The 33 Best Gifts (2021) For Food People

Photograph by Emma Fishman

For the aunt with the fake orchids

Help her do better. Gift her a dried arrangement in one of these sculptural papier mâche vessels made from recycled paper. They’ll last just as long as fake flowers but are a serious home decor upgrade.

Serax Papier Mâche Vessels

For the friend who is celebrating minimalism’s demise

If you know someone (me) who is done with white-on-cream-on-white, these napkins from Kenyan brand Siafu Home are anything but beige. Their Lesso set is crafted from vintage fabric, while the Congolese napkins are hand screen printed on 100% cotton and finished with a contrasting scalloped edge.

Congolese Napkins (Set of 6)

For your brother who starts every sentence with “When I studied abroad in Florence…”

We’ve never met a panettone we didn’t like, but Olivieri 1882’s are in a class of their own. Even your bro will be impressed. Go with the classic, or wild out with triple chocolate or salted caramel apricot. On the off chance you have any left over, get ready for the best French toast of your life.

For your chic-as-shit sister-in-law

Modern and minimalist, this steel Hanukkah menorah comes in elegant neutral tones like charcoal and off-white as well as navy blue, rust red, and Dijonnaise yellow.

For your dad who still buys ground coffee

For better coffee, you need to be grinding your beans at home, DAD. This incredibly handsome countertop burr grinder from Fellow will take his Aeropress, pour-over, or French press to the next level. If Pops is an espresso drinker, though, this gadget isn’t for him; get the Mazzer Mini.

Photograph by Emma Fishman

For the modernist cook

No shade to those heritage French brands, but these sleek, enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens designed by chef Sergio Herman for Serax have us feeling weak at the knees. These are heirloom pieces that will have your future grandkids remarking on your exquisite taste.

For the organization enthusiast

This brass dabba from Diaspora Co. keeps your giftee’s most-used spices neat and within reach instead of perilously stacked on a shelf next to the stove. Each piece is hand-spun by a single craftsman in Bangalore who has been honing his trade for over 25 years, and it comes with your choice of seven jars of high-quality, ethically-sourced spices (including Diaspora’s best-selling turmeric).

For your Deadhead uncle or your Zoomer cousin

This 53” long tie-dyed runner, made from reclaimed denim linen, is the rare gift that’s appropriate for the olds and the youngs alike.

For the friend who is into loose leaf tea and extreme drama

You know the one. Hand-thrown on a wheel, this red stoneware tea strainer and mug ensemble is from Montréal-based ceramics studio Léa & Nicolas.

For your cottagecore nibling

Let them live out their pastoral fantasies with this extremely charming picnic basket from KAZI Goods, handwoven in Ghana.

For the most flamboyant person you know

This literal chalice is giving me strong debauched Roman Emperor energy. Made of lapis lazuli, serpentine, and brass, the Onix Cup from Colombian designer Natalia Criado is the perfect gift for the lovable Nero in your life.

Natalia Criado Marble Cup

For your best friend who moved to LA (but left her heart in New York)

It’s a classic for a reason. Carnegie Deli’s 8” Cheesecake hits just the right textural spot between dense and creamy, and it’s not overly sweet.

Carnegie Deli 8” Cheesecake

For the cook who will not be tied down

It’s no secret that we’re Team Cross-Back Apron over at BA—they’re comfy, flattering, and not all that dissimilar to the shapeless smocks I wear out to dinner. Hand-loomed in Guatemala, these utility aprons from MINNA are made of heavy weight cotton and come in cheery colors like mint green and golden honey.

For your host but actually for yourself

If you’re traveling for the holidays, gift your host a generously sized mug from Mudwitch and then steal it for yourself every morning. San Francisco ceramicist Viviana Matsuda’s wares sell out quickly, so keep an eye on their Instagram for info about drops and restocks.

For your FoodTok-obsessed husband

If it’s trending, he wants it, and he won’t stop talking about the GE Opal nugget ice maker. It’s a chunk of change, but if we had to guess, there will be some good deals on the good ice come Black Friday.

GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker

Photograph by Emma Fishman

For your boo who has been dropping hints about jewelry

Gemstones? In this economy? If a real emerald isn’t in the cards, give your SO a box of these crunchy-on-the-outside, gummy-on-the-inside vegan sweets that are dupes for precious stones. They come in flavors like yuzu and hibiscus-cranberry, are made with agar-agar—that seaweed-derived gel that you may remember from preparing petri dishes in science class—and are elegantly packaged in luxe jewelry boxes.

