31 Best Gift Baskets of 2023
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31 Best Gift Baskets of 2023

Sep 21, 2023

We've reviewed this guide and continue to stand by our picks.

Gift baskets get a bad rap, and many deserve it for their uninspired or mismatched components: stale crackers, gritty chocolate, Red Delicious apples that are anything but. We wanted to find the standout choices, gift baskets that would be delicious, beautiful, delightful, and comforting any time of year.

After considering more than 120 gift baskets since 2018, we’ve found 18 outstanding options through extensive research, personal experiences, and taste tests. Others are worthy of mention, too, so we’ve included them as options you may also like under our main picks. We’ve also added a new section featuring gift baskets that didn't quite make our top picks but that we recommend with caveats—in all, that makes 31 gift baskets to choose from in this guide. (And if you have favorite gift baskets that you’ve given or received, let us know in the comments.)

Curated by the online Japanese market Bokksu, this snack box is chock-full of tangy, crunchy, and sweet shelf-stable delights. Although there's the option to subscribe, we specifically recommend the one-month option, which allows you to order just the Seasons of Japan box.

Why it's great: Filled with an array of individually wrapped snacks from Japan in a multitude of flavors, Bokksu's Seasons of Japan Snack Box is simply delightful. Both the colorfully illustrated wrappers and the bites inside are dazzling. Each snack is thoughtfully chosen, and a booklet explains where each item comes from, its significance, and potential allergens. A note on ordering: Although there's an option to choose a gift box subscription, which sends the recipient a different box each month, placing a one-month order gets you just the Seasons of Japan box we recommend. This is the only buying option that comes with free shipping, an e-gift message, and does not include a receipt. If you purchase a subscription in February or March, the Sakura box, a selection of snacks from Kyoto inspired by cherry-blossom season, replaces the Seasons of Japan box. The box includes a fun array of snacks that mostly skew sweet. Some items that were popular with our tasters include tender matcha-powdered mochi, crisp senbei (rice crackers) encrusted with sugar, and strawberry shortcake gummies shaped like slices of cake.

The Seasons of Japan box has 22 snacks, which felt like enough to last one person one to two weeks or to tide over several people for a few days. So many of the treats wowed us. The flavors of the crackers, puffs, and candies inside were alternately zingy, tart, sweet, and salty. Textures ranged from crispy to chewy to melt-in-your-mouth cotton-candy wispy. We loved the snappy Edamame Senbei, a salty-sweet cracker dusted with soybean powder. The Seaweed Tempura Setouchi Sudachi, a mind-blowing citrusy, salty, and earthy morsel, is composed of crisped rice clusters that look like barnacles glued to small squares of seaweed. The surreal White Strawberry is freeze-dried and then injected with white chocolate to dial up the sweetness of the fruit. The Funwari Meijin Mochi Puffs—nutty, buttery, soybean-powder-coated rice clouds—dissolved on our tongues. The box also held a few meh items: The packaged baked goods were blandly sweet though satisfyingly carby, and the packets of green tea were nice, if basic, compared with the other showstopper items.

Overall, this basket has something for many palates. We like that the treats are shelf-stable—you don't have to eat them all right away—and that there are enough to share (if you’re kind enough to do so). Bokksu sells an array of other boxes at various prices, but these don't allow for a gift option, meaning your recipient will see the receipt. Also note that many of these items are individually packaged in plastic. While it wasn't a dealbreaker for us, some of our testers found it off-putting.

What's inside: 22 Japanese snacks, candies, and tea

Potential allergens: wheat, soy, milk, shellfish, eggs, alcohol, peanuts, tree nuts (A booklet comes with the box to outline common allergies for each snack, though Bokksu has a disclaimer that these are translated from the package as a reference and that it cannot guarantee whether allergens are present.)

Shipping: free with a subscription

This ample gift box provides both sweet and salty sustenance.

Zingerman's The Weekender Gift Box is one of the beloved Michigan-based grocer's most popular items. We like that this basket packs a lot in, and that many of the contents don't have to be eaten immediately. With cheese, beef sticks, and a whole loaf of bread, you can basically make a meal out of what's inside. We found the baked goods a little generic but still tasty and fresh. We particularly enjoyed the tangy sour cream coffee cake and fudgy brownie (and we appreciate that the latter is nut-free).

Overall, this is a solid collection for snacking, and it would be appreciated at a gathering or just as a treat for someone who needs a pick-me-up. It comes in a colorful, cartoon-printed box with paper confetti that makes it feel festive. Zingerman's is a great resource for other gift baskets, too: It has collections appropriate for occasions ranging from sending condolences to celebrating holidays. You can also customize a basket or order a selection of the company's specialty products à la carte.

What's inside: no-nut Black Magic Brownie, Ginger Jump-Up Molasses Cookie, Zingerman's Peanut Brittle, small sour cream coffee cake, Zingerman's Farm Bread, Holy Cow Beef Sticks, Nor’easter Cabot Cheddar

Potential allergens: dairy, walnuts, peanuts

Shipping: free in the US

This basket from an award-winning cheese maker had the best-tasting cheeses and crackers of all the options we tried.

Why it's great: The cheeses in Jasper Hill Farm's The Vermonter basket, made at the company's Vermont creamery or ripened in its underground aging facility, embody the pastures and seasons of the Northeast. With selections that are approachable and delicious, this basket is one we’d gladly give to friends, clients, service providers, and turophiles alike. One taste tester went so far as to call the Vermonter basket "a true superstar," and we agree.

