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The Best Gifts for Dad (That Aren't a Grandchild)

He works hard, plays hard, and chills hard, so it’s about time you out-gifted your pops with some of the best gifts for dad.
Ian Burke
Brooklyn, US
The Best Gifts For Dad
Composite by VICE Staff

It’s holiday shopping season, people, and this year we know two things: We’re getting a big ol’ head start on our shopping lists, and we’re going to shower our collective dads in gifts this year, because they deserve it. Dad works hard, plays hard, and chills hard, so it’s about damn time you out-gifted him for once during the holidays. Whether the dad in your life is your biological barbecue dad, another family member who takes care of biz, or a friend that has BDE (Big Dad Energy), show them some love this holiday season by getting them a unique gift (or three). 

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Now, remember: Dad will love whatever you get him, because he’s loved everything you’ve ever gotten him, including the vast array of construction-paper arts-and-crafts projects that he told you he threw away but actually meticulously filed them away for viewing when you’re not around. We’re not saying that some homemade art or a handwritten card is a bad gift (in fact, definitely write him a card); we’re just suggesting that you go the extra mile this holiday season, especially if you didn’t get to spend it with him last year.

Read on for the best gifts for dads—all dads, from the chill dad and the manly dad to the chef dad and the dad who reminds you of Tony Soprano just a little too much. 

The Best Gifts for a Chill, Hippie Dad

Dad likes an earthy DIY project

Did your father figure ever go to the Monterey Jazz Festival? Do they smoke hemp-derived CBD joints (or are they curious about doing so), or identify with toadstools and mycelium more than people? (Very goblincore.) If so, Dad will love quietly tending to his mushroom log. 


$30 at Uncommon Goods

$30 at Uncommon Goods

$19.99$18.89 at Amazon

$19.99$18.89 at Amazon

A record player for his smooth jazz LPs

Look, we love a high-tech Bluetooth home audio system as much as anyone, but the warm sound that comes from a vinyl record is second to none. The super highly rated Navigator by Victrola has it all: nostalgia, personality, a three-speed turntable, a built-in cassette and CD player, and the ability to turn his vinyl records to MP3s. Rock on—gently. 

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$249.99$169.99 at Victrola

$249.99$169.99 at Victrola

He owns a telescope

Was Dad really good at helping you with your English homework? Can he quote a lot of witty poems off the top of his head? Is he a big ol’ lovable stoner? If so, his next chill toilet/coffee table read should be this book, which is a visual voyage into the heart of the strains he loves (and some that might be new). “The 'Primer’ section explores the culture of this complex flower and explains the botany that makes each strain unique,” explains the book’s publisher, “[while] the ‘Buds’ section describes the variations of lineage, flavor, and mental or physical high that define 170 exceptional strains.” 

$30.26 at Amazon
$35 at Chronicle
$30.26 at Amazon
$35 at Chronicle

A cardigan that says "I'm strong, sensitive, and well-read"

Maybe you live in a beautiful seaside storybook home in New England, or maybe you live in NASCAR country. Doesn't matter: there's not a papa on the planet who wouldn't look like a sophisticated daddy in this vintage-inspired, rugged, merino wool shawl-collared sweater (which, if you’re asking us, is best paired with coffee and a crossword puzzle).


$158 at J.Crew

$158 at J.Crew

A set of Moleskines for jotting down his travel logs

Dad isn’t the type to loudly tell you about his latest travels; he’s much more likely to take a beat, collect his thoughts, and jot them down on a piece of paper for you to read later. Give Dad an upgrade with this set of city Moleskines—he can record his unique travel experiences and create personalized guidebooks as he explores six of the world’s most iconic cities: Hong Kong, Berlin, London, Rome, New York, and Paris.

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$17.91 at Amazon

$17.91 at Amazon

$19.99 at Amazon

$19.99 at Amazon

The Best Gifts for a Manly Dad

Just add white dog 

What’s white dog? Why, it’s the clear, nearly neutral spirit that’s distilled from a whiskey mash (i.e., raw, unaged whiskey), also known as white lightning. Whiskey gets most of its flavor, color, and aroma from the barrel it ages in, which is what Dad will love explaining to you and all of his friends when you gift him this two-liter, charred oak aging barrel. He can age it for as long as he likes, or until you tell him you don’t own a toolbox, and he needs a stiff drink (or three).


$59.95 at Amazon

$59.95 at Amazon

A sturdy coat for a sturdy man

The boys down at the Legion are gonna lose it when they see Dad’s new Carhartt chore coat. He’ll want to be buried in the brand’s signature shade of deli mustard brown


$99.99 at Carhartt

$99.99 at Carhartt

A muscle ache annihilator 

Is Dad tuckered out and sore from splitting wood all day? Are his muscles aching from PUTTING THE TEAM ON HIS BACK? Perhaps he needs a massage gun to work out those knots. Right now, the hottest sports recovery massager is undoubtedly the cult-fave Theragun, which we love, but if that’s a little out of your price range, the Olsky is the next best thing

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$298 at Therabody

$298 at Therabody

$39.99$33.99 at Amazon

$39.99$33.99 at Amazon

The Best Gifts for a Dad Who Loves to Cook

A big ol’ knife

While they’re best known for the wildly popular Always Pan, Our Place makes pro-grade knives made from premium German stainless steel, and this do-it-all 8-inch chef’s knife will tackle everything your dad could ever wanna cook (or outsource to another family member).


