When it comes to food and drink, my dad is mostly set in his ways. He's been grilling the same grocery store beef ribs and drinking the same Narragansett Lager since the '90s, for instance, but lucky for me he's not fully set. There's a slight crack of wiggle room that I've always taken as an invitation -- nay, a challenge -- to shake things up when I can. As much as Dad loves the classics, when he gets his hands on something new and interesting I can tell he enjoys it as much as anyone else -- even if he won't admit it.
One of the best ways to introduce new foods to my dad, your dad or any dad-like person you think deserves a shout-out on Father's Day, is through aor service. Luckily, there's a lot more out there than a gift basket of gourmet snacks -- you know, those of-the-month club gift boxes that were so popular in years past. Even better, it's currently a buyer's market and there's a food and drink club for just about every category consumable you can imagine -- , spices, meat, cheese, beer, whisky, , candy and even pickles -- and so picking the best subscription box for Dad on Father's Day means doing a bit of digging.
But it's Dad for crying out loud, so let's start digging.
If your dad is aor bourbon guy, there are services that'll deliver rare and small-batch booze from microbreweries and distilleries in monthly drops. Or maybe he's more the type. In that case, you can have (yes, including steak) sent on the regular so the never gets stale. Or maybe your father spends more time over the range trying new recipes more than out back slinging burgers: For that sort of dad I might suggest , which curates a steady flow of global spice mixes and chef-tested recipes you can make with them.
There are many monthly food clubs to choose from, but no matter Dad's taste, one of these Father's Day-approved subscription services will keep him smiling and noshing, month after month. Most of these food and drink clubs also offer a one-time send in case a subscription feels like a lot.
We've personally tested the majority of the gourmet subscription services on this list and made note of the ones we have and haven't. At the time of this writing, all these food and booze subscriptions will ship the first box in plenty of time for Father's Day (June 20). Most can target that weekend for delivery too, but you should double-check with the individual vendor before placing your order.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the best food and drink clubs and monthly subscriptions to gift Dad for Father's Day. And, if your dad isn't a foodie, we have a wholeyou can peruse for Father's Day gift ideas! ! We have ideas for , , and even .
One of the big differences between Beer Drop and other beer subscription services is that this one lets Dad pick the beer styles -- hoppy, fruity, dark or Belgian. After he does that, Beer Drop will source interesting, smaller-batch brews from a selection of microbreweries around the country and send them out monthly. Knowing how picky some beer drinkers can be about style, this is the best way to get new and interesting beers in Dad's hands that he'll almost definitely enjoy.
There are a few levels of subscription but you can give Dad three months of beer drops -- 10 beers in each -- for $144. He'll do the sign-up and selection himself and he'll even get a free Hop Exploration Box with samples of hops to help bring the brewing process to life.
Fuego Box isn't new but it is a great idea and makes a perfect gift for the dad who is also a bit of a hothead (when it comes to food, that is). Fuego Box's hot sauce subscriptions start at $18 a month -- although $30 a 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.
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 such as 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 the fun of it. Plus, 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 Father's Day gifts to send from afar (or from a-near, for that matter).
The nice thing about the Mantry subscription box, also known as "the modern man's pantry," is it's got a little bit of everything, so each delivery should elicit some mystery and excitement. The boxes are themed (examples include "street food" or "umami barbecue") and could contain everything from salty snacks to seasonings, barbecue sauces or even a bottle of booze or premade flask of cocktails.
Mantry sources high-quality and mostly artisan products, including some of my own personal favorites such as Bachan's Japanese barbecue sauce, Think jerky and Tree's Knees spicy honey. The cost breaks down to $75 per delivery. You can gift a one-time box of Mantry goods, or three- or six-month delivery bundles for Dad.
As a person who cooks a lot but doesn't have a market nearby with a particularly good spice section, I know I would totally love getting this subscription box as a gift. RawSpiceBar will send two ounces of a spice or spice blend such as Indian garam masala or Japanese furikake. Plus, he'll get monthly chef-tested recipes to make with each one all for $10 a month. The best part is the spices come freshly ground -- unlike most everything you get at the supermarket -- and believe me, you'll be able to tell the difference.
If your Dad (or the father figure you're shopping for) loves cooking with new and interesting spices, this is a no-brainer. Even if he ignores the recipes and simply tries each spice one sprinkled a piece of grilled chicken every month, it'll make cooking and eating that much more fun.
If Dad likes those salty cured meats, Carnivore Club is the way to go. This subscription box will include any number of salamis, meat jerkies, biltong and more. The smaller Snack Box is just $30 a month and is mostly jerkies and meat sticks. Or you can go big with the Classic Carnivore Box for $45 which will include fancier fare such as jamon, bacon, salami and the like.
This makes a perfect gift for the health-conscious dad who happens to be short on time or cooking skills. Pete's won me over in a week-long taste test, notching its place as one of the best healthy, meal delivery services I've yet to try. It may be healthy, organic food but Pete's doesn't skimp on taste. A few favorites I tried included a tender yellow curry pork cheek dish with peppers and onions and moist thyme and rosemary-incrusted turkey breast with mashed cauliflower.
Pete's meals were all well-prepared with tender, meats and vegetables cooked to the proper doneness. They can all be stuck in the freezer upon arrival and defrosted, heated and eaten for no-fuss lunches or easy dinners packed with protein, vegetables and other good stuff.
Pricing and subscription: Depending on the meal plan you choose your price per meal will change a bit, but most end up being somewhere around $14 a meal. Pete's Paleo Lite plan has smaller portions and cheaper meals. If a subscription seems like too much, there are also prepared bundles of meals and a la carte options under the Eat What You Love section, so your best bet might be to peruse all the different meal plans and see if one seems like a good fit for Dad. For more read my full review of Pete's Paleo.
When it comes to coffee, some folks are creatures of habit, while others like to try new roasts. If your dad happens to be the latter, Trade sources some of the best beans in the business from indie roasters and will ship him new varieties at a frequency of your choosing. This is another one I'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 clear and concise and the beans are fresh as heck, with some arriving as few 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.
Sharp knives are one of the fastest ways to raise your kitchen prowess and a sharp knife subscription will ensure Dad has just that. He may not even realize he's working with dull knives until he gets his first delivery of Togu's gorgeous, forged Santoku chef's knife and a sleek paring knife for delicate jobs. The best part is Togu will replace the knives with freshly sharpened blades every eight weeks so his knives stay as sharp as he is.
You can purchase six or 12 months of Togu for Dad. At $24 a month, it's definitely a splurge so I'd only recommend this for someone who does lots of chopping and dicing. A casual home cook won't need sharp knives that often and you might just be wasting your coin.
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 Dad 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 as smart as any food club to join.
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, most of the Japanese treats are new and not the same old stuff we have here. 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 fun info and literature explaining a bit about each snack, including some historical and cultural context.
Read more: The best snack subscription boxes in 2021
If Dad is a true master of the grill but his selection at the local market is limited, 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 grill guy 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 your favorite carnivore.
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 legendary sprawling New York fish market 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, also known as The Fish Drop. Fulton will send a monthly, bimonthly or weekly curated box of fish starting at $65 a month for four 6-ounce portions.
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 a 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
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.
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 a 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 includes a handsome leather-bound notebook, a fancy inkless pen, a bottle of Italian aperitivo, Illy espresso and biscotti.
If something sweet is the way to Dad's heart -- specifically dark chocolate -- Bar & Cocoa chocolate club will send 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, all of which 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.
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