Looking for entertainment you can sink you teeth into? These are the best food movies and TV shows to watch right now, and there’s something on every streaming platform.
If, for no particular reason, you’re in the mood for a little escapist television, cooking shows are the perfect option. They can help you find inspiration for dinner, take you on a couch-based trip to Italy or Japan, or even teach you something new (like never try to make your own Mentos).
new food programming is coming down the pipeline all the time. While, sadly, some classics like “The Naked Chef,” “Two Fat Ladies,” and Ming Tsai’s “East Meets West” aren’t officially streaming anywhere, determined fans can still watch episodes piecemeal on YouTube. If you want to binge-watch, though, without having to rouse yourself to search for episodes, here are 13 of the best food shows to watch right now on every streaming platform.Luckily, we are living in a golden age of food television due in part to the advent of YouTube which means culinary stars don’t need the backing of, say, the Food Network to reach fans. Various streaming options also mean that shows from the past decades are available to watch, and
And in case you’re hungry for something else, you’ll find seven food movies to watch too.
The Best Food Shows to Watch Right Now
For bite-size entertainment or bingeing, as you please.
“The Great British Baking Show” (Netflix)
It is incredibly soothing to watch these friendly home cooks as they bake their pastries, cakes, and breads in this gentle competition set in a tent on an English country estate. (Fans of Nadiya Hussein from season six of “The Great British Baking Show” will want to check out her new Netflix show “Nadiya’s Time to Eat,” focused on time-saving tips and recipes, too.)
Netflix, starting at $8.99/month
New subscribers can try free for 30 days.
Related Reading: Our Favorite Food Shows on Netflix
“Binging with Babish” (YouTube)
Andrew Rea, a.k.a. Babish, built a name for himself by reconstructing dishes from TV shows and movies. Watching him make the Krabby Patties from “Spongebob SquarePants,” burgers from “Bob’s Burgers,” ram-don from “Parasite,” and that egg sandwich from “Birds of Prey” is entertaining and informative.
“Iron Chef America” (Hulu)
In each episode of this strangely addictive Japanese import reality series, famed chefs battle it out in the kitchen stadium with menus built around a star ingredient. Think: Rick Bayless vs Bobby Flay creating traditional Mexican menus around buffalo or Alex Guarnaschelli and Stephen Kalt making an entire meal out of jerky.
Hulu, starting at $5.99/month
New subscribers can get a free trial.
“Salt Fat Acid Heat” (Netflix)
Follow New York Times Magazine food columnist and bestselling cookbook author Samin Nosrat across the globe as she proves that the titular elements are an essential part of delicious food. Be warned: You will walk away with a desperate desire to take up olive oil farming.
Related Reading: Samin Nosrat’s Quarantine Cooking Podcast Is a Must-Listen
“Gourmet Makes” (YouTube, Amazon)
There’s something strangely alluring about watching pastry chef and former Bon Appetit senior editor Claire Saffitz make things that most mortals would happily purchase for the rest of their lives. While Girl Scout cookies and Bagel Bites are an easy hit, watching Saffitz tackle DIY M&Ms, Mentos, Takis, and Gushers is incredibly riveting.
Amazon Prime Video, $12.99/month
No extra charge if you're an Amazon Prime member.
Related Reading: Amazon Just Made Its Food Network App Free for One Year
“Hell’s Kitchen” (Amazon)
Some people in this world find it relaxing to watch Gordon Ramsay yell at chefs ruining the dinners of perfectly nice people dining at a fake restaurant on a reality show. Those people should definitely tune in to watch Ramsay dish out insults like, “This roll is so horrible Nicolas Cage wouldn’t even accept it.”
“How to Cook That” (YouTube)
If you’ve ever watched those viral Instagram cooking videos and thought to yourself, “That is not possible,” Anna Reardon is here for you. Her YouTube channel is filled with videos that debunk those Instagram posts, alongside plenty of her own seemingly impossible projects like making Dwayne Johnson’s head in chocolate.
Legendary Queens rapper N.O.R.E. hits the road for the ultimate culinary trip to try THC-infused maple syrup and pancakes in Vegas, chill on a yacht, and eat Puerto Rican street food alongside guests like Big Boi, Ice T, Eddie Huang, and Bun B. It combines food and hip hop, so what’s not to love?
“Chef’s Table” (Netflix)
Each episode of this series, created by “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” director David Gelb, focuses on one renowned chef and how they turn their craft into art. The stories are awe-inspiring and beautifully told meditations on food, artistry, and life.