Compared with other cheese baskets we tried, the Vermonter offered the best blend of complex and down-to-earth flavors. We loved the creamy, spruce-bark-wrapped Harbison, a luscious, slightly grassy bloomy rind cheese that evokes mushrooms and the forest floor. The Cabot Clothbound cheddar was a crowd favorite—even the pickiest eaters were fans. It's salty and a bit tangy, with subtle notes of caramel. We’ve seen the third cheese vary, but the default is often Alpha Tolman, a raw-milk mountain-style cheese similar to a French raclette (we tried a different cheese in our tests but trust the quality of Jasper Hill's offerings). The basket also comes with crackers (which you can swap for a gluten-free option at no extra charge) and a small sack of spiced pecans. There is an option to include a bottle of Vermont maple syrup at an additional cost, too.

Each Jasper Hill cheese is tastefully wrapped in butcher paper and all of the gift items arrive carefully tucked into a bed of wood shavings, so the aesthetic is appropriately rustic.

What's inside: 12-ounce wedge of Cabot Clothbound (natural-rind, bandaged cheddar), 9-ounce wheel of Harbison (bark-wrapped, soft-ripened bloomy cheese), 12-ounce wedge of Alpha Tolman (raw-milk mountain-style cheese), 5-ounce box of Brewer's Sea Salt Flatbread, 2.5-ounce bag of Sugarbob's Spiced Pecans (You can add an 8-ounce bottle of Runamok maple syrup for an additional $21.)

Potential allergens: dairy, tree nuts, wheat

Shipping: free in the US for orders $99 and up

You may also like: Formaggio Kitchen gift baskets, which start at $75, are generous and come with ample fixings. Although we think the Jasper Hill Farm cheeses taste unique and make for an extra-special gift, the Formaggio Kitchen baskets are big enough to nibble on for a few days. The smallest-size Apprentice Cheese Bundle includes four cheeses, with the option to add on crackers, jam, or dried apricots. (Larger versions of this basket can include various additional items such as salami, olives, dried fruit, and almonds.)

This generous sampler of dry-cured sausages and pâté from a renowned European-style salumeria comes with an array of top-notch accoutrements.

Why it's great: The Olympia Provisions Euro Charcuterie Box offers up a hearty and varied spread, with four flavorful dried sausages, pâté, cheese, olives, crackers, nuts, and condiments. The Portland, Oregon–based salumeria uses Old World techniques and Pacific Northwest pork to create its herby, fatty, salty, and utterly delicious charcuterie. Carnivores and food lovers will appreciate the care that goes into every item in this basket.

The basket has changed slightly since we first tried it in 2018, but the exquisite sausages remain the same. We particularly enjoyed the spicy chorizo rioja and the zesty, cumin-flavored loukaniko. The smooth and nutty pâté is sumptuous (it's topped with the traditional layer of fat, which helps preserve the pâté and also makes the whole thing tastier). As for accompaniments, the briny pickled beets help cut the richness of the meats and cheese. (The previous cheese and crackers we tried took a backseat to the charcuterie, but we didn't mind—every item in this basket has a role, and theirs is to be a vehicle for more salami.) We haven't tried the basket's new additions: the Devil's Gulch seasonal cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, the Jacobsen honey from Oregon, the Clovis grain mustard from France, the Oregon dry-roasted hazelnuts, and the Castelvetrano olives. But we’re confident they’ll make lovely companions to the charcuterie in this basket.

This box is pricey, but we think the quality of the meat from Olympia Provisions and the level of craftsmanship warrant the cost. "I’m not a charcuterie person, but these are delicious," said one tester.

What's inside: loukaniko, chorizo rioja, Nola, and saucisson sec–style salamis; seasonal pâté; wheel of seasonal cheese; Jacobsen honey; Olympia Provisions pickled beets; crackers; Oregon dry-roasted hazelnuts; mixed olives; grain mustard

Potential allergens: dairy, tree nuts, wheat; processed in a facility with fish, dairy, wheat, eggs, and nuts

Shipping: free for orders over $50 within the continental US

You may also like: For fish lovers, the charmingly named Tin of Tinned Fish ($120) from Zingerman's is filled with fancy seafood from across Europe, as well as one bag of Sour Blueberry Turbot Fish Gummies from Sweden for kicks.

New York City comes to you in this jam-packed box of sandwich fixings (and more) from one of the country's most cherished delicatessens.

Why it's great: Mail order has been part of Katz Delicatessen's legacy for generations. ("Send a salami to your boy in the Army" became its slogan during World War II, and the tradition is still going strong.) Katz's Birthday Box is an embarrassment of riches and an excellent value: It includes 1 pound each of pastrami, corned beef, and Swiss cheese, plus rye bread, sauerkraut, Russian dressing (should you want to make a Reuben), 1 quart each of full-sour and half-sour pickles (why choose?), mini black and white cookies, and, of course, mustard.

The food arrives neatly stacked with ice packs in a well-insulated box, which is illustrated with an iconic street view of Katz's that will make a pastrami lover's pulse quicken. The meat comes in vacuum-sealed packets with heating instructions that were easy to follow—just slide the packets into simmering water, warm through, and serve. (When we received our package, the vacuum seal on the pastrami was broken, though the meat looked and tasted fine. We wrote customer service and got an answer within three hours, including an offer to send another pound of pastrami if we felt the quality had been compromised.)

