The 12 Best Gift Baskets Of 2023, Tested And Reviewed

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We tested 26 gift baskets, including cheese, chocolate, and fruit baskets.

<p>Southern Living</p>

Southern Living

Gift baskets not only show how much you care, but can be customized to fit whatever snacks, treats, or foods that the recipient likes. Whether you’re shopping for a holiday, birthday, or special occasion, a gift basket is always a great gift.

According to etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, “A gift basket, filled with wonderful treats, favorite food, and an unexpected surprise, is always a welcome gift.” But with so many retailers and types of gift baskets, it can be difficult to decide the kind of gift basket to send to someone.

To help you select the best gift basket, we put 26 popular options to the test. We paid attention to every part of the process, including ordering and delivery, and evaluated each basket on its variety, freshness, presentation, and size. Our top picks cover a whole range of categories, including fruits, chocolates, ice cream, and more.

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit Share the Love Basket

See at Calliesbiscuits.com

See at Goldbelly.com

What’s Great About It

  • The biscuits arrive frozen, so the recipient can take their time enjoying them.

What Could Be Better

  • It doesn’t feel very “gifty”.

Aptly named the Share the Love Basket, this breakfast-focused option contains 18 biscuits and a container of pimento cheese. The variety includes six of Callie’s best-selling flavors: buttermilk, cinnamon, and cheese and chive. This type of gift basket is perfect for families and other large groups and stands out since it’s a bit unusual compared to other gift baskets. Since the biscuits arrive frozen, the recipient can make a few at a time to make the gift last longer.

We thought that all the biscuits tasted delicious, with a delightfully crumbly texture. They tasted like something you’d find at a Southern-style restaurant, and the pimento cheese tasted better than options you’d find at a typical grocery store. All in all, we highly recommend this gift basket if you want to share a taste of the South.

Price at time of publish: $46

<p>Southern Living / Emma Phelps</p>

Southern Living / Emma Phelps

Shari's Berries Distinctive Fruit Basket & Sweets Gift Grande

See at 1800baskets.com

See at Berries.com

What’s Great About It

  • The presentation is flawless.

What Could Be Better

  • It includes a lot of decoration, which may feel excessive to some people.

If you’re looking for a classic fruit basket, you can’t beat this one from Shari’s Berries. Inside, there are oranges, apples, pears, and chocolate-covered cherries, as well as sweets like chocolate chip cookies and saltwater taffy. We found that everything, including the candies, tasted fresh and delicious. We liked that it was visually appealing as well. We ordered the Grande size, which is the largest and most expensive, but it’s also available in standard and deluxe sizes. Since there’s so much fruit in the basket, they will need to have enough space in the refrigerator to keep everything fresh. Just keep in mind that since it includes a lot of decorative materials, be prepared for cleanup to take a while.

Price at time of publish: $150 for Grande

<p>Southern Living / Daniela Galvez</p>

Southern Living / Daniela Galvez

Recchiuti Black Box 16

See at Recchiuti.com

What’s Great About It

  • The flavors are unique and delicious, and each chocolate is beautifully decorated.

What Could Be Better

  • It’s expensive for 16 chocolates.

Although not technically a gift basket, this box of chocolates is definitely a worthy gift. It includes 16 pieces of handmade chocolate (although you can also buy boxes of 32 or 88 if you want even more), so it’s perfect for 1-2 people. After one bite, these chocolates quickly became our favorite. From the unique flavors to the eye-catching designs, this box of chocolates is clearly superior to store-bought ones. Even those who aren’t very adventurous with their palate will enjoy this box, which includes flavors like hazelnut, sesame nougat, lavender vanilla, and peppermint. Even though the company ships the chocolate with an ice pack, the recipient will need to be at home to get the box, or the chocolates could melt on the doorstep.    

