This story is part of. CNET editors round up the hottest gadgets for Mom this year.
A great food or drink membership is the gift that keeps on giving but also the gift that keeps on surprising — especially if you’re cursed with memory even half as bad as mine. Each month that fine bar of chocolate, bag of coffee or box of cheese shows up much to your surprise and delight and, sure enough, it feels like the first time, every time.
If you want to lay a little of that monthly food joy on someone for— be it mom or another motherly figure who deserves it — there is a surfeit of subscriptions to choose from. Many of these food-of-the-month clubs and edible subscriptions make excellent Mother’s Day gifts, but finding the very best monthly food basket, wine club or boozy subscription takes a little sifting and sorting.
From salty snack sacks filled with treats from far-off places to algorithm-instructed monthly wine tastings, fancy chocolate or cheese boxes and even fresh seafood subscriptions. These boxes of exciting edibles (and drinkables) will be delivered to Mom’s door on the regular for as long as you choose to keep them coming. So read on, for these are some of the best food and drink gift boxes and edible subscriptions to give for Mother’s Day.
Many of these subscription services should be able to deliver the first box in time for Mother’s Day (May 9) but check with the individual vendor before placing an order if that’s critical to you. Otherwise, you can always send a niceand card to let Mom know something delicious is close behind.
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 $229.
As a bonus, right now you can save $15 on any Goldbelly $50 purchase with special code GetInMyBELLY. This won’t apply to the subscription but it will to any of our other favorite Goldbelly eats, many of which would make perfect Mother’s Day gifts to send from afar (or from a-near for that matter).
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 Mom or the mom-like figure you’re shopping for 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 $10 a month. The best part is your spices come freshly ground — unlike most everything you get at the supermarket — and believe me, Mom will be able to tell the difference. Even if she ignores the recipes and simply tries each one sprinkled a piece of grilled chicken every month, it’ll make cooking — and eating — more fun.
Varieties of cheese are seemingly endless, which makes this cult food the perfect subject for a subscription. Iconic New York cheese shop Murray’s Cheese has a few subscription options to choose from if you want to hook Mom up with some ridiculously good cheddars, bries and manchegos every month.
While we’re not talking about budget cheese here, you can prepay for three months of cheese deliveries for $175 total. Each shipment will include three to four expertly selected cheeses from the masters at Murray’s. I’ve personally tested the melty wares from Murray’s and can confirm this is a quality food club to join.
When it comes to coffee, some folks are creatures of habit, while others like to try new roasts. If your mom happens to be the latter, Trade sources some of the best beans in the biz from indie roasters and will ship her new varieties at a frequency of your choosing.
This is another one we’ve tested firsthand and the results were great. Expect a nice variety in flavor profile, but it’s also easy to update and customizable in case you want something different. Communication from the brand is also clear and concise and, best of all, the beans are fresh as heck, with some arriving as soon as two days after roasting.
Gifting a subscription — which starts at $13 for 12-ounce bags and goes up from there — is not the only option. You can sort through Trade’s a la carte gift options, including individual bags or bundles that start at $48.
Read more: The best coffee subscriptions for every type of drinker
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 one-time send.
Read more: The best snack subscription boxes in 2021
Flowers aren’t food, per se, but they’re so entangled with Mother’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 $45 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.
Joff Lee/Getty Images
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.
Wary of frozen fish? Well, unless you live near a dockside fishmonger, the stuff you’re buying at the market has likely been frozen and then thawed. That’s all to say, fish that is caught, flash-frozen, packed and sent — like what you’ll get from Fulton Fish Market — is probably fresher.
Fulton has a massive selection of a la carte seafood so you can order fish by the piece, box or a curated bundle. Different species like fresh tuna, wild snapper and cod are available in different counts, and you’ll generally save more per pound if you order in bundles. A 10-pack of 8-ounce salmon filets, for instance, can be had for around $89, or a halibut and salmon stock-up bundle goes for $99.
You can also spring for the seafood subscription aka “The Fish Drop” and Fulton will send a monthly, bimonthly or weekly curated box of fish starting at $65 per month for four 6-ounce portions.
