Each year our staff and contributors round up their best gift ideas for cooks, eaters, and the kitchen curious. Read on for the best gifts for puzzle lovers.
I didn’t think I was a puzzle person. No disrespect to Alex Beggs, but the idea of spending all day toiling away at one of those color-gradient abominations made my eyeballs itch. But pre-March 2020 I also didn’t think I was someone who would be “into composting” or “own formal sweatpants.” All this is to say that in the last few years, puzzle gifts have gone from niche—maybe something you got for your indoor-kid brother or your aunt who collects Hummel figurines—to a plausible gift idea for just about anyone. Whether as a holiday, housewarming, or birthday gift, there’s a puzzle for every personality, and food people are no exception. Below you’ll find the best gifts for puzzle lovers who are as obsessed with perfecting their pie crust as they are with finding all the corner pieces—and we’ve paired each item in this gift guide with a Bon Appétit recipe, so you can snack while you puzz.
For the carb lover
This 1000-piecer is harder than mastering enriched dough.
Fun fact: Chris Morocco wore these very boots while developing his recipe for BA’s Best Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Icing on the Cake
Kind of chic, kind of vintage, very extra. The best puzzle pick for the extreme baker in your life.
I Love Donuts
Keep our recipe for lemony glazed cake donuts on hand for when cravings inevitably strike at your next game night.
Kitchen Smells Puzzle Set
This set comes with three different puzzles—a slice of cherry pie, a cup of coffee, and a wedge of blue cheese—and each is designed to be completed in twenty minutes or less. It’s a little sweet, a little bold, and a little funky.
NY Food Heart Puzzle
A great gift for a New York expat, this heart-shaped puzzle depicts a jumble of iconic NYC foods, from a dollar slice to soup dumplings to Italian rainbow cookies.
For the friend mourning the end of outdoor dining season
For the summertime grill master and the wintertime puzzle lord.
This bright and bold 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle features an al fresco scene by Mexican artist Ana Leovy. Pour yourself a cup of tea and dream of warmer days.
Sunbathers by Rhi James
Snuggle a snack board next to your puzzle board (what, you let your puzzles take up coffee table space?) and call it an indoor picnic.
For your enemy
Welcome to my nightmares! Find me stress-eating caramelized banana pudding.
For the plant-based puzzlers
Make yourself a Mai Tai and let this vintage-inspired fruit salad scene transport you to a place where papayas are in season.
The ultimate jigsaw puzzle gift for the unapologetic mushroom person.
Eat your greens.
For the best host in your circle
Fondue for two? Or three or four—however many people you need to help you with this 1000 piece puzzle.
Mix up some blood orange Jell-o shots for you and your fellow puzzle solvers, and let’s see how far you get.
Troublemakers Puzzle + One Stripe Chai Co. Gulab City
For the jigsaw puzzle lovers who appreciate puzzles and tea, this set includes a 500-piece puzzle featuring the art of Manuja Waldia and a chai blend made with rose petals, black tea, and green cardamom from One Stripe Chai Co.
For the food people who are also animal people
Pizza Cat Puzzle
Not to be confused with the Pizza Space Cat Puzzle or the Space Cat Pizza Puzzle. The pizza cat puzzle genre is deep, just like this Detroit-style pan pizza.
Tag yourself; I’m the chicken driving the forklift. Inside the puzzle box you’ll find a reference poster plus a bonus recipe.
Retro Dachshund Hot Dog Ad
For those who appreciate a good drink
99 Bottles of Beer on The Wall
Know what goes great with beer? Tacos.
We love Ghia’s nonalcoholic apéritif for its bitter complexity, which makes it an excellent swap for the booze in a Campari-based cocktail like the Siesta. Give a bottle to your loved one who’s gearing up for Dry January—and toss in one of these vibey puzzles too.
Read more Bon Appétit gift guides:
This piece was originally published in 2020 and was updated in 2021 by Tiffany Hopkins and 2022 by Megan Wahn.