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The perfect Rochester gift for every hard-to-buy-for someone in your life

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Welcome to the ultimate gift guide for every hard-to-buy-for someone in your life — with a Rochester twist.

From the guy who thinks he's the next-gen Don Draper to your boujee friend who's up to her eyeballs in debt keeping up her Instagrammable aesthetic, we have every hard-to-buy-for someone covered.

The hard-to-buy-for someone:
Your foodie friend who tries a new restaurant each week
What to buy:
“A Seat at the Table” Rochester cookbook ($25)
Where to buy it:
Treetown Cafe or online
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Let your favorite foodie replicate their favorite Rochester-centric dishes by working through a local cookbook. “A Seat at the Table,” of which there are two volumes, features popular recipes from Nosh, Simply Crepes, Melo Coffeeshop, and Caramel Bakery and Bar.

Pair it with: Amazing Grains “Salty Bread” from R’s Market ($6) and Olive Oil from F. Olivers ($18).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
That guy at work who thinks he’s the next-gen Don Draper
What to buy:
Vintage glassware ($25), a cocktail shaker ($25), and cocktail cards ($34)
Where to buy it:
Abode Rochester
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Help him stock the mid-mod home bar cart of his dreams with a set of vintage glassware, a cocktail shaker, and a set of cocktail cards to spice up his next party. Buy a piece or two or the whole set if you want a splashier gift.
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Pair it with: A bottle of Fee Brothers Bitters (locally made!) ($9).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
Your cousin who had a pour-over coffee at Joe Bean once five years ago and won’t stop talking about how local coffee changed her life
What to buy:
“Coffee Cups of Rochester” print ($18 or $32 for the set)
Where to buy it:
Boomtown Creative (Etsy) or Little Button Craft (In-Store)
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Java’s and Joe Bean are Rochester stalwarts, but the caffeine scene blew open in the 2010s and now local coffee thrives in neighborhoods around the city. Celebrate the best of the Flower City’s coffee culture with a “Coffee Cups of Rochester” print from Boomtown Creative. If you really want to get your hard-to-buy-for someone hopped up, get both versions.

Pair it with: A bag of beans from New City Cafe on Parsells Avenue ($10-$12).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The couple whose ideal vacation always involves the Adirondacks, a tent, and bonfires
What to buy:
“Campfire” candle ($18 and up)
Where to buy it:
Scents by Design
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“Campfire” by Scents by Design brings the outside in with the smoky, earthy scent of the woods and a crackling campfire. The bonus is your clothes won’t smell like smoke for a month after lighting it up. Keep it simple in a glass jar or choose one of the shop’s unique or handmade vessels.

Pair it with: Chocolate-covered marshmallows from Stever’s Candy for that Smores vibe ($14).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
Your nanny who deals with your kids for eight hours a day
What to buy:
Driphouse session ($78)
Where to buy it:
Driphouse Luxury Recovery Studio (Pittsford or Spencerport)

You know what nannies don’t want? Anything that reminds them of your children after they leave your house for the day. I know you think they’re cute and all, but your nanny wants 10 minutes of uninterrupted time not worrying about why the pet rat cage is empty or why the toddler is slathered in peanut butter. Give nannies the peace they deserve with a gift card to Driphouse, where they can spend an hour in a plush zero-gravity bed, bask in a gentle infrared heat, and meditate or listen to their favorite podcast.

Pair it with: A bottle of Living Roots Session Sparkling White for after their drip ($20).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
Your boujee friend who’s in debt up to their eyeballs to keep up their Instagrammable aesthetic
What to buy:
Monstera Deliciosa plant ($15-$98 depending on size)
Where to buy it:
Stem Rare and Exotic Plants
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If even a single glimpse of a Monstera leaf is enough to drive your IG-obsessed friend into a frenzy, stop by Stem and grab them a Deliciosa or Adansonii to make their living space look like an influencer’s dream.

Pair it with: A vintage-looking plant mister from Prismatic Gardens (because everyone who has a plant has to have a mister) ($31).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The girl who lives and dies for the Buffalo Bills
What to buy:
Cozy Bills sweatshirt ($50) and Buffalo Zubaz joggers ($65)
Where to buy it:
Buffalo Bleached Boutique
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If Saturdays are for the boys, Sundays are for the Mafia — the Bills Mafia. She can watch the game in comfort with loungewear she’ll obsess over even after the season ends. You know, with a Super Bowl title, of course. Buy one or both and be the coziest little couch potato this side of the Genesee.
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Pair it with: A bottle of “Bee Sting” wing sauce from Jeremiahs ($6).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The dad who says the only gift he wants is for you to visit him
What to buy:
Mayer Paint and Hardware gift card
Where to buy it:
Mayer Paint and Hardware
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From wingnuts to BBQ supplies, Mayer has it all. It even has a full Benjamin Moore paint store. Surely your dad can find something he likes there. Maybe a nice spring weed killer? Dads love a weed free lawn.