$70 at Our Place

$70 at Our Place

Butter him up

This butter medley is like having a chorus of international dancers for Dad’s taste buds. You’ll get Danish Lurpak (is that a Neopet?) butter, Belgian butter embedded with “big salt crystals”, French butter that tastes like hazelnuts, a and cultured Vermont butter that’s been called “‘Grand Cru’ of all Vermont Butters.” Overnight shipping available.


$41.99 at IGourmet

$41.99 at IGourmet

He’s dying to get stoned

Presenting him with this orchestra of Le Creuset stoneware? If so, you’re a good kid. It comes with an oval gratin pan, square baking dish, casserole (covered, too), and two mini cocottes for [drumroll] just a hair over $300—plus, free shipping. Go for the heritage brand’s signature flame hue, because Dad is the flame tamer (duh). 


$305 at Williams Sonoma

$305 at Williams Sonoma

The gift of beer

The old adage rings true: Give a dad a beer, you’re a good offspring for a few minutes. Teach a dad to beer, you’re the best offspring forever. (Disclaimer: If you give Dad one of these homebrewing starter kits, he may never stop talking about the latest upgrade to his fermentation chamber and start spending inordinate amounts of time on r/Homebrewing.) 

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$99.99 at Amazon

$99.99 at Amazon

His own heirloom pepper sauces

Family recipes have to start somewhere, right? (And not everyone has a benevolent nonna on stand by.) This hot sauce kit holds Dad’s hand through the entire sauce-slinging process, presenting him with different spice blends of varying hotness for him to toy with. Have a glass of milk nearby? 


$42.97 at Amazon

$42.97 at Amazon

He’s a caffeinated king

This mix-n-match bottle set of super-concentrated cold brew has varying levels of caffeine, so Dad can enjoy a relaxing cup while he’s relaxing on the couch watching Rick Steves' Europe, or he can guzzle a bottle or two and grind his teeth while he project-manages the shit out of his company’s latest campaign. (Plus, this stuff tastes a lot better than his usual cup of Maxwell House. You can take our word for it.)


$50 at Explorer Cold Brew

$50 at Explorer Cold Brew

The Best Gifts for the Gabagool-Loving, Tony Soprano-esque Dad

For the man who *knows* his salami 

Roses are red, violets are blue, I'd really like to eat some cured meat with you. For a Certain Type of Dad™, you just can't go wrong with a bouquet of salami. Carnivore Club has several salami cornucopias that will raise your dad's spirits (and probably his blood pressure, but whatever), including this five-salami Tempesta collection, which is also available at gifting powerhouse Harry & David. 

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$99.99 at Harry & David

$99.99 at Harry & David

Of course, the gabagool 

Not from the Jerz? OK: A couple of years ago, Esquire writer Dom Nero asked (and answered), "What the Hell is 'Gabagool,' and Why Does Tony Soprano Talk About It All the Time?" The short answer is that "gabagool" is a Jerseyfied, bastardized way of saying "capicola," which is a traditional Italian cured ham. If you're sadly bereft of a local deli where you can emphatically gesture while begging for some cold cuts, you can get premium Primanti Bros. sandwiches online from Goldbelly. 


$99.95 at Goldbelly

$99.95 at Goldbelly

What, no fuckin’ shirts? 

Tony's known for his dazzling array of knit polos, zip-up and button-up shirts—many of them featuring color-blocking, abstract prints, and optical designs. These ones from Abercrombie & Fitch (yes, you read that correctly) look as good at the bar as they do at the casino, at a parent-teacher conference, or on the golf course. 


$70 at Abercrombie & Fitch

$70 at Abercrombie & Fitch

$60 at Abercrombie & Fitch

$60 at Abercrombie & Fitch

A bathrobe for checking the mail 

Warning: Dad might literally never wear anything else again after trying on this L.L. Bean flannel robe. It’s perfect for throwing over an undershirt and briefs before he shuffles outside to grab the paper. 


$79 at L.L. Bean

$79 at L.L. Bean

Shaving gear of the gods

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We're talkin’ a barbershop-grade straight razor and the iconic Italian aftershave known as Proraso, which implements witch hazel and menthol to soothe and cool the skin after Dad shears his face nice 'n' smooth.  


