There are countless traditions that take place during the holiday season: hanging ornaments on trees, stringing up beautiful lights, exchanging gifts with friends and family, making tasty cookies—the list goes on and on. One of the most appetizing ways to count down the days to Christmas, however, is with an Advent calendar.
Traditionally, these calendars have 12 or 24 chambers that hold treats and small toys. That said, just about anything can go inside, and we’ve rounded up the most delectable options for counting down to December 25th, from classic chocolates to cozy teas.
Here are the best food Advent calendars.
In Good Taste Wine Advent Calendar
While many Advent calendars are family-friendly, this one is just for the adults. In Good Taste features 24 mini bottles of wine in its boozy Advent calendar. There is a wide array of wines from around the world, including rosé, red blends, pinot blanc, syrah, malbec, moscato, and more.
In Good Taste sent our staff writer, Allison, a sample. She loved the overall presentation and the Andiamo Dolcetto was her favorite wine. Each bottle contains 187 milliliters of wine (a little over 6 ounces), which is enough for one decent-size glass or two smaller ones for sharing. A tasting booklet is also included, and it covers each and every wine with plenty of information.
Price at time of publish: $149.99
Includes: Zinfandel, French rosé, Rhone red, cabernet sauvignon, Languedoc red, pinot blanc, merlot, chardonnay, rosé, verdejo, Bordeaux blanc, marsanne, dolcetto, syrah, Languedoc white, GSM red wine blend, Touriga Nacional, pinotage, moscato, sauvignon blanc, malbec, pinot noir, Portugal white wine (187 milliliters each)
“I absolutely love the variety in this calendar. There are some favorites of mine as well as new discoveries to enjoy. The wine guide is incredibly informative, too." — Allison Wignall, Staff Writer
The Really Good Whisky Company Whisky Advent Calendar
If there is a Scotch lover in your life, they’re going to adore this Advent calendar by the Really Good Whisky Company. It contains 25 assorted drams of Scotch whisky. Each entry in the calendar also contains a link to the site’s tasting notes. On top of that, there are QR codes that lead to daily online discussions and tastings led by an expert.
Price at time of publish: $96
Includes: 25 drams of assorted whiskies (30 milliliters each)
Godiva Chocolatier Gourmet Chocolate Advent Calendar
Let’s start off with a classic. Many Advent calendars are filled with chocolates, but few do it better than the Belgium-based Godiva. This 2022 Holiday Classic Chocolate Advent Calendar contains 24 punch-out sections with delicious treats inside.
The assortment of white, dark, and milk chocolates come in a variety of flavors, with some highlights including caramel, raspberry, and mint. There are even different decorative shapes to enjoy. The Santa and penguin chocolates are particularly cute.
Price at time of publish: $40
Includes: 24 pieces of assorted white, dark, and milk chocolate
Bean Box 12 Mornings of Coffee
While many people may save their daily Advent calendar treat for an after-dinner dessert, this calendar is meant for the morning. Bean Box has a 12 Mornings of Coffee Advent Calendar that’s shaped like a charming storybook. Each limited edition blend—available in whole bean or grounds—can make a full pot of coffee (about four to six mugs each).
The flavors are a surprise, but celebrate the season’s favorite tastes (think gingerbread and roasted chestnuts). Read up on the coffee’s tasting notes and instructions for a cheery cup of joe.
Price at time of publish: $64
Includes: 12 limited edition holiday blend coffees (1.8 ounces each) in whole beans or grounds
Ladybug Cakes 24 Day Cookie Advent Calendar
Christmas cookies are often as pretty as they are delicious, and the 24 sugar cookies featured in this Advent calendar are downright stunning. Ladybug Cakes handmakes each treat and decorates them to resemble familiar holiday shapes. There is a snowman, wreath, mug of hot cocoa, reindeer, mitten, Santa and plenty more. Please note that Ladybug Cakes requests you contact them before placing an order.
Price at time of publish: $85
Includes: 24 holiday-themed vanilla sugar cookies
Harry & David 12 Days of Cheese
This one isn’t an Advent calendar in the traditional sense, but the box does feature 12 different cheeses and a countdown sheet that details each one. A few highlights include garlic and herb jack cheese, manchego, gruyère, and smoky blue cheese. Each type has a generous serving size, ranging from 4.2 to 12 ounces. All you need is a good cheese board and you're on your way to the dreamiest holiday snacking spread.
Price at time of publish: $199.99
Includes: Truffle hive cheese, balsamic cheese, smoked cheddar cheese, dry jack cheese, garlic and herb jack cheese, smoky blue cheese, manchego cheese, Gruyère cheese with fenugreek, 2-year cheddar cheese, mixed milk cheddar cheese, pesto and sun-dried tomato cream cheese torta
Fortnum & Mason Fortnum's Feasting Advent Calendar
Talk about variety: This Advent calendar is jam-packed with gourmet favorites from the UK (not including jam itself, but marmalade, preserves, jelly, and chutney). The 25-day collection includes pull-out drawers stuffed with everything from spiced orange and dark chocolate biscuits (aka cookies) to figgy pudding liqueur, Cognac butter, Christmas tea, chocolate mice, and more. Everything comes in gorgeous packaging, and the calendar itself is super cute—just begging to be reused in the years to come (though you’ll have to refill the drawers yourself).
