St. Louis Food Gifts

My nephew decorating for ChristmasIf you're from St. Louis, you'll likely love this post filled with gift ideas from/for our area. If you're not, don't worry, tomorrow there will be a great recipe that works worldwide!

The St. Louis food bloggers are exploding in number and today some of us are posting about our best ideas for St. Louis food gifts. What do we mean? Well, we'll see! Maybe local somethings, maybe local sources, I haven't seen the other lists yet but am dying to know what we come up with collectively. Here's who is participating -- Kitchen Conservatory, St. Louis Eats & Drinks, Iron Stef, The Cupcake Project and Stl Bites -- check out their ideas for food gifts, too. And now, here you are, my own ideas for St. Louis Food Gifts.

American Visions - American Visions is the lovely gift shop at 9854 Manchester Road in Rock Hill, filled with pieces from American artists and craftsmen. My favorite food items are the beautiful-but-useable measuring cups and measuring spoons from the Tin Woodsman (scroll down to see samples). They come with wood stands, look just great on the counter but are entirely useable too.

Missouri pecans - Missouri is home to native pecan trees that grow alongside fields and rivers, mostly in farm country near Brunswick, 50 crow-miles northwest of Columbia, and Nevada, 90 miles south of Kansas City. Our shorter season and colder climate produce nuts that are smaller, sweeter and richer than the southern brethren. The nuts are remarkable, spectacular even. This site lists the St. Louis locations for Missouri native pecans. But I've also seen them at Straubs and have purchased at the Schnucks in Kirkwood, too.

Miller hams - If you're looking for locally produced and magnificent smoked ham, look no further than our own hometown of St. Louis. I buy Miller hams at Freddie's Market in Webster Groves at Big Bend and Rock Hill. I've cooked four of them in a year and haven't once been disappointed. Miller hams are also available right from the company's Benton Park location.

Apple sausage - I've been taste-testing the apple saugage and the salsiccia (ah! the salsiccia!) from McDonnell's Market in Kirkwood on Big Bend (west of Kirkwood Road, east of I270). It's handmade right there on the premises and is completely delicious. The apple sausage is only available through the holidays, however, so it's my pick for the moment.

Kakao Chocolate - Heather is the young chocolatier at Kakao Chocolate and had me mesmerized from the first nibble, with lavender and then cardamom in truffle bites. This is chocolate to savor in little little teeny tiny bites.

Steak 'n' Shake - Call me a sucker for experience but I'm partial to 3 a.m. trips to Steak 'n' Shake and Uncle Bill's and hey, even Denny's. It's all about the experience. But it could also be or Crown Candy Kitchen for a chocolate banana malt. (Isn't it cool that St. Louis' best ice cream parlor, an original, doesn't have a website but is listed in Wikipedia?!) Or hot dogs at Woofie's.

Chocolate Molasses Lollipops - It's what's best, now, in the new Bissinger's. These are a year-round St. Louis food tradition.

Prime Meat - from Ladue Market, where the butchers make even a reformed vegetarian feel welcome. This is the only place to buy retail prime meat in the entire St. Louis metro area, it's not cheap but, oh boy, is it good. This is where I get crown roasts and tenderloin for very special meals.

Knife Sharpening - Will someone please, please, pick up my knives and take them to Kitchen Conservatory for sharpening? While you're there, I'm out of Plugra and duck fat and covet a Emile Henry fluted pie plate. :0

Christmas Traditions Coffee - Only for a few weeks before the holidays, Cornucopia in downtown Kirkwood blends a lovely Christmas coffee called Christmas Traditions. It's bright with cinnamon, hazelnut and vanilla, perfect for holiday brunches and hot coffee around the Christmas tree all season long.

Straub's website has a nice collection of Missouri food gifts.

Here are more of my favorite St. Louis food specialties, updated occasionally.
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna, this is a wonderful idea! Even though I'm not in St. Louis, I love reading about all the local products. And it's great to encourage a "shop local" approach to the holidays. (By the way, you have a talented nephew who can write backwards!)

  2. So many great ideas here. Thank you!

  3. Oh Alanna you are a girl after my own heart. Between a 3 AM at Steak-n-Shake and Kakao Chocolat and then Bessinger's Chocolate Molasses Lollipops . . . well what more!
    I recognize some of St Louis here and see new too.

  4. Alanna,
    Wonderful idea! I bring Christmas Traditions coffee to work every year. People are always disappointed when it's gone.


  5. Hi Alanna,

    I love your list! I learned a thing or two!

    Might I add GOOEY LOUIE for gooey butter cake. My husband and I bake gooey butter cakes from scratch with all natural ingredients. We ship in a custom gift box (there is a box for every occasion, plus different flavors). An excellent and delicious way to say St. Louis! We're located on Chippewa, just 1/2 mile east of Ted Drewes.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna