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Counterclock-wise from top: North Stone cheese from Vermont, Lake’s Edge cheese from Vermont, Chabichou cheese, top, from Carlisle; Alys’s Eclipse cheese, bottom, from Carlisle; and Twig Farm goat tome from Vermont are available at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge on Tuesday, June 3, 2008.
Cheeses from Formaggio Kitchen.
Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Where to Pick Up Last-Minute Food and Wine Gifts Around Boston

The best places to find food gifts that won’t disappoint

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Cheeses from Formaggio Kitchen.
| Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The holiday season is well underway, and so is gift shopping. If you haven’t had a chance to grab a well-thought-out present for the food-obsessed people on your list, it’s not too late. Luckily, Boston has no shortage of specialty food shops with meticulously curated selections that would put a smile on anybody’s face.

Note: There’s a great range of specialty food shops in the Greater Boston area, from Fall River’s Portugalia Marketplace to Belmont’s Sophia’s Greek Pantry (with a second location in Lowell), which are all worth the trek. To make this list more accessible for people who want to take public transit, we narrowed it down to 12 places that are either in Boston or near a subway station.

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Ball Square Fine Wines

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Located in the heart of Ball Square, this store feels like Disneyland to people who are interested in food and drink. Expect everything from small-batch mezcal and other Mexican spirits to a decent selection of hard-to-find Chinese baijiu. But their food selection is just as stunning, featuring fine foods from tinned fish to local cheeses.

Dave's Fresh Pasta

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A short walk from Davis Square, this family-run store has expanded since its founding as a handmade pasta shop back in 1999 to offer a wide selection of gourmet food products and wine by producers from local to afar. For a maximalist gift option, go for the gift basket where the savvy staff picks the best fine foods and wines for you.

The Mushroom Shop

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Not everyone turns their passion into a business, but Tyler Akabane, the purveyor of the Mushroom Shop, located a six-minute walk away from Gilman Square station on the newly opened Green Line Medford branch, did just that. Seasonal and rare-to-find mushrooms are the absolute highlights and can sometimes come in short supply, but there’s also a wide variety of ingredients, sauces, and teas from around the world that Akabane personally curates. Don’t hesitate to ask questions — the staff are super friendly.

A close-up photo of shelving with soy sauces, vinegars, chile crisps, and more at the shop.
Shelves of gift-ready condiments at the Mushroom Shop.
The Mushroom Shop

Formaggio Kitchen

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Established in 1978, Formaggio Kitchen has expanded its concept from a European grocery store best known for its cheeses to include a diverse variety of sauces and ingredients from other parts of the world. You’ll also find the trendiest artisanal and locally made brands, from Goodnow Farms’ award-winning single-origin chocolate prepared from the bean in Massachusetts to the small-batch Vermont Vermouth that comes in a variety of styles, some using grapes grown in the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. The shop also maintains a well-stocked second location a 15-minute walk from the Kendall/MIT station on the Red Line, and they also have a South End outpost.

Union Square’s Juliet has great taste, from the decadent housemade pasta to the elegant decor that creates a warm and welcoming ambiance. Now you can bring a piece of Juliet home via Juliet-Fête, a (for now) temporary shop stocked with cocktail party essentials that is open from noon to 6 p.m. every Friday to Sunday. Here you’ll find tinned fish with cute art, interesting bitters that you don’t see elsewhere, and silver plates that’ll make your tabletop pop.

Savenor's Butcher Shop & Market

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This family-run store has been nurturing Boston food lovers since 1939, with some notable followers including Julia Child, who sourced ingredients here for her PBS show. Though it still preserves part of its identity as a butcher shop that offers premium cuts of beef, lamb, and poultry, its selection of fine foods has expanded to include artisan cheeses, canned goods, and flavored salts. Its original Kirkland Street location reopened in 2005 after having burned to the ground in 1992; it also has a second location in Beacon Hill.

A person works with a side of pork, breaking down a hog from Vermont at Savenor’s in Cambridge in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday.
Savernor’s in Cambridge.
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Christina's Spice & Specialty Foods

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If the person you’re shopping for is a seasoned and adventurous home cook, this shop, which is a 14-minute walk from Central Square on the Red Line, will have you covered. It emphasizes global cuisines, and you can find ingredients from almost every corner of the world at a reasonable price. It also carries a large selection of domestically made food products from small businesses, such as hot sauce from Vermont.

Main Street Pasta & Wine

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In addition to an ever-changing selection of fresh pasta that some say rivals that of some North End establishments, this Charlestown eatery has a delicious selection of canned goods, sauces, and craft olive oil from Greece. L’Espalier alum Matthew Dilisle helms the pasta-making operation together with Peter McGough, formerly of Mida in the South End.

EBO & Co. Grocery

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This new-ish East Boston grocery store was founded by Alexis Cervasio, the proprietor of buzzy pop-up series East Boston Oysters. It specializes in caviar and oysters, featuring everything from the more inexpensive bowfin and salmon roe to the pricier Italian Sibertian sturgeon and Prime Osetra from Israel and of course, a selection of oysters. But it doesn’t stop there. The shop stocks a range of popular local food brands like Buenas and Dumpling Daughter, and non-food items such as whipped sunscreen, socks, and vinyl records (because why not?).

Salumeria Italiana

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This legacy Italian store has been a North End mainstay since its opening in 1962. Here you’ll be teleported to Italy, where a large variety of pantry goods, olive oils, cheeses, and cured meats are available.

Colorful antipasto in a dish in the deli of the store.
Antipasto at Salumeria Italiana.
Mike Adaskaveg/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli

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This Coolidge Corner Japanese market is designed to please the Japanophile on your list. Premium small-batch Japanese soy sauce that you can’t find anywhere else? Check. Cuts of the high-end wagyu from Miyazaki, which are thinly sliced and packed in a beautiful box? Check. An assortment of snacks that will surely be crowd-pleasers at holiday gatherings? Check.  Alternatively, walk across the street to Maruichi Select, which carries artisan-made ceramicware and Japanese sake in addition to bento boxes. (There’s also a second Boston-area Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli shop in Arlington.)

A row of onigiri at Maruichi, a Japanese grocery store on Harvard Street in Brookline, MA.
Onigiri at Maruichi in Brookline.
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

American Provisions

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With locations in Dorchester and South Boston, this is a neighborhood-y specialty food shop that has everything from natural wine and artisan cheese to locally made jams and cured meats. Two gift boxes are available for purchase, one is an assortment encompassing all things food and the other is a cheese-centered box that includes cow, goat, sheep, and blue cheeses as well as fine chocolate and crackers.

Ball Square Fine Wines

Located in the heart of Ball Square, this store feels like Disneyland to people who are interested in food and drink. Expect everything from small-batch mezcal and other Mexican spirits to a decent selection of hard-to-find Chinese baijiu. But their food selection is just as stunning, featuring fine foods from tinned fish to local cheeses.

Dave's Fresh Pasta

A short walk from Davis Square, this family-run store has expanded since its founding as a handmade pasta shop back in 1999 to offer a wide selection of gourmet food products and wine by producers from local to afar. For a maximalist gift option, go for the gift basket where the savvy staff picks the best fine foods and wines for you.

The Mushroom Shop

Not everyone turns their passion into a business, but Tyler Akabane, the purveyor of the Mushroom Shop, located a six-minute walk away from Gilman Square station on the newly opened Green Line Medford branch, did just that. Seasonal and rare-to-find mushrooms are the absolute highlights and can sometimes come in short supply, but there’s also a wide variety of ingredients, sauces, and teas from around the world that Akabane personally curates. Don’t hesitate to ask questions — the staff are super friendly.

A close-up photo of shelving with soy sauces, vinegars, chile crisps, and more at the shop.
Shelves of gift-ready condiments at the Mushroom Shop.
The Mushroom Shop

Formaggio Kitchen

Established in 1978, Formaggio Kitchen has expanded its concept from a European grocery store best known for its cheeses to include a diverse variety of sauces and ingredients from other parts of the world. You’ll also find the trendiest artisanal and locally made brands, from Goodnow Farms’ award-winning single-origin chocolate prepared from the bean in Massachusetts to the small-batch Vermont Vermouth that comes in a variety of styles, some using grapes grown in the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. The shop also maintains a well-stocked second location a 15-minute walk from the Kendall/MIT station on the Red Line, and they also have a South End outpost.