Note that this does ship from the UK for £25 (about $24.41 USD), and the current delivery time is an estimated five working days.
Price at time of publish: £200 (about $243.30)
Includes: Spiced orange and dark chocolate biscuits, Kings Blend coffee, mini orange and Champagne marmalade, Royal Blend pocket tin with 5 silky tea bags, winter spiced nuts, figgy pudding liqueur, Christmas tea, mini fig preserve, Gingerlossus biscuits, honey from Shropshire, ultimate ruby chocolate bar, wild blueberry preserve, Sir Nigel’s orange marmalade vodka, Fortnum’s pink Marc de Champagne truffle drum, balsamic jelly, chocolate mice, mulled wine spice box, mini Cognac butter, salted caramel hot chocolate, damson gin, Burlington breakfast marmalade, Christmas cranberry and port chutney, gold chocolate coins, Christmas tea biscuits, quarter bottle of Champagne
Sugarfina 24 Tastes of Christmas Advent Calendar
Candy is a staple of most Advent calendars, but Sugarfina takes it to the next level with its 24 Tastes of Christmas. The sweet selection is varied in both candy types and flavors: There are dark chocolate sea salt caramels, lemon shortbread cookie balls, Santa’s doughnut cereal bites, and fruity gummy candies galore.
Each of the 24 little boxes contain four pieces of candy, perfect for sharing. The calendar is also presented in a beautiful gingerbread house-style box.
Price at time of publish: $60
Includes: Dark chocolate sea salt caramels, raspberry Eiffel Tower gummies, petite strawberry gummies, sprinkle cookie balls, oatmeal cookie balls, apple frog gummies, ice cream cone gummies, heavenly sour gummies, merry berries gummies, strawberry heart gummies, pink flamingo gummies, peach heart gummies, lemon shortbread cookie balls, birthday cake caramel balls, Santa’s doughnuts cereal bites, holiday present gummies, riptide raspberries, pink diamond gummies, peach bum, island pineapples, watermelon slices, baby whale gummies, cookies and cream balls (4 pieces each)
Best Peppermint Bark
Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark Advent Calendar
Few holiday treats are more iconic than peppermint bark–typically made of white and dark chocolate topped with crushed peppermint candies. The bark has the starring role in this 24-day Advent calendar from Williams Sonoma. Each window hides a piece of minty chocolate inside, each shaped like a classic Christmas symbol–including trees, Santa, toy soldiers, and snowmen.
Price at time of publish: $29.95
Includes: 24 pieces of peppermint bark (6 Christmas trees, 6 Santas, 6 toy soldiers, 6 snowmen)
Best Hot Cocoa
Williams Sonoma 12 Days of Hot Cocoa Advent Calendar
Hot cocoa is the classic drink of the holiday season. Williams Sonoma has an Advent calendar that features 12 hot cocoa mixes with various flavors; some highlights include peppermint, hazelnut, double chocolate, and salted caramel. Each packet has about 1.25 ounces of powder. Add to hot water (or warmed milk for a richer taste) and enjoy.
Price at time of publish: $49.95
Includes: 12 hot cocoa packets, 2 per flavor (dark chocolate, double chocolate, hazelnut, creamy vanilla, peppermint, salted caramel)
McCrea's Candies Handcrafted Caramel Advent Calendar
McCrea’s Candies has a stunning selection of 24 flavored caramels hidden in an illustrated calendar. There are 12 flavors total, with two pieces of each one. Flavors featured include black lava sea salt, cinnamon clove, chocolate peppermint, Cape Cod sea salt, and more. It's a great gift for anybody with a sweet tooth.
Price at time of publish: $40
Includes: 24 flavored caramel candies, 2 pieces in each flavor (black lava sea salt, classic vanilla, deep chocolate, Cape Cod sea salt, tapped maple, cinnamon clove, dark roasted mocha, rosemary truffle sea salt, ginger fusion, café noir, anisette, chocolate peppermint)
Williams Sonoma Christmas Popcorn Advent Calendar
Popcorn has a long tradition with the holiday season. Whether you want to string popcorn together as a decorative garland or simply eat it, you’ll have plenty with this Advent calendar from Williams Sonoma. It features seven types of popping kernels and 12 seasonings, ranging from sweet salted caramel and French toast to savory baby back ribs and white cheddar. Make some popcorn, curl up on the couch, and enjoy classic Christmas movies with the whole family.
Price at time of publish: $69.95
Includes: Big and yellow kernels, purple kernels, red kernels, sweet baby blue kernels, tiny and tender kernels, mushroom kernels, hull-less kernels, salted caramel cocoa seasoning, French toast seasoning, baby back ribs seasoning, white cheddar seasoning, zesty cheddar seasoning, movie theater seasoning, buttery jalapeño seasoning, sweet caramel seasoning, creamy ranch seasoning, dill pickle seasoning, buttered sweet corn seasoning, chocolate chip cookie dough seasoning
GiveThemBeer Beer Advent Calendar 2022
Let’s cheer for beer! This 12-day calendar has 12 highly rated craft beers made in the USA. There are IPAs, stouts, ales, and more from a variety of microbrewers around the country. Each day has a full-sized beer can behind the numbered window. With a happy Santa Claus raising a frothy mug, it’s a festive and tasty gift for any beer lover.