Katz's Birthday Box is a great gift for any host who wants an easy and special meal to please a crowd. Simply put the contents out on the table on a Sunday afternoon, and lunch is served. (On that note, it's a good choice for bereavement, too.) It's also an epic gift for a Big Apple transplant or just someone who savors the fatty, aromatic je ne sais quoi of New York deli meat, garlicky pickles, sharp mustard, and pillowy black and whites. Checkout is easy: Select your preferred shipping date (rush is $20 extra) and add a gift message.

What's inside: 1 pound pastrami, 1 pound corned beef, half loaf of deli rye bread (approximately 16 slices), 1 pound Swiss cheese, 1 quart full-sour pickles, 1 quart half-sour pickles, 8 ounces deli mustard, 8 ounces Reuben dressing, 8 ounces sauerkraut, one package of mini black and white cookies

Potential allergens: dairy, gluten, wheat

Shipping: free in the US

This generous box of beautifully executed treats from Valerie Confections has something for every sweet tooth: assorted toffees, caramels, homemade jams, and chocolate bars.

Why it's great: The Large Gift Set from Los Angeles–based Valerie Confections is a true crowd pleaser—suitable for those who have a straight-up sweet tooth as well as for those who go gaga over refined technique. The brimming box includes an 18-piece Baby Grand Assortment (a pick in our boxed chocolate guide), toasted-almond-studded Almond Toffee Treats, two jars of super-fresh jam (a heady Blenheim apricot plus a seasonal selection), two bars of chocolate (bittersweet and milk chocolate with toasted rice and black sesame), and a box of chocolate-coated caramels (almond fleur de sel and toasted rice).

Though our panel was smitten with most of the box's contents, the toffees were the stars. The box included thin, snappy toffees coated with satiny bittersweet chocolate in the Baby Grand Assortment, plus the chunky yet equally satisfying Almond Toffee Treats. "I don't think I realized toffee could be this perfectly executed," said supervising editor Marilyn Ong. "There's this satisfying crunch to it, and then it melts away." Though the box is dominated by classic flavors, it also holds some surprises that delighted our panelists. The uncanny fresh mint toffee and the nose-tickling black pepper truffle in the Baby Grand Assortment were both unexpected and thrilling, and the milk chocolate bar with black sesame seeds, toasted rice, and soy salt was a moreish blend of sweet and savory. The fresh, runny jams (the seasonal flavor in our box was strawberry rhubarb) were a nice break from chocolate and perfect for dolloping on toast of any kind. The selection's only disappointment was the toasted rice caramels, which tasted a bit musty.

The gift comes elegantly packed in a large white box with Valerie's gold logo, tied with a champagne-colored ribbon. Crinkly brown paper kept each individual item perfectly intact (an ice pack helped with that, too). The selection is abundant enough to send to an office or a household full of people, and it's suitably special for more personal gift giving. You can add a gift note at checkout. For $100, Valerie also offers a smaller Classic Gift Set, which includes some items that are in the Large Gift Set (jam, assorted toffees, chocolate bars) along with others that we haven't tried (hot chocolate and malted shortbread).

What's inside: one Baby Grand Assortment, one Caramel Box, one pack Almond Toffee Treats, two jars of seasonal preserves, a 72% Bittersweet Bar, and a Rice & Sesame Bar

Potential allergens: dairy, tree nuts, soy lecithin

Shipping: $17 standard shipping, $35 express shipping

Send a package of the oversized, crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside cookies that have acquired a cult following in New York City to sweets aficionados nationwide.

Why it's great: This gift of massive, mouthwatering cookies from the beloved New York–based bakery is sure to impress the sweet tooth in your life. The Levain Bakery Signature Cookie Assortment comes in packs of four, eight, or 12 hulking, 6-ounce cookies (yes, that's the weight per cookie). The flavors cover the classics: chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin. (While we enjoyed this variety, gift boxes are also available in single and limited-edition flavors.) Another part of these cookies’ charm is that they’re crammed with whatever mix-ins they promise. This box comes with easy-to-follow reheating instructions that replicate the freshness and ooey-gooey cookie interiors that are Levain hallmarks.

We admired the efficient yet attractive packaging—the cookies come in a single box (rather than a box within a box), stacked four apiece in cellophane bags tied with a blue ribbon and nestled in perfectly sized nooks that keep them from jostling during transit. It was a miracle of design that they arrived with nary a crumb out of place. The box itself is a cheerful royal blue, adorned with whimsical drawings of cookies and the people who love them. We found the checkout process to be simple and transparent: When you place an order, a pop-up calendar allows you to choose the day of delivery and shows the respective shipping cost. There is also a clear prompt should you wish to include a card.

What's inside: two bags of four cookies apiece in assorted flavors (chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin)

Potential allergens: dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts

Shipping: $12 to $20 for a pack of eight

You may also like: A true lover of baked goods would be thrilled to receive the Gingerbread and Cookies box ($64) from Coquine in Portland, Oregon. This seasonal gift box includes a loaf of English-style gingerbread and a dozen chocolate chip cookies made with smoked almonds, salted caramel, and "really good" chocolate, which came recommended by several members of our staff. We were impressed by how tender-crumbed the gingerbread was, and we enjoyed the traditional flavors of molasses and candied ginger. The cookies were in a class by themselves, crispy on the outside and slightly chewy within; the smoked almonds and grains of salt added a savory complexity that kept us going back for more. Both were packed in beautiful brown boxes with a gold embossed logo and copper tissue paper. The duo is available from mid-November until January, but you can get just the cookies ($39 for a dozen) year-round. Shipping to the West Coast is around $15, while shipping to the East Coast can cost as much as $35.

