2021 Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Gifts for Foodies

Looking for the perfect thing for the foodie in your life? We’ve got you covered with our 2021 foodie gift guide, packed with can’t-miss presents for your food- and drink-obsessed loved ones!

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven, $799

This portable pizza oven is the real deal — the only one recommended for domestic use by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Any model will make an outstanding pizza, but the new Karu 16 allows multiple fuel options (wood, charcoal, or gas), heats to 950F in 15 minutes, and has a mounted digital thermometer. Add on a pizza peel and you’re good to go.

Ooni Pizza Ovens are available locally at Gordon’s Ace Hardware (Chicago), Crate and Barrel, Bloomingdales, Cost Plus World Market, or pre-order the Karu 16 online.

128 oz. Brushed Copper Keep-It-Carbonated Growler, $259

Photo courtesy of Growler Werks

This copper-plated, gallon-sized pressurized growler is not only gorgeous, but also practical for the beer lover in your life. It will keep beer carbonated for two weeks, so if you have a favorite local brewery that sells by the growler — looking at you, Piece Brewery and Pizzeria and Sketchbook Brewing — you don’t have to worry about your IPA losing its fizz. Works for kombucha, too! Also available in a stainless finish, and in a 64-oz. size.

Truff Variety Pack, $70

Truff Variety Pack photo courtesy of Truff

For the true hot sauce aficionado in your life, a triumvirate of truffle-scented hot sauces: Original, “Hotter” and “White Truff.” Truffled hot sauce, you wonder? Is that a thing? Indeed, it is, and you didn’t know you how much you needed it in your life until now. If you love truffles, but don’t dig the hot sauce, don’t sleep on Truff’s Truffle Mayo and Black Truffle Pomodoro sauce. Or you can always just buy it all.

Event|Full Class or Gift Certificate, price varies

Chef Carrie Nahabedian

Two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Café in Northbrook has long championed her fellow chefs and local farmers, so her newest project should come as no surprise. Event|Full offers personal experiences for people craving direct connections with the people who create — in all senses — the food we love. Maybe it’s a tour of Rick Bayless’ backyard garden ($100), a Private French Cooking Class at Brindille with Chef Carrie Nahabedian ($1,500), or a virtual Fermentation Fundamentals Class with Jackie Gennett of Bushel & Peck. The list is ever-changing, but always exciting.

Estelle Colored Glass Hand-Blown Wine Glasses, $160-175

Photo by Ty Mecham

Food 52 is offering a virtual ombré sunset of stemmed and stemless wine glasses from Estelle Colored Glass this holiday season. Choose smoke, blush, or rose-colored glasses, or opt for a mixed set with two of each color. 10% of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to support farmers across the country through the All for Farmers Coalition by Tillamook. It’s the gift that keeps giving.

Recchiuti Confections’ Sharing Gift Box, $120

Photo courtesy of Recchiuti

Possibly the best chocolatier in the country, this San Francisco company can do no wrong when it comes to all things chocolate. This giant box comes wrapped with a red satin ribbon and includes their Fleur de Del Caramels, the 9-piece Sepia Truffle Box, Cacao Nib & Fleur de Sel Mendiants, Dark Hot Chocolate, Dragée Sampler, and Dark Milk, Semisweet, and Bittersweet Bars. If you order yourself a box of the dark-chocolate-dipped Key Lime Apples, no one else needs to know.

Sam Goldbroch Sharp Co. Bespoke Knives, $500 and up

Sam Goldbroch Sharp Co. Knife

Sam Goldbroch trained as a chef, cooked with some of Chicago’s culinary masters, and then became a chef instructor. The man has some serious knife skills, and set out to create the ultimate bespoke knives for the serious cook. From paring knives to chef knives and Nakiri, these are functional works of art. Goldbroch handmakes these beauties from the intricate handles to the gleaming blades. Let him design a knife for your favorite foodie; this is truly a gift to remember and savor.

Hedley and Bennett Aprons, $45- $120

Photo courtesy of Hedley and Bennett

Any cooking enthusiast — amateur or professional, child or adult — will find something to love among the Hedley and Bennett collection. These aprons are built to last and designed by cooking professionals who understand what’s needed in the kitchen, from sturdy washable fabrics to deep pockets to hold your sharpies and instant-read thermometers. The Smock Apron in red chile salt chambray calls to me, and your Food Channel-obsessed child would simply love the Herb Garden Kid’s Apron.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.’s Anniversary Collection, $90

Photo Courtesy of Point Reyes

Words cannot adequately convey the scrumptiousness of Point Reyes’ cheese selection, so we’ll just leave it at, “OMG Yum!” The Anniversary Collection includes generous wedges of Toma (for a grilled cheese that will knock your socks off), Aged Gouda, Bay Blue, and Original Blue, plus a whole 9-ounce wheel of their bay laurel-topped Quinta and a handy cheese knife.

Burlap & Barrel’s Chef’s Choice Collection, $54

Photo Courtesy of Burlap and Barrel

I’ve been bowled over by the fabulous spices from Burlap & Barrel, a small spice company that’s going places. The spices are all equitably sourced, impeccably fresh, and always intriguing. The six-jar set Chef’s Choice Collection might include Black Urfa Chili from Turkey, Wild Mountain Cumin from Afghanistan, Ground Black Lime from Guatemala, or Buffalo Ginger from Vietnam. If you’re feeling extra generous, gift them with The Complete Collection ($472), an incredible boon for a new kitchen or a thrilling wedding present.

Female Founders Food Collection from Here Here Market, $99

Photo courtesy of Here Here Market

You’ll find over 200 hand-picked products on Here Here Market, a new curated online bazaar featuring artisanal products from Chicago-area culinary creators, all part of a concerted effort to find new sources of revenue during the pandemic. The Female Founders Collection includes Monteverde dried Gnocchetti, Aya Pastry’s granola, Whole-Bean Espresso Blend from Brewpoint Coffee, Masala Chai from Tasting India, Green & Yellow Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes from Tomato Bliss, and much more.

Back to the 2021 Gift Guide

More From Better:

Julie Chernoff, 
Better’s dining editor since its inception in 2007, graduated from Yale University with a degree in English — which she speaks fluently — and added a professional chef’s degree from the California Culinary Academy. She has worked for Boz Scaggs, Rick Bayless, and Wolfgang Puck (not all at the same time); and counts Northlight Theatre and Les Dames d’Escoffier International as two of her favorite nonprofits. She currently serves on the national board of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, an advocacy group addressing hunger issues in the U.S. and Israel for the nearly 46 million people — veterans, children, seniors, tribal nations, and more — who go to bed hungry every night. 

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