valentines day 2022

The Best Food Gifts for Every Type of Valentine

Illustration: The Strategist

They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and, well, whether or not you believe that’s true, you can’t deny that food makes a perfect Valentine’s Day gift. There’s something out there for everyone — your best friend, your partner, your spouse, your crush, your kid, you name it. Whether you’re looking for something indulgent or a cheap sweet treat, something that will last months or something that is best enjoyed as soon as possible, we rounded up all the best giftable foods we could think of for your shopping pleasure. We’re coming up on the holiday, so you should place any orders within the next day or two (though no one would be mad at a belated V-day gift either).

Chocolate and candy

For the valentine who can’t resist a classic (and prefers chocolate)

Yes, five pounds of chocolate Kisses is a lot of chocolate Kisses, but this way they’ll be reminded of how much you love them for months and months to come.

For the valentine who can’t resist a classic (and prefers candy)

It’s never not fun to sift through a bag of Sweethearts and read all the messages. “Any candy that can make you laugh is at the top of my list, and they only come around once a year, so it makes sense to enjoy them while you can,” Michael Fiorelli, executive chef and partner at Love & Salt in Los Angeles, once told us. At just $3 a pop, you can easily snag one for everyone you know and love.

For the vegan valentine

All of Fine & Raw’s truffles are made by hand in Brooklyn with sustainably sourced cacao. Not to mention, they come in the cutest gift box. There’s a smaller 4-piece set and larger 24-piece set available, too.

For the valentine who has a thing for miniatures

Strategist writer Hilary Reid described this non-fusty assortment of miniature fruits as a “stylish alternative to the old Valentine’s Day box of chocolates.”

For the valentine who always gets a box of Whoppers at the movie theater

Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and James Beard Award–winning author, and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer are both big fans of Askinosie. “One hundred percent of the chocolate he sells is 1,000 percent traceable to the farmer who grew the cocoa beans himself,” Meyer explains. “That’s probably not something you find on your average Whopper.”

For the valentine who uses Dr. Bronner’s soap

Okay, so this is a niche category, but if the Dr. Bronner’s user in your life isn’t aware that their favorite soap company started making hefty bars of chocolate, they’ll certainly be delighted when they find out. More importantly, as Strategist contributor Ariel Kanter can attest, they’re really, really good.

For the valentine who’d rather drink their chocolate

The fact that Valentine’s Day comes during the coldest part of the year makes it the perfect time to gift this fun and decadent set of hot-chocolate tins. Flavors include classic hot chocolate, Mexican hot chocolate, and chai-spiced hot chocolate.

For the valentine who likes to chill out

According to Gossamer co-founder Verena von Pfetten, these CBD-rosin-infused delights — made with locally sourced apple and passionfruit — “pack a very relaxing and tasty punch,” and we think they’d pair well with a donation to the Last Prisoner Project, which works to free people incarcerated for cannabis offenses.

Baked goods

For the valentine who will always choose chocolate chip

A chocolate-chip cookie with double the chocolate chips, which one pastry chef describes as “the weighted blanket of pastries.” Levain Bakery now ships their cookies nationally, so you don’t need to be in New York City to see what the fuss is all about.

For the valentine who likes a different kind of classic

Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding, but make it strawberry and cover it in chocolate. This sweet treat ships nationwide, so there’s no need to be in NYC to enjoy it.

For the valentine who would appreciate something even more refined

We first heard about Pâtisserie Fouet in an article about supporting small businesses (which is a bonus if your valentine is conscious about that). But if we’re being honest, it’s the gorgeous cookies that really get us. “All their sweets are so refined and decadent,” says Zach Mangan, the owner of the matcha company Kettl. “Eating a cookie from them is like your first glass of really nice wine — once you experience it, you can never go back.”

Other foods

For the valentine who likes things a little bit sour

If you’d rather not indulge in an entire ice-cream cake but like the idea of a creamy, cold sweet treat, consider gifting this strawberry-rose vinegar alongside their favorite pint. It’s great in many applications but perhaps best of all drizzled over ice cream.

For the valentine whose coffee shop order is a matcha latte

Speaking of matcha, a tin of the green tea would make a super-sweet gift for someone who loves the flavor but hasn’t gotten into making it themselves at home. If you want to go the extra mile, pair it with some of the accessories we recommend in our guide to the best matcha powders.

For the valentine who already drinks a lot of tea at home

Give them some special honey to stir into their cup — especially appreciated if they currently use a grocery-store-bought honey bear. This one comes recommended via cookbook author Julia Turshen, who loves how the company supports the local Detroit community.

For the valentine who has a prized hot-sauce collection

“This chili vinegar tastes like Frank’s RedHot, but so much better,” say Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria, owners of New York City’s beloved design shop Coming Soon. “The chili they use is a bit sweeter, but the overall taste is more vinegar-y. It delivers more than just heat.” It can be used on eggs, in Bloody Marys — pretty much anywhere.

For the valentine who is a compulsive snacker

Barquet and Faria are also huge fans of these peanuts, which would make a thoughtful present for the person in your life who munches between meals. Cracking them open is an activity in and of itself!

For the valentine who loves to host

If they’re a fan of having friends over for dinner, they’ll know how to turn these fancy sardines in olive oil into the perfect (and, yes, still on-trend) party snack — straight from the tin with crackers (and whatever else they like) on the side. Grab them a few packs, wrap them nicely, and you’ll surely score yourself a dinner invite forevermore.

For the valentine who loves to cook just as much as they love to eat

You can never go wrong giving a bottle of nice olive oil. This one, which we called the best for finishing, will be a treat next to their standard everyday go-to. Erin Shambura, chef and owner of Fausto in Brooklyn, notes that it’s mild (meaning, not too bitter) but has distinctive nutty notes.


For the valentine who is a morning person

Photo: Retailer

A subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. This one, recommended by barista Erika Vonie, “allows you to customize the kind of beans that will arrive” based on the general category of coffee you like, whether light, dark, nutty, or fruity. We also have a roundup of great wine subscriptions if that’s more their thing.

For the valentine with an ever-growing home-bar setup

Bitters are the salt and pepper, the pinch of seasoning to your cocktail,” says Lynette Marrero, a co-founder of the all-female, high-speed bartending competition Speed Rack, who described this citrus bitter as a “a go-to and a must-have for any bar.” (It’s also a nice addition to nonalcoholic cocktails.)

For the valentine who prefers whiskey

Photo: retailer

If they like whiskey, you can’t go wrong with this one out of Sonoma, California. “The Cherrywood Rye has unctuous notes of leather, figs, and toasted almonds with a lovely kick of spice,” says Jenna Elie of Whisky a Go Girl. “And the cherrywood smoke brings in a warming tone of pure comfort and joy.”

For the valentine who likes to try new things

If they’re more adventurous when it comes to drinking, a bottle of Current Cassis might be just the thing. If Regular Visitors co-founder Daniel Sorg still had his Brooklyn shop, he told us he’d stock the grocery (and his own at-home bar) with the black-currant liqueur, which is made in the Hudson Valley by Rachael Petach. “The black currants used in Rachael’s bottles are grown just a few miles down the road from where the product is made,” he says.

For the valentine who’s California sober

When we asked bartenders about their favorite nonalcoholic spirit on the ever-growing alcohol-free spirits market, Seedlip came up over and over — and this aromatic option has notes of grapefruit and cardamom.

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The Best Food Gifts for Every Type of Valentine