This vibrant mix of seasonal tropical fruit brings a sunny vacation right to a loved one's door.

Why it's great: If you have family members or friends who love trying new things (or have spent time in tropical locales and miss the produce), the Miami Fruit Variety Box makes an awesome gift. This is also a great box to buy for yourself to help stave off the winter blues in chillier months.

According to its website, Miami Fruit harvests nearly all of its tropical fruit from its own farm and other local farms in Southern Florida every week. The produce changes with the seasons, but each small box (which is the size we tested) contains 3 to 5 pounds of exotic fruit and almost always includes tropical bananas. When we ordered this box in late September 2020, it included a fresh cacao pod, an avocado, a mamey sapote, a guava, a little jujube, a tree tomato, a few varieties of bananas, and a handful each of passion fruit and key limes.

The mamey sapote we received looked and felt like a bald coconut at first, but after two days it became soft and squishy. It tasted like a delightful mix of flan, pumpkin pie, and papaya (minus the strong musk flavor). The fresh cacao pod was also an experience, with beans covered in white flesh that reminded us of mangosteen in flavor but were more wispy and slimy in texture. Even the conventional fruits tasted special: The bananas were more tart and flavorful (not as super sweet as most supermarket bananas tend to be), and the avocado was mildly sweet.

All of the fruit comes nestled in a cardboard box with plenty of cushioning, along with directions for accessing online ripening guides so you know exactly when to enjoy each fruit at peak ripeness. This box's presentation isn't fancy, but the fruit is so visually appealing, it makes up for that.

What's inside: 3 to 5 pounds of fruit (small box), varies by season

Potential allergens: varies by season

Shipping: $20, or free with code FREE (Note: The California Department of Agriculture restricts the entry of many tropical fruits from Florida. The fruits allowed: bananas, black sapote, passion fruit, jackfruit, and white, red, sunrise, and yellow dragon fruit.)

You may also like: It's a tradition for Wirecutter to send employees a Maui Gold pineapple ($40) from Hawaii every year on their work anniversary, and we always enjoy getting these special, singular fruits—they’re the best pineapples we’ve ever tasted.

This luxurious gift box showcases a dazzling assortment of chocolates from one of our favorite chocolatiers.

Why it's great: The Recchiuti Confections Sharing Box from the renowned San Francisco confectioner is an elegantly wrapped, grand display of delicious, handcrafted chocolates. We’d send this as a formal gift, as well as to pretty much anyone who loves sweets. This box includes a wide array of confections, from bars to truffles to mendiants (chocolate discs), and each group of treats is individually wrapped and placed within a large, beribboned box that looks classy as all get-out.

The silky texture and complex flavor of Recchiuti's chocolate stand apart from the waxiness and cloying sweetness of lesser-quality chocolates we’ve tried, and the judicious use of flavorings enhances (rather than distracts from) its quality. We were most taken with the peanut butter puck (an epicurean version of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, with a silky, dark milk chocolate shell and velvety filling), and we also enjoyed the rich and satiny caramels. The chocolate bars have perfectly balanced bitter and sweet flavors, and they dissolve on the tongue.

The Sharing Box is a great value (though we also recommend the 16-piece Recchiuti Black Box, if you’re looking for a smaller gift). Plus, the box itself is impressive: Some taste testers said the packaging was a bit austere, but overall we think the embossed box and high-quality materials look sophisticated.

What's inside: Sepia Collection (one piece each of butterscotch caramel, Piedmont hazelnut, bergamot tea, honeycomb, peanut butter puck, spring jasmine tea, sesame nougat, lavender vanilla, and star anise and pink peppercorn), Cacao Nib and Fleur de Sel Mendiants, Fleur de Sel Caramels, dark hot chocolate, Dragée Sampler, dark milk bar, semisweet bar, bittersweet bar

Potential allergens: milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts), and wheat; made on equipment shared with milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and wheat

Shipping: $14 to $30

You may also like: For truffle lovers, the Vosges Haut-Chocolat Grande Gift Tower ($100) features chocolates with artful garnishes of nuts, fruits, and colorful powders in a delightful assortment of flavors. If you want to spend a bit less (without sacrificing quality) on a smaller yet still lovely and varied assortment of chocolates, go for the Dandelion Chocolate Classics Collection ($85), which also comes with hot chocolate packed in a sleek glass container.

Extra-creamy best-selling flavors from a renowned ice cream maker will delight the 6-year-old in just about anyone.

Why it's great: When the recipient removes the lid of the unassuming foam box, they will be greeted by appropriately theatrical wisps of dry-ice vapor and the giddy realization that someone has air-mailed them five pints of ice cream. Jeni's, based in Columbus, Ohio, is well known for making extra-creamy frozen treats with fun flavors that are special enough to warrant shipping them around the country. Tasters said they would send this gift for a holiday, a birthday, or a breakup; we think ice cream is a perennially appealing gift.

