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A person (face is cut off at the top of the photo) models a navy blue hoodie with the word “bagelsaurus” and an image of a dinosaur with a bagel for a body
This sweatshirt is so cozy
Bagelsaurus/Instagram

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You Can’t Eat in Restaurants Right Now, But You Can Buy Their Awesome Merch

Where to find Boston-area restaurants’ coolest t-shirts, hoodies, and more

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By now you know the drill: The Massachusetts restaurant industry is largely shut down by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with dine-in service prohibited statewide until at least April 6. Countless restaurant industry workers are out of jobs (support them here), and restaurants are facing immense financial obstacles, trying to stay afloat while only offering takeout and delivery (or temporarily closing altogether).

Aside from ordering takeout and delivery, there’s another way to support restaurants without even leaving home or coming into contact with anyone: Buy gift cards and merch online.

Here’s some of the best apparel and other goodies that local restaurants, bars, and other food and beverage businesses are selling online, from fancy aprons to soft hoodies.


APPAREL

An artsy Gracie’s Ice Cream t-shirt

It may make a stranger angry!

Navy blue shirt is displayed on a man’s torso (his head is out of frame). Ice cream-themed art is on the shirt, a parody of the Morton Salt girl with umbrella. The girl on the shirt is holding a giant ice cream cone.
When it turns it churns
Gracie’s Ice Cream [Official Site]

All Gracie’s Ice Cream merch is awesome and well-designed. The cone umbrella t-shirt (designed by artist Lauren May / Monster Tea Party) would make a particularly good addition to your closet. The sentence “everything little thing must go wrong” is printed across the back; it’s a throwback to the early ’90s, a lyric from “Tour Song” by Jawbreaker. The front, too, relates to Jawbreaker — it’s a spinoff of the band’s version of the Morton Salt girl, says Gracie’s owner Aaron Cohen. “I love merch so much from my days managing a band into making shirts for all the festivals,” he notes.

Once, an Eater staffer was wearing this t-shirt in public, only to be yelled at by a stranger who insisted that the words on the back were bleak and horrible and why would anyone wear that on a shirt? Make a stranger angry and support your local ice cream shop fashionably for $15. The cone umbrella art is also available on the back of a zip-up hoodie with “ice cream weather” printed on the front. $36. The t-shirt can be shipped; the hoodie is generally for in-store pickup, but “if you ask super nicely” Gracie’s might be able to work out shipping for you.

A Backbar Ackbar t-shirt

For Star Wars Day or any day

Union Square cocktail bar Backbar loves Star Wars and always turns Star Wars Day (May 4) into a whole week of celebration. But really, the obsession lasts all year — keep an eye out for Star Wars references throughout the bar’s decor. So it makes perfect sense that Backbar is selling an “Ackbar” t-shirt. Wear it now; wear it in May; wear it year-round. $20.

Backbar also carries pins, hats, gift cards, and raffle tickets (learn more about the raffle) in its online store; all items can be shipped. During the coronavirus-induced closure, 75% of store sales are going directly to the Backbar staff “to support them during this crisis period where they are out of work.”

An ultra-cozy Bagelsaurus hoodie

Seriously, this sweatshirt is the absolute coziest

Since now is the time to hunker down at home as much as possible, why not get cozy in this adorable hoodie from Cambridge bagel shop Bagelsaurus? It features the Bagelsaurus logo, which is obviously a dinosaur with a bagel for a body, and the back says “Cambridge, MA” in light blue lettering.

Email the Bagelsaurus team to place an order, including your sizing info, address, and a phone number where you can be reached in order to go over payment info. The hoodies are $40 each, plus $15 for flat rate shipping via USPS Priority Mail. Unisex sizes from XS to XXL are available, and they run a little small.

And more...

  • Need another bagel shirt? Of course you do. Medford’s Goldilox Bagels sells tees and onesies ($15) featuring the shop’s bold orange and yellow logo. Fans of the distinctive artwork from Danish brewery Mikkeller may recognize the vibe: Mikkeller art director Keith Shore designed the Goldilox logo. Order online; items can be shipped or dropped off locally.
  • CLAMS CLAMS CLAMS. That’s it; that’s the shirt ($16). Dream of summer days up in Maine with this merch from Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery.
  • Flour Bakery has quite a bit of merch available; one highlight is the “bakers gonna bake” sweatshirt ($42). Hate hoods and zippers and love to bake? This one’s for you.
  • Claim your cannoli loyalty: If you’re team Modern Pastry, try one of these three excellent shirts ($18.50).
  • For those who enjoy vaguely sexual punny tees, Harvard Square burger institution Bartley’s has got you covered ($25).
  • Kowloon sells lots of fun tiki glassware (and stuffed animals), but why buy a tiki mug when you can buy a “Got pupu?” shirt ($25)?
  • Like Kowloon, Shore Leave also has a tiki mug for sale, but more intriguing is this tropical apron ($99), pale pink covered with palm leaves.
  • These two aren’t restaurants, but food and drink stores could use support now too. Show your loyalty to the classics: (1) Mayflower Poultry sells shirts, hats, and aprons ($20) emblazoned with its iconic “Live Poultry Fresh Killed” logo; you’ll have to pick up the phone to order this one. (2) There are also a number of different shirts available ($20) featuring some of Sav-Mor Liquors’ best signage.

