Not only are movies revolving around food an excellent watch – perhaps over some wine – for their beautiful food aesthetics and usually fun storylines, but they can be a great motivator for trying out new dishes in the kitchen. Or perhaps to start cooking in the first place! Below I’ve put together a list of foodie movies that are guaranteed to get you hungry on the spot and hopefully inspire you to attempt recreating those scrumptious dishes at home. How many of these films have you seen?
Foodie Movies Bucket List: Best Cooking & Food Films You Need to Watch
1. ✦ Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Always Be My Maybe is a romantic comedy where the female lead is a badass celebrity chef. It includes a lot of scenes involving delicious food, guaranteed to get you instantly craving for Korean food like what they’re eating on the movie. Besides being an excellent film choice for a foodie, it is also bomb for the fact it’s a Hollywood movie where both leads are Asians, and there are some particularly funny scenes involving Keanu Reeves.
2. ✧ Antique (Korean, 2008)
Get ready to have your sweet tooth aching big time while watching this, as it takes place inside of a bakery in a large part! Ju Ji-Hoon plays a man who opens up a cake shop in hopes of meeting the love of his life that way. There’s plenty of cakes and sweets in this, but also humor, and even some thriller elements.
3. ✧ Babette’s Feast (Scandinavian, 1987)
As far as foodie movies go, you truly cannot go wrong by choosing to watch Babette’s Feast. It’s a deliciously created film with a heartwarming story, much of which revolves around food. Babette’s Feast is an excellent quality movie to venture into foreign language cinema as it also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film its year of release.
4. ✦ Big Night (1996)
Where in Babette’s Feast a scrumptious French feast was created, in Big Night you get to see an equally delicious Italian one. But beyond being a simple cooking movie, you can expect Big Night to offer you comedy, drama and romance on top of its exquisite feast offerings. The story is of two immigrant brothers own and operate a restaurant in a small town on the Jersey shore. They struggle with building their business while serving still serving authentic Italian cuisine.
5. ✦ Bottle Shock (2008)
Moving away from food for a moment, Bottle Shock is a must see film for any wine lover out there. Including a cast filled with stars – such as Chris Pine, Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman – the story of Bottle Shock takes you to a wine tasting competition in Paris. So pop open that bottle of wine and get comfy to watch this drama comedy.
6. ✦ Burnt (2015)
Starring Bradley Cooper, Burnt tells the story of a former high class chef aiming to restart his career and achieve his third Michelin star. Featuring a lot of big names, such as Alicia Vikander, Burnt is a dramatic journey that not only gets your stomach growling but possibly manages to get your head spinning with just how fast-paced and stressful a life in the restaurant kitchen can be.
7. ✧ Butter (2012)
Interested to see just what you could make of butter outside of the kitchen? You couldn’t watch a better film than this! Beyond its intriguing buttery creations, Butter is a mix of comedy, romance and thrills that’ll come together for an excellent movie night movie.
8. ✦ Chef (2014)
Praised by the critics for several different aspects of the movie, including the writing, story and acting, Chef is another one of those foodie movies that are guaranteed to make you hungry and add the foods created in the film onto your personal list of foods you’ll be craving to make in your own kitchen. It’s a cute movie where a renowned chef starts a wildly successful food truck, after being fired from his restaurant job.
9. ✧ Chocolat (British, 2000)
If you need a bit of a break from the savory cooking movies, tune into Chocolat which, as its name suggests, revolves around chocolate; more specifically, a French woman opening up and running a chocolate shop in a small French village across the street from a church. She keeps her shop open on Sundays and tempts the religious folks during lent. Although chocolate is at the center of the movie, this charming and gorgeous film has a lot to offer for its audience in its story, not in the slightest bit limited to the mysterious love interest played by Johnny Depp.
10. ✧ Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
This one makes me hungry simply by reading its title, not to mention instantly has me craving for meatballs! It’s an animated children’s movie telling the story of an inventor who develops a machine capable of making food out of water. However, something goes awry and the machine starts to create food storms instead, leaving it to the inventor to get rid of the machine so he can save the world.
11. ✧ Diner (1982)
You’ll want to get yourself a delicious dinner prepared before you turn on this flick, because otherwise you’ll get grumpy over how hungry those dishes they eat at the diner will make you! Although a good portion of the movie takes place inside of a diner, don’t let that fool you into thinking there won’t be a lot of excitement and laughter to follow beyond its walls.
