This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.
Even though life may be like a box of chocolates, giving someone a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day is a bit of a tired cliché. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with the time-honored staple. If your sweetheart is sweet on the sugary stuff, you don’t need to forgo that giant heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates. But if chocolate isn’t really their love language, don’t waste money on a formality when endless options exist.
For people who love to eat and cook, an edible or drinkable subscription for Valentine’s Day hits all the right notes, especially since many of the best food-of-the-month clubs source goods from small and independent producers so the eats and drinks aren’t ones that can be found just anywhere. Plus, the good stuff rolls in month after month, so they won’t soon forget just how much you care.
And don’t worry about getting stuck for life; most of these vendors offer one-time sends or plans as short as three months. We personally tested dozens of subscriptions to find the right fit for your one true love — or anyone else you might be sending a little cheer to this Valentine’s Day — and these are the best.
Read more: 10 Valentine’s Gifts to Impress Her in 2023
Best food and drink subscriptions for Valentine’s Day
Good coffee is a love language which is why membership to Fellow’s coffee club makes a perfect Valentine’s Day gift. While there are dozens of excellent coffee clubs to choose from, I like Fellow for quality selections and simplicity in execution. Be it for yourself or a gift, you’ll choose light or dark roast and frequency of delivery — every two or four weeks. Fellow takes care of the rest sending different small-batch and roasted-to-order whole beans to keep your beloved sufficiently caffeinated.
There are a handful of subscription services that send Japanese snacks. If your sweet prefers savory, Bokksu is a great option. But for cakes, sweets, candy and other sugary eats, Sakuraco is the better pick. While you’ll still find salty snacks in the mix, this subscription leans more heavily on desserts and tea snacks including moist Japanese cakes, chocolates, wagashi confections, hard candies and gummies.
A one-time send is about $37. Subscribe for a full year and the monthly price drops to $32.
This is an excellent cheese subscription service with a name that probably could have used some workshopping. Membership to the Curdbox club nets you a monthly package of three different cheeses and three specially curated goodies to pair with them. The cheeses they choose are in the crowd-pleasing zone and not overly intense, so this makes an excellent gift for even a novice cheese taster.
My first Curdbox delivery included 4 ounces each of an incredible Paraire Breeze cheddar, a creamy cow’s milk Toma by Point Reyes and a slightly crumble cow and goat milk cheese from Central Coast Creamery. Plus, a jar of cherry spread, positively addicting sweet potato chips and a bag of crunchy craft popcorn. All this for $50 a delivery (or $48 if you prepay for three months) is a solid price considering everything you get.
Bar & Cocoa
Chocolate gets knocked around for being cliche this time of year. If you’re going the cocoa route, you’d better make it special and few subscriptions are better suited for a dark chocolate lover than Bar & Cocoa’s monthly club. Each shipment will contain four bars of unique craft chocolate from some of the top producers in the chocolate-making world (see a full list of producers here). Three months of fine chocolate subscription packages will run you $135 and six months is $259.
Note, that four full bars is a lot of chocolate. If you’re not sure there’s an appetite for that much, you can order one-time gift boxes or even single bars.
As a person who cooks a lot but doesn’t have a market nearby with particularly good spice sections, I can say I would totally love this gift. If your Valentine has an affinity for cooking with bold and interesting spices, this is a no-brainer.
Raw Spice Bar will send 2 ounces of a spice or spice blend such as Indian garam masala or Japanese furikake. Plus, she’ll get chef-tested recipes to make with each one all for $12 a month. The best part is your spices come freshly ground — unlike most everything you get at the supermarket — and believe me, they’ll be able to tell the difference.
The Japanese have snacking down to an art form. Bokksu knows this better than anyone, which is why it took the top spot in a ranking of best snack boxes I wrote earlier in the year. Bokksu collects some of the best snacks from Japan and compiles them in a one-time or recurring monthly curated tasting box.
I’ve both given and received a Bokksu and it is always a hit. The best part about these high-end snack packs is that if you’re not familiar with them, almost none of the Japanese treats remind you much of the snacks more common in the US.
Inside the unmistakable bright orange boxes, you’ll find eats like seaweed tempura, green tea and lemon cakes along with Japanese candy such as yuzu gummies and matcha-strawberry Kit-Kats. What’s more, Bokksu includes some slick literature explaining a bit about each treat, including historical and cultural significance, where it applies. Bokksu boxes start at $40 per month for subscriptions and $50 for a single box send.
