12 Yummy Gifts For Your Host, Beyond Wine

It is customary to bring a gift when going to an intimate dinner party, housewarming soiree, or when simply catching up with friends. Thanking your host for their hospitality with something thoughtful or useful is always a smart move. And you do not have to spend a small fortune to show you care. More often than not, people present their host with a nice bottle of wine or top-shelf spirit. Though this definitely gets the job done, not everyone loves a glass of vino or likes to drink, even socially.


Nonetheless, that does not mean you should arrive with nothing in tow. There is actually a wealth of acceptable items that you can bestow upon your host or hostess that they are sure to love. From tasty culinary treats, gourmet goodies, and gift cards to unique home décor, essential kitchenware, and then some — the possibilities are truly endless. So, instead of coming to a social affair empty-handed, here are 12 yummy gifts for your host (beyond wine or a bottle of liquor) that are sure to be a hit and will adequately convey your appreciation.

Give a restaurant gift card

Whether you are headed to a known foodie's house or not, restaurant gift cards (or certificates) are always a great gift for the host. Not only are gift cards budget-friendly for you, but they are also a fool-proof way to ensure the giftee can have the final say. Even if you opt for a chain restaurant gift card, your host will put your present to good use for themselves and possibly others.


Besides popular restaurants and eateries, you can find a gift card for just about everything — local cafés, coffee shops, bakeries, grocery stores, home goods stores, and more. So, if you cannot find your host or hostess's favorite spot for a sit-down meal, all hope is not lost. That said, when purchasing a gift card for the party-giver, make sure they have some flexibility when it comes to using the card or certificate. A reasonable gift amount for fast food joints, fine dining establishments, Starbucks, and a mini shopping spree at Crate and Barrel will all vary. You should also stay clear of limited offer cards or certificates that expire soon.

Bestow your host with fancy barware

Yet another gift you can bring for your host (instead of wine) is some nice barware. Perfect for housewarmings or just because, there is a vast selection of quality cocktail-making bundles, basic home bar kits, and sidecar toolsets in most home goods stores. You can also choose to get a little creative here by picking out individual pieces for a more personal touch. Plus, great add-on items like ice molds, a cocktail smoker, premium insulated wine bags, and a beer flight board with glasses are usually not hard to find either — making them all excellent additions to a simple everyday bar set if you are feeling super generous.


Along with fancy barware, you can bestow your host with custom drinking ware and a variety of other luxe entertainment essentials. For example, engraved glassware and bar tools will make any home bar gift feel extra special. Alternatively, if your host is not big on all things home bar-related, but you still find yourself looking at barware and its many accessories, then opt to go the practical route. Wonderful yet sensible items like a crystal vase, ornate cocktail picks, a serving tray, posh cutlery, or picnic gear will do just fine. Whatever way you choose to go, if they can put it to good use, then it is sure to delight.

Offer an assortment of fine chocolates or baked goods

If your non-wine-loving hostess prefers the finer things in life, then a top-tier box of chocolates or candies is an excellent way to go. From decadent assorted truffles, rich toffees, and heavenly chocolates to candied pretzels, fudge bars, and petite cookies, your host will be so glad you paid a visit. And if you are looking to make a great impression, skip the drugstore candy and order a candy cake or a sweet treat tower full of sugary goodness.


In addition to various sweet treats and desserts, baked goods are just one more thoughtful option. Freshly baked breads, French pastries, coffee cakes, lemon tarts, and, of course, gourmet cupcakes are definitely worth considering. You can custom order something special, and even opt for healthy options that are gluten-free and vegan-friendly – or pick up a lovely array of goodies from your nearest bakehouse. An added bonus here is if you swing by your nearest bakery or high-end cupcake shop on the way to your event, you can grab something yummy for the host and treat yourself at the same time.

Bring fresh-cut flowers or plantable herbs

You can also opt to bring your hostess some simple and traditional fresh-cut flowers or a housewarming plant. When it comes to freshly cut, aromatic flowers, you have a few traditional options, including roses, mums, dahlias, ranunculus, peonies, and tulips — or when in doubt, buy your hostess' favorite arrangement. Alternatively, for potted plant gifts or houseplants, popular go-to's such as peace lilies, jade plants, Chinese money plants, orchids, zebra plants, and cacti are usually well-received.


