For every time there’s been a successful gift exchange, there are eight stories of stress, sheer panic, and endless searches for the perfect item. Whether it’s for your parents, an old roommate, a game of white elephant at your yoga studio, or the babysitter, it can be a tricky dance to find a present that’s the right price, and has just enough of that “I thought of this gift well in advance” touch.
And now, Eater has put together our annual holiday gift guide for the food enthusiasts in your life. There are options for the home, edible gifts to give (never a bad idea), choices for the beverage fanatic, and a few things in between — all tested by Eater editors. We’ve also got city-by-city recommendations, guides to our favorite cookbooks this year, a roundup of the best kitchen gadgets, and a newsletter where more gift ideas will land weekly right in your inbox. Check it out, and if there’s still a food obsessive on your list who’s got you stumped, email us all the details for a chance to get an individualized Eater-approved recommendation.
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A minimalist tray in a variety of on-trend colors, ideal for matchbooks, keys, and condiment packets.
A fruit-inspired geometric pot that will look good whether or not it's actually filled with sugar. This pleasing pear's stem doubles as a perfectly portioned sugar spoon.
Your favorite home cook can now happily binge-watch The Great British Bake-Off while attempting her own icebox cake (just watch out for freezer sabotage).
Upgrade instant ramen, delivery Thai, and takeout salads with this elegant set of forks, knives, and spoons.
A place for everything, and everything in its place — a fork for pickles, and no more pickle juice-coated fingers.
Dark times call for the explosion of color found in this rainbow-hued knife set.
Beloved by professional chefs, the Unicorn pepper grinder will become so essential that you may find yourself packing it in your suitcase next year.
"Bah, humbug" never looked so cute — express your holiday-season mood swings with graphic ceramic mugs.
When does a spoon become art? These brass versions, perfectly fabricated in weight and size, come close.
No one wants to show up to a potluck with sad, flattened cupcakes. Preserve baked goods — and your reputation — with this terrifically handy kitchen container tote.
In white oak and black walnut, these striking cutting boards will lead you boldly into your next dinner party.
No one has to know how much coffee you've had today when you make it in CB2's elegant matte French press.
These sauces — tamarind date and coconut cilantro chutney — add tangy, bright flavors to any home kitchen.
Famous for a variety of unusual flavors, including jet-black coconut ash, Morgenstern's ice cream is essential for any serious ice cream lover.
Know someone who loves steakhouses but can't make it to NYC? Give the gift of 12 ounces of extra-thick-cut bacon from Peter Luger, one of America's best-known restaurants.
Manresa Bread's sweet, flaky kouign amann, with its dreamy sugary crust, is worth every cent of the spendy $60 price tag. Order this to be the star of any holiday party.
Any serious cook might scoff at prepackaged brown butter, but this high-quality version really is worth buying — it'll bring steak, popcorn, and even toast with a little honey to the next level.
For many food lovers, Allan Benton's Tennessee operation is synonymous with great country ham. Order the hickory-smoked slices — but the bacon is no joke either.
Mars Bars disappeared from grocery store shelves in 2002, and this year they're back — with the original 1932 recipe. Buy a box to dole out some nostalgic cheer.
Creamy-smooth tahini makes everything better. These gift packages present a range of halva flavors, making them a great gift for any gluten-free, vegan, lactose-ambivalent friend.
Everyone knows Magnolia Bakery for its cupcakes, but its banana pudding is the real winner. This year, for the first time, it's available for delivery nationwide.
Tired of buying booze for friends and uncles? Try this smoky soy sauce instead — it's brewed in repurposed bourbon barrels.
For the lazy barbecue enthusiast, this package comes with 12-hour smoked and chopped pork, a bottle of sauce, and even potato rolls.
There's never been a koozie as hip as this one, straight out of Brooklyn and made for tallboys.
Chances are your food-loving friends all miss Lucky Peach, but they'll find a fine replacement in this print magazine about natural wines, heritage foods, and terroir.
For the delicate drinker who likes sparkling wine, but in small doses.
Reaffirm a whiskey drinker’s love with a 147-year-old recipe defined by traces of butterscotch and caramel.
