If you want one of the best food Advent calendars of 2021, now is the time to place your order, even if you haven’t put away your Halloween decorations yet. After all, the good ones go fast — and these are good ones. (Remember that Dolly Parton Advent calendar we shared? That sold out long before Halloween!) So to get you excited for the holidays, I’ve pulled together over a dozen of the best food Advent calendars of 2021. Like the scrumptious list of Advent calendars we compiled in 2020, you’ll find countdown calendars here for both kids and adults, sweet to savory, affordable to oh, you shouldn’t have…but I’m glad you did. There are even a few allergen-free options, so that everyone can partake.
NOTE: See our favorite 2023 food Advent calendar picks for 21 delicious new options!
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A milk chocolate Advent calendar for the kids (that you’ll enjoy too)
This adorable Up to Snow Good Advent Calendar is filled with penguin-shaped chocolate from chocolatier Hotel Chocolat. Open it daily to reveal edible Christmas figures with messages like “15 sleeps to go!” and “Hurry Santa!” printed on the back. I included this in my list of the best food Advent calendars when I learned that these are all made with 40% milk chocolate — a percentage that didn’t mean much to me until I read that cheap chocolate in the U.S. can include only 10% chocolate. Bah humbug..
As you might suspect, you’ll pay for better ingredients, but this is one food Advent calendar for 2021 you’ll hope the kids share with you.
($19.95; other versions available in dark chocolate, white chocolate, and–mmmm–caramel)
A gourmet chocolate Advent calendar for an adventurous chocolate eater
Dear Santa: I’ve been awesome this year. Please bring me this incredible, expensive, gourmet, and gorgeous Chocolate Calendar of Advent from Vosges, the Chicago-based chocolatier we’ve covered for years. With its traditional wintery illustrations, each drawer opens to reveal a truly scrumptious sweet in flavors we grown ups will appreciate best — though the kids may try to steal so keep an eye on them).
Every ingredient is of the highest quality — the peppermint gnome includes “ceremonial matcha” and the peanut butter bonbon has a touch of Maldon salt. Youu get the idea. This isn’t your childhood Advent calendar.
A popcorn snack Advent calendar for holiday movie night
If your family loves to catch up on all the best holiday movies in December, the Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn Advent Calendar (no longer available but a great selection of others available) will give you plenty to snack on while you watch–provided you save up a few days and don’t gobble down each bag as soon as you open the flap. (It’s hard to be disciplined.)
Each snack bag is stuffed with one-cup of flavored popcorn in 12 sweet or savory flavors, so you’ll get a repeat, which is a big HOORAY in my book. Made in small batches in Asheville, NC, they’re also all-natural and made with locally sourced ingredients. It’s a splurgy one for sure, but it’s supporting a fabulous small business too.
($125, Food 52)
A spice Advent calendar for your favorite home chef
Move over chocolates and other sweets, I’m digging this Spice Advent calendar from Parisian spice specialist Le Comptoir Colonial for Williams-Sonoma. Each door opens to reveal a new and unique spice or seasoning, presumably labeled in French so I can see how well my Duolingo practice is coming along.
From dry salt with white summer truffle to speculoos spice blend, there are bunches of spices, salts, and peppers to insure you’ll ring in the new year with a few new favorite flavors.
The Sweetapolita sprinkles Advent calendar for the fancy baker
If you know someone who goes wild over fancy sprinkles in every color and shape, you’ll make their year if you splurge on this incredible sprinkle-stuffed Advent calendar from Sweetapolita. Thankfully these unique, colorful sprinkles don’t just fall out of the doors each day, but instead are housed in 2 oz jars, all guaranteed to make homemade cakes and cookies look incredible in the new year.
And if you want some decorating inspiration, check out the Sweetapolita Bakebook which we featured in 8 cool birthday party cake ideas for tweens and teens.
($120, Sweetapolita Shop)
3 allergen-free chocolate Advent calendars that everyone can enjoy
I have two dairy-free kiddos, so most store-bought Advent calendars in 2021 are off-limits for them. But, Moo Free’s vegan and gluten-free Advent calendar is a great and affordable option that is filled with holiday cheer. And just look at how cute those illustrations are! Love that our vegan and gluten-free kids can enjoy something other than the candy canes off the tree. Affordably, too.
For aspiring vegans like me, as well as all my gluten-free friends, I’m happy to find Goodio’s beautiful chocolate Advent calendar. It’s a chocolatey dream come true for us grownups. Made in Finland by hand from raw, stone-ground cacao, there are even six Nordic-inspired flavors hidden inside some of the chocolates.