Likewise, if your host is an avid DIY type, then you should look at gardening kits, tools, and accessories. With complete garden kits available in most home improvement and gardening stores for beginners, kids, and adults, finding a nice present shouldn't be too difficult. Indoor herb sets (for mint, teas, and various spices), culinary windowsill kits, or essential vegetable seed packs can easily be paired with a few horticulture gadgets as well. Nevertheless, if you know for a fact that your hostess has all the farming and garden tools they could ever need, then try looking at fun gardening gifts such as terrariums, aprons, harvest baskets, fancy tool belts, and whimsical outdoor décor.

Add to your host's cooking essentials

Gifting your party-thrower with cooking essentials is also a surefire way to show your appreciation. If you are heading to a housewarming soirée, then chances are your hosts have just moved in and are likely in need of some essentials. Even if your giftee is not a total pro in the kitchen, there are still some everyday must-haves that could be packed away, need replacing, or that your host may have mentioned wanting in passing. That said, safe gifts like a breakfast sandwich maker, rice cooker, air fryer, toaster oven, or other much-needed kitchen gadgets tend to be a hit with someone who doesn't like to cook or cook often.


But, for those hosts who love nothing more than to whip up amazing meals in the kitchen, there is always a perfect present. Whether it is Le Creuset baking dishes, non-stick, stainless-steel cookware, stunning kitchen bottles or utensil holders, a stand mixer, expensive kitchen linens, or a world-class espresso machine, you know what your host daydreams about, so get it, especially if you are willing to splurge a little. Cooking essentials and inexpensive cookware that won't break the bank are also acceptable presents — just try to go with something a little more distinctive than basic in this instance.

Dazzle them with imported treats

Your host does not need to be a die-hard foodie to be dazzled by imported treats. So, if you can get your hands on international snack boxes, cooking oils from faraway places, and other kinds of exotic fanfare, then why not gift them to your gracious host? Mouthwatering culinary offerings like the Taste of Italy Food Gift Basket, an assortment of imported sauces from Spain, a Canadian pure maple syrup sampler, the Greek Herb EVOO & Olives Gift Set, and the British Breakfast box, for example, will thrill just about anyone who is slightly hungry, including that curious and curiouser foodie in your life.


Apart from these extraordinary worldly finds, there are also imported French, Mediterranean, and Dutch cheeses, plus a slew of foreign pastas, potato crisps, crackers, and dried meats, which you can easily purchase. With just a few clicks online or a quick trip to your local imported food store, you can give the gift of international deliciousness. It is worth noting, however, that most of these magnificent eats make an even better hostess gift when paired with a nice bottle of imported wine, especially the cheeses.

Stop by with a cocktail or mocktail kit

For those of you off to a good old-fashioned party, a host gift that is likely to entertain everyone on the guest list is additional home bar goodies. Aside from tools, glassware, and ice buckets, there is no shortage of home bar accessories since just about everybody these days is looking to take their mixed drink game to the next level. Thus, a lovely cocktail kit, bar bible, or other form of drink merry-making aid is undoubtedly a charming gift for the host. Many mixology sets, in particular, are fun, full of sample liquors, and include key ingredients for making fantastic drinks.


However, if your host does not drink or just likes to enjoy a nice refreshing mocktail from time to time, then you can still stop by with an equally wonderful mocktail kit. For example, HipStirs Mocktail Kits — Blackberry Mint Gin and Tonic, Strawberry Basil Margarita, and Lavender Haze Tequila Daiquiri — are enlivening takes on classic cocktails. Made with Ritual Zero Proof Non-alcoholic Tequila, premium tonics, and high-quality syrups, HipStirs is just one of the many great brands out there that offers everything one would need to fashion tasty, non-alcoholic libations.

Charm your hosts with a charcuterie board

Nowadays, charcuterie boards are beloved shareables that are indispensable for social gatherings. Though often mispronounced outside of French-speaking countries, charcuterie (shaar-koo-tur-ee) boards are a hit everywhere, especially in the United States. In fact, people love a pleasant spread of meats, fruits, nuts, and cheeses on a fancy serving tray or board, so much so that having more than one charcuterie board at a party is a cause for celebration in itself.