Infused with indigenous spices and botanicals, this dry and spicy rhum is at its bracing best when enjoyed on its own.
The lightweight yet cozy way to carry around (or gift!) a bottle of wine.
Prevent wine-glass misidentification angst with these clever Merino wool discs, sure to brighten up a wintry dinner party.
Stony Hill's 2015 chardonnay comes with touchstone green apple notes and a fresh finish. A 2016 Sonoma County Syrah from Pax has a palate that’s rich, juicy, and dark-fruited.
For the sophisticated cider drinker, a 2016 vintage that's off-dry and a little tannic.
A globally inspired set of teas that includes a delicate oolong from Taiwan and a honey-like black tea from China.
This no-fuss tool will bring anyone's home bartending game to the next level.
For your favorite caffeine fiend who's maybe looking for a new kind of coffee art.
The rare cutlery with praiseworthy design, these durable, smart spoon-fork-knife combos are necessary for frequent travelers.
You, too, can have hot sauce in your bag. Flavors include jalapeno, tequila, and lime; Scotch bonnet and ginger; and red habanero and black coffee.
Slip a couple pods into your pocket for emergency on-the-go spice needs.
This quilted duffle is the perfect size for a weekend getaway — or for transporting several pounds of bananas.
It's lightweight, keeps drinks cold all day long at the beach, and doubles as a Very Cute Purse.
Comfortable and Instagram-worthy enough to lounge on during any sun-soaked holiday. Highly recommended: using an actual electric pump to inflate this.
A variety of snack-tastic enamel pins to dress up that old denim jacket your best friend never takes off.
Who doesn't love doughnuts enough to wear them on their ears?
A cheery addition to any jewelry box, these citrus necklaces are a sure bet for the cousin who isn't quite ready to let go of summer.
Upgrade a friend's stationery with this cute sushi notepad. Bonus: It comes with stickers.
Make any journal entry or letter to Grandma better with taco and jalapeno stamps. Ink pad included.
Do you have a friend who's obsessed with hot dogs? Probably. Give them a print that breaks down the iconic Chicago-style iteration.
These plush toys make taking burgers and fries to bed A-okay. There's a tiny ketchup cup, too.
The office grind will never be boring again.
This graphic novel about a wisecracking diner waitress and the punks, misfits, and hippies who frequent her booths is great for best friends and cool cousins.
Remind everyone that breakfast is the most important meal of the day with this bacon and egg phone case.
Here's a gorgeous, all-encompassing guide to one of the world's most timeless celebratory drinks. The second "volume" is actually a stack of maps of the region.
The magazine that heralds the careers of women in the food world invited some of its most notable voices to contribute recipes to this delightful collection.
Chef and cooking instructor Samin Nosrat explains the fundamentals of cooking by flavor, and then applies the lessons in well-tested, essential recipes.
Journalist Bianca Bosker applies a raised eyebrow to the sometimes elusive, often snobby world of sommeliers, and the resulting book is both entertaining and educational.
Author Michael Twitty has written a definitive memoir-cum-history of black food in the American South, and it's a must-read for curious diners in the U.S. and out.
For farmers market and CSA fans who aren't always sure what to do with the produce they bring home, chef and columnist David Tanis's seasonal guide is a great help.
In what doubles as a cookbook and a call to action, author Julia Turshen summoned some of the greatest voices in the food world to discuss the space between food, politics, and activism. Proceeds will be donated to the ACLU.
An essential primer for cocktail novices and experts looking for an easy-to-reference guide to making a great drink. Brief histories and nods to notable bartenders are a nice touch.
Editor: Sonia Chopra
Writers: Emma Alpern, Patty Diez, Esra Erol, Daniela Galarza, James Park, Jenny Zhang
Photographer: Hannah Whitaker
Art direction: Brittany Holloway-Brown
Special thanks: Ian Carrico, Hillary Dixler, Clifford Endo, Priya Ganapati, Harry Griffin, Chris Haines, Mary Hough, Pete Mall, Taylor Palmer, Chloe Reznikov, David Zhou
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