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Whether you’re looking for a special gift for a coworker, want to thank a neighbor for a favor, or need a special pick-me-up for someone going through a difficult season, a gift basket is a great option. After all, who doesn’t love it when the doorbell rings with a surprise gift basket filled to the brim with fruit, cheese, crackers, meats, and a few chocolates for dessert?
Our editors jumped into the fray to test gift baskets and selected the Harry & David Grand Favorites Gift Basket as the top pick for its delightful array of gourmet products, including fruits, sausage, cheese, and sweet treats. Check out the Hickory Farms Thank You Treats Gift Box for a budget-friendly option.
We sent more than a dozen gift baskets to our editors to test at home—it's a hard job, but someone has to do it—rating them on their variety, value, freshness, presentation, and size. Just like you, our editors have different preferences and requirements for an edible gift. Some of us are gluten-free, some prefer savory over sweet, and some would choose tea over coffee. All of us, however, have high standards for food (it's what we're paid to do) and want to make sure we maximize what we paid for, especially if it's a gift.
We have something for everyone here, from comforting tea to wine and cheese to specialized coffee—there’s a personalized gift basket for everyone in your life.
Best Overall: Harry & David Grand Favorites Gift Basket
What do buyers say? 80+ Harry & David reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
The best gift baskets have something for everyone, from fresh fruit to a few sweet treats. This one from Harry & David is curated with gourmet products for every kind of snacking.
Giftees will be thrilled with over three pounds of Harry & David’s special Royal Verano pears, hickory-smoked summer sausage, four ounces of sharp white cheddar cheese, party snack mix, pepper and onion relish, and three-seed crackers. On the sweet side, there’s Moose Munch chocolate-covered popcorn, chocolate swirl cake, six ounces of chocolate-covered cherries, and raspberry galettes.
Our Associate Food Editor, Lauryn, also loved the brass basket that the food came in. "It's so lovely that I can definitely use it either to regift something or as decor," she said. She raved about all the included food and was delighted that she found some new favorites to add to her pantry.
Includes: 9 Royal Verano pears, Moose Munch milk chocolate popcorn, hickory-smoked summer sausage, sharp white cheddar cheese, party snack mix, three-seed crackers, raspberry galettes, pepper and onion relish, chocolate swirl cake, milk chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate truffles (coffee, cherry, raspberry, almond, all dark, milk chocolate), milk chocolate mini mints
Shipping: Available to ship immediately
"Everything was so tasty. I even found new products that I love, like the Pepper Jelly and summer sausage. I feel like there's true variety in the basket—from savory to sweets—that hit all the right notes." — Lauryn Bodden, Associate Food Editor
Best Meat and Cheese: Murray’s Cheese The Ultimate Cheese Board Collection
Murray’s Cheese is one of the world’s best cheese shops, so it’s no surprise that it creates some of the world’s best cheese boards. Whether it’s a party that calls for a spectacular spread or a gift for a top client, Murray’s Cheese’s The Ultimate Cheese Board Collection is the ideal gift of meat and cheeses.
Wrapped in its signature gift box, this collection contains 2 pounds of cheese and 10.5 ounces of meat. This includes Murray's Cavemaster Reserve Annelies cow’s milk cheese, blue-veined Gorgonzola, Jasper Hill Farm’s Harbison, and Saint-Maure goat cheese. For the meats, there’s Spanish chorizo, soppressata salami, and the Spanish jamon Paleta Iberica de Bellota.
Rounding out the box are crisps, flatbreads, cornichons, dried figs, Marcona almonds, and dried apricots.
Siobhan, our Commerce Editor, was impressed with each ingredient's freshness and the care that went into making sure all the included products went well together. "The crackers went with all four kinds of cheese, there's fig jam to dollop on every bite, the dried fruit and almonds paired well to cleanse the palate between bites, and there's even a little box of chocolate-covered figs for dessert," she said.
