Looking for the perfect gift to give your favorite food lover? Here’s our 2020 foodie gift guide, packed with our favorite culinary sweets and treats to gift this year.
For The Chocoholic:
Chicago’s Chocolate queen Katrina Markoff is back with an inspiring new chocolate healer collection ($80) for the holidays. Powerful, energetic plants and adaptogens like reishi muhsrooms, blue algae, guajillo chile, damiana and rose tap into the transformative magic of cacao, encouraging mindfulness and positive energy with each bite. Vosges’ ritual collection chocolates ($85) are formulated to harness joy, protection or self-love and the ever popular chocolate advent calendar ($145) returns too, with mini exotic bars, cranberry toffee and peppermint gnomes hiding in each drawer.
Jcoco Chocolate is debuting three new flavors for the holidays – an 85% single-origin dark chocolate from Quillabamba, Peru, orange blossom espresso and mango plantain milk chocolate. The new bars are all avialble in 1oz and 3oz packages ($2.50 – $9) for easy grab-and-go snacking. For every three ounces of Jcoco Chocolate sold, one fresh serving of food is donated to the brand’s food security partners: Northwest Harvest, The Food Bank for NYC, and the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
For The Local Gourmand:
Foxtrot Big Foodie Gift Box + Cozy Hot Chocolate
Chicago’s premier specialty grocer is offering several different personalized gift boxes featuring some of Chicago’s favorite food artisans. The Big Foodie Gift Box ($100) includes Monteverde pasta, J.P. Graziano hot giardiniera, Smoke Daddy BBQ sauce, Bang Bang granola and a special Foxtrot collaboration coffee roasted by Metric Coffee, among other sweet and savory treats. The Cozy Hot Chocolate ($35) package features Mindy’s hot chocolate kit with marshmallow crispy cakes and a diner mug – everything you need to indulge on a freezing winter day.
For The Health Nut:
Chicago-based Emily Griffith first tried sprouted buckwheat in an acai bowl on the beach in Sydney, Australia. She launched Lil Bucks in 2018 as the first sprouted buckwheat brand in the US, elevating breakfast bowls and smoothies with this sustainable, organic, grain-free seed. These snacks make a great stocking stuffer as a healthy alternative to sugary granolas and cereals. From Black Friday to December 20, Lil Bucks is giving back with Crunchy Christmas – for each bag of Lil Bucks sold ($6.99), they’ll donate a bag to the Chicago Food Depository, making healthy food more accessible to Chicago neighborhoods facing food insecurity.
For The Meat Lover:
Gibsons Restaurant Group is delivering their famous steaks nationwide for the first time with their new online retail store. All the steaks are grassfed, free-range Australian cattle, raised without antibiotics in southeast Australia and wet-aged for a minimum of 75 days. All steak is shipped fresh, never frozen, and the Gold Coast box ($190) includes New York strip steaks, ribeyes and steakhouse burgers, along with Gibsons famous seasoning salt. Chef Daniel Huebschmann even walks you through grilling tips to cook restaurant quality steak at home.
For The Sweet Tooth:
This November, Stan’s Donuts is launching a pecan heart donut ($4.99/ea) in partnership with Chicago-based nonprofit Cal’s Angels. The danish is spread with a buttery almond paste and pecan filling before being rolled up and baked, not fried. It’s topped with streusel, pecan pieces and vanilla glaze for the finishing touch fresh out of the oven. A portion of proceeds from each heart sold will benefit pediatric cancer research and awareness. Spread the love by ordering local delivery via Stan’s website.
For The Eco-Friendly Foodie:
KADOO’s artfully curated gift boxes emphasize artisan-made, sustainable, organic and natural ingredients and The Festivity gift box ($80) is no exception, including cookies, chocolate, ginger snap cookies and artisanal popcorn. Founders Juanita Dharmazi and Yudhist Saridjo source globally, prioritizing local makers and women-owned businesses. Each box is wrapped in Japanese Furoshiki fabric, promoting reusability. During the December holidays, they will be donating 10% of sales to the American Forest, planting trees in line with their mission of reducing paper waste. Use code BETTER10 at checkout for 10% off.
For The Culinary Kid:
Eat2explore culinary activity kits ($24.95) teach children fundamental cooking skills and encourage creativity while exploring cultures and cuisines from around the world. Each box is themed to a different country – Mexico, Israel, India, Singapore, France – including recipe cards, non-perishable ingredients, activity sheets, cooking tools and more. Twenty percent of proceeds from the new NYC-themed box in collaboration with chefs Daniel Humm, Natasha Pickowicz and Cedric Vongerichten go to Rethink, a non-profit committed to created a more sustainable food system.
For The Cheesehead:
We all know Wisconsin is home to world-class dairy, but did you know that it’s the only state that requires a license to make cheese? Fromagination has put together a Wisconsin cheese gift set ($80) that includes Dunbarton Blue, Marieke Gouda and Pleasant Ridge Reserve along with everything you need for a proper tasting. Pair the trio of cheese with Wisconsin rye crackers, pear honey ginger preserves, cranberry relish, spiced pecans and Underground Meats’ Wisconsin old fashioned salami. Purchasing the gift box gives you an option to include a donation to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.
For The Snack Lover:
Made locally on the North Shore of Chicago, B’s Gourmet Nuts has a simple approach to their creations: identify the highest quality ingredients, prepare with great precision and present in an artful manner. Flavors include truffled cashews and rosemary cashews, with a hint of heat. Even better, a portion of their net proceeds are donated to the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook. Prices start at $10.
More from Better:
- World Kindness Day: 13 Simple Acts of Kindness to Make Someone’s Day
- 30 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This November
- 12 Thanksgiving Movies to Keep You in the Holiday Spirit
Amber Gibson spends 340 nights a year in hotels searching for the latest and greatest in the travel industry. Her writing and photographs have appeared in print, online, and on the radio for outlets including Four Seasons Magazine, NPR, Saveur, Departures, Rhapsody, Hemispheres, American Way, Private Air, Wine Folly, Plate, Chicago Magazine, Tasting Table, and Serious Eats. She graduated as valedictorian from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and received a fellowship to attend the 2017 Wine Writers Symposium at Meadowood Napa Valley. Champagne, dark chocolate, and gelato are her biggest weaknesses. She also admires and supports CAASE in Chicago. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.