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38 Valentine's Day Gifts That Aren't Heart-Shaped (Except One)

February  1, 2017

On Valentine's Day, a hug, a kiss, and an "I Love You" is the best gift you can give.

But a little something extra never hurts, either.

Your tokens of affection needn't be limited to candy and flowers—and needn't be limited to a lover. Moms, dads, kids, dog walkers, best friends, pen pals, and teachers can be Valentines, too! We've got 38 ideas for surprising, useful, and off-the-beaten-path gifts that aren't pink or heart-shaped. Mostly.

sweet teeth

Candy on Valentine's Day: self explanatory.

1. [Truffle chocolates], because I had to throw in one thing heart-shaped and these rich chocolates come in a classy tin from famed Parisian confectioner Maison Boissier.

2. Chocolate bark with all the fixin's (rose hip, mango, pistachio, saffron, cardamom, to name few) for someone a little adventurous.

3. For the one who puts a twinkle in your eye, Star-shaped sugar cubes —to put a twinkle in their coffee cup.

4. Drippy, sexy caramel. Best if packaged with their favorite pint of ice cream.

5. Compartes chocolate from Los Angeles: The pretty packaging is basically a present unto itself. The wacky and wonderful flavors inside (like this cereal flavor) are just the cherry on top.

6. A Brownie Club from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For a Valentine's Day that lasts another three to six months.

7. Baldwin Extracts Vanilla Extract: Future sweets can be just as romantic as ones already made. This is best of the best for the best baker. 'Nuff said.

8. Food52 Pantry Baking Chocolate for the Valentine who says they can make anything better than store-bought.

Compartes Cereal Bowl White Chocolate Bar
Zingerman's Brownie Club
Baldwin Extracts Bourbon Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract


A savory treat can be just as sweet, especially when you prepare it for them!

9. Cheese Gift Sets: the perfect gift for pairing with a pun. (You're un-brie-leviable. We're grate together. You're the cheese to my mac.)

10. Oysters are supposedly an aphrodisiac. Even if they aren't, they taste great and are fun to eat.

Cheese Gift Sets from Murray's Cheese

11. What says "love" better than a bloody-good steak?

12. A black truffle for a funky kinda love.

Ribeye Steak from Crystal River Meats


"A toast, to my Valentine." Cheers to your love with glam glassware and way tasty drinks. They'll make the moment extra sparkly.

13. Zalto Hand-Blown Champagne Glasses for the specialist of special occasions—a guaranteed love-at-first-sight.

14. Champagne Coupes begging for bubbly—and great for Manhattans and martinis during their downtime.

Zalto Hand-Blown Champagne Glasses
Curious Elixirs No. 1 (Non-Alcoholic) Cocktail Pack
Metallic Cocktail Glasses, Set of 4

15. A toast doesn't have to mean booze—Curious Elixirs crafts alcohol-free cocktails in a bottle. The No. 1 is complex, herbaceous, and smooth (just like your Valentine?).

16. If on the rocks is more their style, these glasses in a traditional silhouette get a shimmery update with swoops of gold.


For my rosebud, my sunflower, my ______.

Dried Lavender Bunches

17. Dried lavender bouquets last long past a withered flower arrangement, and have a fragrance universally loved.

18. A set of Greek herbs that includes thyme flowers for the adventurous cook in your life (and a hint at future dream vacations together).

Slap Bracelet Wrist Corsage Kit
Pink Peony Scented Temporary Tattoos

19. Who says flowers mean a bouquet? A wreath lasts way longer so they can enjoy flora and fauna for many days to come.

20. A very, very creative prom date I had once made me a snap bracelet corsage. For the whimsical, here's a kit that will get you started.

21. These peony temporary tattoos even smell good. (Perfect for poor souls allergic to flowers!)

22. Dessert plates with just a hint of floral: good for when you have no idea what kind of flowers they like (and when they like cake).


Balsam Fir Incense
Lavender Essential Oil

23. Woodsy candles will make you feel like you're in a cabin in the woods, cozying up together.

24. As will Balsam Fir Incense.

25. Give them what they really, really want: freshly-roasted coffee beans for you to share in the morning hours.

26. A spa day in a bottle: a few drops of Essential Oil in their bathtub is a straight shot to total bliss.

outdoorsy & active

The couples, families, and friends that get outside together, stay together.

Double Hammock
HotHands Hand Warmers

27. A hammock for two—the closest snuggle you'll ever get.

28. They warm your heart, so why not warm your ski bunny's hands.

29. A little light to take with you on nights where you want to sit under the stars together.

30. Strap a wine carrier to their bike and you've got a romantic picnic in the making.

say it with a card

A simple card is always appreciated. Here are four that cover everything from cheeky to punny to downright sweet. (31-34)

Willie Nelson Greeting Card
Mushroom Greeting Card

for the kiddos

For the littlest Valentines who fill a big space in your heart.

35. Royal puppets so they can feel like a king or queen any day.

36. Chocolate-covered Oreos to combine two of their favorite things.

37. A shirt that says it all.

38. Everyone loves Harry Potter. Celebrate with his most magical candy. (But watch out for those bogey flavored ones!)

Medieval Queen (& Friends) Hand Puppet
Chocolate Covered Oreos
Heart Breaker T-Shirt
Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans

Happy Valentine's Day!

Do you have any memorable Valentine's day gifts you've received? Reveal below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Olivia Bloom

Written by: Olivia Bloom

Has a soft spot for string cheese.