Best Father’s Day gifts for every kind of foodie dad

Best Father's Day gifts for every kind of foodie dad

This story is part of Father’s Day Gift Guide 2021, featuring our top picks for dads who love tech.

The times that I’ve aced Father’s Day are when I didn’t overthink it. All it takes is a little careful meditation when considering a gift. You ready? Close your eyes and imagine Dad opening, holding, using and enjoying said gift and when it’s right, you’ll know. OK, so maybe it’s not about not overthinking it as much as it is thinking about it differently. There are few people in this world you know better than Dad, and the perfect present to show your appreciation for the big guy is definitely out there.

My dad happens to be a minimalist when it comes to cooking equipment and kitchen gear, so I generally let function lead when seeking that perfect present for Pops. That said, lavishing a little bit of luxury on him goes a long way, and when I can Trojan Horse a little something special in with the practical, I know I’ve got a Father’s Day triumph on my hands. 

If your dad or a father figure in your life loves to eat and cook the way mine does, you might be in search of a great foodie-type gift for Father’s Day that is function-first but with a hint of grandeur. Maybe it’s a tool that makes grilling more fun or replaces a piece of cookware he’s had since the ’70s and is in desperate need of an upgrade. 

There are plenty of gadgets and cookware to consider, of course,  but also good old-fashioned food gifts: I can say from experience that a box of nice steaks (for a Dad who eats steak) is as safe a Father’s Day bet as any, and you can make it extra special by upgrading to fancy Wagyu. Or, if your dad isn’t into steak, you can always go for high-quality chocolate, interesting ice cream, a bacon or jerky bouquet or even a fancy bottle whiskey, gin or whatever spirit he most enjoys. You can even go for a gift basket full of treats like nuts, pretzels, cured meat and more.

There are also some excellent food and drink subscriptions for Father’s Day that will keep the eats and drinks rolling in long after June 20. We came at this foodie Father’s Day gifting guide from a few angles in the hopes you’ll find the perfect thing for your Dad this year, no matter what sort of food-lovin’ father he may be. 

Read more: Best Father’s Day gifts under $50 for 2021

NomadiQ

In a real-world test of 15 small grills, this super-portable gas grill from Nomadiq ranked way up near the top and was my favorite truly portable grill. This smartly designed unit has the advantage of being half the weight of most other portable grills and it folds up inside itself to be not much larger or more cumbersome than a large handbag. The small gas grill worked well too, getting hot enough to sear all our burgers, steaks, chicken and dogs on a surprisingly large 226 square-inch grill surface. 

This makes a perfect gift if Dad already has a main grill but you suspect he’d like to do some grilling in places other than the backyard. My only beef is that it’s a little hard to clean but, honestly, cleaning a grill is rarely a pleasant experience. 

Harper Collins

Laurie Woolever was an assistant to the late, great Anthony Bourdain. The two were in the midst of collaborating on a travel guide when the venerated chef-turned-journalist suddenly passed. Bourdain’s family urged Woolever to finish the book and it finally went to print this year. 

In World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, you’ll find much of Bourdain’s extensive globetrotting and experience distilled into an “entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places — in his own words.” 

Vermicular

I’ll admit that shelling out $160 for a single pan is a lot, but if there’s one that’s worth it, it might be the incredible new featherweight cast-iron frying pan from Japanese kitchen brand Vermicular. 

Cast iron is a favorite for the high-heat cooking of steaks, chicken and burgers, but its fatal flaw is how dang heavy it is. I’ve only been using this pan for a few weeks but, so far, Vermicular seems to have cracked the code with a 10-inch skillet that clocks in just over 2 pounds. The average cast-iron pan weighs more than double that. 

The frying pan does take a bit of special care in cleaning and it can’t be used in the oven due to a wooden handle, but that’s all a small price to pay for cast iron you don’t dread dragging out of the cupboard. Plus, it looks incredible. The pan alone is $160 and another $40 if you want the lid.

Gozney

If Dad likes to lord over the grill to feed the herd, he’ll have just as much fun running a pizza party with this high-octane outdoor gas oven. The Gozney Roccbox gets hot — like 930 degrees F hot —  to make crispy Neapolitan-style pizza in just a few minutes. It runs on propane (easy!) but has a wood burner attachment in case you’ve got extra logs laying around and prefer that fuel source. Read my full review of the Gozney Roccbox here.

Read moreBest direct-to-consumer cookware for 2021: Made In, Caraway, Field Company and more

MakiMaki

The MakiMaki sushi kit has everything Dad’ll need to make sushi at home. And I mean everything, including slabs of sushi-grade tuna, toro, hamachi, salmon and all the fixings. Making sushi turns out to be a whole lot of fun, satisfying and quite a bit easier than I thought it would be. This is a fun gift for the DIY foodie dad and one you can all enjoy together.

Yami

Ivan Orkin, the chef and owner of Ivan Ramen in New York, has partnered with online Asian market Yami to deliver a bundle of authentic Japanese pantry staples. The Ivan Pantry box has all the pillars of Japanese cooking including pickled ginger, furikake seasoning, katsu curry, Tonkatsu sauce, chili oil and tons more. It also comes with some of Ivan’s classic recipes for Dad to make with all his new pantry staples like dashi broth, pork curry and grilled rice balls.

You can order a one-time box or have a new assortment of Japanese pantry staples delivered every three months.

