Great Austin Gift Ideas for College Graduation
Local bites, books, apparel, and ease the transition to the real world
By Caitlin Davis,
7:00AM, Wed. May 15, 2019
Graduating from college is a big step, and with it usually comes big life changes. Say congratulations to the recent graduate in your life with a gift that takes a piece of their college years in Austin with them wherever they may go next.
Give your new graduate a taste of the town wrapped into one mouthwatering basket. You could fill the whole thing with locally produced hot sauce alone – including Aztexan, Tears of Joy, Yellowbird, Kala’s Kuisine, and other perennial winners at the Chronicle’s annual Hot Sauce festival.
But one does not live by hot sauce alone (we’ve tried), so expand the basket with something deliciously nibble-y picked up from Austin Cheese Company, pair it with the latest seasonal release from Austin Eastciders, and sweeten the deal with Austin artisanal chocolatiers like Crave, Mia Chocolates, and Chocolaterie Tessa. Oh, and be sure to include a couple bags of roasted coffee from Cuvée or Flat Track to help your grad wake up in time for their new 9-to-5 job... and some CBD treats from Restart to help them manage the stress of joining the workforce.
Learning how to cook can be a bumpy road for recent college students. Whether it’s the knowledge of how to make consistent meals for basic survival or a refinement of their preexisting culinary genius, graduates would appreciate a cooking class at East Austin Culinary Studio before joining the ranks of the real world. If your grad is more inclined toward book learning, consider these latest cookbooks from Austin eateries, Franklin Steak: Dry-Aged. Live-Fired. Pure Beef. and The Peached Tortilla: Modern Asian Comfort Food from Tokyo to Texas.
Give your graduate a gift straight from the heart (or someone else’s, but still) with a Typewriter Rodeo poem. You send in the information you’d like the writers to use ,and they write a customized poem on a typewriter then place it in a protective display.
For the graduate who loves to read but may be a bit burnt out after four years of consuming everything from chemistry textbooks to Russian literature, keep it short and sweet with El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs.
They may have thousands of dollars in student loans, but they’ve also got bragging rights as freshly minted alumni. Peep the online campus stores for the University of Texas, St. Edward’s, Concordia, Huston-Tillotson, Austin Community College, Texas State, and Southwestern University for school pride presents ranging from apparel to tech supplies.
Following graduation, many newly freed students take time to travel or may be beginning the move to the location of a new job. Either way, send them off in style with a carry-on suitcase from Austin-based company Tiko, created by a UT alumnus.
Starting a career can be thrilling but daunting. Help your graduate gain confidence in the workplace, and take a little reminder of Texas with them, with a sleek and professional hand stitched folio from Noah Marion.
It probably won’t take long in the “real world” for your graduate to get nostalgic about their time in college. Gift them this spot-on print by local artist Billie Claire to remember their halcyon days in the city of “tacos, bats, swimmin’ holes & heat stroke.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Still looking for ideas? Check out the Chronicle's online store to supply your graduate with Chron shirts, bandanas, tote bags, and more.