12. ✧ Dinner Rush (2000)
Majority of this movie takes place inside of a restaurant, during the course of a single evening, making it another incredible film for those on the lookout for cooking movies that truly feature dining in a big part. There’s some drama and even organized crime involved to keep your mind satiated as your stomach grows hungrier by the moment.
13. ✧ Eat Drink Man Woman (Chinese, 1994)
Directed by the very famous Ang Lee, this movie showcases the life of a widower and his three unmarried daughters. In large part are the feasts they gather to have together each Sunday, during which the daughters try to challenge their father’s traditional ways of thinking, which surprises and change of dynamics coming along when each of these daughters happen to find love. Their Sunday banquets look so devilishly delicious you’ll be inspired to make a similar Sunday tradition!
14. ✧ El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (2011)
As this is a documentary as opposed to a film feature, it is a bit of a different kind of an entry on this list. However, if you are looking for movies about cooking, then documentaries like these that are fully engrossed with the art of making food, will be right up your alley.
15. ✧ Estômago – A Gastronomic Story (Brazilian, 2007)
This film moves through two periods of the main character’s life simultaneously. In both times he is a cook, but under largely different circumstances. Described as a drama-comedy, Estômago sure takes its story to some wild places that you probably won’t find in other foodie movies.
16. ✧ Fast Food Nation (2006)
Loosely based on a true story, Fast Food Nation dives into the world of fast food, and burgers specifically. It may make you crave for McD’s like no tomorrow – or perhaps not.
17. ✧ God of Cookery (Hong Kong, 1996)
God of Cookery (also known as Sik San) starts from a fraud of a celebrity chef getting exposed and being knocked off his position. We then get to follow him on his journey to actually learn how to cook, culminating in a cooking competition between him and his main rival for the title of “God of Cookery”. It’s a hilarious, if not a little weird, comedy ride, with all sorts of yummy dishes on display.
18. ✦ Haute Cuisine (2012)
Based on a true story, Haute Cuisine follows an acclaimed female chef who becomes the president’s personal cook. A lot of incredible dishes are shown in this movie, parts of which were actually filmed in the Élysée Palace, the residence of the president of France.
19. ✧ Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (2011)
Another documentary film on the list is Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which follows the sushi master Jiro Ono and his small sushi restaurant in Tokyo, the first sushi restaurant to earn three Michelin stars. A fair warning, though, is that upon seeing this one you’ll probably want to add the Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant onto your travel bucket list!
20. ✦ Julie & Julia (2009)
Often dubbed as one of the very best cooking movies out there, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. It is based on the real life chef Julia Child and the real life author Julie Powell, following two timelines; one of them centers around Julia Child’s first years into her culinary career, while the other one centers around Julie Powell’s quest to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in the span of a year. She records her trials, triumphs and journey on a successful blog.
21. ✧ Kitchen Stories (Scandinavian, 2004)
Kitchen Stories is a quirky little film where Norwegian bachelors are observed by a research institute in order to modernize the home kitchen. A Swedish researcher eventually forms a fun freindship with a Norwegian man.
22. ✧ Le Grande Bouffe (French, 1973)
A French-Italian co-production, La Grande Bouffe is a cult film of its time. It is a satirical film centering on a group of friends who gather together in a villa for a weekend, intending to feast themselves to death. They spend a weekend gorging themselves with gourmet food and call girls.
23. ✧ Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Unlike many other films on this list, Like Water for Chocolate is not directly about cuisine. Instead it is about a young woman living in the early 1900s, going through struggles with her family and with love. However, just like the novel it is based on, food is one of the lead characters, with most of the dishes looking absolutely magical.
24. ✧ Maacher Jhol (2017)
This is the first Bengali film revolving around food, also said to be the best one thus far. The lead character in Maacher Jhol is a world class chef returning from Paris back to Kolkata, facing the cooking challenge of his lifetime.
25. ✧ Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) (German, 2001)
Martha Klein, the lady in the lead of this film, is a workaholic gourmet chef in Hamburg. Her life turns upside down through a tragedy that leads her to begin caring for her sister’s daughter, having to now juggle life between family and work. She unexpectedly gets help from a handsome sous chef. The movie has received largely positive reviews, being described as charming and hunger inducing.
