We’ve all got ’em: plant-based buds—better known as vegan friends.
They’re the ones who always want to go out to lunch at the same three places with Impossible sliders, the ones who think coconut oil is white gold, the ones who will talk your ear off about their jackfruit “pulled pork” and the new brand of cashew mozzarella that they found at the co-op. They love their oat milk lattes, try their best to explain why honey is bad (we still don’t really get it), and consume metric tons of kale every week. They’re friendly, farty, and, for some reason, really into potlucks.
While they can require a little more effort when it comes to, say, coordinating a location for fine dining, they’re actually pretty easy to shop for, if you know what you’re doing. See, since vegans have more limitations on what they can eat, they’re all the more grateful when you bestow them with a present that says 1) “I know you’re vegan”; 2) “I actually respect that you’re vegan”; and 3) “I want you to have a delicious, sexy, cruelty-free life.” Which you do, right??? We can all agree that animals are pretty cool, even if some of us are able to push that out of our minds in order to eat them. These people are just more principled—and we salute them for that!
Here are a bajillion ideas for great gifts for vegans—whether they’re your bestie or your boo—from the best vegan cookbooks to kitchen tools to fancy vegan candy and faux fur swag.
The Best Edible Gifts for Vegans
A box of fancy avocados
Bet you hadn’t thought of getting a gift box of perfect avocados before, but now that you know it’s a thing, it’s going to become a no-brainer when you’re thinking of those friends who smother everything in nature’s butter: the creamy green stuff.
The Megazord of vegan snack boxes
You know what’s better than receiving one tasty snack? Receiving a big, overflowing box of tasty snacks. If you’re looking for a one-off vegan care package, The Good Grocer’s is top-rated and loaded with meat- and dairy-free chips, jerky, popcorn, cookies, bars, and more. “There’s a lot of snacks here! Even though the description says 30, they very clearly were serious when they said 30 vegan snacks,” reads one five-star review. “And not just plant-based little bars, which there are some of that but other goodies too, like cookies, spicy chips, sea salt popcorn, different types of nuts, you name it!”
If you’re keen on really going for it for a special someone, grab them a subscription to a vegan snack box service, such as Urthbox or Cratejoy; the VeganCuts box offers a higher-end mix of goods each month, including La Colombe oat milk lattes and Cocomel coconut caramels—plus, a portion of proceeds are donated to animal sanctuaries.
OK, you’ve had pears, but have you had THESE pears?
A box of fancy pears from Harry and David may seem like a weird old lady gift, but have you ever noticed how little old ladies have the best recipes, and are generally noshing on way better stuff than most of us? Harry and David’s pears are what the food gift legacy brand is most famous for, and they’re called so sweet and juicy that “you can eat them with a spoon.”
~*~Aesthetic~*~ olive oil, because they’re gonna use it in everything
Olive oil is a sautéing, drizzling, frying essential that vegans are constantly burning through tons of all the time, and if you give them a break from the giant Kirkland jawn, they’ll hella appreciate featuring a bottle of Brightland on their counter (and using it to flex in their salad dressing).
For the rise-and-grind vegans
Coffee gifts are always appreciated, but they can be a little obvious. Matcha, on the other hand, is not yet tired, will get your pal wired, and has a soothing, ritualistic aspect to its preparation. Golde’s matcha kit truly feels like a treat; in its insanely good reviews (a cumulative 4.9/5 stars based on the input of more than 255 happy customers), fans call it “the BEST matcha ever,” and say “Golde matcha made me a matcha lover.”
CBD cold brew for a jitter-free buzz
One of our editors stopped drinking coffee for 13—yes, 13!—years because it gave her panic attacks and terrible jitters. When she was sent a sample of Jibby’s CBD cold brew, something about it—the cute logo, and promise of chill cannabis vibes?—told her to try it, just this once, to see if it would work on her neurotic ass. And not only does its 25 milligrams of CBD per can successfully offset the bad vibes of caffeine, but it also tastes great—especially with a splash of vegan creamer.
Cookie dough, but make it as bougie as possible
Receiving a roll of Pillsbury cookie dough as a gift: not mad at it. However, receiving a jar of Deux is more like, yEEsSSSSS thank you so much! It’s totally safe to eat raw (and tastes amazing), and is even fortified with vitamins and adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms. The chocolate chip cookie dough contains an immune-support blend of vitamin D, zinc, cordyceps, chaga mushrooms, and elderberry, while the brownie batter flavor is loaded with a collagen blend that’s formulated for skin health.
These bon bons that taste like vegan Milk Duds
You know what aren’t vegan? Milk Duds—like, “milk” is literally in the name. But these bon bons come in all the best flavors—peanut butter, sea salt caramel, and coconut—and are organic, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and, of course, vegan.
Life is like a box of mochi…
Except, in this case, you do know what you’re gonna get. Mochidoki ain’t gonna bore you with the usual combo of vanilla, chocolate, and green tea mochi—no disrespect, but we’ve seen it before. Nope; this vegan collection excites and delights with six different flavor of delightfully chewy ice cream joy, including passion fruit, lychee, matcha coconut, chocolate hazelnut, and more. Plus, this edible gift hangs out in the freezer, so it can continue to serve frozen happiness for months.
For a splurge, give them a week (or a gift certificate) of a vegan meal delivery service
OK, so this vegan has really burrowed their wormy little self into your cold heart, and you wanna treat them to something special. A week’s worth of tasty, prepared vegan meals is just the ticket, because knowing that your next meal is a) already ready, b) healthy, and c) gonna rock is honestly priceless. There are numerous awesome vegan meal delivery services out there, including Veestro and Purple Carrot, but the bougiest and in our opinion most delicious is Sakara. Everything from the weekly-changing menu is gluten-free, plant-forward, and tasty AF, from the sunchoke pasta with roasted garlic to the root veggie enchiladas with coconut lime crema.
