As much as I enjoy Masterchef and Chopped, sometimes I want to watch something about food that isn’t a reality show or intense competition. Luckily, there are some fabulously delicious movies where food is the real main character. Check out 24 of my favorite films for foodies that will make your mouth water.
1. Chef (2013)
Chef is one of the top moves food lovers enjoy watching over and over again. The film is Jon Favreau’s brainchild and has a warm-hearted and realistic vibe with delicious food scenes. There is a particularly mouthwatering grilled cheese scene that will make you grab the bread and turn on the skillet the second the movie ends; maybe you’ll pause it to make your snack.
2. Julie & Julia (2009)
While some cinephiles claim this movie is not food-forward enough, I emphatically disagree. From the beautiful beef bourguignon to the hilarious scene where they’re trying to poach eggs to the emphasis on buttery dishes, I think there’s plenty of food to satisfy your hunger.
3. Burnt (2015)
Unlike Chef and Julie & Julia, the food in Burnt is not rustic and homemade. In this film, you can let your mouth water at the shots of exquisite, high-end plates that you only see in the best restaurants in the world. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to see dishes that ride the line between food and pure art.
4. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about a teeny tiny sushi restaurant and its passionate chef who persistently strives for perfection in every sushi roll. You’ll get to see plenty of mesmerizing shots of the most beautiful sushi on the planet while learning about the interesting perspectives of both Jiro and his son.
5. Tampopo (1985)
Tampopo is a cute movie about two drivers who try to help a restaurant owner perfect his noodle dish to make his business more successful. There are many scenes where people passionately chow down on massive bowls of noodles and soup that will have your mouth watering in no time.
6. Chocolat (2000)
If you’re looking for a movie to fuel your sweet tooth, look no further than Chocolat. It’s an endearing movie about a charming woman and her son who uplift and change an entire community by opening an unorthodox but enticing chocolate shop that seems to bring joy to all.
7. The Big Night (1996)
This movie has some intense scenes as two brothers struggle to get their Italian restaurant off the ground. Italian food, from the robust red sauces to the vibrant green herbs to the lovely layers of lasagna, is some of the most gorgeous cuisines, so you can enjoy shots of familiar Italian dishes as well as weird creations the two brothers come up with.
8. Babette’s Feast (1987)
For a foodie movie off the beaten path, check out Babette’s Feast, an eccentric Danish movie about a French woman who moves to an uptight and bland Danish village. The Parisian refugee named Babette brings her love and appreciation for food to the village and helps the rigid religious Danes indulge in a beautiful feast.
9. The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
The Hundred-Foot Journey is one of the best movies for people who love to cook. It’s about two rival restaurants who eventually learn to appreciate one another’s cuisine. The characters often discuss crucial elements of cooking, such as the five French mother sauces, so it can even be educational for aspiring chefs.
10. Ratatouille (2007)
Ratatouille has some stunning images of food, from the creamy soups to the saucy ratatouille at the end. It’s exciting watching the intensity of the kitchen compared to the calm in the dining room when the gorgeous food arrives. Despite all the rats in the kitchen, my stomach starts growling every time I watch this movie.
11. The Lunchbox (2013)
This film is a romance drama about a depressed housewife who prepares a special, stunning lunch for her husband in an attempt to reconnect. Well, the lunch winds up in the hands of a widower, and they begin an unusual friendship. The lunches in this film are impeccable and inspirational dishes.
12. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
This Taiwanese-American comedy-drama heavily focuses on a family’s extravagant and delicious weekly Sunday dinners. A retired master chef and his family create a dazzling meal every week that keeps the family close and grounded as they deal with life's woes.
13. Delicious (2021)
Delicious is a historical drama that takes place just before the French Revolution. It follows the story of a young chef who decides to leave his master and miserable life of servantry to open his own restaurant and fulfill his dreams. The food in the movie is nothing less than grand, with scenes of enticing feasts.
14. La Grande Bouffe (1973)
While this movie has an abundance of food and scenes of people eating, it’s not always appetizing. People gorge themselves on fat turkey legs, monstrous cakes, and more with the intention of eating themselves to death. There is food in practically every scene, but it may not make you hungry.
15. Ramen Girl (2008)
Ramen Girl is similar to Tampopo as it’s about a young woman who is taken under the wing of a Japanese chef so she can learn how to make perfect ramen. The noodles are central to the movie and appear in most scenes, and you get to watch her learn the intricacies of this special meal.
16. The Menu (2022)
This thriller movie takes place at the most exclusive and lavish restaurant, where the head chef decides to torment his guests and eventually sets the place on fire. While much of the food is part of his twisted game, it all looks delicious. Despite the brutal ending, the movie always leaves me wanting a classic cheeseburger, and you’ll see why.
17. East Side Sushi (2014)
This heartwarming and inspirational film is about a Latino woman who becomes enamored with sushi and strives to become a professional sushi chef. The plates of sushi in the film are spectacular, and the food is truly the focus of the film, as the main character tries to absorb as much information as she can about creating these sensational dishes.
18. The Platform (2019)
This movie is not pleasant, but it is definitely all about food. It’s a horror movie about a platform filled with food that moves up and down and stops on various levels to feed people. Those at the top gorge themselves, while those at the bottom starve to death. It’s a chilling movie with a complex ending that leaves you with mixed feelings.
19. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when the kids and parents roam around the whimsical room filled with a chocolate river and gumdrop mushrooms will always be one of my favorites. I’ve always wanted to try one of those crunchy candy teacups Wonka takes a bite out of during his song.
20. Boiling Point (2021)
Boiling Point is an impressive one-shot film that follows a busy night in one of London’s most popular restaurants. While many problems arise throughout the night and tensions build, the food remains everyone’s top priority as they try to cater to the demanding customers.
21. Eat Pray Love (2010)
Yes, there is a lot going on in this movie aside from food. Still, the main character’s appreciation and indulgence in food are integral to the story. From Napoleon pastries in Paris to spaghetti in Rome to pizza in Naples and more, there are plenty of delightful shots of food that are artful and enticing.
22. Haute Cuisine (2012)
This French comedy is about an unusual chef who becomes the private cook for the president of the country. The main character is charming and lovable, although not everyone in the film feels that way. Almost every dish created in the movie is odd and compelling, showing viewers unorthodox and inventive food combinations.
23. Butter (2012)
Every chef knows that butter makes everything taste better. This movie is not about cooking and fancy dishes like most other ones on this list. Instead, it’s all about, you guessed it, butter. The film tells the story of contestants in a butter-carving competition that is more important to the folks involved than you may think.
24. The Founder (2016)
The Founder tells the story of Ray Kroc, the salesman who took McDonald’s to the legendary status it is today. The movie is surprisingly emotional, but you get a glimpse into the making of McDonald’s food from when the fast food chain first began. Be prepared to want a Big Mac and McChicken by the end of the movie!