father's day 2020

The Best Food Gifts for Every Type of Dad

Photo: Goldbelly

While you may not be able to take your dad out for dinner at his favorite steakhouse or join him in the backyard as he fires up the grill, that doesn’t mean you can’t still give him the gift of his favorite food this Father’s Day. Thanks to innovations in cold shipping and a few neat delivery services, sending your old man local delicacies has never been easier — even if he lives in Los Angeles and those delicacies are made in Greenwich Village. To help you find the right edible (or drinkable) treat for your pop, we’ve rounded up the best food gifts from a variety of retailers — from heat-and-eat dinners to easy snacks to bar essentials — for every type of dad, whether he’s a meat-and-potatoes guy, clean-eater, or a teetotaler.

A note that most everything below should arrive in time for Father’s Day, but some things may require expedited shipping with a fee due to pandemic-related delays on companies’ shipping and delivery operations. We’ve noted shipping costs and estimated delivery times where applicable, but know that delivery estimates are constantly changing, and Father’s Day is June 21, so the sooner you order, the better.

For the old-school dad with a sweet tooth

Junior’s cheesecakes are a New York original, and doesn’t your old man deserve the best?

For the trendier dad with a sweet tooth

Anyone who’s had a bite knows that this is like the birthday cakes he grew up eating — but better. Milk Bar perfected its classic birthday cake over two years, and the result is a honking, three-tier confection of rainbow-flecked vanilla cake, frosting, crunchy crumbs, and sprinkles.

For the dad who misses his favorite steakhouse

Maybe he tried Peter Luger once and can’t stop talking about the porterhouse for two (that he swears he could have polished off on his own). Or maybe it’s at the top of his must-try list for whenever he can dine out again. Either way, this indulgent gift will allow him to savor that very famous steak in the comfort of his own home.

For the dad who misses his favorite steakhouse (for the wine)

Photo: retailer

If dad misses flipping through the wine list to find a new bottle to pair with his filet, he’ll likely appreciate a subscription to the sommelier-approved Primal Wine Club, which ships a selection of natural wines — made with minimal intervention using organic or biodynamic grapes — right to his door every month. Subscriptions start at $85 for monthly three-bottle deliveries, and he can always take over paying for it if you don’t want to foot the bill for an entire year.

For the dad who prefers his meat cured

While he might not have a game to watch while nibbling on it, that doesn’t mean dad can’t still enjoy his favorite snack of charcuterie. This “Slam Dunk” bundle from Murray’s includes Genoa salami and Prosciutto San Daniele, along with maple-leaf-pepper-jack cheese, Boerenkaas gouda, French double crème brie, chocolate, and crackers, all of which arrive packaged inside “Murray’s signature gift box,” according to the brand.

For the dad who’d prefer to just snack on chocolate

The sweets that we declared were last year’s status Halloween candy are also chef-approved, meaning they’re sophisticated enough for a dad whose sweet tooth is set on chocolate. They’re delicious (trust us) and also quite giftable, what with their fun candy-colored packaging. (They’re also made without slave labor, according to the brand.) This set of six includes both milk and dark varieties, for the dad whose cocoa tastes don’t discriminate.

For the dad who’s trying to eat cleaner

From $79

Perhaps dad has decided to give up the red meat, wine, salty snacks, and chocolate for a new low-carb or vegetarian diet. If so, Green Chef makes it easy to try eating healthier before making a complete lifestyle change. The meal-delivery service offers dishes to suit a variety of diets — from keto-friendly to paleo to plant-based — all made from organic ingredients (whenever possible), which it ships to him in precise amounts along with recipes that take no more than about 30 minutes to whip up.

For the low-carb dad who’s also low-maintenance

Pete’s Paleo
From $70

If he’d rather not mess with cooking, Pete’s Paleo may be a better option. It ships heat-and-eat dishes that are gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free — all of which are all created by a Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef. Weekly subscriptions start at $70, which will get dad five fully prepared meals that only require heating up. Pete’s Paleo also sells its dishes à la carte for $15–$18 per dish (with a five-meal minimum), if you’d rather let him try it for himself before committing to a subscription. And for Strategist readers, the company is offering $10 off its meals (both onetime purchases and subscriptions) using the code STRATEGIST.

From $70 at Pete's Paleo
Buy
with code: STRATEGIST

For the dad who enjoys a cold one

If dad misses weekends spent visiting new breweries and trying their brews, he’ll surely love this “beer of the month” club that comes recommended by Nikki McCutcheon, the beverage director at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge at the Moxy Times Square hotel. For $39 a month, the service will send monthly deliveries of four varieties of award-winning beer from two independent craft breweries (a total of 12 beers per delivery), all of which are curated by a panel of experts.

For the dad who’d rather brew his own beer

This kit comes with everything he needs to brew his first batch of beer, including hops, IPA grain mix, and reusable equipment (glass fermentation jug, thermometer, racking cane, tubing, tubing clamp, screw-cap stopper, and airlock). If he wants to try making a different brew, all you need to do is get another beer mix.

