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It can be hard to find thoughtful, meaningful gifts for the ones we love. But, if there’s one thing that will be sure to delight even the hardest-to-please friend or relative, it’s food. Maybe they’re a cheese connoisseur or someone who always has a chocolate bar nearby. Maybe they’re a snacky vegan or a coffee snob. Maybe the quickest way to their heart is a gigantic steak. No matter the person or occasion, there is a food gift that will be certain to make their day.
From perishable to nonperishable presents, here are the best food gifts.
Best Basket: Harry & David Grand Signature Gift Basket
If you’re looking to give a gift they’ll rave about for years, you need the Grand Signature Gift Basket from Harry & David. Coming with tasty artisanal cheese, the company's much-sought-after Royal Verano Pears from New Zealand, crackers, salami, and other thoughtful touches, this spread wins over a wide variety of palates. Reviewers praise its freshness, flavor, beautiful packaging, and variety. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, a thank you present, or a “just because I’m thinking of you” situation, the recipient will absolutely love this gift basket.
What’s Included: Eight Royal Verano pears, two seasonal apples, sharp white cheddar, Gouda, pepper and onion relish, honey wheat pretzels, sesame honey mustard dip, three-seed crackers, Busseto Milano Italia dry salami, mixed nuts, Paulownia wood crate (exact contents may vary by season)
Best Coffee: Driftaway Coffee Personalized Subscription
There are a lot of great coffee subscriptions out there, but Driftaway goes the extra mile. This three-month subscription starts with a tasting kit where the recipient can taste four different coffee varieties, ranking and noting their preferences for future shipments. The coffee comes in 100% compostable packaging and includes a story about its origin and farmer. Reviewers report that the coffee is fresh, delicious, and “an amazing gift.”
What’s Included: Three monthly shipments (first month: tasting kit with whole beans, remaining months: freshly roasted, seasonal, and sustainable single-origin coffee)
Best Honey: Savannah Bee Everyday Honey Gift Set
The Savannah Bee Everyday Honey Gift Set is a perfect selection of honeys for different purposes. The box includes three jars of honey—one for the grill, one for your tea, and one for cheese—all with specific tastes that fit just those needs. The one for the grill is great for basting, the one for your tea is light but sweet, and the one for cheese creates a perfect blend of sweet and salty.
What's Included: (3) 12-ounce jars of honey
“The Savannah Bee Company produces some of the best honey I've tasted. These samplers are perfect for your foodie friend who loves a good cheese board, a cup of tea, and honey-glazed meat on the grill.” - Mary Kate Hoban, Senior Commerce Editor
Best Cheese Gift: iGourmet American Artisan Premier Gift Basket
When most people think of iconic cheeses, they probably think of Brie or parmesan. When cheesemongers think of top-rated cheeses, they think of a much wider range, including some American-made beauties that are frankly just as delicious as anything you can find in Europe. This basket from iGourmet includes a special chocolate chevre, a two-year aged Vermont cheddar, a well-known blue cheese from Northern California, an award-winning Parm-style cheese from Wisconsin, and a unique California goat cheese that gets its flavor from lavender buds and fennel pollen. And that's not even half the items in this basket.
Your giftee can pair their cheese with a whole host of U.S.-made snacks, like spiced almonds and artisanal salami. Any cheese fan will instantly fall in love with the American Artisan Premier Gift Basket—and probably make you a really beautiful cheese plate to say thank you.
What’s Included: Chocolate chevre, Sartori BellaVitano, Point Reyes blue cheese, Purple Haze chevre by Cypress Grove, Grafton Classic Reserve Cheddar, pickled okra, two Fischer and Wieser salsas, pepperoni by Olli Salumeria, Brownwood Farms Famous Kream Mustard, Smoke and Stout Caramel Exotic Candy Bar by Vosges, specialty cookies by Lark Fine Foods, creminelli salami, spiced almonds, Urban Oven crackers, Shaffer Farms venison jerky, igourmet gift box
Best Sandwich: Versailles Miami Cuban Sandwich Kit
If you’ve ever craved the iconic, savory, cheesy, flavor-packed Cuban sandwich from Versailles in Miami, this is the answer to your hungry longing. Whether or not you’ve eaten at the famous eatery—featured on Bobby Flay’s Food Nation—this is a particularly good gift for someone who can’t make it to Miami or simply adores a good Cuban. The Cuban Sandwich Kit comes with soft house-baked Cuban style bread, flavorful slow-roasted pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, and is individually packed to make it easy to assemble at home.