Pair it with: A “Lawn Enforcement” T-shirt from Crazy Dog Tshirts ($15).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
All your neighborhood dog friends
What to buy:
Homemade dog biscuits ($12)
Where to buy it:
Off The Leash Barkery (Online) or Buffalo Bleached (In-Store)
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Pets deserve some love during the holidays too! Pack up a few natural, locally-made dog treats for your neighborhood pups this year and you’ll have your four-legged friends eating out of the palm of your hand. Off the Leash Barkery has everything you need for dogs or dog lovers, and its Maple Apple Treats are a fan favorite!

Pair it with: A “Dog Mom” reusable Starbucks cup, also from Off The Leash Barkery ($20).


The hard-to-buy-for someone:
Your star sign-obsessed bestie who makes life choices based on her astrological vibe
What to buy:
Astrology deck of cards ($19)
Where to buy it:
Cleo + Kin
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A positively luminous 70-card deck filled with all the info anyone needs to know about zodiac signs, planets, asteroids, eclipses, and more. Definitely a stylish companion for the spiritually-curious crystal lovers and tarot enthusiasts.

Pair it with: A sticker pack based on your bestie’s star sign from Rochester’s own HarshAstrology ($8).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The tween who likes everything and nothing at the same time
What to buy:
Marvel Gingerbread Holiday Funko Pop Toys ($13 ea)
Where to buy it:
13th Verse Comics
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Holiday Funko Pops for Marvel superheroes are made of sugar, spice, and everything nice and are sure to sweeten your tween’s attitude this holiday season. Earth’s mightiest heroes are receiving the gingerbread treatment in 2022: Choose from Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, and Thor (including an all-over glitter version), and the menace Thanos. It’s hard to be scared of him when he looks so gosh darn delicious.

Pair it with: “Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide, New Edition” book from Hipocampo Children’s Books ($17).


The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The friend who happily hosts every get-together
What to buy:
Rochester cutting board ($30)
Where to buy it:
Red Bridge Gifts (order online, local pickup)
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Make entertaining easy and represent your love for Rochester with a beautiful cheese board featuring a Flower City engraved design from Red Bridge Gifts. The board can work as a standard cutting board or as the base for a quick and easy charcuterie arrangement. The bonus is it acts as a fun display piece when it’s not in use.

Pair it with: A gift card for a charcuterie setup from Cheese & Charcuterie next to Rubino’s.
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The friend who moved away but keeps his hometown close to his heart
What to buy:
ROC-stamped pillow cover ($32)
Where to buy it:
Peppermint Boutique
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Easy to ship, this cute homage to home quickly becomes a favorite for anyone with hometown pride. Soft white pillow with the Rochester city seal hand-stamped by Rochester native Kelsey Schmid.

Pair it with: A Dellarious “Rochester Love” 11-by-14-inch print ($12).
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The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The Rochester newbie
What to buy:
Taste of Rochester Gift Box ($70)
Where to buy it:
Schutt’s Apple Mill
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Know someone new to Rochester? Welcome them with a Taste of Rochester Gift Box that showcases some of the best local fare. The box includes 9 apples (your choice of variety), Joy’s Apple Crisp Mix, New York state Cheddar Cheese, Schutt’s Homemade Fudge, Guglielmo’s Pasta Sauce, and Arbor Hill Wine Jelly.

Pair it with: A pack of Zweigle’s hots ($8) and a bottle of Meat Hot Sauce ($9) so they can make their own Garbage Plates.


The hard-to-buy-for someone:
The new homeowner who hasn’t invited you over for dinner yet
so you want to give a subtle hint
What to buy:
Lodge Logic 5-quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven ($79)
Where to buy it:
Cooks World
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Gifts for the kitchen are always popular for new homeowners because cookware is a pain to pack and easier to toss before moving and replace with something new. A cast iron Dutch Oven will be used season after season for everything from soups to breads and Lodge makes some of the best you can buy.

Pair it with: A recipe for your favorite soup or Dutch Oven meal and a variety pack of Stuart’s Spices, a Rochester mainstay ($30).
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Amy Button is a freelancer writer for CITY.

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