Price at time of publish: $52

<p>Southern Living / Nicole Lund</p>

Southern Living / Nicole Lund

Seven Sisters Scones Sconies, Jam, And Tea Sampler

See at Sevensistersscones.com

What’s Great About It

  • The scones are soft and fresh, and are wrapped individually to help them last longer.

What Could Be Better

  • You don’t know the flavors of the scones in advance.

Another fantastic breakfast basket, this scone-focused basket is great for all occasions and people, from your coworkers to your best friend. Each scone has a different flavor and is individually wrapped, although you won’t know which flavors you’re getting. The basket also comes with jam, cream, and tea to round it out. Compared to typical scones you might get at Starbucks, these arrived fresher and softer. And since each scone is individually wrapped, the recipient can take them on the go instead of eating them all at once.

Price at time of publish: $62

<p>Southern Living / Melanie Fincher</p>

Southern Living / Melanie Fincher

Di Bruno Bros. Abbondanza Gift Box

$125 at Amazon.com

See at Dibruno.com

What’s Great About It

  • It comes with everything needed to create a unique charcuterie board.

What Could Be Better

  • We would have preferred it to come with one more cheese.

While it’s fun to put together a charcuterie board with your friends, sometimes it’s easier to purchase one online. The Abbondanza Gift Box from Di Bruno Bros. contains everything they need for a wine and cheese night: aged cheddar, cheese spread, salami, jam, candied nuts, caramels, crostini crackers, and other delicious treats and snacks.

Since this gift basket has refrigerated items, the company includes ice packs to keep everything fresh. As soon as we opened the box, we saw that none of the products had been damaged or partially opened, and we appreciated the overall presentation. Everything was high-quality and gourmet, and we think it’s a great option for a hostess. The only thing we would improve is adding another block of hard cheese or another type of cheese spread to complete the assortment.

Price at time of publish: $100

<p>Southern Living / Nicole Lund</p>

Southern Living / Nicole Lund

Salt and Straw The Best Sellers Pack: Classics

See at Saltandstraw.com

What’s Great About It

  • All the ice creams arrived totally frozen.

What Could Be Better

  • There aren’t any fruity flavors included.

One of the best ways to treat someone you love? Gift them five pints of Salt & Straw ice cream. This sweet gift set includes the brand’s classic best-sellers: sea salt and caramel, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, chocolate brownie, and cookie dough. We discovered that these flavors complemented each other really well, although we would have liked to try a fruity-flavored one as well. In terms of delivery, we were impressed that the ice cream arrived totally frozen with zero melting, and we loved that it tasted like it was just made yesterday. Even the vegan flavor was delicious—in fact, it was our favorite of the five. You can also make it a subscription, with delivery every 30, 60, or 90 days.

Price at time of publish: $75

<p>Southern Living / Laura Miller</p>

Southern Living / Laura Miller

Harry & David The Favorite Royal Riviera Pears

$40 at Harryanddavid.com

What’s Great About It

  • Each pair is neatly packaged.

What Could Be Better

  • The pears were slightly bruised on arrival.

Besides being a sweet snack, pears can be added to different desserts, salads, and drinks. This pear gift box includes simple and includes just nine gourmet Riviera pears that are all wrapped in tissue paper. One thing to note, though: Even though the description says nine pears are included, we only received eight. Still, we appreciated that the pears weren’t quite ripe on arrival, which allowed us to enjoy them for longer and not worry about eating them all right away. This type of gift basket is best for 1-3 people, and is more unique than the standard fruit basket. You can also slice the pears up and serve them as appetizers at different gatherings.

Price at time of publish: $40

<p>Southern Living / Jamie Weissman</p>

Southern Living / Jamie Weissman

Valerie Large Gift Set

See at Valerieconfections.com

What’s Great About It

  • It’s much more elevated than your typical box of chocolates.

What Could Be Better

  • It’s very expensive for how much you get.

