The 20 Best Food Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Eat, drink and be merry.

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November 16, 2021
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Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, so why not bring that same convivial and celebratory spirit to your holiday gift-giving? This year, there’s no shortage of delectable and giftable goodies, whether your food-loving gift recipient is a boss baker, cocktail connoisseur, fearless home cook or avid restaurant go-er. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite holiday food gifts, from centerpiece-worthy layer cakes to popcorn advent calendars to a spice collection that lives up to its "hot stuff" moniker.

Of all the FarmSteady’s DIY food kits, we can’t get enough of the doughnut baking mixes. Perennial favorites like lemon lavender and chocolate glazed are rounded out with seasonal additions, like the holiday-ready gingerbread. The gingerbread doughnut baking mix gets its toasty flavors from a nutmeg and cinnamon spice mix and candied ginger pieces. The top-notch mix and easy instructions make anyone feel like a donut pro, making this a fun and delicious gift for kids as well as adults (milk, eggs and butter not included). Bundle the mix with a reusable silicone baking mold for picture-worthy results (though you can also use a muffin tin with balled up foil for a makeshift mold).

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This is the ideal gift for the person who waxes poetic about that lobster roll they ate in Maine or pines after their favorite Kansas City barbecue. Goldbelly’s monthly "best of" subscription box features a curated line-up of sought-after treats and eats from some of the country’s most lauded chefs, restaurants, butchers, bakeries and taste makers. Whether it’s a sweet or savory selection, it’s always guaranteed to delight and impress. Think, legendary muffuletta from New Orleans’ Central Grocery Box, artisan ice cream from San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe and Pat’s King of Steaks original Philly cheesesteaks. Each box serves four people (sometimes more), so be sure you stay on your recipient’s nice list so you can enjoy the treats too!

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Sweet treats plus savory popcorn add up to 12 days of holiday deliciousness! For those who like more of a snack factor to accompany their advent calendar delight, Popcorn Factory delivers with a super fun number. The popcorn flavors skew both savory (cheese, white cheddar, ranch) and sweet (caramel, drizzled caramel, s’mores), and there’s a stellar line-up of sweet goodies too. Look for shortbread, chocolate balls, a moon mallow sandwich cake, and a trio of festive, holiday-inspired chocolate covered pretzels, including one topped with crushed peppermint. Pair your treat with an afternoon cuppa for a festive pick-me-up, or with your morning Joe, because, why not?

Looking for more advent calendars? Check out our list of the best advent calendars you can buy this holiday season.

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We can never get enough chocolate, but jcoco’s stunning color-blocked sets make for a particularly chic, Instagram-worthy gift. And the brand’s thoughtfully sourced Peruvian cacao blends and inventive flavor combinations deliver on taste, too. Standouts include a single varietal Contamana Cacao in 85% dark chocolate, black fig pistachio, and a Peruvian dark with cacao nibs, which gives it fantastic crunch and a lingering finish. If your giftee is really serious about chocolate or you want to create an interactive gifting experience, go for the Tasting Experience Box. This gift set includes five, 3-ounce envelopes of chocolate, plus a tasting wheel and radar chart to guide your tasting, explore the culinary driven-flavors (hello cayenne Veracruz orange) and offer pairing suggestions. Plus, 10% of jcoco’s net profits benefit food bank partners—to the tune of nearly 4 million servings of food donated to date.

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When Caroline Ragsdale Reutter served a homemade caramel layer cake at her son’s christening and started getting orders from across the country, she never dreamed that it would come to be known as the "world’s best caramel cake." The Southern-style cake, featuring seven layers of classic yellow cake topped and filled with creamy caramel icing is a sure bet, as is the seven-layer chocolate bliss, but we’re really swooning over the dreamy coconut cloud cake. The cake features impossibly airy layers of delicate yellow cake filled and topped with a coconut icing that’s mixed with fresh coconut. The cake is available in a four- or seven-layer version; either way, you’ll be on cloud nine.

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Spicewalla has earned a reputation for its small-batch spices (even Oprah’s a fan!), freshly roasted to order at its HQ in Asheville, North Carolina. Keep things toasty this holiday season with their Hot Stuff collection, a 6-pack of spices that celebrates chili peppers from around the globe. It includes tins of chili flakes, including urfa, nora and gochugaru; Aleppo pepper flakes; ancho chili powder; and chipotle chili powder. Try adding Spanish nora chili flakes to impart an earthy-sweet spiciness to soups and stews, jazz up weeknight fajitas with the chipotle chili powder, make a Korean rice bowl with the gochugaru flakes, or try the raisin-y sweetness of urfa chili flakes in a batch of braised short ribs or gooey brownies (seriously).

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High West lays claim to being Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870 and the world’s only ski-in gastro-distillery. Now it’s making history with what it hopes is the world’s spiciest rye. The name and inclusion of an exclamation point on High West’s Double Rye label is apt—the spirit is crafted to be twice as spicy and features a barrel aged blend of two rye whiskeys. The spicy two-year-old rye whiskey (sourced by High West) is produced on a column still and is described as tasting of cinnamon, clove, anise, eucalyptus buttons and evergreen "gin-like" flavors. The older rye, distilled by High West, made using a pot, adds a bold richness with a hint of caramel sweetness and woody vanilla to tame the "bite" of the younger rye. We imagine it’d make for a stellar addition to winter cocktails such as a Manhattan or Old Fashioned or sipped neat as an apres ski aperitif that’ll warm you to your toes.

