Food and movies have always been a favorite combination. Watching a great film and eating pizza, sushi, or whatever dish you fancy is comforting. What if the movie is about food, restaurants, or a chef’s life?
Well, it could take your cinematic journey to another level. Usually, these movies have breathtaking aesthetics and show fascinating culinary history. Some might even give you a peek at the busy kitchens that churn out incredible dishes.
We’ve asked help from food enthusiasts, movie buffs, and people who are both to create a list of the 13 best food movies. We pored over blogs, online discussions, and reviews for solid recommendations. So, get your snacks ready and indulge in any of these mouthwatering films.
1. Chef (2014)
English, Spanish 1h 54m IMDb
Stars: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson
The food truck culture took the country by storm. This culinary phenomenon inspired this independent film. It follows the story of Carl Casper, a disgruntled chef who left the cutthroat restaurant scene.
After a social media war with a food critic and altercations with his boss, he hesitantly started a food truck business. It was far from the luxurious career he once enjoyed. What followed was a journey into self-discovery and rebuilding relationships.
The stellar cast led by Jon Favreau gave convincing performances. They all had undeniable chemistry. It’s a delightful film that will make you want to eat Cuban sandwiches afterwards.
2. Julie and Julia (2009)
English, French 2h 3m IMDb
Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina
Julia Child brought French cooking to mainstream America. This movie celebrates her contributions to everyone’s hearts and palates. It’s an intertwining of past and present stories that centered on food. It also tells the adventure of Julie Powell.
She’s taken on the challenge of trying all the recipes in Julia’s famous cookbook. It will introduce you to fancy dishes such as Beef Bourguignon and Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce.
As always, Meryl Streep was an enigmatic presence. She captured Julia Child’s voice, mannerisms, and comforting charm. It’s a perfect watch with your food-lover friends over a bottle of Chardonnay.
3. Burnt ( 2015)
English, French, Italian 1h 41m IMDb
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl
You know you’d have an authentic chef’s life story with Gordon Ramsay as producer. Burnt brings you into the incredible world of Michelin stars, fine dining and the people behind them.
It reveals the story of Adam Jones, a chef who fell from grace. He let alcohol, drugs, and women take over his once-successful life. You’ll be amazed at how the actors showcased their culinary skills, especially Bradley Cooper.
Sienna Miller had superb knife skills. The movie’s chef consultants revealed she could work at a restaurant. The film’s six awards are the cherries on the proverbial cake.
4. Ratatouille (2007)
English, French 1h 51m IMDb
Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
Stars: Brad GarrettLou RomanoPatton Oswalt
No food movie list will be complete without this animated film. The idea of a rat whipping unique French dishes may initially seem weird. However, it worked. Its appeal encompassed the young and old alike – a feat achieved only by a few films.
It’s a story about discovering your passions and beating the odds despite what others say. This movie brought potato leek soup to everyone’s consciousness.
It’s a comforting dish that delighted the hearts and palates of its viewers. Many fans confessed that they’d seen this movie many times. For sure, you would, too.
5. The Founder (2016)
English, Yiddish 1h 55m IMDb
John Lee Hancock
Stars: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch
This movie reveals how the iconic McDonald’s came to life. It follows the tale of Ray Kroc, an innovative and cunning salesman. He turned a local fast-food chain into a global conglomerate.
Watching the birth of something so familiar to us is so interesting. It will make you want to grab a burger and fries. The director did a fantastic job bringing a retro feel to the screen.
It’s as if you’ve travelled back in time. He made the story entertaining despite being a historical feature. Viewers recommend it for those planning to venture into the food business.
6. Uncorked ( 2020)
English, French 1h 44m IMDb
Stars: Courtney B. Vance, Lashun Pollard, Michael Mobley
How do you balance your dream and your family’s expectations? This movie shows how one man follows his passion for becoming a master sommelier.
It was challenging since his father wanted him to continue managing their barbecue joint. The film had an excellent character portrayal and development. It makes you root for the lead as he forges his path. It also explored a father-son relationship.
It may be a common theme, but it still elicits deep emotions. You’ll also peek into two different culinary worlds- the Memphis barbecue scene and the elite French wine industry.
7. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
English 1h 41m IMDb
Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito
On the surface, this film is a romantic comedy. However, it dives into the joy of home cooked meals that honors your roots. Aly Wong plays Sasha, a world-renowned chef who had to return to her hometown.
Then, she reunites with her childhood friend and former flame. It sparked some memories and fun dim sum food trips. The movie also showed how chefs create and develop restaurants.
You’ll get a front-row seat to the birth of a food concept to its launching. Another significant aspect of the movie is how Asian food always brings families together.
8. The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
English, Hindi, French 2h 2m IMDb
Stars: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal
This movie satisfies the heart and the palate. An Indian family who suffered so much loss and heartbreak moves to France.
The father decided to put up a restaurant in front of a Michelin-star establishment. Conflict ensues when the two culinary geniuses fight for their rightful places. It’s a feel-good film that showcases the best that French and Indian cuisine has to offer.
You’ll also revel in the love story within the film. It showed that love knows no boundaries and racial lines. In addition, the movie brings you to the magnificent French countryside, making it a feast for the senses.
9. Chocolat (2000)
English, French 2h 1m IMDb
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench
This film is one of the sweetest food movies you’ll ever see. Follow the story of a single mom, played by Juliette Binoche. She puts up a chocolate shop in a conservative French town.
Most people shunned decadence and pleasure for fear of judgment. However, they soon realize the joy of delicious chocolate and good company. Johnny Depp’s subtle yet powerful performance matched Ms. Binoche’s energy.
The film has several symbolisms that mirror society’s troubles. It can still be relevant today as it was 20 years ago.
10. Big Night (1996)
English, Italian 1h 49m IMDb
Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci
Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony
Two brothers from Italy came to America to open a restaurant. They had talent, culinary heritage, and passion. The only thing missing is customers.
While it is mainly a movie about Italian food, it dives deeper into the challenges of immigration. Each brother had internal struggles coping with their new life in a different country.
They also had a difficult time adjusting to the American palate. They only wanted to serve old-fashioned risotto, but diners kept looking for spaghetti with meatballs. There are hilarious moments as well as touching scenes. Like Italian cuisine, it struck a perfect balance that delighted the senses.
11. No Reservations (2007)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin
This film makes you want to become a chef. Perhaps it can encourage you to whip up a recipe or two. Follow the journey of a top-caliber chef as she navigates the chaotic food industry.
Her life changed when she had to become her niece’s guardian. It may be a bit too predictable, but it elicited positive feelings.
It is an excellent watch if you’re looking for a break from the usual heavy films. Catherine Zeta-Jones is a beautiful presence and a believable culinary expert. Meanwhile, Abigail Breslin gave a dose of sunshine in the movie.
12. Soul Food (1997)
English 1h 55m IMDb
George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long
This movie shows how great food always brings the family together. It features soul food, a type of African-American cuisine made famous in the South. Sunday evenings are not complete without dinner with the whole family.
However, the tradition stops when the matriarch gets hospitalized due to diabetes. Conflicts arise between family members. So the youngest one plots a scheme to get everyone back at the dinner table.
Most 90s movies are comforting to watch-and this film is no exception. It celebrates family life and simpler times. Furthermore, it has a universal appeal, like soul food.
13. The Ramen Girl (2008)
English, Japanese 1h 42m IMDb
Robert Allan Ackerman
Stars: Brittany Murphy, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tammy Blanchard
A bowl of Ramen is one of the most comforting dishes. This movie is as warm and soothing as this Japanese food. It reminded fans why Brittany Murphy was a well-loved actress because of her charm and wit.
She plays a heartbroken woman who wants to learn how to cook Ramen. She found solace and joy in a quaint noodle shop. You’ll get a glimpse of how expert cooks create this delectable dish.
Some scenes will introduce you to Japanese culture and cuisine. Ultimately, you will want to cuddle up with a piping bowl of Ramen.
Sharing a meal brings family and friends closer. An excellent film to share with loved ones can make it more enjoyable. Any of the 13 best food movies in this article can help you create beautiful memories. They’ll make you laugh, cry, and cook food that elicits joy.