If you want to take a box of chocolates to the next level, give the Valerie Large Gift Set—in addition to chocolates, it includes two jars of fruit preserves. And it doesn’t just include one box of chocolates, but two (the Baby Grand and Caramel boxes), as well as two chocolate bars and a box of Almond Toffee Treats. Although the price is high for this gift basket, we did feel that each piece of chocolate was high-quality, especially considering the variety. We also loved the presentation of this basket, and think it’s an elevated gift for the chocolate lover in your life.

Price at time of publish: $160

<p>Southern Living / Joe Morales</p>

Southern Living / Joe Morales

Stan's Donuts Donuts & Coffee Lovers Gift Pack

See at Goldbelly.com

What’s Great About It

  • The donuts are delicious and fresh.

What Could Be Better

  • It’s very expensive considering what you get.

All of the donuts in this gift basket are made from scratch and are ready to eat upon arrival. Not only does this basket include donuts, but it also comes with a whole bean bag of coffee to complete the presentation (just note that the recipient will need to own a coffee grinder to crush the beans). The donuts arrived fresh, and even after letting the donuts sit out on the counter for a while, they did not taste stale. Flavors include cinnamon sugar, vanilla sprinkles, lemon pistachio, coconut, glazed, and apple fritter—although for the price, we wish that more donuts were included. We think that this donut gift basket is a great gift to give to someone who likes donuts but is looking to try something new.

Price at time of publish: $80

<p>Southern Living / Julia Fields</p>

Southern Living / Julia Fields

Universal Yums Care Package

See at Amazon.com

What’s Great About It

  • The snacks are from different countries, so there is a lot of variety.

What Could Be Better

  • The snacks are more “novelty” than “gourmet”.

If you know someone who likes to snack on churros, gummies, and marshmallows, then this snack gift basket is the perfect gift for them. Besides getting a large amount of snacks (30 in total), the recipient also gets the opportunity to try different flavors from different countries, like South Korea, Spain, Germany, Indonesia, and more. We were very surprised by how quickly we received the basket, but we were disappointed that it didn’t come with any sort of bubble wrap or wrapping paper. This is a particularly great gift for college students, and the recipient can either eat the snacks solo or share them with friends.

Price at time of publish: $40

<p>Southern Living / Erin Mayer</p>

Southern Living / Erin Mayer

Vosges Haut-Chocolat Soirée Smash: Sourdough Pretzel & Toffee

See at Goldbelly.com

See at Vosgeschocolate.com

What’s Great About It

  • It can easily feed a large crowd.

What Could Be Better

  • The bar arrived with a crack in it.

Another chocolate gift that we thoroughly recommend is the Sourdough Pretzel & Toffee, which is a chocolate slab, not a bar or box. This extra-large confection contains butter toffee, vanilla marshmallows, pistachios, cherries, and dark chocolate, plus sourdough pretzel for extra crunch. Unlike the Valerie Confections gift, this gift doesn’t come with any additional products. The result is truly delicious, and we loved that it could easily feed a crowd. In fact, we split it amongst 12 people and still had leftovers. Our only concern about this gift is that it could easily melt in a warmer environment, even with the packaged ice packs.

Price at time of publish: $70

<p>Southern Living / Meg Lappe</p>

Southern Living / Meg Lappe

Giadzy Coastal Italy Gift Set

$112 at Williams-sonoma.com

What’s Great About It

  • The presentation is beautiful.

What Could Be Better

  • Shipping is very expensive.

If your loved one’s dream is to visit Italy, this gift set full of Italian products brings the Italian coast right to their door. It includes the classics, like gemelli pasta, olive oil, and pesto, as well as delicious extras like lemon and pistachio amaretti cookies and chocolate pistachio truffles. Everything was delicious, especially the cookies, and we appreciated that the items were more gourmet than what you’d find at the grocery store. Plus, we were impressed by the presentation. Our only complaint is that it’s pretty expensive, and the shipping makes it even more so.