And by “Nordic flavors”, I don’t mean herring: Instead you’ll find familiar ones like strawberry and blueberry as well as the less-familiar sea buckthorn. Which presumably does not taste like herring either.
($65, Food 52)
If you need an Advent calendar for 2021 for your nut-free kiddos, no worries! Check out last year’s roundup of Advent calendars to find the awesome nut-free Advent calendar we love from No Whey! Foods. It’s also free of dairy, soy, egg, and gluten, so everyone (but the dogs) can enjoy!
Pechkeks anti-Advent Calendar for your lovable Grinch
Holidays schmolidays. If you’ve got edgy teens or an adult in your life with a dark-humor streak, you’ll be the coolest person if you surprise them with Pechkeks anti-Advent Misfortune Cookies calendar. No cute chocolate snowmen or festive designs here; this Tim Burton/ Edward Gorey-esque, European-designed calendar is hilariously illustrated to upset traditional grandmas with crying carolers, inflamed gingerbread men, and “XMAS sucks” sweaters sketched all over the front.
Behind each door, things don’t get a lot cheerier: Instead, a black fortune cookie holds a truly depressing and dark fortune to balance out all the “joy to the world” your teens may be sick of before December 1 even hits. Gift with caution to someone you are sure will think this is amazing.
($59.95, Europe and Deli)
A coffee Advent calendar. Because, coffee.
I had to include a coffee-based option in my Advent Calendars for 2021 list of course, and I found a gorgeous one in this Coffee Advent Calendar from Yawn Brew. With a mix of 4 light roasts, 14 medium, and 6 darker roasts, you can customize the type of grind or select whole bean, so you can wake up fast each morning for 24 days with a cup of freshly brewed coffee to look forward to.
Each pouch makes one cup of coffee, so if you want this to share, make sure you buy a calendar for each coffee drinker in the house.
($59.99+,from Tea Revv on Etsy, multiple calendar purchase discounts available)
A tea Advent calendar, because not everyone drinks coffee.
If tea is your beverage of choice, I love Tea Pigs’ Tea Advent Calendar filled with a different winter blend each day, from spiced pear to gingerbread to sweet spearmint. I purchased Tea Pigs tea for two of my biggest tea fans in my family last Christmas and heard nothing but great reviews of the unique and delicious blends.
($49.99, Tea Pigs)
A whiskey Advent calendar for grown ups (obviously)
I’m not much of a whiskey aficionado, but when my editor Liz sent me a link to this Flaviar Whiskeys of the Galaxy Advent Calendar with the words, “oooooh”, I knew it must be special.
I’ll admit that it looks really cool, with 24 spirit samples packaged together with a Glencairn glass, coaster and tasting booklet. Makes a very special gift for a whiskey fan who’s helped you get through the past two years. But hurry! This is one food Advent calendar that definitely sells out and it’s been on pre-sale since summer!
A luxurious chocolate Advent calendar for someone who really “does” Christmas
How cool is this Holiday Ornament Advent Calendar from La Maison du Chocolat (no longer available but visit La Maison du Chocolat to see what they have for 2022)? This beautiful 8″ round cardboard ornament is stuffed with delicious chocolatey tidbits and definitely deserves a prominent hanging spot in your home. Especially if your’e familiar with their extraordinary gourmet chocolates.
Let’s be honest though; it’s a Christmas ornament, not a holiday ornament. Because it’s an Advent calendar. Which counts the days to…Christmas.
($75, La Maison du Chocolat)
And hey… it’s legal (in some states)
If you live in a state that has legalized recreational marijuana (and know you can keep this away from your kids), this Cannabis Christmas Advent calendar would be a very relaxing way to count down the days of the hectic holiday season — preferably at the end of the day to chill before bed. Just note that the calendar doesn’t come stuffed with edibles; you’ll need to make a trip to your favorite local dispensary to fill it up with gummies, chocolates, or mints of your choosing. Lucky for me, I live in Massachusetts. Ho ho ho.
($39.99 unfilled, Cannadish)
Be sure to get your Advent calendar 2021 order in ASAP if you fall in love with one of these, so you’re ready to do a proper countdown starting on December 1. Speaking from experience, it’s not so much fun to start the countdown on say December 7 when your Advent calendar arrives. That just doesn’t have the same ring to it.