57 Best Friend Gifts (That You Might Be Tempted to Keep)

·6 min read

The very best friend gifts tend to be the gifts that you’d also like to receive. And if you’re anything like us, 2021 gift ideas are all about treats, relaxation-encouragers, and a little bit more time with nature (or, at least, a houseplant or two). Continue reading below for the best gifts for friends whether you’re shopping early for the holidays, seeking birthday gifts, or just missing your pal so much due to a long-distance friendship that you feel compelled to send a little something out of the blue.

Gifts to keep their green thumb going strong

Even in big cities like New York, the mid-pandemic seed sprint took hold. Neighbors dutifully trotted home from the nursery with bags of soil. Tiny tomato plants peeped through the bars on fire escapes. Every window had an herb garden. Now, after the initial spark of inspiration has died off, I’d imagine many of those gardens are suffering a bit despite the best intentions. Give your best friend something to keep their garden going: a pretty planter or garden shears and a watering can attractive enough that they won’t be hidden away. If their garden is really beyond help, maybe encourage them to start over with a sleek beginner hydroponic garden from Click and Grow or a potted herb or two. At the very least, they can handle a succulent.

Copper Watering Can

$40.00, Amazon

Stainless-Steel Watering Can

$26.00, Home Depot

Bonsai Scissors

$19.00, Amazon

Marble Queen Pothos (Pot Included)

$37.00, The Sill

Click and Grow Hydroponic Garden

$100.00, Amazon

Mini Herb Garden Trio: Mint, Oregano, and Rosemary

$28.00, Plants.com

Succulents, Set of 5

$16.00, Amazon

Teas, drinks, and creams to promote relaxation and self-care

Leave the stand mixers, blenders, and toaster gifts to parents and siblings: As a friend, you get to give the fun stuff. Elements to build a relaxing evening ritual, like good herbal tea, handmade coffee mugs from Etsy, and—if you’re feeling really spendy—a very cute kettle or teapot, might help tame their stress. I’ve thrown in my favorite rich hand cream and a golden hand soap packed with natural oils to soothe hands after doing copious dishes. Plus, a favorite scented candle and essential oils with a diffuser for a little aromatherapy.

Organic Nepali Black Tea, 7 Ounces

$15.00, Snuk

Pukka Lemon, Ginger & Manuka Honey Tea, Set of 3

$17.00, Amazon

Tea Forte Herbal Sampler

$30.00, Amazon

Rishi Ginger and Turmeric Tea

$13.00, Amazon

Handmade Ceramic Mug

$36.00, Etsy

White Pottery Mug

$34.00, Etsy

Handmade Ceramic Mug

$41.00, Etsy

Smeg Tea Kettle

$170.00, Amazon

Degrenne Salam Insulated Teapot

$148.00, Food52

Minor Obsessions Soap

$8.00, Minor Obsessions

Grown Alchemist Intensive Hand Cream

$23.00, Amazon

Nest Fragrances Grapefruit-Scented Candle Duo

$84.00, Nordstrom

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser

$119.00, Vitruvi

Saje Tranquility Diffuser Blend

$18.00, Saje

All manner of aperitifs and cocktail ingredients (And some fun glasses to serve them in)

Good gin and tequila will never make bad gifts—spirits are, in fact, the perfect gift for a friend who learned to mix drinks over the pandemic. Another option? There’s a whole burgeoning world of complex-tasting nonalcoholic cocktail ingredients out there, perfect for a special beverage to unwind post-work without the booze. A fancy carafe and tumbler set will help your BFF—and their dinner guests—hydrate during holiday season hosting. And if your friends have broken all of their wine glasses recently, give the gift of our product test winners, which are sommelier-approved.