Read more: Best Snack Subscriptions in 2022
If it’s too late to plan a cross-country road trip to try the best eats in the land, Goldbelly has a backup plan and you’ll spend way less on gas. The Best of Goldbelly three-month subscription includes curated monthly boxes featuring truly legendary food like southern barbecue, pies and baked goods from iconic purveyors around the country including Magnolia Bakery and Russ & Daughters. Each delivery is different and can’t be modified, but that’s really the fun of it and Goldbelly does a great job of making sure everything is packaged safely and securely. Three months of the Best of Goldbelly is $249.
If your Valentine is a regular over the grill grates or cast-iron skillet, a box of high-end meats is never a bad call and your gifting options abound in 2023. We’ve tried ButcherBox on several occasions and it stands out as the best service for gifting a meat box or subscription for the grilling gal in your life.
Other online butchers specialize in niche beef such as KC Cattle Co’s stock of 100% American wagyu. Another newcomer, Porter Road, has some interesting cuts and holiday bundles, while old standby Rastelli’s will let you curate a box of meat and seafood to send. See our favorite online butchers to find a little something meaty to gift to your favorite carnivore.
Flowers also aren’t food, per se, but they’re so entangled with Valentine’s Day gifting we thought it best to include an option we’ve personally tested. Flower subscription services are becoming increasingly popular, ensuring delivery of beautiful blooms month after month, and that’s exactly what BloomsyBox specializes in.
We tried BloomsyBox recently and appreciated the high-quality flowers that arrived fresh held up for nearly a week. BloomsyBox subscriptions start at $55 a month, but you can spring for the deluxe and premium bouquets as well. The more expensive plans have more flowers per delivery. The selected flowers will vary each month and often include favorites like roses, orchids and sunflowers.
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Everything I’ve ever ordered from Fulton Fish Market online has been fresh, and when you’re talking seafood that’s about as important as it gets. For someone without a good fish market in their neighborhood, some quality fish by mail from this trusted fishmonger based in New York City is a total treat.
You gift your person a seafood subscription aka “The Fish Drop” and Fulton will send a monthly, bimonthly or weekly curated box of fish starting at $93 per month for four fresh 6-ounce portions.
Wine may seem like the fallback gift with a, perhaps rightful, reputation as impersonal. Winc, like a few of the other flashy new wine clubs, is hoping to change that by delving deep inside your palate and making ordering wine by mail an engaging experience. If there’s someone on your list you suspect would love to learn more about wine or their own preferences — strange as that may sound — a Winc subscription is a great place to start. The company starts you off with a profile and palate analysis, and then sends wines it thinks you’ll like. Each time you rate them so the shipments from various producers start to jibe better with your taste.
Winc monthly memberships start at an affordable $39 (plus $9 shipping) for three bottles per month. You can buy a gift card for as few or as many months as you’d like to bequeath, or just send a one-time shipment of wine. Who doesn’t love that?
Better yet, take advantage of Winc’s New Year’s promo and score four bottles for just $29.
Read more: Best Wine Subscriptions
The best thing about Mouth is the seemingly endless options for gift boxes, baskets subscriptions and more. I’d venture to guess that even if you’re not sure what food gift you’re looking for, you’re still bound to find it in the sprawling online marketplace of quality eats.
Mouth has monthly subscriptions for nearly everything including pickles, cocktails and general snacks. You can also peruse the gifts, where there are even more options like a Bloody Mary Cocktail Kit. Subscriptions start at around $50 a month.
For fans of high-end brown booze, Flaviar is the way to go. This fine liquor membership club entitles your giftee to one premium bottle of whisky along with a themed tasting box every quarter. Plus you’ll get access to rare, exclusive bottlings, tailored recommendations and invitations to unique members-only events.
Flaviar’s all-access membership is $349 for the year. This top tier includes one tasting box and one full bottle four times per year plus loads of resources, virtual tastings and other perks. See more pricing and membership details here.
Tequila Taster’s Club
For a tequila drinker, you might spring for the Tequila Taster’s Club. For $55 a month, the giftee will get a full bottle of craft tequila to sip (or shoot) to their heart’s delight.
Fuego Box isn’t new but it is a great idea and makes a perfect gift for a hothead (when it comes to food, that is). Fuego Box’s hot sauce subscriptions start at $13 per month — although $30 per month for three bottles is a much better deal.
There are also plenty of one-off gift boxes like this one with hot honey, peach habanero hot sauce and spicy garlic seasoning. Plus, Fuego Box is a small business that supports other small businesses, so you can feel good about that.