This wine subscription from Vinebox (starting at $158) is the best way to add variety to her varietals without committing to full bottles. The selections are cleverly portioned as glass-size samples of the world’s greatest producers and styles. As a bonus, those little vials would fit perfectly in a purse.
Leaf & Clay
Succulents have strength in numbers when it comes to creating a mood, that’s why you often see them in bunches. If you suspect Mom might want to create a little desert charm, sign her up for the Leaf & Clay succulent club. Leaf & Clay will send Mom three hand-selected 2.5-inch succulents to pot or plant. You can prepay three months — that’s nine total plants — for just $53 plus free shipping. Or go month-to-month for $20 for each shipment.
This is the one completely inedible subscription on this list. We don’t want to get any calls from people who tried to eat a cactus.
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?
Winc also just launched the Summer Water Societé, a premium four-month membership experience, available once a year, especially for rosé lovers. Societé members receive four extra-special rosé shipments throughout the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Pricing starts at $89 a month.
Read more: The best wine subscriptions in 2021
Bar & Cocoa
If chocolate is the way to Mom’s heart — specifically dark chocolate — Bar & Cocoa chocolate club will send her some of the best bars in the biz. Four full bars per month, to be exact. A three-month subscription starts at $129 total but you can spring for a six or 12-month run and any of them can be canceled at any time.
And we’re not talking mass-produced Hershey bars here either (no offense). Some of B&C’s premier chocolate producers include Amano, Chocolate Madagascar and A. Morin. And all are ethical, sustainable and eco-conservative. Like I said — the good stuff.
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 everything from pickles to cocktails, jerky and general snacks. You can also peruse the gifts, where there are even more options like a Backyard Bonfire Bites box or a Bloody Mary Cocktail Kit.
If Mom is a mistress of the grill, a box of high-end meats is never a bad call and your gifting options abound in 2021. We’ve tried ButcherBox a few times 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.
For fans of whiskey, Flaviar is the way to go. This fine booze membership club entitles your giftee to one premium bottle 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 is $190 for six months or $300 for a full year, which amounts to four bottles along with four themed tasting flights housed in cool little vials along with the aforementioned member perks.
Fuego Box isn’t new but it is a great idea and makes a perfect gift for the mom who is also a bit of a hothead (when it comes to food, that is). Fuego Box’s hot sauce subscriptions start at $18 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.
Getting a reservation at Cochon Butcher in New Orleans is no easy task (trust me), but getting some of its famous cured meats is as easy as a few clicks through Goldbelly. This charcuterie pack for four people is all made in-house by Cochon Butcher’s team. It includes mortadella, salami cotto, soppressata, hog’s head cheese and lonzino (cured pork loin) with a jar of the butcher’s signature giardiniera Italian relish.
If you’ve got a luxury hound on your list but can’t settle on a single item, you can give the gift of many surprise gifts with a subscription to Vices. Here’s the thing: Fancy candy, high-end booze and quality handmade leather goods may not be things we buy for ourselves, but to be surprised each month by a curated delivery of some has got to count for something.
Subscriptions for Vices boxes start at $100 per month when you sign up for a year. A single month will run you $130. Each one follows a vague theme like this Italian Design box, which included a handsome leather-bound notebook, a very fancy inkless pen, a bottle of Italian aperitivo, Illy espresso and biscotti.
It’s likely that the chef on your list has knives, and just as likely that many of them are dull. Sharpening knives at home by hand is a bit of a tricky business, so I say leave it to the experts. The startup Knife Aid sends you a package in which you can safely pack and ship knives back to be sharpened by pros. I had this done and the results were impeccable; the blades came back in just over a week.
You can send a gift card so they can decide when the time is right, or go ahead and order a sharpening and the initial box will just show up in the mail. It’s $59 for four knives (less than $15 per knife) but if you consider that a knife only really needs this kind of treatment once a year or so, it’s absolutely worth it. It’s also a perfect gift to give someone you may not be seeing in person.
Read more: The best direct-to-consumer knives for 2021