Includes: Murray's Cave Aged Reserve Annelies, Mountain Gorgonzola, Jasper Hill Farm Harbison, Saint-Maure, Fermin Iberico Chorizo Sliced, Murray's Sopressata Salami, Dehesa Cordobesa Paleta Iberico De Bellota, Trois Petits Cochons Cornichons, Jan's Farmhouse Crisps Cranberry & Pistachio Crisps, Rustic Bakery Olive Oil & Sel Gris Flatbread, ChocoHigos® Chocolate Covered Figs, Murray's Marcona Almonds, B&R Farms Blenheim Apricots
Shipping: Murray’s ships with reusable chilled gel packs.
"All of the products are top-end products, from a full wheel of Jasper Hill's Harbison cheese to the Jan's Farmhouse Cranberry Pistachio Crisps to a full bottle of salty Marcona almonds." — Siobhan Wallace, Editor
Best Budget: Hickory Farms Thank You Treats Gift Box
Between add-ons and shipping, sending a small gift box can easily cost a pretty penny. But the all-purpose Thank You Treats box from Hickory Farms is just the ticket for those on a budget.
The 1.39-pound box is filled with classic savory treats, including Hickory Farms’ signature summer beef sausage, smoked Gouda cheese, and farmhouse cheddar cheese. Top off the snacks with sweet hot mustard on toasted crackers and finish with dark chocolate sea salt caramels.
This may not be an over-the-top box, but the presentation is still pleasing. Taysha, our Editorial Director, said it arrived with "each item nestled in its intended place." And while you might not want to gift this to a cheese connoisseur, the affordable gift basket will definitely be a winner with some. "This is a pretty standard spread, with approachable flavors for those who might be on the pickier side or new to cheese-tasting," Taysha commented. She particularly liked the gouda cheese and sweet hot mustard. Her one complaint was that she wished for more crackers.
Includes: Signature Beef Summer Sausage, Farmhouse Cheddar, Smoked Gouda Blend, Sweet Hot Mustard, Golden Toasted Crackers, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels
Shipping: This item cannot ship to HI, US territories, or APO/FPO/DPO, and delivery is not guaranteed on the weekends.
"This board is nothing fancy, but it's precisely what some people like, and you can't beat the price. I especially enjoyed the Gouda cheese and sweet hot mustard, which were delightful atop one of the crispy crackers." — Taysha Murtaugh, Editorial Director
Best Chocolate: Vosges Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection
A box of chocolates is a classic option, but Vosges takes it a step further with this luxe 16-piece truffle box. This option merges truffles from four of Vosges' collections (Exotic, Italian, Groove, and Aztec) to give your giftee a truly unique tasting experience.
Each box contains truffles that range from 62% to 75% cacao and has flavors—like aged balsamic vinegar, matcha, fennel, cinnamon, and more—that will impress. "These chocolates were the fanciest chocolates I've ever received. They're almost too pretty to eat," Taylor, our Associate Commerce Editor, said. She thought these truffles were a great option for someone that doesn't want to indulge in chocolate that's too sweet or overpowering.
Includes: 16 dark chocolate truffles ranging from 62% to 75% cacao
Shipping: Each box is shipped with a cold pack to make sure your chocolate doesn't melt in transit.
"They were really chic, each with a vibrant peppering of flavor on top: matcha, paprika, coconut ash, and more. If I had to pick just one way to describe them, it would be that they look expensive." — Taylor Rock, Editor
Best Coffee: Bean Box World Coffee Tour
For the true coffee lovers in your life, you can't go wrong with a sampling from some of the best coffee-producing regions in the world, like Vietnam and Nicaragua. The World Coffee Tour gift basket features 16 1.8-ounce bags of curated coffees that have been specially selected by the experts at Bean Box and roasted by award-winning roasters. You can choose whole bean or ground for your bags, and they each include tasting notes and brewing tips.
In addition to a nice variety in taste—everything from earthy to fruit-forward to decadent chocolate—the bags come with cute messages (like, "Love at first sip" and "Good morning, sunshine") that truly make this feel like a personalized gift. "I appreciate the paper packaging, informative labels, and the caramels tossed in for tasting," said Taysha, our Commerce Editorial Director.