26. ✧ Mr. Church (2016)
In this drama, Eddie Murphy plays the title character Mr. Church, who becomes the personal cook and more for a single mother and her daughter. It is a heartwarming movie to watch on a day you’re in the mood for a good pick me up.
27. ✦ My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
The third highest grossing romantic comedy of all time, telling the story of a Greek woman who falls in love with a non-Greek man, and the dating period and eventual wedding that follow. Remember to have your notebook and pen ready to jot down all the Greek food you’ll want to sample upon watching this. Or perhaps it’s the Bundt cake that’ll take your breath away?
28. ✧ Nina’s Heavenly Delights (British, 2006)
In Nina’s Heavenly Delights, the title character Nina returns home for her father’s funeral and to save his Indian restaurant, and winning the upcoming curry competition. Besides delicious food, it also includes some pretty great LGBT romance as one of its main story lines.
29. ✦ No Reservations (2007)
Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart, No Reservations is a romantic comedy taking place in the kitchen of a trendy restaurant. It is an American adaptation of the German movie Mostly Martha where an intense chefs’ life is altered when she gains custody of her deceased sisters daughter. Her free-spirited, impetuous sous chef ends up also being her romantic interest.
30. ✧ The Ramen Girl (2008)
In this romantic comedy, we travel to Tokyo together with Brittany Murphy’s character, who ends up beginning to learn how to cook ramen after her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her. It’s such an adorable and lighthearted watch that makes me hungry for ramen just thinking about it!
31. ✦ Ratatouille (2007)
Ratatouille is an amazing animated movie about a rat dreaming of becoming a chef, co-operating with a garbage boy of a Parisian restaurant in order to make it happen. It is a lot of fun to watch and you’ll be obsessed with making your own ratatouille afterwards!
32. ✧ Romantics Anonymous (2010)
Another film especially for the chocolate lovers out there! It’s a story not only of a chocolate manufacturer, but of a group of people suffering from and trying to overcome their fears and anxieties.
33. ✧ Sausage Party (2016)
An animated movie made for adults, in Sausage Party the protagonist is a sausage living in a supermarket, going on a run with his group of friends after discovering the truth of his existence. It’s the first R-rated computer animation movie made in the United States.
34. ✦ Sideways (2004)
Sideways is another wine-related movie to enjoy while popping open your own bottle of wine. Specifically get yourself some Pinot Noir for this; the movie in general has been great in helping the sales of Pinot Noir wine skyrocket.
35. ✦ Simply Irresistible (1999)
A cute little romantic comedy starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Simply Irresistible sprinkles a fair bit of magic on top of its scrumptious looking dishes. It’s absolutely silly in its plot line, including how Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character comes to acquire her magical food making skills, but it’s a cute watch nevertheless.
36. ✧ Soul Kitchen (2009)
When the chef of a Greek restaurant in Hamburg injures his back and has to hire a new cook to take over, he inadvertently signs himself up for quite the rollercoaster in both business and love. I bet you’ll have a ton of fun watching this one.
37. ✧ Spinning Plates (2013)
Spinning Plates is a documentary showcasing 3 restaurants deemed to be exceptional. All of them are entirely different in both menu and stories, as well as location, but each one has something incredible to offer us viewers.
38. ✧ Step Up to the Plate (2012)
Continuing with the documentary theme is Step Up to the Plate, a French documentary following a renowned French chef Michel Bras. It specifically focuses on the part of his life where he’s about to give his restaurant to his son.
39. ✧ Super Size Me (2004)
Third documentary in a row, Super Size Me is a globally famous doc by Morgan Spurlock and his experiment on what would happen to his body from eating nothing but McD’s for 30 days in a row. It may not be the easiest watch, but it sure is insightful.
40. ✧ Sweet Bean (2015)
In Sweet Bean, the main characters run a shop selling dorayaki, a Japanese-style pancake. Although somewhat bittersweet, it is a pleasant and touching watch, with dorayaki quickly rising in the ranks of global foods you’ll want to try.
41. ✧ Tampopo (Japanese, 1986)
You’ll never have craved ramen noodles (or any noodles, for that matter) more than you will while watching Tampopo, centered on a small family-owned noodle shop. It has been said to be one of the best foodie movies out there, so it should be absolutely unmissable to any food lover out there.
42. ✧ The Baker’s Wife (1938)
The Baker’s Wife is the oldest film on the list, made decades before all these other foodie movies. It is also intriguingly different in its central story, as it follows a baker who’s too heartbroken to keep baking, and the community coming together to help him get his wife back so that he can also regain his ability to bake.