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A beautiful bottle of olive oil always makes for a lovely gift, but for something more unexpected, turn to Portuguese olive oil. Esporao, a lauded Portuguese winery and acclaimed olive oil producer, are making olive oils that are sustainably raised, processed and milled, using a pioneering technique overseen by oleologist Ana Carillho. The oils have garnered international acclaim, pulling in gold medals from the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition (yes, it’s a thing!). One such winner is the Cordovil, a silky oil that boasts tasting notes of green apple, artichoke, and green peppers and a pleasant, nutty finish. This is one to serve alongside bread for dipping, mix into salad dressings or drizzle over pasta or grilled fish.

$20 | Portugalia Marketplace

For three generations, Kansas City-based confectioner Andrés has been upholding Swiss candy- and chocolate-making traditions. Today, André’s grandson, René Bollier, a pastry chef and chocolatier who trained under his grandfather and father, runs the company along with his wife, Nancy. Taste tradition with the Swiss heritage gift box. Inside, you’ll find fan favorites like a hazelnut-nougat-filled milk chocolate bar and dark chocolate almonds, along with specialty treats such as marzipan, leckerli cookies and the piece de resistance, a wedge of Engadiner nut torte. It features layers of buttery sugar dough filled with roasted pecans and creamy caramel all enrobed in chocolate and eats like the grown-up candy bar of your dreams.

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When former monk, celebrity and best-selling author Jay Shetty, and his wife, Radhi Shetty, founded Sama, their mission was to create a tea that helps fill your day with moments of peace, presence and purpose. All the teas are as delicious as they are functional, crafted with natural ingredients and adaptogens, herbs lauded for their stress-relieving properties. Jay, who drinks three to four cups of tea daily, bookends his day with two of his favorites. He starts with a cup of Awaken & Energize, a bergamot earl grey blend made with red rooibos, guayusa and reishi mushroom, then winds down with Calm & Relax, a lavender rose chamomile blend made with cardamom and tulsi. There are four different brews, but we love the packaging of the sampler box, which features four teas and opens like a book, making the brew selection feel particularly special.

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These are pecans with a pedigree: the Georgia orchards that supply Schermer Pecans have been in the family for more than 100 years. Each fall harvest, the pecans are freshly shelled and shipped nationwide, just in time for holiday baking and cooking (hello pecan pie!). The aptly named baker’s box comes in three sizes, small, medium and large, so order accordingly depending on your gift recipient’s baking (or snacking) volume. The small gift box includes one 16-ounce bag each of fancy pecan halves and medium pecan pieces, all shipped in a lovely, branded gift box. We won’t tell if you decide to keep a bag for yourself, wink, wink.

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Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., a family-run company based in the spirited cities of Charleston, South Carolina and Lexington, Kentucky, is on a mission to reinvent classic American bar staples. And they’re delivering on that promise with a line of signature tonics, mixers and bitters that are beloved by professional and home bartenders alike. This kit has all the accompaniments you need to create one of our favorite warming winter cocktails, the Old Fashioned, including Demerara syrup (instead of a sugar cube), aromatic bitters and the best bourbon cocktail cherries we’ve tasted yet (rumor has it they’re sourced from a from a top-notch Oregon purveyor), which also make a stellar ice cream topping. The elegant gift box is also packaged with a graduated jigger, which makes a handsome addition to any home barware collection. Gift it with a favorite bottle of bourbon, rye or dark rum.

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Every holiday season, Gundlach Bundschu, the sustainable, family-owned Sonoma winery, outdoes itself with a wine-and-food gift set jam-packed with delectable delicacies. Two food-friendly wines anchor the thoughtfully packed gift box, including the 2020 Rhinefarm Rosé, a crowd-pleasing blend of Pinot Noir and Sangiovese with crisp layers of fruit, and the 2019 Pinot Noir, with notes of Bing cherries, dried cranberry and plums. We love the charcuterie-and-cheese board inspiration vibe of the set, too. Use the accompanying olivewood cheese board to create your own happy hour (or shall we say snacky hour?) spread. There are sea salt flatbread bites from Rustic Bakery, Duroc salami from Fatted Calf, Bellwether Farms’ Carmody cheese, nose-clearing mustard from Mustard & Co and a take it sweet-or-savory tomato jam from Girl Meets Dirt. Basically, everything you need to tide you over till the main feasting event.

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Danée Shows claims Mexican-American as her heritage but her love of Indian filter coffee runs deep, thanks to an introduction from her Indian-American husband. When their own personal supply of Indian filter coffee ran out, Shows founded Ministry of Kaapi to source and sell specialty Indian coffee and share the South Indian ritual of filter coffee. We love the O.G. Travel Set, which comes with an 8-ounce bag of the current roasting and a super lightweight, travel-friendly stainless steel Indian coffee filter (add a note at checkout to have your beans pre-ground and calibrated for the filter). If your gift recipient is team iced coffee, we can’t get enough of Ministry of Kaapi’s Decoction. This coffee concentrate is brewed in small batches in a traditional South Indian coffee filter, yielding a brew that’s stronger than espresso yet super smooth.