You'll work your way around the world, making this a gift that lasts a while, but just remember each bag isn't enough to brew a full pot. Our editor gave the coffees the highest marks for fresh smell and taste, though, so running out is the only real downside.
Includes: (16) 1.8-ounce bags of coffee from around the world, tasting notes, brewing tips, artisan treats
Shipping: Free shipping in the U.S.; if timing is an issue, you can send the gift via email and the recipient can redeem instantly
"As a coffee lover, I would be thrilled to receive this gift that keeps giving every morning." — Taysha Murtaugh, Editorial Director
Best Cheese: Jasper Hill Farm Cheese Tasting Box
We've always been big fans of Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont, and this box continues to prove that the farm's cheese cellars always turn out stellar products. Mary Kate, our Senior Commerce Editor, tested the "Merrill's Top Pick" variety of the Jasper Hill Farm Cheese Tasting Box, which contains five different cheeses: Little Hosmer ( a Brie-style cheese), Harbison (a soft-ripened, tree-bark wrapped cheese), Cabot Clouthbound (a mature cheddar cheese), Bridgman Blue (a blue cheese with notes of cow's and goat's milk), and Alpha Tolman (a savory mountain cheese).
Each individually wrapped cheese comes with a serving or pairing suggestion. "For example, Jasper Hill Farm recommends pairing the Little Hosmer with cider or riesling," she said. "I went with cider and it was a divine combination."
Includes: Little Hosmer, Harbison, Cabot Clouthbound, Bridgman Blue, and Alpha Tolman
Shipping: Each box ships in a padded, insulated sleeve surrounded by ice packs.
"All of the cheese was exceptional—and quite different. I honestly couldn't pick a favorite, and I think that was my favorite part. There was a cheese for every occasion, pairing, and mood. This would be a great gift for someone who truly appreciates cheese or someone who likes to entertain, because it came with plenty of variety for a great cheeseboard." — Mary Kate Hoban, Associate Editorial Director
Best Vegetable Gift Basket: Melissa’s Produce Baby Veggie Gift Basket
When you need a gift for a workout fiend or want to help out new parents with some ingredients, a gift basket full of fresh vegetables is an alternative choice to fresh fruit.
California-based Melissa’s Produce is known for freshness, and this 7-pound box, ordered through Goldbelly, is no exception. Our Associate Commerce Editor, Fran, told us that these veggies looked like they were straight from the farm—with soil remnants and all. Luckily, the package also included Melissa's Fruit & Veggie Wash so she was able to clean everything before putting it away.
The produce in this basket will vary based on availability and seasonality. Fran's box included baby French carrots, pearl onions, summer green squash, yellow sunburst squash, French beans, baby red beets, baby zucchini, gemstone potatoes, and Easter Egg radishes, from various farms in Mexico and Idaho.
Includes: Artichokes, Beets, Variety Radishes, Turnips, Kohlrabi, Potatoes, Romanesco Cauliflower, Eggplant, Squashes, Leeks, Carrots
Shipping: Ships Monday through Wednesday of each week. Orders cannot be shipped to P.O. boxes.
"I'm not a baby carrot person, but these ones did not taste at all like grocery store baby carrots. I prefer carrots peeled, so after I washed and peeled them, I just ate them fresh. They were delicious! Crunchy and slightly sweet (but not too much). [The carrots] were my favorite, closely followed by the French beans." — Fran Sales, Associate Editor
Best Custom: Knack Gift Sets
Many places allow some customization to your gift, but fully custom baskets are for when you want to send something a little more personal. Knack allows just that—and also allows customers to expand beyond food and flowers.
Knack starts you with general ideas, whether it's a care package, a thank you gift, or a gift for a celebration, before walking you through the different options. Gifters are able to not only send personalized cards, but can also send recorded messages. Each gift gets its own gift page where the recipient can learn about the producers.
In addition to the gift set ideas, you can shop by theme or ethos like women-led, handmade, small businesses, and sustainable.