ACCESSORIES AND OTHER ITEMS

A super cluckin’ tote bag from Cutty’s

Because who knows how long we’ll have to wait for the next Super Cluckin’ Sunday?

Closeup on a white tote bag with blue and orange art, featuring a chicken yelling “super cluckin’ sunday”
A super cluckin’ tote bag from Cutty’s
Cutty’s/Official Site

When there’s not a global pandemic, Brookline sandwich shop Cutty’s hosts a very popular monthly event: Super Cluckin’ Sunday, featuring two kinds of fried chicken sandwiches. Dates for the next few months are up in the air, given the circumstances, so while you’re waiting for that next fried chicken fix, you can relive the good days with this super cluckin’ tote ($22), designed by Chris E. O’Neill.

A dog collar and leash from Castle Island icon Sullivan’s

For the dog who loves a cheap hot dog and a walk on the waterfront

The late February reopening of Sullivan’s every year is Boston’s official first sign of spring. Now that the restaurant’s 69th season has been interrupted, will spring really arrive this week? Take your dog for a walk — while staying as far away as possible from other humans — and ponder the meaning of hot dogs and spring and fried seafood as your dog sports fashionable Sullivan’s attire ($16.95 for a collar, $19.95 for a leash).

And more...


SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS

Hot sauce from Tawakal (and dinner, too)

One of the best hot sauces in town

Fried samosa-style dumplings sit on a white plate on a peach and white table, with a bottle of orange hot sauce to the side
Vegetable sambusa and hot sauce at Tawakal Halal Cafe
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Tawakal Halal Cafe’s story of rebirth is fairly well-known now; the popular Somali restaurant closed in 2011 and ultimately reopened after quite a long hiatus — seven years — moving from one East Boston address to another. The “new” Tawakal is better than ever, and it bottles its own hot sauce. Hot but not too hot, the habanero-and-mango concoction pairs especially well with Tawakal’s sambusas.

Tawakal isn’t currently selling the sauce directly on the web, but it’s an item that you can include in your delivery order via third-party sites like Uber Eats, where it’s priced at $9 for a five-ounce bottle. Order it while you order dinner: Try the sambusas, the tawakal plate (chapati strips in a spiced tomato sauce with a choice of meat), and the shaah (a comforting spiced tea).

And another hot sauce and dinner, this time from Singh’s

Roti, doubles, and Trinidadian heat

One of Dorchester’s beloved roti shops, Singh’s, makes its own fiery hot sauce, and it is an absolutely essential addition to the pantry of any local hot sauce lover. Like with Tawakal’s above, the only way to get the sauce aside from going to the restaurant is to order it as part of a delivery meal. Singh’s is currently working with Grubhub, and a sizable jar of the sauce goes for $10.99. Also order the doubles (spicy and sweet curried chickpeas sandwiched between two pieces of fried dough) and one of the roti dinners.

And more...

  • From March 19 to 22 — and probably the following weekend, too; stay tuned — Somerville’s Buenas is delivering meal kits of frozen empanadas, frozen empanada dough, and/or sauces by the half pint. You must get the pebre, a spicy Chilean table sauce, and put it on everything. Including all the empanadas you’re going to order.
  • Have you tried Villa Mexico Cafe’s special black salsa yet? It ships nationwide and comes in three different jar sizes (four, 12, or 32 ounces) for $5, $10, and $15 respectively.
  • Somerville’s Tasting Counter sells a range of small-batch pantry items made with local ingredients; the lacto-fermented hot sauce ($15 for a five-ounce bottle) is a highlight, or try a sampler of three different vinegars ($30).

Modern Pastry (North End)

257 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-3783 Visit Website

Tawakal Halal Cafe

389 Maverick Street, , MA 02128 (617) 418-5890 Visit Website

Singh's Roti Shop

692 Columbia Road, , MA 02125 (617) 282-7977 Visit Website

Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage

1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 354-6559 Visit Website

Villa Mexico Cafe

121 Water St., Boston, MA (617) 957-0725 Visit Website

Gracie's Ice Cream

22 Union Square, , MA 02143 (617) 764-5294 Visit Website

Sullivan's

2080 Day Blvd, Boston, MA 02127 (617) 268-5685 Visit Website

Kowloon

948 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906 (781) 233-0077 Visit Website

Night Shift Brewing, Inc.

87 Santilli Hwy, Everett, MA 02149 (617) 294-4233 Visit Website

Backbar

7 Sanborn Court, , MA 02143 (617) 718-0249 Visit Website

James Hook & Co

440 Atlantic Avenue, , MA 02210 (617) 423-5501 Visit Website

Blackbird Doughnuts

175 Cambridge Street, , MA 02114 Visit Website

Cutty's

284 Washington Street, , MA 02445 (617) 505-1844 Visit Website

Goldilox Bagels

186 Winthrop Street, , MA 02155 Visit Website

Modern Pastry (Medford)

20 Salem St., Medford, MA 02155 Visit Website

Shore Leave

11 William E Mullins Way, , MA 02118 (617) 530-1775 Visit Website

Bagelsaurus

1796 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02140 (857) 285-6103 Visit Website

Bow Market

1 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 Visit Website

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