Jeni's Top Sellers Collection offers a sampling of the company's best pints. We loved the salty-sweet Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks, the deeply buttery Salty Caramel, and the tart and refreshing Brambleberry Crisp. We appreciate that the Top Sellers box includes crowd-pleasing yet far-from-boring flavors, but if those flavors don't speak to you, Jeni's has a number of other collections to choose from, including dairy-free and gluten-free options. (It's possible your local specialty supermarket already stocks Jeni's ice cream, but that doesn't compare to the joy and excitement of receiving ice cream through the mail.)

Although the pints ship with dry ice in an insulated carton, make sure the recipient will be home to receive the package so that they don't end up with tragically inedible ice cream soup. One of our testers, who has ordered this box in the past, said she appreciated being able to schedule delivery in advance to ensure that her parents would be home to receive their ice cream gift (and to confirm that Jeni's delivered to rural New Jersey).

What's inside: Brown Butter Almond Brittle pint (contains tree nuts, dairy), Darkest Chocolate pint (gluten free, contains dairy), Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks pint (gluten free; contains dairy, peanuts, soy), Salty Caramel pint (gluten free, contains dairy), Brambleberry Crisp pint (contains dairy, wheat), a big ol’ hunk of dry ice (handle and dispose of safely)

Potential allergens: dairy; other potential allergens vary per flavor (see above)

Shipping: $13 to $19; $50 for Alaska and Hawaii

These distinctly flavored jams from We Love Jam are nuanced and delicious, with a fresh, delicate consistency.

Why it's great: The jams we tested from We Love Jam are bright and flavorful. We’re fans of their loose, spreadable consistency, which feels indicative of their freshness, unlike most run-of-the-mill grocery store offerings that are often overcooked and dense. We also like that you get to choose which six jams make up your box. This would make a great gift for breakfast and brunch lovers, and for bakers who enjoy using exceptional jams in their baked goods.

The flavors change periodically, and not all those we tried are currently available. But the quality was exceptional across the board. Among our favorites, the blueberry lemon jam stood out because it tasted like a slice of fresh berry pie. Blenheim apricot jam, the first flavor We Love Jam produced, offered a striking and fresh apricot flavor. It was far more nuanced than even the better-quality jams you can find at the store, such as those from Bonne Maman. Vanilla blackberry jam had a mellow sweetness, while raspberry mango passion fruit jam was tart and incredibly balanced—somehow all three flavors shined.

We Love Jam's gift box includes six jams of your choosing, but you can also order a box of six jams without the gift packaging for $10 less, or a box of 12 jams. (There is no 12-jar option that comes in gift packaging.) The gift packaging is understated but nice: The jars come neatly packed in a cardboard gift box filled with crinkly shredded paper, and you can include a card with a personal message. The ordering system is a little old school: Before adding the gift box to your shopping cart, you have to type out which flavors you’d like in a text box, referencing a list in the product description. It would be nice if you could just check off the flavors you want instead, but all told the process isn't that challenging.

What's inside: six jams (choose from seasonal flavors)

Potential allergens: tree nuts

Shipping: prices vary based on UPS quotes for your order

These full-flavored harissa condiments and spice blends will add magic to anything you spread or sprinkle them on.

Why it's great: Husband and wife Ron and Leetal Arazi's line of Middle Eastern and North African–style spices and condiments have gained a cult following, and for good reason. They’re a brilliant shortcut to flavor and possess depth and complexity that would be hard to achieve on your own. The Harissa Collection includes two types of harissa, a spreadable, chile-based condiment, as well as three harissa-inspired spice blends. The condiments are "cozy and impressive at the same time," says Wirecutter editor Marilyn Ong. "They taste like someone just pulled them off the stove after hours of simmering and ladled them into a jar." Editor Gabriella Gershenson found that sprinkling Herby Harissa spice on cauliflower before roasting filled her kitchen with beautiful aromas (with flavor to match). She appreciated that the spice blends can elevate other simple preparations, too, like roast chicken or salads.

Our testers fawned over the lushly illustrated labels, whose appeal makes up for the fact that the jars are packed in a regular brown box with practical paper wrapping. You’ll also have to let the recipient know that the present was from you—gift messages are not an option at checkout.

What's inside: Signature Harissa, Harissa with Preserved Lemon, Herby Harissa spice, Rosey Harissa spice, Fiery Harissa spice

Shipping: free for orders over $50

This super-fresh selection of chiles ranging from sweet to spicy will thrill the heat-seeking home cook.

Why it's great: It's hard to pick when it comes to the single-origin spices from Burlap & Barrel. The offerings range from the usuals (cinnamon, bay leaves) to the unique (black lime, wild mesquite). But all are of exceptional quality. Among its gift sets, we were drawn to the Chili Collection, a mix of paprikas and dried chiles that represent cooking traditions from around the globe: smoked pimentón from Spain, black urfa from Turkey, cobanero chile flakes from Guatemala—you get the idea. The spices were among the freshest and most flavorful our panelists have encountered. "They are just so outstanding, any cook would cherish them," says Wirecutter senior writer Rachel Wharton. "They really open your mind to what fresh spices should be." When Wirecutter editor Marilyn Ong cooked chicken paprikash using the Noble Sweet Paprika, she said it "felt like something I had only experienced in black and white suddenly came to life in color."