Price at time of publish: $160

<p>Southern Living / Julia Fields</p>

Southern Living / Julia Fields

The Bottom Line

A gift basket is a fantastic gift for just about any occasion. After testing 26 gift baskets, there were a few that really stood out. If you’re looking for a unique Southern gift basket, we highly recommend the Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit Share the Love Gift Basket, which is delicious and perfect for someone who loves baked goods. If you’re looking for an elevated box of chocolates, we think the Recchiuti Black Box 16 can’t be beat, thanks to its unique flavors and designs. And if you want a crowd-pleasing fruit basket, the Shari's Berries Distinctive Fruit Basket & Sweets Gift left us speechless with its presentation and delicious flavors.

Our Testing Process

We tested 26 gift baskets and evaluated them on variety, size, delivery, freshness, quality, and overall value. After ordering each basket, we noted how long shipping took, and how well each basket was packaged. We then tasted the items in each basket and shared them with family and friends, focusing on freshness, quality, and taste. We considered how good the variety was and whether we felt that anything was missing, and took note of the overall presentation. Lastly, we evaluated the overall value, considering the number of items, size, presentation, and quality of the products.

Tips for Choosing the Right Gift Basket

Variety

Gift baskets are typically straightforward and contain items that revolve around a theme, like chocolate, fruit, snacks, etc. If you’re not totally sure what the recipient likes, be sure to get a basket that’s full of different types of goodies, like a wide selection of chocolates or fruits. The same goes if you anticipate that the basket will be shared amongst a larger group of people, like a family or party.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is to double-check the contents before ordering. Since you’re not able to build the gift basket yourself, it’s important to make sure that you are aware of what’s included inside of it, especially if the recipient is allergic to a particular ingredient. Note that while companies will advertise certain items for the gift basket, they will have to make substitutions if necessary.

Delivery

Most companies will provide you with an estimated date of delivery, and many will also provide cut-off dates during the holiday season so you can be sure your basket will arrive in time for a special occasion. Based on our testing, most gift baskets take a few days to arrive, but some can take a week or longer. Many companies ship gift baskets only on certain days at the beginning of the week, so that there’s less of a chance of a weekend delay.

Value

Since there are different types of gift baskets, you’ll find baskets that cost anywhere from $19 to $700. As a general rule, the more expensive the basket, the more snacks, treats, and other items will be included. As you’re shopping for gift baskets, keep in mind that the cost plays a huge factor in the variety of snacks, treats, and other items that are included in the basket. Also, don’t forget the shipping costs. All in all, buying a pre-made gift basket is much more expensive than making one yourself, but you’re paying for the convenience of the company packaging and delivering it for you.

Questions and Answers

What are some good occasions to get someone a gift basket?

A gift basket is always a wonderful gift for any occasion, whether your loved one is sick or celebrating a special holiday. While you could give someone a singular gift, a gift basket has its own personal touch and lets the recipient know how much they mean to you. Food gift baskets in particular are a good idea for someone who’s going through a tough time, as they allow the recipient to have one less thing to worry about.

Are gift baskets worth buying?

Regardless of how much you spend on a gift basket, they are worth every penny. With gift baskets or boxes, you can send your loved one or friend a decorative basket full of snacks, desserts, fruits, and other items no matter how far they live away from you. Similar to handwritten notes, gift baskets are a nice way to show how much you care about someone.

Can food spoil in a gift basket?

Depending on the types of snacks inside the gift basket, most manufacturers will also include ice packs in the packaging to keep everything fresh. Hotter weather may affect this though, so keep that in mind if you’re sending gift baskets to warmer climates. In our testing, we found that all of our gift baskets arrived perfectly cold and fresh—even the Salt & Straw ice cream.

Why Trust Southern Living

This gift guide was created by Moriah Mason, a commerce writer for Southern Living. We tested 26 different gift baskets for a variety of occasions, and evaluated each on variety, size, presentation, freshness, delivery, and overall quality. To become more informed about gift baskets, we spoke to Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas.

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Read the original article on Southern Living.