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When Anne F. Grossman founded Rebel Daughter Cookies, she wanted every cookie to taste like the best one you’ve ever had. And they do. The cookies highlight quality ingredients sourced from around the globe and flavor combinations that are as clever as they are craveable. It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite, so gift the crowd favorites sampler, which includes The Original, a chocolate chunk stunner; Churro, like the namesake doughnut meets a Snickerdoodle; S’more, Please, laced with graham crackers, chocolate and pockets of gooey marshmallow; The Blackout, a chocolate lover’s dream; White Unicorn, a sweet-and-fruity sugar cookie with a rainbow white chocolate Nerds center; and Fluffernutter Forever, baked with homemade peanut butter fudge, chocolate chunks and gobs of gooey marshmallow. Holiday flavors drop in December: Berry & Bright, a cranberry-orange oatmeal spice cookie with sweet coconut flakes and white chocolate, and Rebel Without a Claus, a chocolate cookie chockful of peppermint, chocolate chunks and marshmallows.

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The popularity of Ghia, a non-alcoholic aperitif, has expanded from Dry January enthusiasm to year-round obsession. We love the flavor profile—earthy botanicals, a kick of citrus, and light florals—which makes it equally at home in a spritz or a spirit-free sour. And the surrealist design on the packaging is tres chic, no? This November, Ghia launches Le Works, a keepsake holiday box with a bottle of Ghia and holiday-ready treats such as a mini panettone and natural chocolate hazelnut spread. If you’re all about the sipping experience, opt for the Greatest Sips cocktail box, which comes with a bottle of Ghia, pour spouts, edible flowers in a keepsake jar and festive holiday coasters.

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For the pasta aficionado in your life, Sfoglini’s line of field-to-bowl noodles are tops. All the pastas are made from premium North American-grown grains, including golden semolina flour, and whole grain flours such as hard red, rye, einkorn and spelt sourced from New York farmers. The pasta is made according to Italian techniques, which includes extruding the pasta dough through traditional bronze dies and plates, yielding the noodles’ signature rough-hewn texture (all the better for sauces to cling to!). The pasta is then slow-dried overnight, which helps to preserve nutrients and maximize flavor. Opt for the 'best of pasta sampler," which includes a box each of organic semolina trumpets, organic whole grain reginetti, organic Saffron malloreddus, and porcini trumpets. Each box of pasta is accompanied by a recipe card, which include a dreamy ricotta and mint dish to pair with the saffron malloreddus.

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For the home cook who’s stuck in a cooking rut, Momofuku’s ultimate pantry starter pack offers ample inspiration. It’s chockful of Momofuku’s most popular pantry items, all developed after rigorous research and recipe testing in their culinary lab. The umami-packed pantry starter set includes seasoned salts (savory, tingly, spicy) and three kinds of chili crunch, including the original and two brand-new additions. There’s the extra spicy chili crunch, which doubles down on the heat factor with dried habanero peppers, and truffle chili crunch, made with restaurant-quality black truffles. If your giftee is more likely to stock their pantry with ramen, opt for the Noodle Lover's Box. There are five noodle-and-sauce packages each of the three flavors (for a total of three pounds of noodles!), including Soy and Scallion Noodles, Spicy Soy Noodles, and Tingly Chili Wavy Noodles, all packaged in a branded box with accompanying chopsticks.

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We firmly believe that frozen treats are in season year-round, which is why we have no qualms including mochi ice cream in a holiday gift guide. New York-based company Mochidoki’s tea and cookies themed holiday box includes everything you need to create a stunning dessert spread at home, including an engraved bamboo serving board. The elegant box features bite-size treats from the signature collection, including best-sellers such as salted caramel, vanilla chip and black sesame. It also includes a four-piece box each of brand-new flavors, including Hojicha, a toasted green tea ice cream with hints of cocoa and caramel, and Seoul Cookie, starring persimmon and cinnamon ice cream laced with ginger snap cookies, a nod to a traditional Korean dessert punch called sujeonggwa. There are a variety of gluten-free and vegan offerings, should you want to customize your own box.

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Schaller & Weber has been New York City’s go-to butcher for German sausages and meat delicacies for decades. The company’s butcher legacy and craftsmanship dates back nearly a century, and the proof is in the pudding—er, make that truffle bratwurst. This commemorative gift crate is chockful of luxe, celebration-worthy goodies, including truffle bratwurst (made in collaboration with The Truffleist), pâté made with black truffles, and Landjäger, a semi-dried German sausage. The mix is rounded out with Fine Cheese Co. walnut, honey and extra virgin olive oil crackers, plus an assortment of sweets, including Herman the German Bavarian fruit candy, Lekerlee lebkuchen (a traditional holiday spiced cookie) and Niederegger marzipan.

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