40 best food gifts of 2023 for foodies and home cooks

Gifts of food are almost always a winner; they can elevate a celebration or provide comfort when times are tough. Food gifts also have a bit of a “leave no trace” effect too, in that once the recipient has enjoyed it, it’s but a wonderful memory.

When picking out a food gift, consider its size and presentation in addition to the obvious — is it delicious? To that end, we’ve got gift ideas that are surprising, that are jumbo, that come in really fancy packaging and to suit every gift-giving need under the sun. Whether you need a birthday present or a condolence gift, we’ve got 40 incredible food gift ideas for every palate, occasion and budget.

Bonne Maman’s eminently giftable variety pack includes mini jars of its strawberry, apricot, cherry, orange marmalade and redcurrant jams in teeny-tiny versions of its beloved signature jars.

Hot honey is a great gift for anyone, but we especially love it as a gift for your better half or bestie, because it provides so many ways to tell your “honey” that you think they’re “hot stuff” and the “bee’s knees.”

Small food gifts can pack a big punch, especially when unusual flavors or visually appealing packaging is involved, like this chili fig spread that makes a perfect gift for a person obsessed with leveling up their charcuterie board.

Fly By Jing’s super-popular Sichuan Chili Crisp is the hottest (sorry) gift going right now. The sampler gift set includes shorty jars of the brand’s fan-favorite flavors: Sichuan Chili Crisp, Mala Spice Mix and Zhong Sauce.

Honey sticks make a great addition to a gift of tea, or on their own for someone who takes pride in their elaborate home coffee bar setup.

Zabar’s Babka is a practically perfect gift: It’s delicious and comforting, and the Zabar’s name and logo belies the wallet-friendly price.

The bottle alone is a gift, and this cult-favorite “secret sauce” made from citrus, saffron and fermented habanero and escabeche peppers has sold out five times.

Sparkly maple syrup is a perfect gift for the person in your life who’s always just a little over the top.

At-home mixologists and cherry lovers alike will go wild for Filthy’s black amarena cherries.

Mustard is, to many, the king of condiments, and a gift set from the Mustard Museum — yes, really! — is just the thing for the mustard lover in your life.

The gold Godiva gift box is such a classic; we love the small eight-piece box for its $20 price point, making it the perfect gift to buy in multiples to keep on hand for easy gift-giving.

Who says food gifts have to come in a box or a basket? Why not give the food attached right to the tree it grew on, like a dwarf meyer lemon tree.

Maldon salt is the key to turning out the most delicious salted sweets like salted brownies, salted blondies, salted ice cream … and this giant tub of the stuff makes an eye-popping gift idea.

There are some occasions that call for something pink and sparkly and pretty, and these cake bites fit the bill perfectly.

There are also occasions that call for mayo, and when mayo is needed, Duke’s “It’s Got Twang!” sampler is the way to go.

One way to really nail a food gift is to give something with a wow factor, such as Savannah Bee’s raw honeycomb.

Going big, big and bigger with food gifts is another fantastic way to deliver that wow factor, like a bundle of giant Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bars.

When we think of food gifts, indulgences usually come to mind (those Levain cookies, for example!). But healthy food gifts, even sweet ones, exist and can be fantastic choices for fitness enthusiasts or people who are especially particular about their diet.

Fruit is, naturally, one of the most common healthy food gifts — and one of the most popular. Harry & David’s gold foil-wrapped Royal Riviera pears are one of my favorite food gifts to give or to receive, because pears are just so elegant, and the gold foil is absurdly pretty.

You know what’s better than bacon? Three kinds of bacon. D’Artagnan’s gift sampler includes 12-ounce packages of uncured applewood smoked bacon, uncured hickory smoked bacon and uncured smoked duck bacon.

We love a personalized gift, and we especially love a personalized food gift, such as these shortbread cookies that can be customized with a message up to 36 characters in length.

Going big is one way to up the wow factor of a food gift — but you can also go big name with a gift box of Rev Run’s “Rev” velvet cookies.

Related: The best meal delivery services to keep you well fed

Detroit’s family-owned Shatila Bakery was named one of the 100 Best Bakeries in America by Food & Wine. Its elegant pastry gift box contains 60 pieces of assorted baklava, including bird nests baklava and mini roses baklava.

You know what’s better than jamón? Three kinds of jamón. Mercado’s gift sampler includes one box each of serrania, jamón de cebo and 100% Ibérico jamón.

Bonilla a la Vista’s giant tin of patatas fritas is another entry in the “go big” food gift category, and it’s the perfect thing for the potato chip lover in your life.

Foodies who love the latest thing will love Omsom’s bestseller set — which includes 15 of the brand’s meal starters in flavors like Vietnamese lemongrass BBQ and Japanese yuzu miso glaze — that’s all over everybody’s Instagram’s feed.

Meat lovers will always welcome a steak gift set, but if you want to deliver a real surprise, send a package of pork butt burnt ends smothered in a Kansas City-style BBQ sauce.

Magnolia Bakery is a classic for a reason, and it doesn’t get more classic than its Classic Banana Pudding.

Vosges Good Luck Cakes are an exquisite gift to give to a graduate, or as part of New Year’s festivities.

When you need to send a birthday cake, send Milk Bar’s grown-up version of the childhood classic, made of three tiers of rainbow-flecked vanilla cake.

Killer Brownie’s massive multilayered brownies — each weighs almost 1/3 pound! — are gooey and rich, and eminently giftable.

A pickle lover’s dream, Mouth’s Peck of Pickles gift box includes five full-size jars of pickles, Mouth’s Electric Za’atar Pickle Chips, Gordy’s Pickle Jar Sweet Chip Pickles, Pacific Pickle Works Mother’s Puckers Garlic Dills, Kansas City Canning Hoppy Pickles and Garlic Dills by Epic Pickles.

Need to bring a gift to a friend’s home for the big game? Look no further than Eastern Standard Provisions’ gift box, which is filled with three different types of soft pretzels and five flavored salts for seasoning.

Sometimes you want to send someone you love a gift just because. When those times happen, Spoonful of Comfort’s “Just Because” gift basket is what you want.

No roundup of great food gifts would be complete without a great steak gift. Omaha Steaks’ filet mignon gift pack delivers decadence at an under-$100 price point.

• Related: The best subscription gifts

Talk about a crowd pleaser! Don’t sleep on sending someone you love a classic Honey Baked Ham.

There is no shortage of great gift options for the ice cream lover in your life, but we especially like Crank & Boom’s Flavors of Kentucky ice cream collection, which includes six pints in locally inspired flavors like blackberry and buttermilk as well as bourbon ball.

Get the best of Philly, no travel required, with a four-pack of Pat’s Original Philly cheesesteaks.