$33.00, Ghia

Sipsmith Gin

$36.00, Drizly

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

$70.00, Total Wine

Haus Apéritif Sampler Set

$40.00, Haus

Kin High Rhode Euphoric

$40.00, Kin

Mexican Recycled Luster Double Old Fashioned Glasses

$42.00, West Elm

Mamo Cocktail Glasses, Set of 4

$100.00, Coming Soon NY

Zalto Denk’Art Burgundy Glass

$63.00, Wine Enthusiast

Handmade Pottery Water Pitcher

$72.00, Etsy

SGHR Sugahara Hand-Blown Japanese Carafe & Tumbler Set

$118.00, Food52

Maison Balzac Bedside Carafe

$65.00, Coming Soon

Thoughtful Gifts for Their Sweet Tooth

Nothing against boxes of truffles, but…there’s more to chocolate than that. A rich bar of fair-trade Raaka (or even a whole year’s supply) will surely satisfy, as will a just-salty-enough goat’s milk caramel drizzle to top ice cream…or just eat by the spoonful. Below, the best gifts for friends who are chocolate lovers.

Raaka Bananas Foster Dark Chocolate, 3 Bars

$15.00, Amazon

Raaka Chocolate Subscription, 3 Bars Each Month for 1 Year

$.00, Food52

Alaskan Smoked Sea Salt Chocolate

$3.00, Seattle Chocolate

Table Mountain Farm Goat Milk Caramel Sampler Set

$20.00, Table Mountain Farm

Hu Kitchen Cashew Butter + Raspberry Jam Dark Chocolate, 4 Bars

$29.00, Hu Kitchen

Pretty tabletop and home decor gifts for the kitchen

A beautiful piece of servingware, elegant new table linens, or a homey new ceramic piece will always make a great gift—especially if your bestie loves to entertain.

Lemieux et Cie Table Runner

$88.00, Anthropologie

Retro Wave Ceramic Vase

$22.00, Urban Outfitters

Speckled Stoneware Butter Dish

$24.00, Anthropologie

East Fork Shallow Dinner Set, 5 Pieces

$142.00, East Fork Pottery

Sabine Tinted Glass Snack Plate

$8.00, Urban Outfitters

Caldo Linen Dinner Napkins, Set of 4

$30.00, Amazon

Jono Pandolfi Medium Oval Serving Platter

$60.00, Zola

Hammered Rose Gold Utensil Holder

$15.00, Wayfair

Stocking stuffers

If you and your friends make stockings for one another—well, that’s just downright adorable. Here are some small best friend gifts—including a little trinket dish to put by the sink to catch your jewelry before you do the dishes, an enduring favorite cookbook from a Netflix star, and a few of our favorite useful tools. They’re great gifts whether you stuff them in a stocking or not. (Fun free idea: Fill the grocery tote below with a few goodies for a cook-friendly upgrade on stockings.)

Capbunga Multi-Pocket Canvas Market Tote

$50.00, Food52

Baggu Tote

$12.00, Amazon

New West KnifeWorks 3" Paring Knife

$125.00, New West Knife Works

OXO Good Grips Mini Angled Measuring Cup

$5.00, Amazon

Liberty of London Pot Holder

$14.00, Etsy

Liberty of London Pot Holder

$15.00, Etsy

Tiny Concrete Jewelry Dish

$8.00, Etsy

OXO Good Grips 10-Inch Flat Whisk

$.00, Amazon

Love and Victory Negroni Ornament

$20.00, Etsy

Retap Borosilicate Glass Water Bottle, 10 ounces

$13.00, Amazon

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

$21.00, Amazon

Love & Victory Leopard Cocktail Picks

$25.00, Etsy

Need more gift ideas? Check out more gift guides below:

I promise, it’s not just candles.

New cookbooks, coffee subscriptions, hand-thrown ceramics—the perfect gifts, all easy to buy without leaving your couch.

Including upgraded versions of staple kitchen tools, pretty glassware, and flavorful condiments.

Cozy up your friends’ new homes with pretty loaf pans, quirky spoon rests, and a cast-iron pan that will last well beyond their next move.

Originally Appeared on Epicurious