St., for example, sells its fattoush dressing to go.

The gift of coffee: A bag of locally roasted coffee beans is always appreciated by coffee drinkers. The good stuff can be found at Reverie Coffee Roasters, 2611 E. Douglas, Verita Coffee Bar and Roastery at 9414 W. Central and Spice Merchant at 1300 E. Douglas.

A big basket of bread: Great Harvest Bread Co. at 535 N. Woodlawn in Wichita offers a variety of edible gifts, including impressive baskets loaded with loaves of bread, cutting boards, cookies and spreads. They’re available with one-day’s notice by calling 316-685-6455. Warning: Great Harvest closes at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Gadgetry: It’s also fun to browse the aisles of local restaurant supply stores, including AAA Restaurant Supply at 611 E. Central, where shoppers can pick up giant cheese graters, Knorks by the dozen, dishes, cookware, gadgets, small appliances and more.

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