If you’re curious about the heat levels, Burlap and Barrel's "chili chart," viewable on the product page, accurately shows where they fall on the spectrum of hot, medium, mild, and no heat at all. The selection in the six-pack Chili Collection features two chiles from each category except for the medium. If you’d like a hotter mix or just a different one, you can also build your own set. (If there's a spice lover in your life who's more into sweet than spicy, we also recommend the Baking Collection, an excellent starter kit that includes, among other things, cinnamon that will blow your mind.) The jars are packed in a box emblazoned with Burlap & Barrel's logo that's handsome enough for gift-giving and protects the jars well in transit. There's also an opportunity to add a gift message at checkout.

What's inside: Smoked Pimentón Paprika, Silk Chili, Urfa Chili, Cobanero Chili Flakes, Noble Sweet Paprika, Szegedi 178 Hot Paprika

Shipping: free for orders over $45

These super-fresh, single-origin spices will enhance your giftee's everyday cooking.

Why it's great: It's a cliché, that saying about your spice rack being the most neglected place in your kitchen, where chili powder and nutmeg from 1991 languish. But there's truth to it, which is why a batch of vibrant, newly harvested spices in Diaspora Co.'s Build Your Own Spice Shelf set could be just the right present for the home cook in your life. You won't risk giving the gift of stale seasonings: Printed on the side of each jar is the month and year of the harvest, plus the place of origin and, often, the name of the farm and the farmer, too.

Founder Sana Javeri Kadri started her business with one spice—turmeric—and has since grown it to include 30 heirloom varieties sourced from family farms in India and Sri Lanka. Take the brightly pigmented Guntur Sannam chiles, a moist and fruity ground chile whose sweetness is balanced by a touch of salt and a warm, slow-spreading heat. We were tempted to sprinkle it Mexican-style on cucumbers or melon.

Even everyday spices from Diaspora Co. feel premium. The Aranya black peppercorns are so big that they can be mistaken for capers. Grinding them unleashed a nose-tickling floral scent, and the taste carried a hint of licorice; it elevated the simple dishes we sprinkled it on, like avocado toast and scrambled eggs. Meanwhile, Nagauri cumin seeds, which we sampled both ground and whole in a batch of butter chicken, were toasty and musky; when we crushed them in a mortar and pestle, they released a surprising citrus aroma. And for the baker in your life, the Peni Miris cinnamon, which smells like an Atomic Fireball, is a must.

Part of the beauty of this gift is that it's customizable, so you can choose the spices your recipient may appreciate most. Thanks to the well-designed website, building a spice pack is fun—click on Makhir ginger, for instance, and a crisp, silhouetted image of the actual jar automatically populates the screen. The spices are delivered in a pretty, hot-pink cardboard box, each jar nestled snugly within, with colorful illustrated labels on their lids that function as both decoration and information.

What's inside: three, six, or nine jars of spices of your choosing (An extra dollar gets you an adorable aluminum spice spoon, and another $4 buys a handwritten card whose proceeds benefit the company's farm-worker health-care program.)

Potential allergens: sesame oil in the Guntur Sannam and Byadgi chiles

Shipping: free for domestic orders over $70

You may also like: The Curio Spice Co. Culinary Essentials box ($32) includes common yet super-flavorful spices that your gift recipient will reach for daily. Curio toasts or grinds many of its spices in-house and sources spices from small, sustainable farms around the world, as well as locally in New England, where the company is based.

This box features a sampling of edible Italian delights for throwing together a simple pasta dish, plus ground coffee and a jar of chocolate hazelnut spread for an after-dinner treat.

Why it's great: Founded in 1999, Gustiamo is a Bronx-based Italian-American food importer known for sourcing quality ingredients from Italy. It offers a wide selection of beautifully curated gift baskets, but we think the luxurious Gustiamo Party in Cucina box is approachable enough to appeal to most recipients, whether they be clients, colleagues, or family.

It has all of the ingredients for putting together a quick pasta dish: a bag of durum wheat semolina pasta, canned San Marzanos tomatoes, crushed Castelvetrano olives that are marinated in herb-infused oil, a large bag of coarse sea salt (not pictured), and a bottle of gorgeous Quinta Luna olive oil. This box also includes a bag of wood-roasted ground coffee and a jar of cacao e nocciole spread, a chocolate and hazelnut confection that's like a thoroughbred Nutella and could be enjoyed as a light dessert or breakfast when spread on toast.

We wanted to taste the ingredients as simply as possible, so we cooked the pasta al dente and tossed it with an improvised puttanesca-style sauce made with the gift basket's sweet-tart tomatoes, pungent olives, and aromatic olive oil. The result was outstanding, each best-in-class ingredient pulling its weight.

We love that all of these Italian goodies come packaged in a cool-looking reclaimed wooden crate—a detail that makes this gift basket feel even more special. Though this box is one of the more expensive that we recommend, we think the quality of the products and the overall presentation are well worth the investment.

What's inside: coarse sea salt, San Marzano tomatoes, Faella pasta, cracked Castelvetrano olives, Quinta Luna extra virgin olive oil, ground coffee beans, chocolate hazelnut spread

For cooking enthusiasts who have tasted it all before, these heirloom beans and the accompanying cookbook will inspire creativity in the kitchen.