We sent our Commerce Producer, Rachel, Parmesan and Chive Raincoast Cheese Crisps, a small marble cheese board, Jonboy Fleur de Sel Caramels, and Dark Chocolate Cocoa SkinnyDipped Almonds. She was impressed by the quality of the products, especially the marble cheese board. "It's very beautiful and a nice surprise to include," she said.
Includes: Items vary based on your personal selections.
Shipping: Gift baskets ship out Monday through Friday.
"Everything tasted good. The cheese crisps were simple, the caramels were decadent, and the chocolate almonds were the perfect amount of sweetness." — Rachel Lee, Associate Editor
Best Tea: Tea Forte Tea Chest Classic Blends Collection
Tea is a comforting gift for anyone, year-round. This Classic Blend tea samplers gift basket from Tea Forte combines a selection of black, white, and green teas that will introduce a curious tea lover to new flavors.
Each box contains 40 tea infusers that cover 20 different flavors. Options range from classic Earl Grey to fruity Green Mango Peach. And while we love a hot cup of tea on a cold day, our Senior Editor, Adriana, was most impressed with the packaging. "The packaging is a whole experience in of itself," she said. She admired how each tea was packaged in individual, gold-lined boxes and how each infuser was transparent "to show the quality of the leaves inside." Adriana did note that she doesn't think this gift would be right for a "serious tea connoisseur," but we think it would be perfect for someone who wants to explore the world of tea more than the basic cup of English Breakfast.
Includes: 40 tea infusers with two each of the following flavors: Earl Grey, Orchid Vanilla, Ginger Lemongrass, English Breakfast, Chamomile Citron, African Solstice, Black Currant, Formosa Oolong, Citrus Mint, Jasmine Green, Bombay Chai, White Ambrosia, Sencha, Estate Darjeeling, White Ginger Pear, Raspberry Nectar, Green Mango Peach, Hazelnut Truffle, Lemon Sorbetti, Blueberry Merlot
Shipping: Available to ship immediately.
"Overall, this is a really fun box. It turns tea brewing into a whole experience. The packaging is both aesthetically pleasing and extremely useful." — Adriana Velez, Senior Editor
Best Wine: Wine.com 90 Point Red Wine Trio & Vintage Styled Gift Basket
Great wine gift baskets should not only have a few bottles of wine but also enough snacks for a nice evening with friends. This basket from Wine.com checks both boxes with three bottles of private label wine and various noshes to enjoy along with them.
The three bottles in this basket—a 2018 Chateau de Landiras, a 2019 Martin Ray Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and a 2017 Bodegas Breca Old Vines Garnacha—all scored above a 90 on Wine.com's 100-point wine rating scale. That means that all of these bottles are considered to be at least "outstanding" by Wine.com's wine critic, Wilfred Wong, and to tasters at publications like Decanter and Wine Spectator. Our own wine, beer, and spirits expert, Prairie Rose, enjoyed the entire selection and even made pairings from the included snacks.
"I tried the savory items like the nuts, cheese, and bruschetta with the Spanish rioja, and the chocolate truffles and brownie cookies with the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The last wine, a French Bordeaux, went beautifully with both the cashew toffee and the trail mix," she said.
Includes: 2018 Chateau de Landiras, 2019 Martin Ray Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 Bodegas Breca Old Vines Garnacha, Valley Lahvosh Sesame Round Crackers, Sonoma Pepper Jack Cheese Spread, Nonni’s Bruschetta Italian Toast, Bella Campagna Whole Mixed Olives, Creative Snacks Hot Honey Crunch Mix, Pirouline Chocolate Hazelnut Wafer Cookies, Enstrom Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee, Godiva Lava Cake Truffles, Mr. Brownie Chocolate Brownie, Golden Walnut, Walnut Flavored Cookies, Lindt Lindor Milk Truffles, Maxim's Milk Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts, Sheila G's Brownie Brittle Chocolate Chip
Shipping: Shipping is limited to certain states, because of alcohol laws.
