Let’s be honest, the best thing about Christmas is the build-up, and there’s no better way than an advent calendar. Long gone are the days of a classic £1.99 supermarket version though, nowadays there’s a Christmas countdown for basically anything you can imagine – from chocolate to popcorn to cheese (yes, really). With just a couple of weeks to go until Advent season, we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch, for all budgets.

Food Advent Calendars: Chocolate

1. For a Build-Your-Own Calendar: Lindt 

What: To fill that Woolworths Pick n’ Mix voice, Lindt have come up with its own Pick n’ Mix advent calendar. Visit your local Lindt Chocolate Shop (or hit up the website) and personalise the calendar to include your favourite indulgent chocolates. Choose 24 Lindt truffles from its legendary range (Salted Caramel, White, Dark, Coconut, Irish Cream.. the list is endless).

Price: £15

Where: Available online

2. For Vegan Chocolate: Ombar

What: If it’s delicious plant-based chocolates you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. Ombar’s calendar features 25 super-cute mini bars – think the classic Coco Mylk, 60% Coco, plus the super indulgent Pistachio, Raspberry & Vanilla and Hazelnut Truffle flavours. Each is made with premium quality, unroasted  Ecuadorian cacao to ensure this bean-to-bar chocolate is smooth, nutrient-rich and full of flavour. Good for the planet and tasty? Sign us up.

Price: £14.99

Where: Buy online

3. For a High-End Calendar: Pierre Marcolini

What: If you want to splash the cash on a luxury advent calendar, look no further than Pierre Marcolini’s festive creation. Inside you’ll find a charming selection of hearts, Christmas truffles, Petits Bonheurs, crunchy pralines, and chocolate animals with flavours inspired by the sweet memories of childhood. And the box is 100% cardboard and 0% plastic.

Price: £54

Where: Buy online

4. For Fairtrade Chocolate: Tony’s Chocoloney

What: Tony’s Choconoley will win first prize for the size of its calendar – it’s huge. The calendar is filled with 25 tiny Tony’s classic flavours over 24 windows – unequally divided like the profits in the chocolate industry. Every door has a tiny mission to help to educate about the bitter truth in chocolate.

Price: £13.99

Where: Buy online

5. For a Classic Calendar: Dairy Milk

What: No advent calendar article would be complete without an entry from Dairy Milk. It’s a festive failsafe: always a decent bit of chocolate behind every door. Choc on offer ranges from traditional Dairy Milk to caramel-filled chunks. And there’s even a whole Winter Wonderland bar to tear open on Christmas Eve.

Price: £10

Where: Buy online

6. For Truffles: Monty Bojangles

What: Fancy some cocoa-dusted truffles? Made a beeline for Monty Bojangles Winter Nights Advent Calendar. Behind each door, you’ll find a choccy truffle (lots of flavours like the Choccy Scoffy,
Orange Angelical, Popcorn Carousel, Flutter Scotch, Berry Bubbly and Cookie Moon), and on Christmas Day, they’ve really pushed the boat out – with three truffles behind the door.

Price: £11.99

Where: Buy online

7. For Swiss Chocolate: Läderach

What: Swiss chocolatier Läderach is known for its fresh, high-quality, responsibly sourced artisanal chocolates. The advent calendar contains 24 alcohol-free Christmas pralinés. There’s something for every chocolate fan: milk chocolate with gianduja, white chocolate with orange marzipan, and dark Grand Cru chocolate with gold decoration.

Price: £40

Where: Buy online

8. For Festive Flavours: Chococo

What: 25 doors. 25 different flavours. Chococo’s Countdown to Christmas Calendar is filled to the brim with handcrafted, Dorset-made chocolates. As the days get closer to Christmas, the chocolates get more festive (Spiced Rum, Tawny Port and Fig, and Gingerbread Caramel). Plant-based? There’s a vegan calendar available too.

Price: £27.50

Where: Buy online

9. For Dark Chocolate: Divine

What: For an advent calendar with a conscious, get your hands on a Divine calendar. Not only will you be rewarded with a smooth dark chocolate heart each day, but your daily Divine chocolate improves the lives of cocoa farmers and their families through Divine’s commitment to fight exploitation in the industry as the world’s only farmer-owned Fairtrade chocolate maker.

Price: £5

Where: Buy online

10. For a Crowd Pleaser: Toblerone

What: Toblerone’s calendar does what it says on the tin (or cardboard triangle): an assortment of milk, white and dark chocolates, all with honey and almond nougat, and milk chocolates with salted caramelised almonds, honey and almond nougat.

