Genius Holiday Gift Idea: 6 Cookbooks That Double As Coffee-Table Decor

As a person who has very recently set pasta on fire, cookbooks pose a specific conundrum to me: They're almost completely useless from a utilitarian standpoint, but some recent examples I've seen are so pretty look at. We, veritable chefs and kitchen phobics alike, have entered a new era in the world of cookbooks, with works of visual and culinary art like Cherry Bombe and Downtime.

It was hard enough deciding on a Thanksgiving host present, and the season of gifting is far from over: Don't know what to get your friends, your family, and let's be real—yourself, despite the holidays barreling toward you at festive lightning speed?

This is where a doubles-as-decor cookbook becomes super handy. In terms of cookbooks for holiday gifts, it's basically foolproof; if the receiver of this gift can't cook (like me) then it's an aspirational addition to a healthy zen den. And, if you're gifting this to a bona fide foodie, they'll be psyched about the new pop of color on their cookbook-clad bookshelf. It's a tasty win-win.

Scroll down to see the curated list of cookbooks for holiday gifts.

1. Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide, $22

matcha a lifestyle guide
Photo: Amazon

The matcha lover in your life will be obsessed with this book. Inside is literally everything someone would want to know about matcha including its history, buying tips, and ways to enjoy it—besides just sipping on it.

Buy it now: Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide, $22

2. Simple Fare: Fall and Winter, $35

cookbooks for holiday gifts
Photo: Amazon

Your friend who got really good at cooking during quarantine will love this book, which is full of recipes for elegant dishes featuring produce that's in-season right now. You'll see the proof of their appreciation all over Instagram.

Buy it now: Simple Fare: Fall and Winter, $35

3. Downtime: Deliciousness At Home, $19

downtime deliciousness at home
Photo: Amazon

If you're gift hunting for someone who loves entertaining, they'll really appreciate this gift. Inside are recipes perfect for whipping up when friends drop by, whether it's unannounced or for an all-out party. Chances are, your loved one is already dreaming of all the post-COVID-19 gatherings they'll have—this gift will help with the menu prep.

Buy it now: Downtime: Deliciousness At Home, $19

4. Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook, $25

cherry bombe
Photo: Amazon

This is the perfect gift for your friend who always seems to know about the latest food trend—like whipped matcha or cloud bread—before anyone else. In it are recipes from more than 100 of the buzziest chefs, food bloggers, and creatives in the food industry.

Buy it now: Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook, $25

5. Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired By Artists, $24

cookbooks for holiday gifts
Photo: Amazon

Sweetgreen lunches may be happening less during the pandemic, but salad love is still strong. This book features 75 salad recipes from a wide range of creators and, yes, they're all stunning.

Buy it now: Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired By Artists, $24

6. Good Clean Food: Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes For Every Day$18

good clean food
Photo: Amazon

The interest surrounding plant-based eating has surged, but it can still be tricky knowing what to make on a regular basis. This book is full of ideas for every meal of the day—and none of them are too time-consuming or challenging. Often, simple truly is best.

Buy it now: Good Clean Food: Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes For Every Day, $18

Originally published December 1, 2017. Updated November 20, 2020.

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