Price at time of publish: $79
Includes: 12 assorted American craft beers
Man Crates O Holy Cow Jerky Advent Calendar
Not all Advent calendars have to contain sweet treats. In fact, this robust Advent calendar has 25 different flavors of beef jerky strips. There are classic flavor options, such as black pepper, habanero, and teriyaki, as well as less common types, including root beer, whiskey maple, and honey bourbon. The calendar itself features beautiful stained glass depictions of cows wearing winter hats, scarves, and coats.
Price at time of publish: $89.99
Includes: 25 flavored beef jerky bits (classic, black pepper, garlic, habanero, honey bourbon, root beer, whiskey maple, root beer habanero, ghost pepper, sesame ginger, chile lime, sriracha, orange habanero, birch beer, sarsaparilla, General Tso, lemon pepper, Thai satay, Cajun, teriyaki)
Palais des Thés Holiday Tea Advent Calendar
Cold wintry nights are the perfect time for a hot cup of tea. French tea company Palais des Thés has this beautiful 24 day Advent calendar filled with tea bags. The selections include herbal, black, green, rooibos, and other teas to enjoy. The calendar itself is a gorgeous emerald color decorated with trees, houses, and reindeer.
Price at time of publish: $36
Includes: 24 tea bags of assorted Parisian teas
Best for Baking
Uncommon Goods Cookie Making Advent Calendar
Many people love to make their own Christmas cookies. If you know any bakers like that, consider this Cookie Making Advent Calendar from Uncommon Goods. Instead of pre-made treats, it includes ingredients, tools, and recipe cards for making cookies at home. There are bags of sprinkles, a star-shaped cookie cutter, chocolate chips, and more.
Price at time of publish: $70
Includes: Assortment of cookie ingredients, tools, decorations, recipe cards
Best Hot Sauce
World Market Twelve Days of Hot Sauce
We’ve covered a lot of sweets, now it’s time to bring the heat. This Twelve Days of Hot Sauce Variety Gift Set from World Market is decorated with a fun mix of fiery peppers and holiday ornaments. Each bottle has 2 ounces of sauce, and flavors range from mango mild to Carolina Reaper. It’s a great gift for anyone who loves a bit of spice.
Price at time of publish: $24.99
Includes: 12 flavored hot sauces, 2 ounces each (habanero, habanero green, Carolina Reaper, extra hot hot, Cajun, jalapeño, mango mild, chipotle, hot, garlic, wasabi, Cascabella)
What to Look for in a Food Advent Calendar
If you’re gifting someone an edible Advent calendar, you’ll want to make sure they like whatever’s inside. For those with a sweet tooth, it’s pretty easy to find an appropriate calendar. Many Advent calendars favor chocolates, candies, and cookies. If they prefer savory tastes, don’t worry, there are options like popcorn calendars or even hot sauce calendars. If you can’t find an Advent calendar that suits their preferences, you could always purchase an empty calendar and fill it with treats you know they like.
One of the greatest appeals of an Advent calendar is being surprised by what’s inside each daily box. It isn’t exciting if the gift is the same every single time. Look for Advent calendars that have a variety of treats. That could take the form of different candies, varying flavors, or a number of holiday-themed shapes.
When it comes to holiday presents (especially edible ones), knowing how and when it will be shipped is paramount. Many companies offer pre-orders for Advent calendars so you can get your order in before they all sell out. Additionally, these companies can also offer specific delivery dates or, at the very least, a tracking link. Keep all shipping information on hand.
What is an Advent calendar?
Traditionally, this type of calendar marks the days of Advent in the Christian faith and counts down to Christmas on December 25th. Advent calendars have grown in popularity over the years, and people of various faiths can enjoy them, though they may be referred to as “countdown” calendars instead of “Advent.” For example, there are Hanukkah calendars and Yule calendars.
Typically, these calendars are made out of wood, cardboard, or fabric with small boxes or pouches that contain surprises.
When do you start an Advent calendar?
When you start an Advent calendar depends on the type you have. Most Advent calendars either have 12 or 24 numbered slots. Some also have 25. If there are 24 or 25 slots, the calendar would begin on December 1 and end on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (the 24th or 25th).
If the Advent calendar has 12 slots, you can either start 12 days before Christmas (on December 13th) or follow the traditional Christian 12 Days of Christmas, which spans from December 25 to January 6.
What goes into an Advent calendar?
Really, anything can go into an Advent calendar. Common treats include candy, chocolates, small toys, mini beauty products, snacks, cookies, jams, jewelry, perfumes, coffees, or alcoholic drinks.
Why Trust the Spruce Eats?
Allison Wignall is a writer who prides herself on gift-giving and works hard to personalize each present. Given her sweet tooth and deep love of popcorn, she would happily devour any calendar on this list. Her work has been featured in Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.