The best holiday gifts are consumable, and a fun way to give the gift of food is to send subscription boxes and other treat packages to our loved ones through the mail. These deliveries take many forms: snack samplers, assortments of high-end meats, and DIY meal kits. Imagine the joy on your recipient’s face as they tear into an unexpected dessert delivered to their doorstep. We at The Takeout have lots of subscription boxes to recommend—and let us know if you’ve found any unexpectedly great services this holiday season.
Bokksu is a Japanese snack subscription service that’s sure to give your recipient a new flavor experience every month. The boxes are small but mighty; each delivery might not look big, but Bokksu certainly packs the snacks in there, from crackers, cakes, and chips to teas and beverage mixes. Since every month is different, the recipient will be introduced to a variety of handcrafted Japanese snacks from small producers. For pickier folks, Bokksu launched an online market earlier this year where you can pick and choose what you’d like a la carte, including things like housewares.
Universal Yums ships snacks from a different country every month, complete with a guidebook filled with fun facts, games, and recipes from the highlighted nation. Snacks include everything from savory and sweet staples to regional oddities, and in 2021 boxes featured bites like ketchup potato sticks from Germany, fried chicken balls from South Korea, and spicy mango gummies from Spain. The boxes come in three different sizes depending on your appetite and budget, ranging from $15-$40 per month with 5-20 snacks per box.
K.C. Cattle Company
K.C. Cattle Company is a veteran-owned company that specializes in mail-order beef. It features high-end American Wagyu, from items like hot dogs and burgers all the way up to showstoppers like bone-in tomahawk steaks. We recommend the bundles, which start at $55 and feature various cuts of meat, including strip steaks, ribeyes, chuck-eye steaks, and more grill fodder that’s sure to please the ardent carnivore in your life.
Holy Grail Steak Co.
For those looking for ultra-premium and unique types of beef, Holy Grail Steak Co. offers mail-order steak, including Japanese A5 Wagyu, which is the coveted ultra-marbled stuff. Other varieties include American and Australian versions of Wagyu beef, along with its unique carrot-finished Santa Carota (“holy carrot,” in Italian). The Santa Carota, exclusive to Holy Grail, is leaner than most due to the animals’ carrot diet, but is still juicy straight off the grill.
Honolulu Fish Company
If you like your meals to be more interactive, try ordering a sushi kit from Honolulu Fish Company. It comes with all the ingredients you need to make maki, including the fish, seasoned vinegar, nori, and a rolling mat. We recommend this for couples or a family looking to prepare dinner together and have fun while they’re doing it. The fish is high quality, sustainably caught, and delivered fresh (so use it quick!), and making sushi is fun as a group activity or a wintry date night.
CrateChef is like a cooking class in a box, each curated by a different chef, cookbook author, cooking show star, restaurateur, recipe developer, or food blogger. Inside you’ll find 5-7 of the curator’s favorite things, which can include pantry items, kitchen tools, gadgets, or cookbooks, as well as a recipe that brings them together into one spectacular dish. Past chefs have included Bon Appetit’s Brad Leone, Top Chef Season 7 contestant Chef Kenny Gilbert, and first female Iron Chef champion Cat Cora. A brand new, limited-edition box is released every two months, and each one is a delightful surprise guaranteed to expand your culinary horizons.
Bring Hawaii home with a gift box from Common Ground, a community group dedicated to the preservation and future of foods from the Aloha State. Common Ground introduces and connects people to local Hawaiian artisan brands and products that use sustainable, regenerative agricultural practices. There’s a gift box for just about every food lover in your life, from the cocktail connoisseur, to the grill master, to the coffee crazy. Common Ground’s uncommon offerings will have you itching to book the first flight to Hawaii once the holidays are over.
When a kid learns how to cook, they’re not just learning how to feed themselves so their parents can sleep in on the weekends. With Yummy Crate, kids learn the science behind their favorite foods, discovering the “why” and “how” behind the things they eat each day and doing hands-on experiments that will make them more self-sufficient. Each Yummy Crate contains three recipe cards, directions for two STEAM learning activities, a just-for-kids food magazine, and a kitchen tool kids can call their very own.
If you’ve ever been the recipient of a fruit-of-the-month club gift, you know that it’s hands-down one of the best gifts money can buy. These fruit gifts are of unparalleled quality and worlds away from anything you can find at a supermarket. Our current favorite subscription service is FruitStand, which works exclusively with small farms that grow their fruit naturally, harvesting the produce at its absolute peak and shipping it straight to your door. Compared to the more mainstream fruit clubs, FruitStand boxes are surprisingly affordable, costing approximately $135 $for a 3 Month FruitStand Membership with 3-5lbs. of some of the best produce money can buy.
For general “foodie” gifts, you really can’t go wrong with Foxtrot. This Chicago-born “convenience store of the future” specializes in the most exciting packaged foods on the market, with an emphasis on small makers and a rabid devotion to quality. While Foxtrot is slowly expanding its brick-and-mortar footprint across the country (13 locations and counting!), it’s also bringing some of its best straight to your doorstep via Foxtrot Anywhere, an e-commerce platform that’s a vertitable dream for the food-obsessed. Foxtrot currently offers 13 curated gift boxes that can make those dreams come true for just about anyone with taste buds.
Obsessed with Asian snacks? Then it’s absolutely imperative for you to check out Yami, the first and largest online retailer of Asian goods on the internet. This holiday season, Yami has collaborated with award-winning Chef Ivan Orkin (of NYC’s famed Ivan Ramen) on a limited-edition snack box ($49.99) featuring 20 varieties of traditional Japanese snacks that include cookies, chips, crackers, candy, chocolate, instant noodles, drinks, and more that are hard to find stateside.
Eat Offbeat is a woman-led food company that creates gift bundles full of items your recipient might not have encountered before, from snacks to tea to unique flavors of jam. But there is also an option to get heat-and-eat meal boxes, too, designed for individual portions or to be shared. All of these treats are made by refugee chefs who have resettled in the U.S. and brought the flavors of home with them. These walnut tahini dates have knocked it out of the park every time we have given Eat Offbeat as a gift.