10 best Advent calendars (2021) for foodies

When I was young, the holiday season meant two things: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special Loop and Trader Joe’s Advent Calendar. Each day in December, I carefully opened a perforated flap in the cardboard box, revealing a quarter-sized milk chocolate in the shape of a bell, star, or gift. Hell if I knew what advent was (still pretty fuzzy, tbh), but that month-long tease was something I looked forward to all year. As an adult my tastes matured which meant I went from milk chocolate to advent calendars featuring black licorice, loose teas and experimental truffles. The Pee-Wee remains non-negotiable.

Below you’ll find some of the best Advent calendars for 2021 – and they’re, no kidding, selling out as I drop this, so if anyone catches your eye, don’t sleep over. not on it. If these bestsellers are out of stock, let me point you to the Global Market Cost Plus (12 Days of Hot Sauces), Food 52 (we haven’t forgotten you, Hanukkah watchers), and if the beauty and skincare is your vices-Sephora, all of which have great selections.

If you have a child (or if you are that kid yourself) who can’t get enough of these Christmas scenes at Hogwarts, this Williams-Sonoma Harry Potter Advent Calendar is perfect for your Diagon Alley. You’ll find Fizzing Whizbees, gummi slugs and, of course, Every Flavor Beans by Bertie Bott. While I didn’t have a booger jelly bean, I did eat something that decidedly tasted like mulch. Fun for the whole family?

Harry Potter Advent Calendar


Nicole Patel’s truffles seem fanciful; the Austin chocolatier is known for flavors like Thanksgiving stuffing and smoked brisket. I would dismiss Delysia as addressing the booger-jelly-bean crowd, except that Patel’s flavors actually work, and they’re rooted in actual holiday treats. Its chocolate Advent calendar features a five-by-five grid of numbered truffles, each inspired by a different festive dish from around the world. This includes hot spicy dishes like fig pudding and lebkuchen, as well as more exotic flavors like fried chicken (peppery like a well-seasoned coating) and doro wat (chocolate and berber make a great combo, s’ recognized).

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Delysia Chocolate Truffles Advent Calendar


For all but the thirstiest tea drinkers, Vahdam’s Advent Calendar is the gift that will continue to deliver long after the end of December. Each day you will unwrap a different box containing 17 grams of loose black, green, or herbal tea, which is more than enough for multiple servings. Most are blends (the different chai varieties are my favorite), but for the purists you will also find Darjeeling, Oolong and Assam. My Christmas countdown calendar weirdly skipped December 20th and contained two December 22nds, which I didn’t mind as that meant a double serving of Vahdam’s deliciously floral rose black tea.

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Advent Calendar Vahdam Teas


If jam is your jam, Bonne Maman’s holiday advent calendar is back, and it’s pure delight. Each day you will be rewarded with a one ounce jar of fruit spreads, magically transforming your home into a charming guest room. There is also a jar of honey isolated behind a closed door. The flavors are a cut above your standard grocery offerings – there’s jasmine peach, sweet orange and passion fruit, and fig with cardamom, which the proper descriptor is, I believe. , “delicious”.

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Advent Calendar Happy Mom


If you’re chocolatey, check out this Christmas Advent Calendar of individually wrapped caramels hidden behind a wintery anthropomorphic street scene featuring a hamster with a tambourine. Massachusetts-based McCrea’s Candies makes caramels that strike the right balance of melt-in-the-mouth sweetness and jaw-firmness, in both classic (maple and peppermint to chocolate) and less conventional (rosemary, sea salt and sea salt) flavors. cinnamon cloves). My only downside is that the packaging is a bit finicky; several caramels dislodged their divots, so I had to dig to find all the goodies.

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McCrea’s Caramels Advent Calendar


It’s a bit of a stretch to call it a “calendar”, but a case of beers under any other name tastes so sweet. Inside the box are handcrafted offerings like Golden Road Brewing, Goose Island, Elysian, and Kona Brewing Co. Cans run the gamut of styles and ABVs, from wheat beer to thirst-quenching mango to 4% to an Imperial Seattle IPA. Redhook Brewery which records at 8.6%. Depending on whether you prefer DIPA or Acid, you probably won’t like all 24 beers the same, so I recommend you get some friends together and squash the calendar all at once.

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For maniacs like me, 24 Days of Christmas Licorice is the best holiday gift imaginable. Danish brand Lakrids by Bülow is one of my all-time favorite confectionery companies, and their countdown calendar doesn’t disappoint. Hidden behind each door is an individually wrapped two-pack (one for me, one for me too) of chocolate-coated licorice in flavors like salted caramel, strawberries and vanilla cream and mango. These crispy-shelled, little-sweet, little-salty marble-sized balls might convert even licorice’s avowed enemies, but if not, more for you.

Lakrids Licorice Danish Advent Calendar


The packaging for this candy collection is some of the best of the lot. Small boxes decorated to look like envelopes spout out from behind the cellophane panes of Santa’s workshop. Inside each you will find plenty of gummy candies, both sour and sweet. There are also a few chocolates, but this calendar is definitely for the person who opts for Sour Patch Kids over Reese’s Pieces in the movies.

Sugarfina Advent Calendar


Like Vahdam’s tea advent calendar, this offering from Scottish chocolate maker Coco makes for generous portions. Every day of the holiday countdown, you can expect a beautifully wrapped mini chocolate bar. Coco involves investing in the origin (i.e. the places where the cocoa is actually grown), so that its chocolate is made close to the source before it is shipped to Scotland and made into flavors like Milk chocolate with salted caramel and dark chocolate with sea salt from the Isle of Skye. This bulky calendar (over a pound of chocolate!) Is not decorated with snowmen or singing cats, but with a bold graphic pattern in black and white — very non-denominational, very modern.

COCO Christmas Advent Calendar


Most of the other entries on this list come in boxes of various shapes and sizes, but the Maison du Chocolat advent calendar looks like a volleyball-sized death star. It features a loop at the top so you can hang it on your Christmas tree or hang it out of the reach of children too young to appreciate the fancy French pralines and ganaches. You will find a mix of milk and dark chocolates hidden behind every door. All are good, but the caramel ganaches are the best.


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