"I was impressed with the basket overall. The wine selection was especially nice. It's a varied assortment of quality picks. I think, for the price, this makes for a very good gift for the red wine lovers in your life." — Prairie Rose Free, Editor
Best Sweets: Magnolia Bakery Best of Magnolia Bakery Small Sampler Pack
Magnolia Bakery is a New York City institution, and its cupcakes and banana pudding are particularly famous. With the help of Goldbelly, you can send these beloved desserts to friends, family, and coworkers anywhere in the United States. Whether you know someone who loves a good sweet or you want to surprise someone who is missing NYC and could use a sweet taste of nostalgia, this Best of Bakery Sampler Pack will not disappoint.
It comes with two large Classic Banana Pudding Cups, which can each serve up to two people, and two delectable cupcakes, a chocolate with chocolate buttercream and vanilla with vanilla buttercream. Our Commerce Producer Alice was wowed by the taste of all the treats: "The cake part of the cupcakes was flavorful and a good level of moist. There was a lot of icing," she said. Plus, even though this is labeled the "small" sampler, she was impressed with the size of the desserts.
The cupcakes and pudding come packaged inside a temperature-controlled foam box with ice packs. While everything arrived fresh, our producer did note that the cupcakes were slightly damaged in transit—a common risk when it comes to shipping baked goods. Still, any true sweet lover knows it's the taste that counts: "Taking away initial presentation, this was a delicious gift box that satisfied my sweet tooth," she concluded.
Includes: (2) 16-ounce Classic Banana Pudding Cups, (1) Chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream, (1) Vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream
Shipping: Ships Monday-Friday each week; no deliveries on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday
"There were two containers of banana pudding that were sweet, but didn't feel artificial." — Alice Sungurov, Producer
Best Gluten-Free: Baked By Melissa The Mac Macarons
Baked By Melissa is famous for its picture-perfect bite-sized treats, and The Mac Macarons assortment comes with six delicious, gluten-free flavors: sugar cookie, cookie dough, double chocolate, snickerdoodle, red velvet, and salted caramel. Made with almond flour, these are ideal for anyone on your list who has a gluten sensitivity (but keep in mind this means they contain nuts).
"The double-stuffed meringue-based treats, which are about 1-inch in diameter each, are loaded with sweetness, though not cloyingly sweet," Collier, our Food and Drink Review Editor, said. "For how bite-sized they are, they're definitely rich and satiated a sugar craving." She also appreciated that you can freeze them in their packaging for two weeks to preserve them and they will stay fresh.
You can choose packages of 25, 50, or 100 macarons to send anywhere nationwide, and because of the size of the treats and the custom packaging, our editor said they arrived in perfect condition.
Includes: 25, 50, or 100 bite-sized macarons
Shipping: Nationwide shipping; for next-day arrival, order Monday-Friday by 2 pm; Sunday arrival only available in select areas
"It doesn't look very fancy by any means, but it looks like it's ready to gift and neatly wrapped to ship anywhere—and full of color. What did look fancy were the actual macarons! They each looked like a work of art with detail and an assortment of colors." — Collier Sutter, Food and Drink Review Editor
Best Nuts: Harry & David "Nut'n But Love for You" Gift Crate
Nuts are often thrown into gift baskets as an afterthought, and for some people, they are truly the main event. For those who can't get enough of that salty (and savory) snacking, the "Nut'n But Love for You" Gift Crate makes a wonderful surprise. The adorably named wooden crate comes with individually wrapped 4-ounce packages of five varieties of nuts: jumbo cashews, roasted in-shell pistachios, roasted almonds, pecans, and mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans). This also makes a fantastic host or hostess gift because they can be served alongside wine, cheese, or any other appetizer.
Victoria, our Editorial Project Manner, said the package arrived in great condition (this is a gift that you don't have to worry about spoiling for a while if you aren't sure when the recipient will be home). Keep in mind that nuts are small so the presentation inside the gift box isn't overwhelming. Still, good things come in small packages and she said all five nut options tasted good. Three are salty and two are unsalted. The gift basket is on the pricier side, but we still think a true nut lover will appreciate the variety, quality, and thoughtfulness.
