While it’s pertinent to do your holiday shopping early this year (since we expect COVID-related shipping delays to be a factor), we’re nowhere near the scrambling to find a last-minute Christmas gift phase yet. Still, shop online for the best Christmas gift subscriptions and special food and drink experiences and it doesn’t matter if it’s literally Christmas Eve; you’ll still have something to slip into a card and present to your recipient the next morning—and they’ll be so delighted they won’t even mind the lack of ribbons and wrapping paper. These are the best food and drink subscriptions to give as a gift in 2020, and the best last-minute gifts you can get (in case you want to bookmark this for later).
Keep the good times going with a recurring gift subscription that satisfies your favorite person’s deepest food and drink cravings, whether that’s wine, chocolate, meat, beer, pickles, or almost anything else.
This definitely has to be for the right person but for a heat-head there’s nothing more exciting to show up month after month than a new bottle of pepper sauce to try. Of the few out there, Fuego Box is probably the most popular and starts at just $120 for a year’s worth of burn.Buy Now
The only thing better than chocolate is chocolate showing up on your doorstep every single month. Jackie’s Chocolate can make that happen. Every month, you’ll get 15 pieces of gourmet chocolate like truffles, caramels, and more, including exclusive seasonal treats. Send this to someone you’re sweet on, and see our other favorite chocolate subscription clubs for more options.Buy Now
Go way beyond the cucumber with a pickle subscription from Mouth. Everything from plump pickled tomatoes to drop in a martini to smooth bread-and-butters to liven up any sandwich. Prepay for three, six, or 12 months and then sit back and wait for the pickle-y goodness to start (or pay by the month if you prefer).Buy Now
There are sooo many good breweries in this country but they don’t all distribute or ship nationally. Enter beer subscription services like Craft Beer Club who do all the heavy lifting while you sit back and enjoy a new twelve-pack delivered to your door each month.Buy Now
Related Reading: The Best Beer Clubs and Subscription Boxes for Suds Lovers
Speaking of booze, there a bunch of great wine subscription services and there’s one to suit every type of wine drinker, too. Winc is our pick for best wine subscription for most people where you can get approachable bottles for as little as $13 each.Buy Now
There probably isn’t a food on earth that’s more fun to try all the different types. From production process, to region and milk types, cheese has seemingly undending variations which makes a cheese subscription so perfect for getting to know some new ones. Murray’s is a staple cheesemonger in New York but they’ve made their iconic selection available by mail via monthly subscriptions starting at just $75.Buy Now
This gift is both wonderful and practical. Is there anything more annoying then going to start dinner only to realize you’ve run out of olive oil? You can either purchase this one time bottle of olive oil made on a family run, organic farm in Puglia which comes with lovely ceramic cruet and wooden gift box. Or purchase the gift box set with a year-long subscription for $399.Buy Now
Butter is in that same category. It’s no fun to run out and good butter is worth the extra money. This subscription for grass-fed, cultured cream butter churned in Georgia includes four blocks of butter every three months, one of which will always be a plain salted butter, one a sweet butter, one roasted garlic, and then the fourth will be a fun seasonal butter. It doesn’t get any…better.Buy Now
Anyone who tells you they don’t like snacks is lying, plain and simple. With a snacks subscription from Mouth you’ll have fun treats—of the sweet and savory variety—headed your way each month. From pickles to popcorn, caramels, and crackers, this is the most fun way to try new and interesting snacks. Full stop.Buy Now
OK, it’s time to break out the big guns. Meat subscriptions should be reserved for the very special people in your life. We don’t have one favorite but with companies specializing in everything from Wagyu to sausages and a whole bunch in between, there’s bound to be something for whatever carnivore you’re shopping for. We wrote about several of them on sister site CNET, so take your pick.See Now
Does your recipient prefer surf to turf? Treat them to a wild-caught salmon share or a recurring box of seafood curated by expert fishmongers. Or give them the royal treatment with a one-time gift like a bundle of king crab legs or a lobster feast. We covered the best seafood delivery services on CNET too, so swim on over to check them out.See More
And like anything else, a little balance is good. Harry & David have a veggie of the month club and it’s not your run-of-the-mill spinach showing up at the door each month. Try some colorful cauliflower, sugar cane baby beets, or Chinese eggplant with this fun, convenient, and healthy subscription service.Buy Now
This service starts with a questionnaire to help determine the best spices for you depending on any dietary restrictions, preferences, and what you most like to make. One tin should last you most of the year but you can select a more frequent subscription for spices you use more often.Buy Now
Another sleeper subscription to gift is flowers since folks don’t always buy for themselves but having them around brightens up anyone’s day. Bloomsy Box does all the heavy lifting choosing a unique selection of fresh flowers delivered monthly to liven up any room.Buy Now
Some people think they’re impersonal, others love to have (almost) full control, and let’s be honest: No one hates getting free things or credit to spend on. Here are a few of our favorite food and food-related sites you can snatch up a last-minute gift card for.
Mouth has a little bit of everything but I keep coming back for the glorious snacks you can’t get anywhere else.
Give the gift of meat this year. Porter Road has a crazy-good selection of beef, pork, sausages, roasts, and more and their menu changes all the time to keep things interesting, but they’ve always got my favorite beef vs. bacon.
Thrive Market is a wonderland of unqiue sauces, spices, snacks and other pantry ingredients. Find something that strikes you or send a gift card and let them pick!
From Staub to Le Creuset and All-Clad, SLT has all the best in kitchen and cookware but if you don’t know what the giftee needs, a gift card is the perfect way to go.
One of our favorite online wine marketplaces where you can customize an order or sign up for fun monthly subscriptions to keep the vino flowing all year.
While this may not be the year you want to gift a travel-centric food experience, there are plenty of great online cooking classes that make perfect gifts for hands-on home chefs always hungry to learn new skills…or beginners who want to develop their skills while they’re staying at home this winter. Check out some of our favorites:
These run the gamut from single concept specialty classes (for everything from honing knife skills to mastering Hungarian goulash), to multi-course modules and even the option to get an entire culinary degree online, with picks for every budget and level of enthusiasm too.
Get a taste of travel from your own kitchen with these globally inspired cooking classes, which cover everything from Burmese cuisine and Japanese bento boxes to French pastries. Check out The League of Kitchens cooking classes too!
If your giftee has a thing for the pros, there are several MasterClass culinary courses taught by experts in their fields—including huge names like Alice Waters and Thomas Keller. The best part is that your recipient can choose whichever classes pique their interest; an all-access pass is $15 per month (or $180 for the year).
For more great gift ideas, see our Gourmet Food and Drink Gift Guide, and our Best Kitchen Gadgets, Tools, and Appliances Gift Guide.
Header image courtesy of Food52