Thus, if you are worried about bringing additional food, even as a gift for the host only, don't be. As long as no one is lactose intolerant, you can never have too much cheese on hand. With that said, giving the gift of a charcuterie board is a notable opportunity for creativity. So, by all means, pick out a classic cheese and meat board if you know your host prefers the simpler things. However, as suggested, charcuterie boards are big business, so not only can you custom order dazzling and charming spreads on sites like Boardeie.com or via catering services in your area, but you can also demonstrate your culinary prowess if you choose by making this yummy gift entirely yourself.

Carry in a customized gift basket

Speaking of made-to-order giftables, you can absolutely choose to skip the board and go for the basket. A gift basket crafted from scratch, specifically with your host in mind, is a thoughtful gesture that tends not to go unnoticed. Tailor-made food baskets, especially, are not just yummy gifts that are fun to rummage through — they are also delicious surprises that show the host that you see them. Sure, sometimes a box of macaroons is just that — but often, when you hand select a person's favorite delicacies, it shows you care.


Similarly, a personalized gift basket brimming with chic goodies is a definite showstopper. Even if you do not pick out the items yourself, you can still select a theme that your host will love. For instance, popular themes include self-care, movie night, relaxing ambiance, baby on-board, grilling, baking, and (shockingly) even cleaning. In fact, if there is an occasion or reason you can think of, chances are there is a themed gift basket for it — just waiting to be customized. So do yourself a favor and check in with the host well before the event to see if they are in need of something specific, like a spa day in a box, perhaps.

Energize your host with coffee or tea goodness

Maybe your host is not obsessed with wine, but they are easily captivated by a good cup of Joe, or they go on and on about their undying love for all things espresso. Finding a host gift for this person then should be a cakewalk. Not only are there gift baskets and brewing essentials for caffeine connoisseurs practically everywhere you turn, but there are also gift subscriptions, bundles, specialty cups, and more. You can even give your host home décor that tells the world just how much they love coffee and espresso. 


Getting a party host present for the tea aficionado in your life is also a breeze. From teaware, accessories, and afternoon tea sets to plants and tea of the month club memberships, you definitely have some excellent gift options here. What's more, the buck does not stop there — most people have a non-alcoholic beverage they hold in the highest esteem. So, if you have a hot cocoa enthusiast on your hands, a cold-pressed juice fan, or a workout queen with more reusable water bottles and Stanley Tumblers than one person should ever own — their host gift can be something that lovingly supports their joyful obsession. 

Sweeten the visit with popular jams, fruit, or candies

In the dawn of celebrity jams and foods, old-fashioned candy assortments, plus the tried-and-true edible fruit arrangements, finding quality presents for your party thrower just got a whole lot easier. Sweet tooth or not, there are some fantastic eats out there that likely have your host's name written all over them. However, you probably prefer not to show up with just any old thing you found at the grocery store — so what can you do? Well, you can buy an everyday item that is either made by a celebrity chef, created by a former entertainer, or backed by someone famous. Stars like Dolly Parton, Patty LaBelle, Kristen Bell, and, more recently, Meghan Markle have all thrown their hats into the culinary world. 


So, if your event organizer loves new eats and celebrities, then be on the lookout for these kinds of simple yet thoughtful gifts. In lieu of these endorsed confectioneries, Edible Arrangements has been in business for almost 30 years, so it is fair to say they are doing something right. From edible fruit bouquets, boards, and platters to flowers and dessert bundles, for less than $100, your host gift can be en route to the party. And if your host likes to travel down memory lane often, then order some vintage candies, like the ones you can buy at OldTimeCandy.com, and add them to your surprise bundle.

Enchant with artisanal snacks and handmade goods

Last but definitely not least, giving the gift of artisanal snacks and handmade goods is just one more way to show your host that you value their hospitality. Items like gourmet popcorn, dried fruit, salted caramel pecans, and hickory smoked mixed nuts are some examples of artisanal snacks that are not too expensive and come in handy, especially last minute. In terms of homemade goods, soaps, dog treats, candles, blankets, pottery, clothing, and more are just as acceptable as something else you would purchase from a store.


Ultimately, no matter what you decide to get your host, it is essentially considered in bad taste to show up sans a token of your appreciation. Remember, your gift does not have to be over-the-top or cost hundreds of dollars. For most occasions, those that require an invitation, formal or otherwise, expressing your gratitude for the pending good time, food, drinks, and merriment is just something one does.