Just to be clear, I adore a box of good chocolates, like Vosges or Philip Ashley, and will never turn it down on Valentine’s Day (or any day). But, if you’d like to surprise your Valentine (or me!) with something beyond the tried-and-true, we’ve found 20 sweet and savory Valentine’s Day food gifts that go beyond a box of chocolates.
Will it be a bouquet of handmade European-style salami sticks or a frosty four-pack of boozy ice cream for your beloved? Or perhaps some soft, chewy gourmet pretzels? There are even sharable meal kits so you can have a romantic dinner…preferably after the kids have gone to bed. And take a peek at our post from 2019 for 11 outrageous Valentine’s treats that are more creative than a box of chocolates just in case you’d like to consider even more options.
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Though I lean toward wildly indulgent treats on Valentine’s Day, this colorful heart-shaped dried fruit tray from Manhattan Fruitier is making my mouth water. Covered in treats like Mediterranean apricots, Angelino plums, and bright-green kiwi, I’m not sure it will last a day in my household of five fruit lovers. But the heart-shaped bamboo cutting board is made to use long after the fruit has been gobbled up. ($49.95 at Williams Sonoma)
I’ve been seeing ads for local-to-me Eastern Standard Provisions’ Valentine’s waffle gift box all over Facebook, (Damn you, Facebook ads!) and they look absolutely delicious. They just so happened to be one Oprah’s Favorite Things this year. Waffles? I do! ($29.99)
Edited to add: Since this post was published, we have learned that the waffles that Oprah taste-tested were supplied by another small Massachusetts company, Burgundian, whose name was removed from Eastern Standard Provision’s submission. Eastern Standard Provisions now uses another waffle provider for their gift boxes. A lawsuit has been filed. Burgunian Liège waffles can be found at their new Attleboro, MA café, as well as in restaurants around Providence, RI.
If you’d prefer something that might go better with a cold beer, Eastern Standard Provisions also has this Valentine’s edition gourmet soft pretzel gift box. Filled with two of their large pretzels and a bunch of their maybe-you’ll-share pretzel bites, there’s also fudge, sprinkles, and salt for dipping. . .but, gasp, no mustard? Maybe add one of these to your order. ($29.99)
Want to impress a foodie? Splurge on a decadent gift box of caviar and truffles from NYC’s Trufflin, a company that’s gotten a ton of buzz for its amazing truffles and truffle-based condiments. Found in restaurants like Le Bernadin, Eleven Madison Park, and Masa, I love how founders Cornelious Robinson and Liv Woudstra-Robinson have created products that will taste great at those places, but also make my movie night bowl of popcorn or Sunday morning eggs also taste incredible. ($190)
Magnolia Bakery’s “Date Night” pack includes two generous servings of their new chocolate-covered strawberry pudding along with two of their classic cupcakes. I think we’re supposed to share this with our sweetheart, but that’s definitely optional. ($45)
For that person who loves cheese more than almost anything (except for you of course), the Love it Cheesy gift box from Cheese Brothers is a really gouda gift (ha). All made in Wisconsin, a state that really knows cheese, this gift box also includes some other goodies made in state. ($54.95)
One of our picks in 2020’s 15 delicious Father’s Day food gifts supporting black-owned businesses, Maya’s Cookies Valentine’s Collection includes a half-dozen of her gourmet vegan cookies. This plant-based assortment includes Valentine’s Sprinkle, Chocolate Sweetheart, and Classic Chocolate Chip. ($35)
Launched during the pandemic to help support local businesses in their beloved city of Memphis, I love how City Tasting Box helps bring the flavors of Memphis beyond the city limits. Their Official Memphis Travel Box is a hyper-local collection of flavors from barbecue and beyond. ($74.99)
We all know someone who would swoon over this 6-stem salami bouquet from Olympia Provision from Portland, Oregon. Hilarious in concept, each no-joke bouquet is filled with handmade sticks of Cacciatore, Chorizo Rioja, Loukanika, Saucisson Sec, Salami Nola, Saucisson D’Alsace. Much, much tastier than a dozen roses. ($95, Amazon) (3-stem bouquets can be ordered direct)
Your eyes may see “chocolate brownie”, but don’t be fooled; this little heart-shaped treat is actually a traditional Caribbean black cake made in Brooklyn by The Black Cake Company. Filled with burnt sugar, dried fruits, rum, wine, and spices, their heart-shaped miniatures bring a bit of Caribbean warmth to February. ($29.99/four)
Our own Liz raves about the William Greenberg Bakery (simply, “Greenberg’s”), a Manhattan institution known for their soft, cakey black-and-white cookies. And while the traditional pairing would still make a lovely gift, I love these mini versions dressed up in pink and red for Valentine’s Day. ($36/mini cookies)
You don’t have to be from the Windy City to appreciate the beauty that is Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza which is found in this special “Spreading Hearts” meal pack. Each pizza is paired with a soft heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie for dessert and two tiny pewter hearts (don’t try to eat those).
