clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

43 Restaurant Gift Cards to Keep Distant Cousins Fed

Last-minute gifts don’t get any easier than this

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Two gold forks sandwich a small gold wrapped gift with ribbon bow. Gts / Shutterstock

Gift giving is said to be an art, one marked by arcane etiquette, discreet wishlist sleuthing, and taking a hard look at one’s relationships and priorities. The holidays can be a wonderful time to express your love and appreciation through this art — but also: sometimes you just need a gift, any gift, because the gift exchange is tomorrow and you don’t know your wife’s second cousin’s interests well enough to be able to pick a thoughtful present that perfectly distills the essence of Cousin Greg or whatever his name is!!

Should you find yourself in such a pinch during this holiday season, do not eschew humble gift card. Cards, vouchers, and certificates can get a bad rap, often seen as neither fanciful nor personal enough, but that is in fact part of their intrinsic appeal. While they won’t ever be the star gift, they will also never languish, untouched, in the corner of a closet for the better part of a decade. Gift cards are the workhorse of the gift giving world, the ultimate lesson in last-resort, desperation-driven practicality.

Here are just a few options for keeping those distant cousins, reticent coworkers, and loose acquaintances fed and watered through the power of a gift card:

For people who stan grocery stores

Trader Joe’s: Physical plastic gift card available, only for purchase in brick-and-mortar stores.

Whole Foods: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Wegmans: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

Publix: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

Wawa: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

For people who don’t want you to talk to them before they’ve had their morning java

Dunkin’: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Starbucks: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

La Colombe: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

Stumptown: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Blue Bottle Coffee: Physical gift cards available, only in brick-and-mortar stores or by emailing support@bluebottlecoffee.com.

For people who want a coffee break without the coffee

Kung Fu Tea: Electronic gift cards available.

Boba Guys: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

Jamba: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Nékter Juice Bar: Physical and electronic (only in the app) gift cards available.

Sweetwaters: Electronic gift cards available.

For people who are done with office desk lunches

Sweetgreen: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

Dig Inn: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

Cava: Physical (only in brick-and-mortar stores) and electronic gift cards available.

Le Pain Quotidien: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

Panera Bread: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Noodles & Company: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Potbelly: Physical (only in brick-and-mortar stores) and electronic (only in the app) gift cards available.

Chipotle: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Blaze Pizza: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Shake Shack: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

For people looking to sit and enjoy the scene for a couple hours

Fogo de Chão: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Benihana: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Waffle House: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

The Cheesecake Factory: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Red Lobster: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

P.F. Chang’s: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

California Pizza Kitchen: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

OpenTable Gift Card Marketplace: A searchable repository of nearby restaurants that offer gift cards.

For people with a sweet tooth and a good dentist

Milk Bar: Electronic gift cards available.

Insomnia Cookies: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Krispy Kreme: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Salt & Straw: Physical gift cards available, can be ordered online.

16 Handles: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

For people who never want to leave their house

But with a caveat: With this gift, it’s recommended that you also include cash for a tip as many of these services are known for stiffing delivery people. While it might not be realistic to talk people out of using delivery, you can at least make it easier for them to do it somewhat ethically.

Goldbelly: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Caviar: Electronic gift cards available.

Seamless / Grubhub: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Uber Eats: Physical and electronic gift cards available.

Postmates: Electronic gift cards available.

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day