Crystal Treat Jewelry Box

From our sponsor: For the sister whose motto is ABH (Always Be Hydrating)

LifeStraw’s glass water pitcher filters out over 30 very un-delicious contaminants including microplastics, PFAs, lead, and bacteria. Unlike some clunky competitors, it’s attractive enough to go from fridge to tabletop. Sponsored by LifeStraw.

For the study buddy who got you through Archeology 101

The markings on these printed linen napkins are inspired by First Nations pottery and tools unearthed in Southern Manitoba, Canada. For Anishinaabe designer Destiny Seymour, these patterns belong not only in museums, frozen in time, but also at the tables where we gather with loved ones.

For your weirdest family member

Hand blown in Brooklyn by artist Grace Whiteside, these glass tumblers come in any array of colors, from moody plum to highlighter yellow, and feature bulbous bubbles begging to be booped.

For your pal who wants to be Oprah

You get a salmon belly! You get a salmon belly! A 5-pound box of smoked king salmon bellies from Alaska Gold Seafood fishermen’s co-op contains somewhere between 22 and 45 individual pieces, depending on size, so your friend can give them out with generous abandon. Cut from wild-caught king salmon and cured with sugar, salt, and soy sauce, there’s a reason this rich, fatty cut is often called “salmon candy.”

Smoked King Salmon Bellies

For your grandma who always asks what Chris Morocco, “that nice young man from the YouTube,” is up to

What he’s up to is cooking with the Hestan NanoBond titanium sauté pan, his current favorite piece of cookware. The price tag is hefty, but it’s the most durable stainless steel pan we’ve used.

For the home barista

A three month subscription to Trade Coffee would make a fine gift, but for something a little more festive, opt for this celebration box. The initial package will arrive with three bags—light, medium, and dark roast—from one of Trade’s partner roasters like Alma Coffee, a Georgia-based roaster run by a fifth generation coffee farmer and a military veteran. After sampling all three, your lucky recipient can take a quiz, and Trade will send them a fourth bag based on their preferences.

Trade Coffee Celebration Box

For your mother-in-law with the killer glassware collection

Two natural winemakers (Chris Brockway and Bridget Leary of California’s Broc Cellars) and a furniture designer (Rafi Ajl of The Long Confidence) walk into a glass blowing workshop (Glow Glass Studio), and out come these gorgeous, low-profile wine glasses. I use mine for small slurps of Frappato and also nips of whiskey and hot tea.

For the hostess with vintage sensibilities

Pop some lambrusco and fire up the fondue pot. Tory Burch’s Spongeware Pitcher is apparently inspired by speckled and splotchy 19th century stoneware, but it’s giving me straight 70s vibes all the way.

Photo by Emma Fishman

For the person with the backyard citrus tree

Use this footed clay tray, handcrafted in Colombia, to hold lemons or fresh avocados—or to serve a party-sized amount of guacamole.

For the kawaii cook

Making rice just got cuter. This ceramic Japanese rice cooker (from Hario, which makes some of our favorite coffee gear) whistles like a tea kettle when it’s time to take it off the flame. Measuring is a snap as well—add enough rice to reach the first line on the interior of the pot, then water up to the second line and you’re good to go.

For the friend with the giant burn mark on their wood table

Made in Uganda from sustainably harvested acacia wood and cowhorn, this trivet from xN Studio is as lovely as it is functional.

Photo by Emma Fishman

For the flower child

Floral tea company The Qi sells dried flowers like rose and chrysanthemum that bloom in hot water. It’d be a shame to hide the blossoms behind the porcelain walls of a regular teapot, so they collaborated with designer Sophie Lou Jacobsen on this borosilicate glass teapot, which is a stunner in its own right. It’s just as good for coffee or hojicha as it is for herbal and floral brews.

For the person who better be willing to share

These small-batch, limited edition mezcals from OAX Original are meant to be sipped and savored, but we’d consider buying them for the gorg ceramic bottles alone. The Tepeztate expression, distilled from marbled agaves that take 25 years to reach maturity, is especially exceptional.

For the dinner party artist

This 60” x 60” square of organic cotton from Brooklyn design studio Fefo looks like a painter’s drop cloth, dyed with splotches of radicchio and rose. Use it as a tablecloth in the winter and a picnic blanket come summer.

For the star gazer who needs a salad

Lucky are the greens that get served in these porcelain serving bowls, each hand-cast in Nashville by Sarah Cihat. The marbling pattern is reminiscent of a moody night sky.

For yourself, after your last house guest has left

Put on every last piece of jewelry you own, pop open a bag of potato chips, and sip a sopping wet martini out of this softly angular, mouth blown Italian coupe from East Fork and R+D Lab. Self-care, baby.

Prefer to go the DIY gift route? There’s always cookies:

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