Whether you’re buying for someone who loves to cook, loves to eat – or both – here are some awesome foodie gift ideas for a wide range of budgets. And, since we’re all cooking at home more often these days, why not buy something to make that experience fun and unique?
We all have different budgets, tastes and timelines (raise your hand if you’ve picked up a gift on the way to the party). I’ll list some amazing ideas from the following categories:
- Edible or drinkable – great for last-minute and budget-friendly gifts
- Tools and gadgets – perfect for the home chef
- Big gifts / splurges – these are for that special someone who you’re going to drop at least a couple hundo on.
If you’ve read my previous posts, you may recognize certain themes in this list: functionality, practicality, quality, and value. (Hmm, when I read those words I think “boring”.) In any case, I would be thrilled to receive anything on this list (full disclosure: I own almost every item and love each one), and I think the foodie or epicurean in your life would, too.
Expert-Approved Foodie Gift Ideas
A lot of these items are recommended by America’s Test Kitchen, and that’s no accident. Bridget, Julia, and the ATK gang are kitchen and cooking experts, their equipment testing process is thorough and rigorous, and I trust their suggestions.
On a final note – these recommendations are purely my own. The reality is, I’ve used (or consumed) almost everything on this list for years, and so I’m a giant fangirl. I just love them and think others might, too!
10 Awesome Foodie Gift Ideas
The list is in (mostly) ascending order by price. Happy shopping!
Mouth-Watering Food and Drink Gift Ideas
1. Gourmet salt, nut butter, olive oil, vinegar, or chocolate
Bonus points if it’s local and/or sustainably-produced. I like to stick with something that’s not straight sugar – we’ll all get enough candy this month without buying it for each other as gifts! My go-to providers are JEM Organics Nut Butters and Jacobsen Salt Co. $5 and up at local retailers.
For chocolate, go dark and high quality. Dark chocolate, meaning 70% or higher cacao content – is decadent and more nutritious – fiber, protein, less sugar … it’s practically health food. 😉 My current favorites are from Seahorse Chocolate (here in Bend) and Endangered Species 88% Cocoa, aka “Panther”. It is amazingly velvety in texture and super deep in chocolate flavor. $3 and up.
2. Drinkable Gifts: Wine, Beer and Spirits
When all else fails, stick with these consumable crowd-pleasers. Since we live in Oregon, my go-to wine is Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, local winter beer from Bend, or Crater Lake Distillery spirits. Almost every region (or even city) has a local wine, beer, or spirit – or all three! Simply head to your friendly liquor or grocery store and a friendly associate can help you find the perfect beverage. $10 and up.
Gadget and Tool Gifts for a Home Chef
3. Stocking Stuffer and Best Value: Kuhn Rikon vegetable peeler set
Your vegetable peeling woes will be over when you purchase these no-frills, manual and very capable peelers. Before finding these in 2014, I would not even buy a whole butternut squash. They come in packs of three for $12-15. Did someone say “stocking stuffers”?!
4. Stocking Stuffer Paring Knives: Victorinox Classic Paring Knife Set
This set includes a classic straight edge, serrated paring knife, and serrated tomato knife – all extremely well-made for the price, and in a trio of fun colors. Around $25
5. For the All-Day Coffee Drinker: Thermos 16-oz Vacuum Insulated Travel Tumbler
My coffee stays hot ALL DAY in this amazing cylinder of joy-giving engineering. When sealed, it never leaks (I’ve dropped it at least a dozen times, and it has the dents to prove it). Keeps cold stuff cold, too. Accept no substitutes. Around $30
6. For the Meat-Eater or Grill-Master: Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Not just for meat, this handy-dandy thermometer reliably and nearly-instantly gives the temperature of candy, your prime rib, or just the ambient air. It’s magnetic, so you can stick it to your fridge! So fun! $25 – 30
7. For the One-Pan Meal Fan: An Awesome Non-Stick Fry Pan
Anyone who cooks probably uses a frying pan a few times a week, and I’m always shocked at how much people are willing to put up with from less-than-great frying pans. Help your friends out and get them a slippery pan that gets the job done and never requires elbow-grease scouring afterwards. OXO 12-inch fry pan. $40 – 50
8. For Any Home Chef: Victorinox 8” chef’s knife – Favorite Foodie Gift Idea!
The essential tool for anyone who prepares food ever. This knife is the bedrock of my kitchen tools for eight years – I wish I could take it with me when I travel! Straight, sharp, and ergonomically sound, I’ve used mine extensively every day for over five years. Every once in a while, give it some TLC (ie, sharpen it), and it will last forever. You might be tempted to spend more and get a fancier knife, but don’t. $40 – 50
9. Splurge: Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker
Splurge alert! If you (or, ahem, your friend) drink coffee, the Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker will change your life! Gone will be the days you feel like you need to “go out” to get a perfect cup of coffee. Justify this purchase based on the money you will save by not going to a coffee shop! Visit the Moccamaster website for all the technical details – in short, the Dutch have perfected coffee-making (to go with their Stroopwafels apparently – it’s a conspiracy!) and now you can too. $300 – 340
10. Splurge: Breville the Smart Oven®
Splurge alert! I do not actually own this item, but it is on my list this year! The Breville Smart Oven gets rave reviews from professional and home chefs alike.
Want to make cookies, proof some bread, or roast a chicken without firing up your oven? The answer to all your desires is here in a sleek, countertop appliance that makes using regular toaster oven seem oh, so 2000. $159 (for the mini) – $400.
Ready to buy a gift for your foodie?
I hope this list of my favorite food and kitchen things inspires your gift-giving this year, even if the recipient is yourself. After reading this post, you should have several gift ideas for your favorite foodie that fit any budget, taste or kitchen skill level.
Please share your own ideas or foodie gift-giving victories in the comments below!