Includes: 4 ounces each of jumbo cashews, roasted in-shell pistachios, roasted almonds, pecans, mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Shipping: Available to ship now
"All of the nuts tasted good. They are very salty, with two of the five packages being unsalted." — Victoria Heydt, Editorial Project Manager
The tested-and-approved Harry & David Grand Favorites Gift Basket has something for everyone, as it includes a delicious array of fruit, meat, cheese, and more. However, if you're shopping for someone who loves chocolate, get them the Vosges Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection for a great collection of truffles.
How We Tested
We bought every gift basket on this list and sent each one to a different editor at home. We asked everyone to evaluate the shipping process, the variety of the items in the basket, the value for what they received, the freshness of the food, the presentation, and the size. The two most important questions we had to ask ourselves were "Would you be happy if you received this basket as a gift?" and "Would you actually spend the money to send this to someone else?" If the answer was no to either, we wouldn't include the basket on our list. Thankfully, we had done hours of research before deciding what to test, so all of the baskets we tried passed our review with flying colors.
What to Look for in a Gift Basket
Gift baskets often take more time to ship because many are assembled to order. Also, some gift baskets can only be shipped and delivered during the week due to the inclusion of perishables. Be sure to check processing and shipping times before ordering to ensure they’ll get there in time. If you're ordering something that includes more delicate items, like cupcakes, you should be aware that they could get damaged (visually) in transport.
Gift baskets come in all shapes and sizes, but you'll definitely want to read the "What's Included" list carefully. Some gift baskets are super niche—all cheese or all nuts, for example—and others include a variety of items with a theme—like breakfast treats. Decide whether you'd rather gift someone larger quantities of a favorite food/drink or give them a wide selection to sample.
Gift baskets tend to be expensive because they include many expertly curated items. If you’re on a budget, look for smaller gift baskets that curate a singular type of item—fruit or chocolate, perhaps. But, if you have a larger budget, you may be able to select a gift basket with a variety of items, including wine, cheese, and other specialty goods. Consider how much you would pay for the individual items in the basket and then factor in the convenience of a pre-packaged selection, the presentation, and the uniqueness of the items (maybe the basket includes specialty items you can't find easily elsewhere).
Perishability and Freshness
If your gift basket includes perishables, be sure to coordinate with the recipient. It would be a shame to send a generous cooler full of cheese, only to discover they are on vacation. Likewise, perishability can also affect shipping and delivery. In some instances, these items cannot be shipped or delivered on weekends. Research where food items ship from and how often to get a sense of how fresh they will be upon arrival. You can also read our reviews, as we evaluated the freshness of all the items in the gift baskets when they arrived on our doorsteps.
Because these are gifts, the visual appeal is extremely important. Will your recipient feel special receiving the basket? How the items are packaged makes a big impression and can take a gift basket from mediocre to outstanding.
What are the most popular types of gift baskets?
There is an incredible variety of gift baskets available. Popular ones include snacks and foods, wine and cheese, gourmet candies and chocolate, holiday-themed goodies, spa care, and much more.
How can I customize a gift basket?
Many retailers allow customizable options. Some may let you swap out a few items for something else, add on extras, include a personalized gift message, or even embroider names onto items. Check for customization options in your online order.
How much do gift baskets cost?
The cost of a gift basket entirely depends on what’s included within it. Gourmet items, like wines and artisan cheeses or chocolates, will likely cost more. There are budget-friendly gift baskets available that collect store-bought items. Size is also a factor. Smaller gift baskets will be more affordable than larger ones, for example.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This gift guide was written by Julia Warren, the VP of Commerce for The Spruce Eats. Julia has over a decade of experience writing about food and the best kitchen products available. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute.
Allison Wignall, who updated this article, is a writer who focuses on food and travel. During her globetrotting she has tasted some of the sweetest confections–from macarons in Paris to fresh gourmet chocolates in Ecuador. Her work has been featured in publications, such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.