But, that’s not all: You’ll not only feed your sweetheart with this delicious pack, but each purchase donates a pizza to a local Chicago-area food pantry. Sweet. ($69.99 at Tastes of Chicago)
DIY gift pack from Ivy’s Teas
If drinking great tea and supporting Black women are two things you love, you’ll really love this idea for a DIY gift pack from Maryland-based Ivy’s Tea. Purchase one ounce of their own Grown loose leaf tea, with flavors of peach and floral, and $3 will automatically be donated to Buy From a Black Woman.
Everyone deserves delicious treats on Valentine’s Day which is why I especially love these gluten-free Valentine’s Day cupcakes from Baked by Melissa. In flavors like red velvet, triple chocolate crunch, and birthday cake, there will be plenty to share in this box of 25, if they choose. ($53)
We rarely go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day but this authentic Tapas for Two gift box from La Tienda will make it a night to remember even if we don’t get off the couch. With an incredible assortment of foods from Spain, there’s plenty for two to share, maybe over a bottle of Spanish wine. ($84.95)
Assuming your sweetheart is over the age of 21 (ha), Tipsy Scoops’ Valentine’s Day Pack pairs real ice cream or sorbet with real alcohol for a delicious combo of flavors like Red Velvet Martini or Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel. Suddenly, staying in for the night sounds like a really, really good idea. ($56)
Though not at all Valentine’s themed, there’s something sexy about slurping noodles with the one you love. If you agree, we highly recommend doing dinner for two at home with one of Xi’an Famous Foods’ hand-ripped noodle kits which we featured in our post 20 fabulous food and kitchen gifts supporting AAPI-owned businesses: Gifts for dads, for grads, for hostesses, for yourself!.
Though full of flavor, these kits (which include a vegan option) are easy to prepare together and fun to eat together. You can take it from there. (from $40.95)
Marshmallow hearts from XO Marshmallow
We featured their rose-gold marshmallows in our 2019 post, 11 outrageous Valentine’s treats that are more creative than a box of chocolates, but these little palm-sized marshmallow hearts from XO Marshmallow are such a sweet treat for kids, or pair with some hot cocoa and a mug for a nice gift. ($9.95 for a set of 5)
We’ve loved One Hope Wines for ages for not only their delicious wines, but all the good they’ve done over the years through donations to important causes like breast cancer research and The Trevor Project. For Valentine’s Day, their Sweet and Treat Gift Box pairs your choice of wine with a trio of munchies to enjoy while taking a sip. ($55+)
I haven’t left the country in oh-so-long, so getting a “taste of the tropics” delivered to my door would be a swoon-worthy experience. Our own Lisa recommended the Tropical Fruit Box company in Fabulous food gifts for families, and I think their Tropi Love Fruit Box makes an exotic and yummy Valentine gift, filled with lychees, white Spanish pomegranate, red bananas, dragon fruit, and a Valentine-ready pink pineapple. Take me away! ($99)