43. ✧ The Cook The Thief His Wife Her Lover (1989)
A ill-behaved mobster scares off the customers at his restaurant, while his fed-up wife considers having an affair with one of the customers.
44. ✦ The Founder (2017)
Starring Michael Keaton, The Founder tells the story of how McDonald’s was created. It’s a surprisingly interesting film on a corporation we are all so familiar with but may actually know shockingly little about.
45. ✦ The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
Also taking place in France is this story, starring the ever delightful Helen Mirren as one of its leads, of two restaurants who become rivals with each other. One is a Michelin-starred restaurant run by Helen Mirren’s character and the other one is an Indian restaurant run by an Indian family. The meals served are scrumptious, but the main dish is the delicious story the film tells you.
46. ✧ The Trip To Italy (2014)
Popular British actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves in this comedy film taking them – and us – through Italy. Not only are we treated to all the enviously delicious food they get to eat, but the absolutely spectacular beauty that Italy’s landscape has to offer.
47. ✧ Today’s Special (2009)
A fun story of an upscale restaurant’s sous chef ending up running a run-down family-owned Indian restaurant instead. So much delicious Indian food shown on screen in this one, you might catch yourself actually drooling by the end of it.
48. ✦ Tortilla Soup (2001)
An American version of Eat Drink Woman Man, at the center of this one is a Mexican family, consisting of the widowed chef father and his three daughters. The cuisine may have changed from Chinese to Mexican, but the feasts remain absolutely mouthwatering to look at.
49. ✧ This Is Not What I Expected (2017)
A cute comedy where one of the leads is a chef in a hotel and the other a businessman intending to buy said hotel. However, a lot of fun incidents take place before the businessman finds out the woman is the chef cooking his food at the hotel.
50. ✦ Uncorked (2020)
Freshly out is a movie about a young man named Elijah, working two different jobs. His parents want him to take over the family barbecue restaurant, but he’s passionate about wine and intends to pursue this dream instead. It’s a nice and breezy drama of an individual’s life dream conflicting with his family’s wants and needs, which especially wine lovers will be keen to watch.
51. ✧ Vatel (French, 2000)
Vatel, a culinary genius, is hired to prepare a feast for the arrival of King Louis XIV. Even though he is a master chef, several crises threaten to ruin the festivities.
52. ✦ Waiting (2005)
Waiting is an independent film taking place during a single shift in a restaurant for most of its running time. It stars Justin Long and Ryan Reynolds, so you know it’ll be funny, enjoyable and entirely lighthearted to watch.
53. ✦ Waitress (2007)
Waitress has since become mostly known as a play on Broadway and West End, but it was originally released as a film starring Keri Russell. It tells the story of a woman working in a pie diner who’s trapped in an unhappy marriage, with high hopes to leave town, only to wind up pregnant instead. The extraordinary pie maker starts writing letters to her unborn child and her world starts to change for the better.
54. ✧ Who is Killing the Great Chefs in Europe (1978)
Chefs are mysteriously being murdered in the manner that their signature dishes are being prepared—it’s goofy with some creative kills happening throughout. Not only will you enjoy the process of trying to figure out a killer, but you’ll be treated to some beautiful food scenery as you do so.
55. ✦ Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a classic children’s movie, it’s lead character a poor kid named Charlie, who finds a golden ticket in his chocolate bar and therefore gets to go on a tour at the elusive Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. It’s based on a novel by Roald Dahl, and it is indeed so highly acclaimed and deemed to be of high cultural value that it has even been selected by the United States National Film Registry for preservation.
56. ✦ Woman on Top (2000)
Lastly, Woman on Top tells the story of Isabella, played by Penelope Cruz, and how she lands a job as a host for a cooking show. The film contains some fantasy elements and, though some may find the plot line weak, we’ll all love it for its food anyway.
. . .
How many of these movies have you already seen and what will you watch next? Which of those dishes makes you the hungriest? Beyond their food, these foodie movies also offer a lot of stories grounded into reality that many of us can enjoy and relate to. So for your next movie night, and the few that will follow, come back to this list to pick out a movie to watch!
And if you want to challenge yourself one step further? Prepare for the movie night by cooking in advance one of the dishes you’re about to see in the film!
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