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The 2023 Eater Detroit Holiday Gift Guide

There’s plenty to give this year, from hip hop spaghetti sauce to Samy Spice

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Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

Yes, the holidays are just a few days away. But we bet you still have a handful of folks who you haven’t gotten around to Christmas shop for. Don’t fret, because we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves for last-minute gift ideas for the foodies in your life. Let Eater Detroit’s gift guide wash away some of that seasonal gifting anxiety. Whether it’s white elephant gift, a stocking stuffer, or a present to yourself, there’s sure to be something here that fits the bill.

Eminem fans may like to pick up some merch from Mom’s Spaghetti, or for the homebodies looking to create a peaceful vibe to ride out the rest of the year, a line of Faygo pop-scented candles are available. Here, now, is the 2023 Eater Detroit holiday gift guide for food lovers. Still feeling stumped after this list? Don’t miss Eater national’s previous guides for even more great suggestions.

Baseball hats in black, brown, and tan, with Bumbo’s Bar embroidered, a beer cozy, with gold garland. Bumbo’s Bar

Bumbo’s gear

Hamtramck’s beloved Bumbo’s Bar is the ideal spot for casual hangs, no matter the time of year. So why not remind your old roommate of the good times that were had there with some vintage-style merch. Select from baseball caps, useful beer cozies, snuggly hoodies, and more, designed by artist Joe Ficorelli, and printed by Dunwell Dry Goods. Ask your friendly bartender for details.

Price: $5-$40

A hand with a red coffin nail on the thumb, a gold ring, and a gold bracelet on the wrist holding a jar of red sauce that says Mom’s Spaghetti Pasta Sauce. Union Joints

Mom’s Spaghetti pasta sauce

The worlds of early aughts hip hop and convenience food collide with Mom’s Spaghetti — the perfect gift for when you’re ready to lose yourself making s’ghetti at home (just try not to vomit on your sweater?). Online sales sold out quickly upon its release in October, but a limited run of 25-ounce jars were made available at the flagship restaurant downtown.

Price: $13

Faygo scented candle

Because the second best thing to chugging down a bottle of Faygo Juggalo-style is being able to jazz up the vibes in your Detroit apartment with the aromas of the city’s famous pop. Select from several scents, including Firework, RedPop, Rock & Rye, Orange, Grape, Root Beer, Vanilla Creme, and Moon Mist. Now your casita smells sweet and harmonious and you can save those empty calories for Christmas cookies.

Price: $16.99

A book cover featuring an image of chef Jonathan Kung. Clarkson Potter

Kung Food: Chinese American Recipes from a Third-Culture Kitchen: A Cookbook

For years, Detroiter Jonathan Kung hosted private dinner parties from his loft in Eastern Market, available only to the cool kids in the city’s dining scene. Well, Kung has moved on since then, still honing his “third culture” cooking, yes, but for a much larger audience — 1.7 million TikTok users to be exact. In his debut cookbook Kung Food: Chinese American Recipes from a Third-Culture Kitchen, he provides home cooks with 100 recipes, tips and tricks for stocking your pantry with the right ingredients, and anecdotes about his experiences growing up.

Price: $28.52


Eater Award winning Burundi-style restaurant Baobab Fare has outdone itself once again with the launch of its own line of ethically-sourced, single-origin chocolate bars. In collaboration with metro Detroit chocolatier Dwaar Chocolate, each bar contains 70 percent dark chocolate, offering a luxuriously bitter snap. For the chocoholics in your life, they will rest assured that when they take a bite, they’re supporting the labor of farmers in Tanzania, who harvested the cacao beans. The bars are available as-is, or with caramelized spicy peanuts sourced from DeSoto Confections in Grand Rapids. The chocolate bars are available for sale at the New Center restaurant, select retail locations around town, and online.

Price: $14

A multi-color book cover that says Everything I learned, I learned in a Chinese restaurant. Little, Brown and Company

Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant: A Memoir

Much has been written this year about Detroit’s former Chinatown, which is in the throes of redevelopment. While this evolving district is a reminder of what we’ve lost as a city, it also serves as the backdrop for filmmaker and activist Curtis Chin’s upbringing, in a Chinese restaurant on Cass Avenue. In his long-awaited memoir, Chin details how growing up within the walls of his family’s Cantonese restaurant in the 1980s shaped him into the person he is today. This is a great book for anyone who can identify with the complexities of coming from a diaspora background, folks who can’t get enough Detroit history, and anyone who can relate to the sense of family that comes from eating a home-cooked meal.

Price: $23.99

Leila Provisions

Metro Detroit’s favorite destination for Lebanese-inspired dry-rubbed ribs have finally done us all a favor and packaged its special blend of spices into sleek, modern vessels that can be neatly stored in your kitchen cupboard. A good place to start your collection would be with the Samy Spice, named after Samy Eid, the second-generation proprietor of the famed Phoenicia Restaurant in Birmingham. Described as “inspired by Texas dry rubs and Lebanese seasonings, Samy Spice brightens all food it touches.” Leila Provisions, the retailer that sells its spices and merch online, suggests using it like salt to sprinkle onto whatever you feel needs a little razzle dazzle — whether it be avocado toast, grilled veggies, or eggs — or as a rub on meat, fish, or poultry.

Price: $12