What's Included: Swiss cheese, ham, pork, Cuban bread, mustard, pickles
“Renowned for its Cuban sandwich, Miami's Versailles Restaurant has made it easy to get this famous sammy anywhere in the country. When you have a hankering, just hop onto Goldbelly's site.” — Victoria Heydt, Editorial Project Manager
Best Cookies: Mouth Holiday Cookie Plate
Skip the baking and gift these wonderfully prepared and perfectly crafted cookies. The Holiday Cookie Plate from Mouth contains warm, wintery flavors like chocolate peppermint, ginger, apple butter, and spice to add the right amount of sweetness to a loved one’s day. These cookies are great to enjoy with a cup of milk at any point in the day, as a dessert, or as a snack right before you sleep.
What's Included: Chocolate peppermint sables, ginger baby cookies, cranberry orange cookies, apple butter shortbread coins, Speculoos spice cookies
“When purchasing an edible gift for friends, the number one rule is buying something they'll actually use. Next is something that's easy to use, and finally, you want to buy the highest-quality products available.” — Chef Jennifer Booker, Author of "Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow"
Best Salts: Spice Lab Sea Gourmet Salt Sampler
If you know someone who wants to get a little experimental with their cooking flavors or who loves to grill, this elegant salt collection fits the bill. Stored stylishly in Pyrex glass test tubes in a bamboo base, it makes a beautiful addition to anyone’s countertop or spice cabinet.
There are unflavored options from around the world, including Himalayan pink sea salt and Hawaiian black lava salt, but also great flavored salts like port wine, smoked ghost pepper, Japanese curry salt, and tropical hibiscus salt. The recipient will be able to dress up meats, eggs, salads, baked goods, and more with this unique set.
What’s Included: 11 salts, including fine Himalayan pink salt, Hawaiian black lava salt, flake Cyprus citron lemon salt, smoked ghost pepper salt, Hudson Valley salt, Japanese curry salt, ginger chili salt, herbes de Provence, tropical hibiscus salt, peri peri spice blend, port wine salt
Best Hot Sauce: Food52 Tame to Insane Hot Sauce Box
Curated by the famed hot sauce of the month club, Fuego Box, this Food52 hot sauce box is perfect for lovers of spice. Featuring 11 hot sauces, from the mild Jersey Barnfire Indian Summer to the "evil" PuckerButt Ignition Point, this box is like choosing your own hot sauce adventure. The box labels the bottles by heat level, so your giftee can work their way up to the hottest option, where the main ingredient is the Carolina Reaper, the world's hottest pepper.
What’s Included: 10 full size bottles and one mini, ranging in spice
Best Pickles: Mouth The Big Dill
If you know a pickle fanatic, then you know that they are serious about these preserved vegetables. The crunch factor, the flavor, even the shape—it's all taken into account when they're trying to find their favorite brand. Give them more to explore with this “The Big Dill” collection from Mouth. The box has plenty of pickled cucumbers, of course—with flavors like garlic, pepper, everything spice, and horseradish— but it also has string beans, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and more. It's fun way to explore the world of pickles for a curious eater.
What’s Included: Sweet chip pickles by Gordy's Pickle Jar, garlic dills by Mother Pucker's, jalapeño honey dills by The Real Dill, pickled string beans by Epic Pickles, hoppy pickles by Kansas City Canning, sweet fire pickles by Frankie's, everything bagel pickles by Backyard Brine, organic heirloom pickled blueberries by Bow Hill Blueberries, pickled cherry tomatoes by Doux South
Best for Cocktail Lovers: Haus The Sampler Kit
If you or your loved one adore a lighter cocktail from time to time, the Haus apéritifs come highly recommended. The alcohol tastes like a cocktail but is stronger than wine and lighter than whiskey, with profiles that are clean and fresh. The Sampler Kit comes with four 200-milliliter bottles with each perfectly sized for 2-3 drinks. You can choose from seven different flavors, such as Spiced Cherry and Rose Rosé, so explore and experiment or stick with a tried-and-true flavor.