For the dad who starts cocktail hour at 5 o’clock on the dot

When he’s that rigorous about his nightly ritual, he probably won’t use any old ingredients to make his nightly gin and tonic. According to bartenders, this small-batch tonic syrup made with a hint of lemongrass and orange peel will take his drink of choice to the next level.

For the (minimalist) dad who starts cocktail hour at 5 o’clock on the dot

Maybe dad appreciates a good cocktail but not having all the ingredients and gear needed to make one littered around the house. These ice cubes are actually freezable fruit-and herb-infused mixers that take the fuss out of creating a fancy cocktail at home. They arrive unfrozen, so all dad has to do is pop them in the freezer and then, once frozen, pop one in a glass then pour his favorite spirit over it, and voilà! His drink is served. They’re available in five different flavors — the Cooper (blood orange ginger), the Cecile (cucumber and watermelon margarita), the Clyde (peach with benedectine), the Oliver (an “unclassic” negroni), and the Seymour (Meyer lemon daiquiri) — which you can buy individually at $36 for 24 cubes, or in sets for a bit more money.

For the dad who’s a teetotaler

Bartenders agree that Seedlip’s non-alcoholic spirits are among the best you can buy, with the Garden 108 flavor being one of their favorites for its “herbaceous, bright, and spring-y” taste. The pros say It’s best used in light, floral cocktails or just with a splash of tonic water.

For the dad whose drug of choice is caffeine

Help him find some new favorite varieties of mud to sip on with a subscription from barista-approved Trade, which sends coffee hand picked for him based on his preferences. Does he use a drip machine or a Chemex? Prefer light, medium, or dark roast? Plans start at $15 for one bag shipped every one to three weeks. If you up that to two bags at a time, each one drops to $12.50 a piece.

For the dad who always takes his coffee with a pastry

Porto’s, a Los Angeles–based Cuban bakery and cafe chain, normally sees lines out the door no matter the time of day. While most people may not be waiting in lines for anything these days, nobody ever really wants to to begin with — and, thankfully, no longer needs to (at least at Porto’s), because the bakery will ship its treats nationwide. These sweet (cream) cheese rolls are one of the most popular items on the menu, and all dad has to do is heat up the oven to get that fresh-baked experience at home.

For the dad who likes his peppers pickled

Chef and food artist Laila Gohar says that these “spicy and briny” pickled peppers “add a nice bite to a lot of dishes,” which is why they are one of her favorite jarred foods. Of course, they’re just as delicious on their own — Gohar also told us she eats them straight from the jar — and would make for a most satisfying snack.

For the dad who likes his fish pickled

The pickled herring with cream and onions from Russ & Daughters is this writer’s go-to gift for her dad, a pickled-herring connoisseur who thinks this the best there is. If you want to go all out, send him the eatery’s classic New York brunch spread (another favorite).

For the dad who spends every Saturday morning behind a griddle

A pancake obsessive deserves only the best maple syrup. This trio of flavors from Bushwick Kitchen (the maker of other condiments we’ve written about before) includes a “spicy” maple syrup, one infused with gingerbread, and another infused with Stumptown coffee. They all come packaged in a gift box with a handwritten note to boot.

For the dad who spends every Saturday evening behind a grill

Grilling season is upon us, so send your dad the gift of meat via Pat LaFrieda, who supplies the burgers at Shake Shack, Minetta Tavern, and Eleven Madison Park. This sampler includes four gold label burgers and two dry-aged bone-in rib steaks that all together serves six to eight people.

For the dad who could always go for a slice or two

In a city with slice joints on every corner, Di Fara is one of those New York City institutions of pizza that lures folks all the way to Midwood, Brooklyn just to have a taste of one of its pies. Since dad probably won’t be making that trek for some time, you can instead surprise him with two of the world’s best pizza pies, wherever he is.

For the dad who could always go for a (square) slice or two

Admittedly, $125 for two pies is steep, but Prince Street Pizza’s are also the stuff of legend — especially its spicy pepperoni pizza, which is topped with pepperoni slices that curl into little cups and pool with oil upon baking (that’s a great thing, by the way).

For the dad who’s nuts for nuts

This two-pound tray comes with jumbo natural pistachios, milk chocolate peanuts and raisins, butternut peanuts, jumbo roasted and salted cashews, and sugar-toasted peanuts for the dad who loves to nosh. (If he prefers a bucket of pistachios, or a classic tin of mixed nuts, those are available, too.)

For the dad whose closet is full of salmon colored shorts

He might not be able to get to his favorite spot in Maine anytime soon, but you can recreate a tiny bit of that experience by sending him some of the best lobster rolls in the state. From McLoons Lobster Shack, this kit comes with everything he needs to make four delectable, summery sandwiches: a pound of lobster tail, knuckle, and claw meat, New England–style split top rolls, Casco Bay Artisan Sea Salt Butter, and mayonnaise.

For the dad who’s more of a crab guy

These authentic Maryland crab cakes that come from Cameron’s Seafood are made from Chesapeake Bay crabs that, according to the company, build up extra fat stores during the winter, making them sweeter and more buttery than crabs from other places.

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