Let’s face it, gifting food has gotten a bad rap, pun intended. From unappealing fruit baskets, to room temperature cheese logs, and, of course, the dreaded fruit cake, food-related gifts are often a bit lackluster. But that doesn’t mean they have to be. Check out this handy gift guide for every foodie on your holiday list.
The Nostalgic Foodie
Taste can instantly transport you to your happiest memories. A true Philly cheesesteak, fresh from Pat’s. A piping hot slice of Chicago deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s. The famous New York PieCaken.
Thanks to modern technology, we can have these happy memories shipped nationwide. So, if you can’t be with all of your family this holiday season, why not send them a little piece of home?
Goldbelly is a convenient site that includes iconic favorites from places around the country. Search by food type, region, and more. However, don’t count out ordering directly from your local favorites. More restaurants than ever are offering mailable food options.
The Farm to Table Foodie
For the foodie on your list who wants their ingredients as fresh and local as possible, check out some grow kits that can be used indoors year-round. Okay, this one technically isn’t food, at least not right away, but the long term pay-off makes it a gift that keeps on giving. Modern Sprout makes a Smart Growhouse you can control from an app on your phone. It’s a convenient way to keep your favorite herbs within arm’s reach. On the other hand, if space is no issue, check out the Farm models from Aerogarden, which hold up to 24 plants. These are recommended only for those with a passion for gardening, as many reviewers noted that the plants “grow like crazy” and need to be used and pruned frequently to keep them from growing into the bulbs. Looking for something a bit more unique and low maintenance? Check out the shiitake mushroom log from Uncommon Goods instead. The biggest requirement is that it sits somewhere dark for an extended period of time.
The Weird Food Junkie
We all have that one friend who gets weird food-obsessed, like the time your BFF ate hot pickles for months on end. Seriously. If this seems oddly familiar, check out Mouth for a curated pickle of the month selection.
If pickles don’t check off any boxes on your Christmas list, how about bread and cheese?
Boudin’s 12 Month Specialty Bread Club brings a piece of San Francisco history directly to your door. Boudin has been baking sourdough since 1849 and garners rave reviews from locals and tourists alike.
Saxelby Cheesemongers will keep you stocked for charcuterie night with 1.5 lbs of cheese sent monthly. They also accommodate cheese preferences (i.e. no blue cheese, no goat cheese, no raw milk, etc…), so even picky cheese lovers can enjoy this gift. Check out Saxelby’s Library of Cheese to see what the box might include.
If one food group sounds too repetitive, Mouth also makes an Indie States of America box, which allows you to eat your way through independent foodie companies of America, region by region.
Just make sure you know your audience, lest you end up in a National Lampoon’s Christmas “jelly of the month club” situation.
For the seafood fanatic, send lobster.
Lobstergram has been in the lobster delivery business for over 30 years and is arguably the most gift oriented, offering complete meals, side dishes, and desserts. They even offer an extensive Bloody Mary Bar kit.
Live Maine lobster boils, with all of the extra goodies, delivered to your door? Yes, please. Everything you need to enjoy the east coast staple in the comfort of your own home. Guaranteed to give you bonfire beach vibes, who cares if it’s December?
The Countdown to Christmas Foodie
Advent calendars have come a long way since the days of waxy little chocolate shapes in cardboard frames. Tea, wine, beer, and even hot sauce. The advent calendar has become a sought-out staple for the holidays, and companies across around the world have thrown their hats in the ring. Plus, the daily treat takes the edge off of the hectic holiday season. Hurry up, they tend to sell out quickly.
Not sure where to start? Williams Sonoma offers Chuck’s Luxury Advent Calendar, which includes everything from olive oil and vanilla extract to preserves and candy.
There are also a variety of advent gift boxes, like this rustic wooden house from Pottery Barn. The best part is that you can personally curate them with goodies you know they’ll love.
If you’re running short on time, try a 12 Days of Christmas countdown instead.
The Family Foodie
Handed down through generations, a priceless one-of-a-kind gift, the family cookbook. Holidays away from the family can be tough, but a personalized gift filled with recipes, stories, and photos is the perfect way to feel close despite the distance. Build a basket to go along with the cookbook that includes non-perishable recipe items. This works particularly well for baked goods, where you can portion out dry ingredients in mason jars. Be creative and have fun passing along family gems. Plus, it gives you an excuse to call the relatives and pry out their best kept secrets.
Meet the Writer!
Desiree Mulkey is a freelance writer and storyteller with a passion for food, health and wellness, and the great outdoors. She is also a proud rescue dog mom to her hiking companion, Louie.