Why it's great: We think the Rancho Gordo Deluxe Gift Box would win the hearts of vegans and vegetarians, food history enthusiasts, adventurous home cooks, and chefs alike. Rancho Gordo is a California company dedicated to finding and sourcing the highest-quality beans from Mexico, Central California, Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico. The offerings change based on what's available: The company harvests every fall and sells most of its beans within that year, so everything is fresh—you don't even have to soak these beans overnight, as you would dried beans from the supermarket. Also, ideally stored in a dark, cool, dry place, the beans will keep for a year or two, so the recipient can savor them over time.

The Deluxe Gift Box includes five 1-pound bags of snugly packed, colorful heirloom beans that are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted from a bag or a can. They’re springy, with a creamy and tender inside, and they can possess a subtle, nutty sweetness. Each bag of beans comes with simple cooking instructions. The gift box also includes a sturdy canvas tote bearing the company's logo, a cookbook, and a postcard with directions for slow cooker, pressure cooker, and stove top methods. Beans are too often an afterthought, and this collection will delight anyone who appreciates quality ingredients or loves trying unique heirloom foods.

What's inside: five 1-pound bags of various Rancho Gordo heirloom beans, The Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Guide by Steve Sando and Julia Newberry, one cloth tote bag

Shipping: free for orders over $50 within the contiguous US

This cleverly packaged sampler of roasted-to-order coffee beans should meet (or exceed) the standards of the coffee enthusiast in your life.

Why it's great: A curious coffee lover will appreciate the Collection Box from Onyx Coffee Lab in Rogers, Arkansas. The cleverly packaged sampler contains eight 4-ounce bags of coffee picked by Onyx staff, in varying styles that are sourced globally and roasted to order. The cardboard box they come in looks unassuming but unfurls like a scroll, revealing intricate line drawings and two compartments that contain four bags of coffee each. The beans, packaged in a palette of appealing matte colors, smelled heady upon arrival.

On each bag you’ll find the roasting date, the coffee's origins, tasting notes, details on how the beans were processed (natural or washed), and where the flavor falls on a scale of "traditional" (chocolaty, nutty) to "modern" (citrusy, floral). We liked that the coffees represent a range in styles, including single-origin beans and house blends (like cold brew!), and were impressed that the tasting notes were often spot-on. The Costa Rica Las Lajas Natural, which promises hints of blueberry, vanilla, papaya, and Concord grape, tasted so potently of chocolate-covered blueberries that it could convert flavored-coffee drinkers. The 4-ounce bags, which make about four mugs of filtered coffee, are just the right size—enough to give a sense of each selection, but not so much that your recipient won't be able to use them up while they’re still fresh.

At first glance, the illustrations on the box looked like they might offer brewing instructions, but it was hard for us to make sense of them, leading us to conclude that they’re more whimsical than anything else. We found the detailed brewing guidance on each coffee's individual product page on Onyx's website to be most helpful. There's also an option to leave a gift note at checkout.

What's inside: eight 4-ounce bags of coffee selected by the roaster

Shipping: free for orders over $50

You may also like: Another great option for coffee nerds and everyday drinkers alike, the Heart Coffee Roasters Sample Pack ($52) includes four 8-ounce bags of just-roasted whole beans from the Portland, Oregon, roaster (the same quantity as the Onyx sampler but half the variety). The beans change seasonally, and you can choose between two flavor-driven options when ordering: One set is "for those who want a rich cup," and the other is for those who prefer a fruity or floral cup. Each batch we brewed exhibited the best characteristics of "third wave" coffee: clean, distinguishable flavors (like a fine wine) that emphasize the bean's unique terroir.

Tea lovers will appreciate this collection of Harney & Sons's high-quality, best-selling teas.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $35.

This set includes the same selection of teas as in the Harney & Sons best-selling sachets box, but in loose-leaf form.

Why it's great: If you have a tea lover in your life, you probably can't go wrong by giving them a selection of teas from family-owned Harney & Sons. Its Best Sellers collection (which we tried as sachets but is also available in loose-leaf form) features four crowd-pleasing, high-quality teas: English Breakfast, Earl Grey Supreme, Paris, and Hot Cinnamon Spice.

The English Breakfast tea was bright and clean, and the Earl Grey (a blend of black and oolong teas with Italian bergamot oil) was pleasantly aromatic. The Paris blend was tea-forward, with subtle hints of black currant and vanilla. And the Hot Cinnamon Spice was sweet and cinnamony, but somehow still allowed the natural tea flavor to shine through. One of our testers, who's averse to flavored teas, said, "This was easily the most enjoyable version of cinnamon tea I’ve encountered."

Each of the four teas comes packaged in a colorful tin of 20 sachets. The tins fit snugly in an elegant black box with the Harney & Sons logo embossed on the lid. We think $35 for 80 servings of high-quality tea—not to mention extremely elegant, reusable packaging—is an excellent value.

What's inside: Earl Grey Supreme, English Breakfast, Hot Cinnamon Spice, and Paris teas

Shipping: free within the US

For lovers of Sichuan spices: The mom-and-daughter-owned Mala Market, an importer of premium ingredients from Sichuan, offers "pantry collections" ranging from $30 to $135 that showcase the numbing ma and spicy la flavors that are the hallmarks of the regional kitchen. The Starter Sichuan Collection sets you up with citrusy da hong pao peppercorns, a sack of facing heaven zi dan tou chiles (the star of kung pao chicken), fragrant-hot ground chile flakes, and three-year-aged doubanjiang, a deeply flavored broad bean and chile paste that's the backbone of classic dishes such as mapo tofu.

