I don’t know how we got here, but gifting season is upon us once again! I did a lot of “research” this past year buying fun food-related stuff on the internet, so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite new finds and some tried and true favorite gift ideas for foodies into one comprehensive gift guide. Hopefully this list serves you well this holiday season and beyond!
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I’ve linked online versions of these gift ideas below, but even if that particular item or vendor isn’t a good fit for you, hopefully it will get those gift ideas churning in your head and inspire some really great gifts this season!
Gifts Under $10
International Snacks – It is so much fun trying snacks from other countries. New flavors, new colors, new textures, it’s just such an adventure. Gather together a few fun and exciting snacks, place them in a stocking, gift bag, or gift box, and you’ve got an easy gift that anyone will love. You can find international snacks at your local international grocery store, or if you have a World Market nearby, they tons of fun foods from all around the world (all snacks in the photo above are from World Market).
Cute Mugs – A cut mug makes your daily coffee or tea ritual so much more special. The mug alone is a great gift, or you can stuff it with a couple of packets of hot cocoa, a few tea bags, or maybe a tea strainer or swizzle stick. (mugs picture above: mushroom mug, good vibes only mug, line art mug, blue glazed mug-not available online).
Homemade Treats – Homemade treats don’t cost a lot but they have big value because they’re made with your time and lovey. Here are some ideas for homemade treats that can be packaged and gifted:
Specialty Herbs and Spices – This gift can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you want to make it. To buy herbs and spices on a budget, go to international markets or markets where you can buy spices in bulk, which will allow you to purchase just a tablespoon or two of a variety of spices.
Gifts Under $25
Bacon Bin – This cute little gadget is perfect for the bacon lover in your life! It’s a silicone container that allows you to easily and safely catch and strain your bacon grease. Once cool, you can store the grease in the container for use in other recipes, or easily scoop/squeeze to discard (but please don’t discard because it’s SO delicious).
Tea Press – This beautifully simple tea press is great for people who appreciate a minimal aesthetic. I love watching the tea leaves swirl around in the glass carafe as they brew! Make it a set by including a package of your favorite loose leaf tea.
Pour Over Coffee Cup – I’m loving this single-serving glass mug with metal mesh pour-over filter. Not only is it really pretty, but it makes a great cup of coffee and is super easy to clean. This one is great for anyone who loves a good cup of coffee, but doesn’t need to brew a whole pot!
Cheese Board Set – Charcuterie boards and cheese boards are all the rage right now, so give the cheese lover in your life this cute little cheese set complete with cutting board and three cheese knives. It’s the perfect size for an everyday cheese board. You know, those nights when you want to treat yourself to something ✨special✨ and you just have cheese and bread for dinner? I know that’s not just me…
Ramp Up Mini Collection – I’m obsessed with vinegar, so when this set crossed my feed I immediately bought it. The set contains four raw and unfiltered flavored vinegars that taste good on everything. It’s a set of four small 2oz. bottles, but you only need a splash on your food to really brighten things up. (P.S. the bottles in the photo are not all full because I’ve been using them. 😅)
Jubilee (Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking) by Toni Tipton-Martin – This cookbook is so much more than just a cookbook. It’s a history lesson, a culinary journey through time and geography, a visual masterpiece, and a compilation of some of the most delicious food you’ll ever eat. It’s beautiful enough to be on a coffee table, useful enough to be kept in the kitchen, and important enough to read cover to cover. Get this book for the food, culture, and history lover in your life!
101 Asian Dishes you Need to Cook Before You Die by Jet Tila – If you’ve been interested in learning to cook classic Asian dishes, but are intimidated, get this book! I love how simple, straightforward, and approachable all the recipes are. I’m really looking forward to working my way through this book.
A New Take on Cake by Anne Byrn – You might know Anne from her best-selling Cake Mix Doctor cookbooks, or from my previous recommendations for her books Skillet Love and American Cake. Her most recent book, A New Take on Cake, takes a fresh modern look at all the amazing things you can make with a box of cake mix (175 of them, to be exact). Her creativity is inspiring and the photos in this book will make you want to spend your Saturdays in the kitchen! It’s perfect for your family member or friend with a sweet tooth! …or if you just want to convince someone to bake for you. ;)
The Well Plated Cookbook: Fast, Healthy Recipes You’ll Want to Eat by Erin Clarke – Erin is a friend and fellow food blogger over at WellPlated.com, so I know how much heart and hard work she puts into the food she creates. After receiving my copy of this book, I immediately thought of about five people I wanted to gift a copy to. The recipes are simple, fresh, and absolutely fabulous!
Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul by Jenné Claiborne – The name says it all! I’ve been following Jenne on Instagram for a while (@sweetpotatosoul), so I was so excited to see her publish a cookbook. If you’ve got a vegan foodie on your list, get them this book!
Gifts Under $50
Fly by Jing Triple Threat Set – I’ve recently become obsessed with chili crisp, a Chinese condiment that is spicy, savory, and absolutely delicious on everything. So when I started to see ads for this chili crisp made by Fly By Jing, you know I ordered it on the spot. Not only did I try their Sichuan Chili Crisp, but I went ahead and ordered their Triple Threat Set, which also comes with their Zhong Sauce and Mala Spice Mix. Yep, I’m addicted to all three (Mala spice on popcorn is 💯). This set would make the perfect gift for anyone you know that loves spicy food!