The Best Cookbook Gifts for Vegans
Bryant Terry’s Afro-Vegan
Oakland-based chef and food activist Bryan Terry has carved a name for himself as chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora James Beard, as well as throughout his career as an NAACP award-winning chef and author. In his cookbook Afro-Vegan, he explores Southern, African, and Caribbean flavors through a plant-based lens, offering mouthwatering recipes such as Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts; Skillet Cornbread with Pecan Dukkah; and Tofu Po Boys with Creamy Red Bell Pepper Sauce. There’s a reason this cookbook has nearly 2,500 stellar reviews on Amazon: You’ll never get sick of this food.
Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads
If you can’t get a reservation at LA’s premier vegan fine dining hot spot Crossroads Kitchen, you can at least learn to cook its incredible dishes at home thanks to this cookbook from chef Tal Ronnen. This is pretty much the best vegan food in LA, meaning it’s pretty much the best vegan food anywhere, from warm kale and artichoke dip to acorn squash ravioli with black garlic butter sauce.
Miyoko Schinner’s The Homemade Vegan Pantry
You may have seen Miyoko’s Creamery products on the shelves of your local Whole Foods or other health food store, but you know what they say about teaching a man to fish? That’s also true of vegans. In her cookbook The Homemade Vegan Pantry, Schinner—a master of smart, plant-based substitutes—offers delicious, simple, and wholesome recipes for vegan coffee creamer, cheese, mayo, broth, and faux meat, pasta, and pizza dough, for a fully stocked fridge and pantry without having to spend $9 on cashew cheese at the store every week.
The Best Kitchen Gear Gifts for Vegans Who Love to Cook
The ultimate salad game changer
Yes, we won’t STFU about how much we love this mandoline. But it’s a big-time game changer, with the power to transform a boring salad into an elegant presentation of paper-thin slices of carrots, cucumber, fennel, and anything else your heart wants to slice ‘n’ dice. People who eat vegetables will use this literally every day, and never look back.
The cult-fave blender that is essential for serious cooks
Vitamix blenders don’t come cheap, but they’re a gazillion percent worth it. Smoothies, soups, sauces—all will turn into sensational silk at the touch of a button. Vitamix owners truly, truly cannot say enough good things about these machines.
Comfort food season is upon us, which means it’s Instant Pot time
Yep, you heard us. All of the vegan stews, casseroles, and curries that your friend’s been dreaming of whipping up will be set-it-and-forget-it easy if they score an Instant Pot—truly the cult-fave, do-it-all appliance of our time. It’s a slow cooker! It’s a pressure cooker! In addition to all the obvious stuff, you can also make some very surprising stuff in your Instant Pot, from jam to crayons to limoncello to dog food to cough syrup. Yeah, wut???
Not even vegans should be using dull-ass knives
Every person making food in a kitchen (who has basic coordination skills) needs a super-sharp knife to save them from dull, jagged hell. Thankfully, there are many, many knives out there under $100 that are ready, willing, and able to do the job—whether “the job” is slicing tomatoes or julienning carrots. One we keep coming back to is Misen’s perfect chef’s knife, which stays crazy-sharp and has the perfect weight and feel in your hand.
The Always pan
Yep, it’s the highly Instagrammable, much sought-after Always Pan, which has become the direct-to-consumer cookware item for many a home cook. Available in a variety of aesthetically pleasing shades, this thing is the do-it-all doodad for frying, sautéing, steaming, sauce-making, or making ASMR TikToks.
A microplane for those finishing touches
Use it to zest lemons, grate nutmeg, shave chocolate, or make your own garlic paste. Microplanes are the bomb, and they almost feel like a secret weapon—even though everyone should at least know about them by now.
More Gifts for Every Hot, Groovy Vegan You Know
Vegan swag from times of yore
What is it about vintage shirts and pins that just make them a thousand times cooler than anything you’ll find in a department store? Things just used to be better, we guess [puffs on Dad Grass], but thankfully, there’s always eBay and Etsy for finding throwback merch that says, “Yeah, I’m vegan, but I’m self-aware and I subscribe to Blackbird Spyplane.”
Cruelty-free perfume that’s also a flex
No one will ever be bummed to receive Aesop products—but did you know that the highly coveted skin care brand’s products are also vegan and cruelty-free? In fact, they’re Leaping Bunny-certified, meaning that your friend can spritz themselves with a scent like Marrakech—clove, sandalwood, and cardamom—with zero guilt.
A candle for sexy time
It’s a candle, it’s a massage oil, it’s a lube! Maude’s massage candle is made for the bedroom—and it’s plant-based and most definitely tested on horny humans, not animals.
Because they probably have a dog…
And while that dog lives a damn good life, you can make it even better when you get it the fancy rope leash of its dreams.
A faux shearling bucket hat for the plant-based hypebeast
When you eschew silk, wool, and leather, it rules out some cool clothes—and that’s just the way it is. But more and more brands are turning to alternatives to animal products, like faux leather and shearling, including Apparis, which rules ’em all with its cozy, synthetic-fur garb, including this incredible bucket hat.
An art print for worshipping fruit
Beth Hoeckel makes seriously amazing collages. You may recognize them from tons of indie album covers, or as seen in The New York Times and other esteemed publications, but best of all, you can buy them through Society6, including this sweet fruit collage that would look perfect hanging in your bud’s kitchen.
See? Vegans actually have it pretty good these days. But, of course, they could always use more cookie dough or bucket hats. Make that happen, and you’ll make them one happy radish.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.