What's Included: (4) 200-milliliter bottles
“Haus makes 15-20 percent ABV wine-based apéritifs using fruits, herbs, and botanicals. My favorite is Ginger Yuzu, but the Bitter Clove is a winter essential.” — Adriana Velez, Senior Editor
Best Ice Cream: Jeni's Happy Birthday Collection
Jeni’s Ice Cream is one of the darlings of the food world right now and for good reason. It’s highly praised ice cream formulated without synthetic flavorings, dyes, or off-the-shelf mixes. Instead of using a long list of stabilizers and emulsifiers, they build texture the old-fashioned way—lots of slow churning.
Though their ice cream makes a lovely gift for any occasion, the Happy Birthday Collection is especially sweet. You choose five flavors (though good luck narrowing it down!) and your customized package is sent with 100 percent beeswax candles and a two-pack of sprinkles. We won’t judge you if you want to send one of these to yourself even if it’s not your birthday.
What’s Included: Five pints of your choice (32 flavors available, six of which are non-dairy)
Best Chocolate: Mouth Chocolate-Covered Deliciousness Box
Pretty much any food benefits from being dipped in chocolate, and this gift basket celebrates the versatility of everyone's favorite sweet treat. The box is packed with chocolate-covered treats, including graham crackers, sea-salt caramels, animal crackers, and more. It even has chocolate-covered Cheerios and chocolate-covered quinoa bites, all of which come in a stylish cotton tote bag.
What’s Included: Chocolate-covered animal crackers by Mouth, chocolate-covered Cheerios by Jacques Torres, organic dark chocolate-covered sea salt caramels by Clif Family Kitchen, dark chocolate-covered malt balls by Askinosie Chocolate, milk chocolate-covered quinoa and currants by Undercover Chocolate Co., dark chocolate-covered caramelized graham crackers by Kika's Treats
Best Meat: Chicago Steak Company The Entrepreneur's Selection
Searching for a gift for a carnivore with premium taste? Get them The Entrepreneur's Selection. It features filet mignon, top sirloin, pork chops, chicken breasts, and steak seasoning. All the steak is wet-aged four to six weeks and certified USDA Prime or "high" Choice—meaning all the steaks are graded at the top two tiers of marbling available. Everything comes individually wrapped, vacuum-sealed, and in a sleek black and gold gift box. Hopefully, you’ll be invited over when the grill starts going.
What’s Included: Six 5-ounce USDA Prime filet mignons, six 6-ounce USDA Prime top sirloins, six 9-ounce gourmet frenched pork chops, six 6-ounce marinated chicken breasts, one 5-ounce bottle of steak seasoning
Best Breakfast: Stonewall Kitchen Maine Morning Breakfast Gift
Theoretically, a gift card to someone’s favorite restaurant is a nice idea, but what if you went one step further and gifted them the opportunity to transform their kitchen into their new favorite brunch spot? The Maine Morning Breakfast Gift from Stonewall Kitchen comes with delicious mixes for oatmeal, pancakes/waffles, muffins, scones, and cinnamon buns, plus an array of spreads and syrups to top it off, as well as a few more breakfast goodies. You’re not just gifting them a meal, you’re gifting them an abundance of beautiful future mornings.
What’s Included: Cinnamon bun mix, blueberry scone mix, blueberry muffin mix, wild Maine blueberry tea, wildflower honey, farmhouse pancake and waffle mix, maple and brown sugar oatmeal, pure maple cream, Maine maple syrup, red raspberry jam, wile Maine blueberry jam, peach jam, strawberry jam, tea towel
Best Vegan: Mouth Vegan Snack Box
Buying a food gift for a vegan friend can be tricky, especially if you're not well versed in ingredient labels. Luckily, Mouth has done all the vetting for you with the vegan snack box. It's the perfect option for veteran sprout-eating vegans and new converts alike because it’s just as delicious as it is vegan (that is to say: 100% on both counts). It comes with 10 snacks, including maple granola, savory Bjorn Corn, decadent hot fudge sauce, and even artisanal almond butter. Plant-based eating is easy when you have snacks as good as these.