$14 at Amazon

$14 at Amazon

$21 at Grooming Lounge

$21 at Grooming Lounge

The Best Personalized Gifts for Dad

Gotta have the tool tote 

You and your pops can match when you gift him this Carhartt Personalized Tool Tote Bag. And by “match,” we mean you’ll both have totes. Yours, of course, will be a New Yorker tote, or have some ironic phrase screen-printed on the side. 


$54.99$39.99 at Amazon

$54.99$39.99 at Amazon

Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey 

Hey! How’d you etch that on there? Boomer Food Dad will be most impressed. Also, now you’ll know which of the errant house glasses are his. Most decanters alone are going to cost you upwards of $50, so getting a personalized bottle and not two, but four glasses? Most impressive. Not like we’re looking for validation, or anything. (But how else can we make it about us?)


$124.99$89.99 at Amazon

$124.99$89.99 at Amazon

Pint glasses are key 

Even if Dad isn’t a beer drinker, he’ll love this set of personalized pint glasses and coasters. Get his name, your last name, the name of his favorite city—whatever he digs. There’s no bigger power move than to whip these bad boys out and pointedly remind everyone to use the personalized coasters when his buddies come over for the game. 

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$69.99 at Amazon

$69.99 at Amazon

A custom collared shirt

Oh boy, Dad is gonna looove this one. Just think of how good this will look tucked into a pair of jeans, as he stares out the window with one hand on his hip and the other holding a mug of piping hot coffee, fresh outta the microwave. He can obviously wear it when he goes golfing, but he can also rock it when he goes to recitals, sporting events, weddings, other events that he’ll be underdressed for, and—of course—the monthly full-contact smackdown that is the neighborhood HOA meeting.


$29.99 at Etsy

$29.99 at Etsy

For Bill’s bills 

Is your dad the kind of guy to whip out a fat wad of cash when the check comes because he “doesn’t trust those damn automatic teller machines?” If so, this customizable money clip is for him. Have a personal, handwritten message carved into this square of bright sterling silver, so Dad thinks of you every time he flexes on his poker buddies. 


$185 at UncommonGoods

$185 at UncommonGoods

The Best Last Minute Gifts for Dad

A wine subscription box for chillin’

Winc, the popular wine subscription box that sends you bottles based on your preferred flavor profiles, is a great last-minute gift idea that doesn’t require shipping. Plus, you eliminate the possibility of getting him a bottle he doesn’t love. The brand also works with organizations such as 1% for the Planet and is “committed to donating to causes important to [its] employees,” according to the website

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$150 at Winc

$150 at Winc

Pitmaster training 

If Dad has been waiting his whole meat-licking life for an opportunity to train under a pitmaster, now’s his chance. James Beard-award winning pitmaster Aaron Franklin—of legendary Austin meat heaven Franklin Barbecue—is a trustworthy Texas barbecue mentor if ever there was one. Franklin started out his career grilling in the backyard (just like Dad), and now stewards a barbecue restaurant with lines that form around the block. He’ll teach your dad how to smoke pork butt, work with wood, and make the perfect sauces, brisket, and more.


$180 at Masterclass

$180 at Masterclass

Your dad is a whiskey man

Liquor cabinet? Pffft. Dad doesn’t keep his whiskey decanter on a shelf. Instead, he grabs his trusty crowbar that his father gave to him, and unleashes his personalized sipping wares unto this earthly plane from a Man Crate teeming with the perfect ratio of salty-to-sweet snacks (cashews, meet butter toffee), cooling slate coasters, and those massive ice sphere molds that makes his tongue feel like it’s licking the boulder from Indiana Jones. 


$159.99 at Man Crates

$159.99 at Man Crates

Someone to yell at him for once

Any home cook would love to receive this as a gift. Plus, Gordon Ramsay won’t call your dad an idiot sandwich. (Actually, HR says we can’t promise that. But Reddit says he's chill if you’re not a trained chef, so IDK?) The English chef will cover the cooking of vegetables, egg poaching, knife skills, pasta, beef Wellington (duh), and how to break down a whole fish. 

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$240 at Masterclass

$240 at Masterclass

He’s a G&T man

… Or perhaps he’d rather hammer Negronis while he waits for Jeopardy! to come on? At any rate, this bottle of Sông Cái Vietnamese dry gin is perfect for mixing into his cocktail sessions. The distillers reimagine the traditional dry style using 14 endemic, foraged Southeast Asian ingredients in addition to juniper, including green turmeric, jungle pepper, black cardamom, and heirloom pomelo.


$38.99 at Mash&Grape

$38.99 at Mash&Grape

A dad joke incarnate

Say what you will about Secret Santa gag gifts, but the Big Mouth Billy Bass is the one fish that rules them all. Whether your dad’s idea of a “relaxing weekend” is waking up before sunrise to hang out in his boat, or he’s just looking for a “trophy” to hang up for a little joy in his at-home office, there’s no doubt this is a gift that will get a reaction the moment this “singing sensation” is unwrapped.


$49.99 at Amazon

$49.99 at Amazon

Now go shower your rad dad in gifts galore, people. 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.