Price: £9.99

Where: Tesco and online 

Food Advent Calendars: Sweet Treats

11. For Gourmet Popcorn: Joe and Seph’s 

What: Fancy sacking off the chocolate this year? Joe and Seph’s gourmet popcorn calendar is a winner. Behind 24 festive cubbyholes you’ll find 19 unique flavours of its award-winning, gourmet popcorn including Brandy Butter, Vanilla Cheesecake and Apple and custard. And they’ve created a vegan popcorn calendar too.

Price: £30

Where: Buy online

12. For Breakfast Spreads: Bonne Maman

What: This is quite possibly the cutest calendar we’ve seen this year. Mini jam? Seriously, take our money. The calendar is filled calendar doors with seventeen mini jars of delicious jams and spreads – each unique,
prepared exclusively for this Christmas; flavours include Milk Caramel with Cinnamon, Apricot with Lavender, Chestnut Orange with Spices, Raspberry with Dark Chocolate or Cherry with Pink Peppercorn. Also to be discovered are six herbal teas, such as Silent Night and Christmas Blend.

Price: £33

Where: Buy online 

13. For Danish Confectionary: LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW

What: This calendar is for all the liquorice lovers out there. Danish confectionery brand LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW has launched an unforgettable Christmas calendar full of gourmet chocolate-coated liquorice for the 2023 festive season. The calendar is full of loved flavours such as Salt and Caramel as well as returning seasonal favourites, including Butter Cookie, Frozen Mint and Crispy Raspberry.

Price: £50

Where: Buy online 

14. For Shortbread: Walker’s

What: Biscuit legends Walker’s has crammed its festive calendar with its renowned all-buttery goodies. Get ready for everything made out of shortbread – Christmas trees, finger sleighs, a snowman, and a Highland cow. It’s a celebration of the beloved shortbread.

Price: £22.99

Where: Buy online

15. For Italian Specialities: Fattoria La Vialla 

What: Bring the Dolce Vita to your morning over the festive period with Fattoria La Vialla’s calendar. The family-run, organic-biodynamic farm and wine estate in Tuscany is known for its local cuisine (wine, olive oil, tomato sauces, pasta… you name it). This year, they’ve decided to box up its delicacies and ship them to doorsteps across the UK. The calendar is packed with 60 Italian sweet surprises – Christmas specialities and the biscuits that are prepared daily in the Fattoria’s bakery.

Price: £33.50

Where: Buy online

Food Advent Calendars: Savoury Bites

16. For Dairy Delights: Cheesegeek 

What: Someone pass us the crackers, the Cheesegeek calendar is a dairy dream. The premise is simple: the advent calendar contains 24 cheeses (a mixture of soft, blues and hard cheeses) and will arrive in three deliveries, so the cheese is in tip-top condition. Each delivery also contains a pack of Peter’s Yard crackers, honey and a condiment. Don’t worry, the calendar is compact so will fit in your fridge nicely.

Price: £150

Where: Buy online

17. For Cooking: Just Spices 

What: Cooking experts Just Spices’ large advent calendar features 24 full-sized mixes, seasonings and toppings, all carefully crafted using natural ingredients, and the ever-brilliant Just Spices Cookbook. There’s everything here – Avocado Topping, Oatmeal Spice and a brand new spice blend which will be revealed behind one of the calendar doors.

Price:  £99.99

Where: Buy online

18. For Sweet and Savoury Snacks: Cartwright and Butler

What: Cartwright & Butler have gone for the ‘less is more’ approach for its advent offering. Instead of the classic 24 doors, they’ve gone for 12 sliding drawers. Each drawer reveals a best-selling treat – Winter Spiced Orange and Cranberry Shortbread Rounds, Chilli and Cheese Shortbreads, Triple Chocolate Chunk Biscuits and Cranberry and Rolled Oat Crumbles, to name but a few.

Price: £79.95

Where: Buy online

19. For Crisps: Pringles

What: Prefer savoury over sweet? Pringles’ advent calendar is filled with a tub of Pringles behind all 12 doors. Flavours include the classics; we’re talking about Sour Cream and Chive, Ready Salted, Salt and Vinegar and BBQ.

Price: £25

Where: Buy online

20. For Cheesy Goodness: So Wrong It’s Nom x Ilchester Cheese

What: Gouda news: the Cheese Advent Calendar from So Wrong It’s Nom and Ilchester Cheese is back for 2023. Containing 24 individual cheeses, the award-winning advent calendar features 11 mouthwatering varieties from award-winning Somerset-based cheese specialists, Ilchester Cheese Company. Founded in the heart of cheese-making West Country, Illchester Cheese is known for its innovative flavours and high-quality locally sourced ingredients.

Price: £8

Where: Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Morrisons and Ocado