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10 Chicago Treats to Bring Home for the Holidays

By Molly Durham in Food on Dec 15, 2011 5:20PM

Photo by Omar Chatriwala.

We like to share the Chicago food love wherever we go. So wherever you may be traveling this holiday season, share all the good stuff made right here in the city.

Garrett popcorn - Chicagoan tested, Oprah approved. As one of her "Favorite things," it's nearly impossible to live in Chicago and not know about Garrett's. Get the Chicago mix (cheese and caramel corn mixed together).

Sarah's Candies - You can smell chocolate in Chicago air from no less than 100 different spots in the city. Bring a bit of that home with some sweets from Sarah's. Try the Dark Chocolate Delight: a blend of dark chocolate, caramelized almonds, roasted pistachios and crispy rice.

BBQ sauce - Pick up a bottle of meat juice from a local eatery, like the kind from Brand BBQ in Logan Square or from Lillie's Q. Get sauced with your family in more than one way this holiday.

Craft beer - Half Acre, 5 Rabbit and Goose Island all present great choices for local brews to rep your city. Get your hands on the highly sought after Big Hugs Stout, which is released Sunday, to really impress.

Frangos - You can take away our Marshall Fields, but you can't take away our Frangos! That's how we feel, at least. The basement (or chocolate lair, as we like to call it) of what's now Macy's is filled with tons of varieties of the Chicago classic candy, so you can pick whatever flavor your loved ones may like to hold on to some semblance of the beloved department store.

North Shore Distillery's Gin - The first small distillery in the area, North Shore offers both small-batch gin and vodka. Our favorite is Distiller's Gin #6, and you might as well take a tour of the place if you go out to Lake Bluff to purchase it. If you don't, you can find North Shore products at some Binny's, Whole Foods and specialty stores in the city.

Dark Matter Coffee - These bags of all-organic coffee beans are always available at Star Lounge. The flavors change all the time, so they're sure to have something seasonal and delicious.

Truffles from Truffle Truffle - Get the "i 'heart' Chicago" collection for extra local points. They're inspired by other local fare like Half Acre beers, Metropolis coffee and Old Town Spice blends.

Hoosier Mama Pies -
If you're not a baker but need to bring something to a meal, this would be a great choice. Hoosier Mama has been named one of the "Top 10 Best Places for Pie" in the country by Bon Appetit Magazine, and you can pick up one of their 50-150 extra pies each morning next week in those pre-Christmas days. We're not sure how you couldn't be the favorite if you arrive somewhere with a bourbon-pecan chess pie in your hands.

Jo Snow Syrup - These local syrups are good for everything from cocktails to coffee, or for pouring over your breakfast carbs for a little flavor. Try their new cola flavor or the coffee gift set.

If you're not going out of town but want to send a little Chicago food lovin' someone's way, you can order some of the best Chicago chow to be delivered. At, you can send Eli's Cheesecakes, Lou Malnati's Pizza, Kay's Candies, Manny's Deli meat or Wildfire steaks anywhere in the country. The homesick Chicagoan will feel right at home.