What’s Included: Maple pecan and coconut granola by Henry Hudson Baking Co., Fiji ginger almond butter by Big Spoon Roasters, vegan dark chocolate chip bar by The Yes Bar Co., pineapple mojito dried fruit by Watermelon Road Snacks Co., potato chips by The Billy Goat Chip Company, vegan cheddar crackers by Mustache Munchies, organic gummy bears by Mouth, organic strawberry PB&J peanut butter puffs by Puffworks, sun-popped popcorn by BjornQorn, maple pumpkin seeds by Stony Brook Wholehearted
Best Whiskey: Kings County Aged Whiskey Gift Set
The whiskey-lover in your life is sure to appreciate this gift set, which includes three handmade bourbons from Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn, New York. The three spirits included are the Kings County Bourbon, Kings County Peated Bourbon, and Kings County Single Malt Whiskey, each of which comes in a 200ml bottle and is made from 100 percent New York grain. The regular bourbon has strong sweet base with flavors of vanilla and caramel, while the single malt whiskey features a palate of honey with aromas of hay and peat, giving your giftee a variety of flavors to discover—all in one box.
What’s Included: 200 milliliters each of straight bourbon, peated bourbon, and single malt
“Know your audience. If your friends tell you that they don't like a particular type of food or ingredient, believe them. Avoid buying gifts that your friends will never eat and concentrate on finding the perfect gift made from of foods they do love.” — Chef Jennifer Booker, Author of "Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow"
What to Look for in a Food Gift
Perishable vs Nonperishable
If you’re buying for a good friend who works from home and loves cheese, then a cheese gift may be a no-brainer. But, if you’re buying for a client or acquaintance whose tastes you may not be as familiar with and who you’re not sure can grab the package when it arrives, it may be best to opt for something nonperishable.
Butter is a dreamy gift, unless the intended recipient is vegan or has a dairy allergy. Especially for something like dairy, nuts, or food containing gluten, double-check to make sure it’s safe for your intended recipient.
If you’re buying online, ideally, the food will be just as good as if you’d purchased it in a local shop. Check the reviews to make sure those who have purchased these options have had good experiences.
If you have questions about the packages that aren’t answered online, feel free to reach out to customer service. If they respond quickly and helpfully, it’s a good sign that they’ll respond similarly if something unforeseen happens with your package.
Is it a bad idea to send perishable food gifts?
Not at all, especially if you think the recipient will enjoy them more than something nonperishable. There are a few things to keep in mind, though. First of all, consider the weather. Sending cheese to New York City in January will be a little different than sending cheese to Arizona in July. That is, if it’s hot outside, there is a shorter window that your food will keep. Of course, the purveyor will package it expertly and send ice packs and insulation, but check out the weather if you plan on sending a perishable gift, especially if you’re not sure the recipient can intercept the package immediately.
What if I don’t know what the recipient likes to eat?
If you’re not sure of the intended recipient’s exact preferences, it’s generally good to stick with something nonperishable and utilitarian, like salt or coffee. That said, it can’t hurt to dig around any social media profiles of theirs to see if they’ve posted about favorite foods, or you can check with mutual friends.
How do I make sure they’ll be home for delivery if I’m sending something perishable?
Before sending a food gift, check with the intended recipient to ensure they’ll be home around the time when the gift should arrive. Some spots allow you to send the recipient a vague email letting them know they’re receiving a package with a tracking number, or you can just send them the tracking number yourself.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional eater Christine Clark is an avid sharer and enjoyer of all things delicious. Her love languages are food and gift-giving. A Certified Cheese Professional by The American Cheese Society, she has a cheese podcast, a fridge that is always too full, and a very lived-in kitchen.