Finding the perfect present for the foodies on your list can be a win-win. They will get a gift they love, and you'll be helping to support local food and drink establishments.
And, after this year of a bottom-line-busting pandemic, those who feed us can use all the support they can get.
Many are offering special packages and great deals on gift cards, increasing the amount at certain levels of purchase. Some are even paying it forward.
Bistro Byronz and Pizza Byronz have partnered with The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to help feed those in need. For every $25 in gift cards sold, the Byronz Restaurant Family will donate $5 to the food bank.
“Our goal is to encourage folks to be meaningful in their giving this year,” said CEO Emelie Alton. “In buying gift cards for our restaurants, you are giving the gift of food to many recipients, including those who otherwise may not have a meal on their holiday table.”
Also, Pizza Byronz, 8210 Village Plaza Court (on Perkins Road), will donate $2 from every pizza sold to-go through Dec. 31 to help feed local health care heroes as they continue working during the coronavirus pandemic. Pizza Byronz will be delivering a sleigh full of pizzas every week to area hospitals during the holidays. For more information, call (225) 960-1100.
If there's a chocolate lover on your list, head to Gourmet Girls, 1660 Lobdell Ave., for Boozy Hot Chocolate Bombes.
The bombs, wrapped in glitzy gold paper, are made from an original recipe developed by owner Kathy Mangham and her staff.
"Most people use cocoa powder to make their bombs, but ours are made with chocolate ganache," Mangham said. "They are ball-shaped and include marshmallows and Bailey’s Irish cream. All you have to do is add milk or coffee."
The bombs, which also come in a peppermint and in a nonalcoholic variety, "explode" into a thick, rich cup of cocoa. Mini Boozy Bombes come in a bag of four for $15.
"The Boozy Bombes are our top Christmas seller, but our fancy bark is our second-best seller," Mangham said. "We also have grab-and-go cakes, ready prepared dips, mini-torts, chocolate bonbons and dog treats."
Christmas Cookie Boxes, filled with a variety of 18 cookies, are also available for $64. For more information, call (225) 252-0999 or visit gourmetgirlsbr.com.
Cullen Snow, excuse us, we mean Lil Foodie, is making his name known in the local restaurant world.
For the beer drinker on your list, check out Rally Cap Brewing Co., 11212 Pennywood Ave., which has produced a new Christmas Ale to celebrate the season.
The brewery, which celebrates its first anniversary on Dec. 19, is selling the Santa decorated, 16-ounce cans for $4.50 or in packages of four for $14.
"We knew we wanted to make Christmas Ale, and beer takes four weeks to make, so we started working on it in October," said co-owner Jeremy Brown. "It's brewed with orange peel, cinnamon and vanilla, the flavors we associate with Christmas."
You can also order a custom gift basket with beer and company merchandise, such as drinking glasses and T-shirts. And, for those people you really, really like, there's a yearlong, $150 season ticket holder membership, which includes limited edition beers, discounts on merchandise, a special T-shirt, glasses and a party.
For more information, call (225) 610-9523 or visit rallycapbrewing.com.
What's Christmas without a few treats, and, for that, check out Les Amis Bake Shoppe, 11826 Coursey Blvd.
Gifts include a French Macaron Gift Box, filled with eggnog, gingerbread, pistachio, red velvet, white chocolate peppermint and chocolate macarons, for $27; a Cake Ball Small Gift Box and a Sampler Gift Box, each for $7.50; and a Mini Macaron Gift Bag for $6.50.
"Any of our party trays can also be given as gifts," owner Stephanie Hansen said. "They come in two sizes. You can also give our cakes and pies as gifts."
For more information, call (225) 293-8115 or visit lesamisbakeshoppe.com.
Smallcakes Baton Rouge also is ready to satisfy any sweet tooth from its 18135 E. Petroleum Drive location. Its Christmas Cupcake Mini Box includes a mixed dozen of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for $21. For more information, call (225) 831-1856 or visit smallcakescupcakery.com.
Mardi Gras is a month away, so there's still plenty of time to eat plenty of king cake.
If you're looking for a delicious gift with an Italian flare, visit The Little Village, 14241 Airline Highway. The restaurant's Little Village Gift Baskets are so popular that the first batch has already sold out.
Melissa Harlow said the restaurant has two more orders of baskets on the way. The $75 baskets include a bottle of wine, a jar of tapenade, a jar of Little Village Red Sauce, a package of D'Agostino spaghetti and a voucher for Little Village bread surrounded by Christmas decorations.
For more information, call (225) 751-4115 or visit littlevillagebr.com.
Mason's Grill is giving the gift card a twist, with a gift card giveaway. Eat at the restaurant, 13556 Jefferson Highway, and check in on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account while there. Take a photo of you and your party enjoying your meal and post it before 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Winners of gift cards will be announced on Mason's social media pages.