“Barefoot Contessa” (Food Network, Hulu)
Ina Garten welcomes all to her Hamptons home as she prepares gorgeously simple meals for her husband Jeffrey and their various friends who stop by on the thinnest of pretenses. Her home is inviting, her teaching encouragingly ambitious, and her recipes elegant, but easy. It’s all just so darn aspirational.
“Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home” (Amazon)
While folks warn against too many cooks in the kitchen, magic happens when longtime friends and culinary icons Julia Child and Jacques Pepin team up for this television series. Watch as the legends cook, teach, and tease each other in this Emmy Award-winning show. You can also watch episodes of Julia Child’s iconic “The French Chef” on PBS.
“The Final Table” (Netflix)
Pairs of chefs from around the world prepare the signature dishes of various countries (think: pasta from Italy or tacos from Mexico) to be judged by celebrity ambassadors and food critics. The show aims high, but makes for pretty mindless entertainment in the best way possible.
“Anthony Bourdain No Reservations” (Amazon, Hulu)
Few people have gone to further lengths for a good meal than chef, author, and television star Anthony Bourdain. That could mean eating raw blood soup in Thailand alongside Pok Pok’s Andy Richter, hitting Atlanta strip clubs with Alton Brown, or sharing a rib eye with Bill Murray. The show is always entertaining, and it’s always nice to see the late Bourdain on screen again.
The Best Food Movies to Watch Right Now
When you want a full meal of a movie.
“Maacher Jhol” (Netflix)
A Michelin-starred chef returns to his hometown of Kolkata after 13 years in Paris. While he is in town to care for his ailing mother, he is struck by the underlying complexity of the traditional home cooked meal of Bengali fish curry and rice. His desire to unlock the dish’s secret becomes emblematic of his yearning to understand his culture, his family, and the deep traditions that run through both.
“Tortilla Soup” (Amazon)
While technically a remake of Ang Lee’s gorgeous “Eat Drink Man Woman,” this film moves the action from Taipei to the world and kitchens of a Mexican-American family. The result is a very different but equally immersive film following a food-loving family navigating complicated relationships together. Fun fact: The food in the film was made by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, a.k.a. the Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales.
“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (Netflix)
When little Charlie Bucket wins a Golden Ticket to tour a mysterious chocolate factory, he is ushered into Willy Wonka’s magical sugar-filled world. He soon realizes that far beyond a chocolate river and lickable wallpaper, nothing is as it seems and Wonka’s welcome may have nefarious undercurrents. The film is one of the all-time childhood classics. If you’re in the mood for a marathon, Netflix also just added Tim Burton’s twist on the Roald Dahl book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
“Soul Food” (Hulu)
Sunday dinners are a long-standing Joseph family institution, so when the matriarch falls into a coma, her daughters rush to care for her, hoping to keep the family together and their traditions alive. Unfortunately, the family starts to unravel as a lot of old rivalries and new dramas arise and the only way to resolve them may be around the dinner table. A killer cast and a script filled with genuine compassion makes this movie a compelling ride.
“Julie & Julia” (Netflix)
Inspired by the real-life blog-turned-book, the film follows Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams) as she cooks her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” with Meryl Streep stepping in to play the original celebrity chef. The film cuts back and forth between the two women as they cook: Julie giving herself a challenging task to distract her from a frustrating existence and Julia, learning the magic of copious amounts of butter and finding your own place in the world.
Jon Favreau stars as Carl Casper, a chef who finds himself frustrated by the strictures of his job at a sleek L.A. eatery. He ends up finding redemption behind the wheel of a food truck, dishing out Cubanos, touring the country’s culinary hot spots, and reconnecting with what’s important in life. The movie, like the food the chef serves up, is satisfying and makes for a pleasant bill of fare. (This is free to watch with ads on Amazon, but you can also catch Favreau in “The Chef Show” on Netflix.)
“Ratatouille” (Disney Plus)
Remy dreams of being a chef and cooking in France’s greatest restaurants. There’s just one problem—he’s a rat and people would rather call an exterminator than give him a chance in the kitchen. That all changes when he meets Linguini, a garbage boy at a popular restaurant who desperately needs a win. The two team up to create a dish that will impress the dour food critic Anton Ego in hopes of reaching their dreams and prove once and for all that “Anyone can cook.”