Juliet

Union Square’s Juliet has great taste, from the decadent housemade pasta to the elegant decor that creates a warm and welcoming ambiance. Now you can bring a piece of Juliet home via Juliet-Fête, a (for now) temporary shop stocked with cocktail party essentials that is open from noon to 6 p.m. every Friday to Sunday. Here you’ll find tinned fish with cute art, interesting bitters that you don’t see elsewhere, and silver plates that’ll make your tabletop pop.

Savenor's Butcher Shop & Market

This family-run store has been nurturing Boston food lovers since 1939, with some notable followers including Julia Child, who sourced ingredients here for her PBS show. Though it still preserves part of its identity as a butcher shop that offers premium cuts of beef, lamb, and poultry, its selection of fine foods has expanded to include artisan cheeses, canned goods, and flavored salts. Its original Kirkland Street location reopened in 2005 after having burned to the ground in 1992; it also has a second location in Beacon Hill.

A person works with a side of pork, breaking down a hog from Vermont at Savenor’s in Cambridge in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday.
Savernor’s in Cambridge.
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Christina's Spice & Specialty Foods

If the person you’re shopping for is a seasoned and adventurous home cook, this shop, which is a 14-minute walk from Central Square on the Red Line, will have you covered. It emphasizes global cuisines, and you can find ingredients from almost every corner of the world at a reasonable price. It also carries a large selection of domestically made food products from small businesses, such as hot sauce from Vermont.

Main Street Pasta & Wine

In addition to an ever-changing selection of fresh pasta that some say rivals that of some North End establishments, this Charlestown eatery has a delicious selection of canned goods, sauces, and craft olive oil from Greece. L’Espalier alum Matthew Dilisle helms the pasta-making operation together with Peter McGough, formerly of Mida in the South End.

EBO & Co. Grocery

This new-ish East Boston grocery store was founded by Alexis Cervasio, the proprietor of buzzy pop-up series East Boston Oysters. It specializes in caviar and oysters, featuring everything from the more inexpensive bowfin and salmon roe to the pricier Italian Sibertian sturgeon and Prime Osetra from Israel and of course, a selection of oysters. But it doesn’t stop there. The shop stocks a range of popular local food brands like Buenas and Dumpling Daughter, and non-food items such as whipped sunscreen, socks, and vinyl records (because why not?).

Salumeria Italiana

This legacy Italian store has been a North End mainstay since its opening in 1962. Here you’ll be teleported to Italy, where a large variety of pantry goods, olive oils, cheeses, and cured meats are available.

Colorful antipasto in a dish in the deli of the store.
Antipasto at Salumeria Italiana.
Mike Adaskaveg/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli

This Coolidge Corner Japanese market is designed to please the Japanophile on your list. Premium small-batch Japanese soy sauce that you can’t find anywhere else? Check. Cuts of the high-end wagyu from Miyazaki, which are thinly sliced and packed in a beautiful box? Check. An assortment of snacks that will surely be crowd-pleasers at holiday gatherings? Check.  Alternatively, walk across the street to Maruichi Select, which carries artisan-made ceramicware and Japanese sake in addition to bento boxes. (There’s also a second Boston-area Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli shop in Arlington.)

A row of onigiri at Maruichi, a Japanese grocery store on Harvard Street in Brookline, MA.
Onigiri at Maruichi in Brookline.
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

American Provisions

With locations in Dorchester and South Boston, this is a neighborhood-y specialty food shop that has everything from natural wine and artisan cheese to locally made jams and cured meats. Two gift boxes are available for purchase, one is an assortment encompassing all things food and the other is a cheese-centered box that includes cow, goat, sheep, and blue cheeses as well as fine chocolate and crackers.

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