All-Clad

Having reliable hard-working skillets he can reach for day in and day out will make Dad a better cook. The big reason is, with pans that perform consistently it’s much better to see what you could be doing better, follow recipes accurately and hone your skills, even for simple techniques like pan-frying a grilled chicken breast or sautéing kale. Good pans, like All-Clad’s popular d5 series, will last a long time if you care for them properly. They won’t warp and will make cooking way more enjoyable.

Togu

Sharp knives are one of the fastest ways to raise your kitchen prowess and a sharp knife subscription will ensure Dad has just that. He may not even realize he’s working with dull knives until he gets his first delivery of Togu’s high-end Santoku chef’s knife and versatile paring knife. The best part is Togu will replace the knives with freshly sharpened blades every eight weeks so his knives stay as sharp as he is. 

You can purchase six or 12 months of Togu for Dad. At $24 a month, it’s not cheap so I’d only recommend this for someone who does lots of chopping and dicing. A casual home cook won’t need sharp knives that often and you might just be wasting your coin. 

Cobble Creek

If your father appreciates efficiency, he’ll probably love this five-in-one grill tool. It’ll chop, cut, flip, spear and tenderize. MacGyver only wishes he’d had one of these.

Ember

This is the gift Dad would probably never buy for himself but will totally love and brag about every chance he gets. The Ember keeps any hot beverage at the exact temperature he likes it, from the first sip until the last. There’s an Ember travel mug too in case he’s headed back to the office soon.  

If dad is going to make sushi, he’ll need sharp knives. If the pricey Togu knife subscription service is pushing your budget limits, this Work Sharp knife sharpener is easy to use and sharpens like a champ. The E2 model is powerful and compact so it won’t crowd the counter or cupboard and you can sharpen a dull blade in under five minutes. It’s one of my go-to gadgets and makes a great gift for a dad who might be a little dull in the knife drawer. 

Read moreThe best Chef’s knives in 2021

Beer Drop

One of the big differences between Beer Drop and other beer subscription services is this one lets Dad pick the beer styles. From there, Beer Drop sources interesting, smaller-batch brews from a selection of microbreweries around the country and sends them out monthly. Knowing how picky some beer drinkers can be about style, this is the best way to get new and interesting beers in Dad’s hands that he’ll almost definitely enjoy.

There are a few levels of subscription but you can gift Dad three months of beer drops — 10 beers in each — for $144. He’ll get a free hop exploration box with samples of hops to really bring the brewing process to life.

Goldbelly

Cochon is a legendary butcher in New Orleans famous for its cured meats. You can order dad a spread of Cochon’s greatest hits including mortadella, cotto salami, soppressata, hog’s head cheese, coppa and a jar of Abita amber mustard. 

Momofuku

David Chang’s Momofuku restaurant empire is big on flavor and you can add some of his signatures to Dad’s kitchen lineup with the pantry starter pack. It’s got spicy seasoned salts, soy sauce, tamari and the famous chili crunch.

BruMate

When the sun starts beating down in June and July and we take the party outside, warm beer becomes an issue — especially for those tallboy cans. Save Dad from warmbeeritus with a BruMate. These sophisticated koozies come in any size you’d need — regular, tall, skinny cans and even wine glass — and start at an affordable $20. 

If he’s been making do with a second-rate meat thermometer (or — gasp — is one of those people who cuts in to see if it’s done), your dad is going to love the MK4 from Thermoworks as a Father’s Day gift. This accurate little tool comes in 10 colors, gives you a temp in 2 to 3 seconds and will take all the guesswork out of centerpiece roasts. 

Give Dad a reason to fire up the barbie with some special Wagyu beef from Snake River Farms. Snake River offers hand-cut American Wagyu top sirloins, tomahawks, strip steaks, filets, burgers. Much of the meat has been wet-aged for 21-plus days for improved flavor and texture and all of it has that rich Wagyu marbling that has made it famous the world over. You can go big with a subscription too starting at $225 per delivery.

For more meat delivery options for Dad at any budget, check out our list of the best meat delivery services in 2021.

This five-pack of artisanally made cocktail bitters — in flavors like ginger, smoked chili and orange — will surely inspire Dad to whip up some new cocktails. If he’s not feeling creative, all of them would be perfect in an Old Fashioned. I always have a bottle of Hella on my bar and I thank myself whenever cocktail time rolls around.

Bachan’s

A sauce that’s good enough to give for Father’s Day — trust me on this one. Bachan’s Japanese barbecue is a vibrant blend of soy sauce, mirin and tomato paste with ginger, onion garlic and toasted sesame. Dynamite on everything from burgers to chicken, steak and more. If he digs teriyaki-style sauces, it’s great as a marinade or stir-fried with noodles and rice too.

Goldbelly

If your dad loves a good pastrami on rye but can’t make it to New York this year, this package from third-generation New York Deli Kenny & Ziggy’s has everything he needs to make an epic pastrami sandwich. The kit feeds roughly four people and includes an entire pound of triple-smoked pastrami, eight slices of Jewish rye, pickles and a 12-ounce bottle of Kenny & Ziggy’s signature deli mustard.

Used by the best restaurants the world over, the Coravin will let Dad pop special bottles — even champagne — without worrying about the wine getting oxidized if he doesn’t finish the whole thing. 

If all else fails, a subscription to one of our favorite wine clubs is always a hit for an oenophile dad.

Get it? Dad jokes aside, if he’s a dairy freak, Dad will love this cheese of the month subscription gift. Each shipment includes three half-pound cheese selections, hand-picked by the experts at Murray’s. 

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