Buying a gift for a food-obsessed dad can be challenging. They’re always smelling things, and their condiment collection takes up multiple shelves. You can’t give them something expected, like another Boos block. And it’s safe to assume they already own every knife they’ll ever use in a lifetime.
To make things easier, we’ve put together a handy and wide-ranging gift guide for dads who love to cook, dads who order too much at restaurants, dads who drink fancy coffee, dads who pretend they know about wine, and, yes, dads who grill. That said, if this list still doesn’t cut it, get them a good old-fashioned gift certificate — because there’s nothing foodies love more than control. Go with either Food52 or Williams Sonoma, which will cover all the bases.
For the Dad Who’s a Messy Chef
Because splatters, drips, and splashes are inevitable.
For the Dad Who’s an Undefeated Cookie-Swap Champion
Not all vanilla extract is the same: Heilala’s is beloved by chefs, fancy pastry people, and regular folks who just make a lot of cookies. Their goopy vanilla paste will leave these lovely black vanilla-bean specks in whatever you bake, plus it gets bonus points for being ethically-sourced.
For Dads Who Care Where Their Meat Comes From
A gift that won’t gather dust, because it’s the gift of three pounds of bacon. Not just any bacon. Bacon from pigs who were humanely raised — worth the few extra dollars per pound, if you ask us. The quality’s better, too. Check out that marbling! Easy to freeze, which means it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
For the Dad Who Prefers His Whiskey Neat
WhistlePig 15 is expensive for a reason. It’s insanely smooth and delicious, impossible not to love even if you’re more of a bourbon lover. It’s the whiskey you want to save for a special occasion, but then that would mean you’d have to share. This is NOT the whiskey you mix with ice. Is that a lemon slice? No, it can’t be. Sip this with dad while you discuss worldly events and the nuances of lawn care.
For the Gluten-Free Dad
If he has a sense of humor, he’ll enjoy this charming Japanese bread lamp.
For the Dad Who Swears You Can Only Get Decent Pizza in New York
Nothing says “I love you” like the best Neapolitan pie in the five boroughs.
For the Dad With a Serious Sweet Tooth
It’s a scientific fact, peer-reviewed, not tested on animals, that dads prefer desserts they can consume by the overflowing handful as opposed to those that require tiny plates, forks, and decorum. Fill dad’s pockets with Milk Bar truffles and he’ll forget the money you owe him for the dent in the car … or college.
For the Dad with Too Many Knives
Does he have a handmade waxed canvas roll to carry them in? Even if he’s just taking them to get sharpened at the hardware store, this Georgia-made roll will show them off and make dad feel like his idol Bobby Flay.
If His Favorite Part of Traveling Is Exploring New Cuisines
Whetstone is the food magazine that doesn’t bother with pasta-making tips or, um, gift guides. It dives deep into food culture — the people who grow our food, where it comes from, and what’s at stake. Founder Stephen Satterfield is the host of Netflix’s new show, High on the Hog.
For the Dad Who Weighs His Coffee Beans
If you’re feeling particularly generous, get them this gorgeous, well-designed electric pour-over coffee machine by Ratio. It’s the sexiest coffee machine on the market, hands down — there’s a reason it’s sold out on Goop. Don’t worry, you review watchdog — it’s highly rated, too.
For the Dad Who Grills, We Know He’s Out There
If he’s been grilling the same burgers, chicken skewers, and blackened catfish for decades now, help him change things up with this new cookbook from Rodney Scott, one of the country’s most respected names in barbecue.
If He Already Owns the Great Jones Dutchess
A huge upgrade to that George Foreman grill he picked up at a garage sale in 2003, Smithey’s new grill pan makes perfectly char-marked burgers and green beans — and isn’t that all you want from it? But it also looks good when left out on the stove afterwards.
For the Outdoorsy Dad
This portable folding grill can stick in the ground next to any campfire/fire pit/beach fire and become a makeshift Weber — but it’s a lot lighter. It adjusts up and down and comes with a bag to carry it in too. Don’t forget the mustard!
If You’re Not Quite Sure What He Wants
Everyone likes cheese. Second maybe only to chocolate, this is your safest bet.
For the Dad Who’s Still Very Much Into Kale
For the Plant Dad
A lemon/lime tree bears fruit every six months. Don’t you want to make your dad happy every six months?
For the Dad Finally Delving Into Sourdough
This set has everything he needs to make the perfect loaf. Add a dry starter to your order so he doesn’t have to figure out how to make his own.
For the Coffee Lover Who Has All the Gear
The gift of nice coffee is classic, but how about the gift of five pounds of coffee all at once? An airplane-pillow-size five-pounder of Stumptown’s crowd-pleasing Hair Bender costs $75, lasts about a month in a two-person coffee-loving household, and is most likely fresher than what you find at grocery stores.
For the Aperitivo Aficionado
Mix with some sparking wine and a splash of soda for a pre-dinner beverage that goes great with prosciutto and fancy Parmesan.
For the Spicy-Food Connoisseur
This collection of sauces, spices, and peppers will keep him busy for months. Try the Zhong sauce with dumplings and sprinkle the Mala spice over meat as a marinade (it also makes for a delicious popcorn topping). The chili crisp is literally good on anything. And lastly, the peppercorns and chilies can be transformed into your own chili oil or incorporated into recipes like mapo tofu.
For the Dad Who Already Has Every Grill Accessory You Can Imagine
This portable pizza oven gives him a whole new way to cook on the patio.
For the Dad Who Was Forced to Learn to Cook During Lockdown
Delicious, bright-tasting olive oil that he won’t mind displaying on his counter.
For the Noodz-Loving
He can use this noodle kit to make his own. It comes with everything he’ll need to make Xian Famous Foods’ famous numbing-spice dish.
For the Dad Who Loves Eating Out of a Tin
This new-ish tinned-fish company started by Becca Millstein and Caroline Goldfarb is fun, playful, stylish, and tasty and does limited-edition drops. A tuna sandwich never felt so exciting.
For the Dad Who Appreciates Little Luxuries
For the Dad With a Ton of Personal Style
Made in collaboration with New Hampshire artisan Linny Kenney, these hand-dyed vegetable-tanned leather gloves are meant to age beautifully while protecting his hands from hot surfaces.