Orchids and Sweet Tea: Plant-Forward Recipes with Jamaican Flavor & Southern Charm by Shanika Graham-White – Shanika is another one of my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram (@orchidsnsweettea_) because I love her flavor combinations and her photography gives me all the feels. 🥰 I bought her book as soon as it went on pre-order last spring, and was not disappointed! This is a great gift for someone who loves traditional comfort foods but also appreciates incorporating a few extra plants into their meals.
Caldo Linen Apron – I didn’t think I was one to wear an apron until my sister gave me one for Christmas a few years back. Now I wear it all. the. time. This linen apron from Caldo is wonderfully lightweight, which is nice when working in a hot kitchen, and has that luxurious linen feel. With plenty of pockets to hold cell phones, pens, and thermometers, this gift will get tons of use!
Anyday Starter Set – This incredibly well-made and versatile cookware is microwave safe (yes, even with the metal rim), dishwasher safe, oven safe (up to 500ºF for the bowl, 400ºF for the lid), and freezer safe. It’s basically the epitome of cook-serve-store cookware. I love this as a gift for anyone who doesn’t have access to a full kitchen (college dorms, RVs, long hotel stays) because it really opens up your cooking options when all you have is a microwave. Their website has tons of microwave recipes ideas, plus a lot of educational material to get you started, so it’s perfect for the new cook. You can get 10% for new email subscribers, which will make the starter set under $50, or use the code BF20 to get 20% off store-wide from 11/26-11/29.
Bushwick Kitchen Threes Knees Spicy Trio – I actually included this trio in my gift guide from 2015, but I’m including it again because I still love it! The gift set includes spicy honey, spicy maple syrup, and gochujang sriracha. It’s basically a spicy lover’s dream!
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – This is probably my favorite piece of cookware that I own. It makes a great gift because this is one of those pieces of cookware that will literally last a lifetime (and maybe even be passed down to your offspring). It can go from the stovetop to the oven, and the shape makes it versatile enough to use for soups and stews to pasta and rice dishes. You can use it for everything.
The Couplet Honey Set – I fell in love with Brightland’s olive oil and stayed for their honey. If you have a friend or family member who loves experiencing the subtleties of flavor in things like wine, olive oil, or honey, they’re going to love this honey from Hawaii and California. Sometimes it’s little luxuries like this that turn your everyday life, like your morning peanut butter toast or afternoon tea, into a special occasion.
Bubble Tea Kit – This bubble tea kit makes a great gift for teenagers or anyone who loves bubble tea, really. I know that *I* had a lot of fun using it to make bubble tea when I was photographing the items for this gift guide, and I already can’t wait to make more and try different flavors! If you want to make your own kit, you can source the ingredients at your local Asian grocery store and follow a recipe online, like this recipe from Healthy Nibbles and Bits.
Gifts Under $100
The Duo by Brightland – *My top pick* This is probably my favorite pandemic internet purchase and will probably be my gift to just about everyone I know this year. If you’ve only ever had inexpensive grocery store olive oil, this will blow. your. mind. This olive oil is so good that I literally want to just drink it by the spoonful (I may or may not actually do this on a regular basis…). And their vinegars are just as great. These little spouts are super helpful to prevent drips, too.
Hedley & Bennett Kitchen Apron – Hedley & Bennet aprons are like the Cadillac of kitchen aprons. They’re made with heavy-duty canvas material, they’re extremely well made, and offer a lifetime guarantee. I bought the “egg yolk” version of their classic Carryall style apron because it matches the Budget Bytes branding, but they have so many cute colors and designs to choose from! Definitely get this apron for anyone who likes to feel like a professional chef in their own kitchen. They’re currently offering 20% off for first-time email subscribers, and they always have a lot in their sale section, as well.
Bushwick Kitchen Trees Knees Maple Set – As if maple syrup couldn’t get any better, Bushwick Kitchen went and infused their maple syrup with flavor (coffee, spicy, or cinnamon). Drizzling a little bit of this maple syrup into your coffee, onto some breakfast sausage, a bowl of vanilla ice cream, or on a freshly made biscuit is just *heaven*.
Vintage Collection Enamelware – If you know someone who loves the white enamelware bakeware and dishes that I use in my recipe photographs, this is where you can get it! Pieces range in price $9 on up, so you can buy individual pieces or build a custom gift set. Some of my favorite pieces are the enamelware mugs, roasting pan, and dinner plates.
Picking out cool gifts for our friends and family members is fun, but there is no gift as important as helping someone in need. For that reason, I always include charitable giving in my list of holiday to-dos. And remember, giving doesn’t always have to be a monetary or a physical donation, sometimes donating your time through volunteering is more valuable than anything. Here are some of my favorite food-related charities that can help make someone’s holiday season a little brighter:
If you have a great gift idea for the food lover in your life, share in the comments below!