Searching for the perfect gifts for foodies and food lovers? Sarah’s Cucina Bella can help. Gift guide 2016 features unique, useful and fun ideas for folks of all food interest levels.
Finding the ideal gift for everyone on your list isn’t about hitting the stores early on the day after Thanksgiving — it’s about thought, consideration and matching a present with their personality. When it comes to gifts for foodies and food lovers, there are so many great options out there for folks of all food interests.
Subscription boxes continue to be hot this year — and they aren’t just for snacks and beauty products. From wine to coffee, cooking gear to dinners, there are so many options out there. Some of my favorites introduce recipients to things they otherwise wouldn’t experience — Like Hamptons Lane, which sources authentic cooking gear and seasonings around different themes each month.
And kitchen staples — great cooking vessels, useful tools and modern versions of classics — are always a good option. So, what’s on my favorites list for gifts this year?
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
For those that love wine, and especially love trying wines that may not be on your average liquor store shelf, there’s Winc. With a rotating selection of wines — some with really fun names — there’s much to choose from when ordering. For gifts, you could either choose a few fun wines to send, choose one of the gifts (they combine wine with other fun stuff like candy or rubs for food) or send a gift card so the recipient can choose themselves. It’s super easy to order, and super fun to receive. I tried Winc for the first time recently and loved the selection and the array of four wines I chose.
Cost: Prices start at about $13 for a single bottle presently, but there are more costly options too. Gift boxes start at $50, and gift cards are available too. Tax and shipping not included, although shipping is sometimes free.
Order: Winc.com, Deal alert: Get $22 off 4 bottles of wine + complimentary shipping on 4 or more bottles
For the coffee lovers on your list, a coffee subscription service could be a fun present — especially if they like specialty coffees and hard to find roasts. Driftaway Coffee is a a small-batch coffee roaster that offers mail-based coffee subscriptions. Their hook? The company offers a customized coffee experience. Subscribers start with a “Rise & Grind” kit that allows them to sample several varieties of coffee, and give feedback on preferences. Then, that feedback is used to create a customized order to their tastes.
Cost: Prices start at $36 for subscriptions.
As far as presents go, this one is pretty awesome. GlobeIn is a company with a commitment to social good. To that end, they support artisans around the world by buying their products and tucking them into Artisan Boxes that can be bought separately or as part of a subscription. But the best, best, best part is that you get to read about the artisans that create the goods in your box and how being paid for their trade betters their lives.
Cost: Prepaid monthly subscription begin at $35 per month. Single boxes are $40 and up. Use coupon code WELCOME to save $10 OFF with a 3+ month subscription!
Several years back, a new subscription service reached out to me, wanting to meet for coffee. That quick meeting in a New York cafe made me a fast advocate for Hamptons Lane, a monthly cooking box that comes with the tools (and recipes) to help subscribers explore new cultures through food. With thoughtful planning and metic
Cost: Gift certificates are available for one month, two months, three months, six months and twelve months. They start at $55.
Another subscription service? Yep, and it’s a good one. I adore the snacks in Graze boxes — and so do my kids. This one is great for those on the go like college students, busy professionals and families.
Cost: $11.99/8-snack box; Gift vouchers are available for 3, 5, 10 and 30 boxes (look for the small “gift” link at the bottom of the page)
Le Creuset Braiser
This pan is one of my very favorites. With an enamel interior that makes it naturally nonstick, this cast iron braiser from Le Creuset cooks evenly and is great for everything from Easy Garlicky Chicken and Green Beans Skillet to Chicken Leek Stew with Mashed Potatoes. When I first received this pan as a gift eons ago, I didn’t think I would ever use it. But I did and do — again and again. It’s great for braising — or really, any recipe that needs to go from stove to oven. But I also find it perfect for some of my favorite skillet recipes.
Cost: Prices start at $200 for the 1 1/2-quart size (that’s good for 1-2 people) and go up to about $325 for the 5-quart size (that’s good for about 5 people)
KitchenAid Mini Artisan Stand Mixer
A KitchenAid stand mixer can aid in so many kitchen endeavors — from making cookies to whipping up delicate souffles. And the new KitchenAid Mini Artisan Stand Mixer is perfect for foodies and those who love to cook that live in smaller spaces. The Artisan Mini is 20 percent smaller than the classic KitchenAid stand mixer, and 25 percent lighter too. And with a 3.5-quart bowl, it still can handle good-sized cooking jobs. Best of all? It comes in so many fun colors.
Cost: Prices start at about $329
A Pot for Pasta
For those who love pasta — and my family does — a pasta pot is a great tool to have. The shape and size allow for perfectly cooking pasta, and ones that come with pasta inserts make draining a breeze. The one I bought, which is a huge 12 quarts, can cook pasta for a crowd easily, and it also came with a steamer insert so that I may steam veggies simultaneously. We use it all the time, and I cannot tell you how much we love this pot, which my daughter lovingly dubbed Patricia. That said, the 12-quart size is very large — smaller ones can do the job well too. If you get a pasta pot with inserts as a present, be sure to choose an appropriate size for the cook you’re buying for.
Cost: varies, depending on size, brand and features
Order: Available at many major retailers
Small Gifts for Foodies and Food Lovers
Looking for something a little simpler? These gifts might help.
OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoop
Know someone who loves to bake cookies? Then they need a good cookie scoop. It makes scooping out evenly sized cookies a breeze. Available in three sizes — small, medium and large — this tool is totally life-changing when it comes to scratch-made cookies. And best of all, cleanup is a breeze.
Cost: Prices start at $12.99 for the smallest size.
Order: Available at many major retailers.
Every single home cook should have a Microplane Grater/Zester. Seriously. It’s an unbelievably useful thing. Why? It perfectly zests limes, lemons and other fruits (read: awesome flavor addition) and can also grate cheese into delicate ribbons — very pretty.
Cost: Prices start at $14.99 for the zester size grater.
Order: Available at many major retailers.
OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cups
Years ago, I saw these measuring cups and wanted them so badly. They seemed like the ideal measuring cups — with the measurements visible both from the stop and the side. I ended up receiving a set as a gift, and have happily used them ever since. I have had to replace the two-cup measure (after 10+ years of frequent use, it wore out) but these have been reliable, useful, perfect measuring cups for all my needs. In fact, I own them in five sizes now and use them all with great regularity. This set of three is a good place to start.
Cost: $19.99 for the set of three, but they can be bought individually too.
Order: Available at many major retailers.
Williams-Sonoma Hot Cocoa Mix
Did you know that in the early days of Sarah’s Cucina Bella, when I was trying to make the shift from newspaper reporter to food writer, I did a stint working at Williams-Sonoma? It was fun, and I learned a lot while I was there. But most importantly, I discovered Williams-Sonoma Hot Cocoa Mix, which then came in only two flavors: Classic and Peppermint. The Peppermint was my favorite, but these days with so many more options … well, I might need to do some more sampling. Double Dark and Salted Caramel have since been added to the roster. This hot cocoa mix alone is a wonderful present. Couple it with Williams-Sonoma Marshmallows and it’s doubly awesome.
Cost: Prices start at $19.95 for a single tin, though discounts and package deals are often available.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.