For tapas fans: Spanish food importer Despaña offers a generous Tapas for Two Gift Box ($110 plus shipping) that can easily feed more than a pair. The opportunities for grazing seem endless. Highlights include anchovy-stuffed olives, three types of Spanish cured pork (sliced Serrano ham and loin, and a massive chorizo link), delectable Cabo de Peñas tinned sardines, Marcona almonds, and Salas Picos breadsticks. The gift comes in an elegant brown paper box tied with a red ribbon, with an option to add a personalized card. This would be an excellent value if it weren't for the shipping, which skews pricey.

For smoked-fish enthusiasts: The salmon in the Russ & Daughters Smoked Salmon Medley ($195, including shipping) is sliced translucently thin, and is so buttery that it practically melts in your mouth. The gift box from the celebrated New York appetizing shop includes 8 ounces each of Scottish smoked salmon, gravlax, and pastrami-cured salmon packaged tidily in branded wax paper, plus a pound of cream cheese, a dozen bagels, and a 3-ounce jar of capers to enjoy it with (you supply the onion and tomato). Our tasters agreed that the quality of the fish was unsurpassed. But when it came to the accoutrements, some found the bagels (on the spongy side) and the cream cheese (slightly grainy) to be the weak links, though they got the job done. At $195, this gift is a splurge. If that's not a deterrent, it's a fine choice for a homesick New Yorker or an appreciator of smoked salmon.

A matcha starter kit: The Ippodo Tea Essential Matcha Kit ($130) from the revered Japanese tea shop includes everything you need for a cup of matcha: 20 grams of grassy Horai matcha tea, a chawan (a matcha tea bowl), a bamboo tea ladle, a tea strainer, and a bamboo whisk with a stand. This set is as much about the experience of making tea as it is about drinking it, and Ippodo offers clear instructions on how to use each tool to make a correct cup. This is a special gift for someone who would appreciate the ritual and flavor of fine matcha, and the tools will last years if you care for them. But the quality does come with a high price tag.

Wirecutter contributor Anna Perling, who wrote our original guide to gift baskets in 2018, previously covered food and lifestyle topics for Saveur and Kinfolk magazines. For this guide, she collaborated closely with editor Winnie Yang, who has worked in the food industry and has written for Art of Eating, Saveur, and Condé Nast Traveler, among others. For our original guide, we asked a panel of 16 Wirecutter staff members to weigh in on gift baskets and to consider their presentation, taste, variety, and value.

Since 2020, a number of Wirecutter's kitchen experts have contributed research, testing, and writing to this guide, including senior staff writers Lesley Stockton, Michael Sullivan, and Rachel Wharton, and editors Gabriella Gershenson, Marilyn Ong, and Marguerite Preston. Collectively, they have decades of experience in the worlds of food and cooking.

Gabriella has been overseeing the guide since 2022. Her culinary gift recommendations have been featured over the years in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and Time Out New York.

We began our research for this guide by asking Wirecutter staffers about the favorite gift baskets they’ve given or were happy to receive. We combed through online guides and reviews of gift baskets from BestProducts.com, Bon Appétit, BuzzFeed, CookingLight, Saveur, The Spruce, and Top Ten Reviews. We also checked offerings from notable purveyors and looked at Goldbelly, a site that ships specialties from restaurants all over the United States. Since 2018, we’ve considered 119 nominations for gift baskets with contents ranging from specialty fruits to small-batch whiskey to hand-harvested sea salt.

When we set out to find the best gift baskets, we had several criteria. We looked for baskets under $200 (an amount that would cover many occasions) that were a good value (meaning they offered a lot for their price) with a decent variety (offering either different versions of the same item from a quality brand or several different options). We also looked for those that were nicely packaged (and not necessarily in actual baskets) and, of course, those we thought would taste great. Overall, we searched for baskets that were interesting or unusual from companies known for quality and attention to detail. We also focused on baskets that were immediately consumable. We reluctantly eliminated alcohol baskets because they can't be shipped to many states and can be iffy gifts unless you know that a recipient imbibes.

In 2018 we evaluated the different gift baskets by asking 16 Wirecutter staffers to taste and comment on each one. We brewed tea and coffee, and we sampled condiments. During our tasting, we discussed each basket in depth (Wirecutter staffers have a lot of strong opinions, it turns out) and asked everyone to fill out surveys ranking each basket. We also noted what each basket contained, along with their potential allergens; always check with a purveyor if you have serious allergy concerns. Since 2020, kitchen experts and food writers on Wirecutter's staff have conducted all of the testing for this guide.

This article was edited by Gabriella Gershenson and Marguerite Preston.

Gabriella Gershenson

Gabriella Gershenson is an editor on Wirecutter's kitchen team. Since the early aughts, she has been covering food for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, and Saveur, and she is a James Beard Award nominee. She considers herself an honorary Canadian but will not take sides in the Montreal–versus–New York bagel debate.

Anna Perling

Anna Perling is a former staff writer covering kitchen gear at Wirecutter. During her time at Wirecutter, she reported on various topics including sports bras, board games, and light bulbs. Previously she wrote food and lifestyle pieces for Saveur and Kinfolk magazines. Anna is a mentor at Girls Write Now and a member of the Online News Association.

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