Fifty Movies for Foodies (Plus My Top Five Favs)


50Movies for Foodies

With the colder weather well on its way up here in the Northeast, The Angry Chef and I will likely be spending more evenings curled up on the couch in front of the tube. (Buttered popcorn and toasty drinks in hand.)

We’re more apt to pop in a DVD then channel surf these days, so I thought I’d put together a list of movies where food plays a starring role. I wasn’t sure how many I’d find. Turns out, I came up with 50.

Before we get to the big list, here are five that are near and dear to my heart.

My top five food movies

1. Eat Drink Man Woman

I know, it’s on the top of so many food-movie lists. But there’s a reason. So many folks I know just love this one.

Directed by Ang Lee, the movie tells the tale of a master chef, his three daughters, and their love lives. The scenes with his kitchen in Taipei and the family’s elaborate Sunday dinner ritual are absolutely enchanting.

Eat Drink Man Woman

I first saw it at a little indie theater years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite movies today. If I get my way, someday, I’ll have an indoor/outdoor kitchen like old Chu has (not very practical for the weather here in Salem, but a girl can dream).

Here, take a look at what I mean. A word of warning: It’s subtitled.


2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

No offense to Johnny Depp, but the 1971 Gene Wilder version of Wonka beats the pants off of the 2005 remake.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

I grew up with this one—and the magical Roald Dahl book that inspired the film. Here’s the original trailer.

3. Chocolat

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a stodgy French village right before Lent—much to the chagrin of the prim and proper townsfolk.


I’m not sure, but I think that this may be when I first got it into my head to grind my own hot chocolate mix from cacao beans.


4. Tampopo

I have three words for you: Japanese Noodle Western. For that phrase alone, you should see this flick if you haven’t. Juzo Itami’s 1985 film has become something of a cult classic.


It’s the story of a widowed noodle chef and her adventures setting up a ramen shop with the help of a truck driver. This one is also subtitled (and full of sex).

Here’s the original trailer. (I couldn’t find it with subtitles, but you’ll get the picture.)

Plus the scene with the noodle master (which does have subtitles):


5. Ratatouille

Last but not least, a movie about a rat who’s a seriously good cook. (For a food movie starring a bona fide mouse, check out the Tale of Despereaux, about a brave little mouse and a kingdom’s epic love of soup.)


Here’s an extended trailer:


50 Movies for Foodies

So that’s my top five list, but there are a ton of great movies that have food—or eating—as a main ingredient. Here are 50.

Some I’ve seen, some are still on my list. They range from comedy to drama, and from chocolate to cannibalism—with just about everything in between.

  1. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  2. Babette’s Feast
  3. Bad Taste
  4. Big Night
  5. The Chinese Feast
  6. Chocolat
  7. Chungking Express
  8. Comfort and Joy
  9. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
  10. Delicatessan
  11. Diner
  12. Dinner Rush
  13. Eat Drink Man Woman
  14. Eating Raoul
  15. Eat Your Heart Out
  16. Fast Food Nation
  17. Fried Green Tomatoes
  18. God of Cookery
  19. Heavy
  20. How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
  21. James and the Giant Peach
  22. The Last Supper (directed by Stacy Title)
  23. The Last Supper (directed by Osamu Fukutani)
  24. Le Grande Bouffe
  25. Like Water for Chocolate
  26. My Dinner with Andre
  27. Mostly Martha
  28. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  29. Mystic Pizza
  30. Nina’s Heavenly Delights
  31. No Reservations
  32. The Orange Thief
  33. The Ramen Girl
  34. Ratatouille
  35. Ravenous
  36. The Scent of Green Papaya
  37. Soul Food
  38. Super Size Me
  39. The Tale of Despereaux
  40. Tampopo
  41. Tortilla Soup
  42. Vatel
  43. Waiting…
  44. Waitress
  45. The Wedding Banquet
  46. What’s Cooking
  47. When Do We Eat?
  48. Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?
  49. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  50. Woman on Top

Oh, and Julie & Julia, of course. 😀

What are your favorite food movies?

Leave a comment and let me know! Did I hit them on the list above? Am I missing one?

Oh, and what about your favorite movie scene featuring food?

I can tell you mine, and it’s not from food-themed movie. (Though that opening sequence in Eat Drink Man Woman is close.) It’s the Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene. Call me a softie, but it’s the truth.


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Not a bad list. I blogged about “A night at the Movies” on my food & wine blog back in July. Give it a look. I left off all the obvious, and my only criteria was a great food scene had to be included.

  2. Me too, me too! I love the spaghetti scene in Lady & the Tramp! And what a great list you’ve compiled. I kept thinking – oh, I’ve got one she missed, and there it was. That happened several times and I finally gave up. Lots to see. (And I love the wino scene in Tampopo.)

  3. The spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp is my favorite, too. Though not a movie about food, Moonlight (with Cher & Nicolas Cage) has wonderful shots of toad in a hole – frying an egg in the hole cut out of a piece of bread. Don’t know why I love it, but I do. Quite a few on your list that I haven’t seen. Thanks.

  4. Great list!

    My favorite foodie movies (in order of preference) are Tampopo, Vatel, Waitress, Mostly Martha, and Eat Drink Man Woman.

    Summarizing 2 of the more obscure choices…

    Vatel is a romp through the culinary (and other) excesses of King Louis XIV’s French court and Mostly Martha features (yet another) amazing performance from the star of The Lives of Others.

  5. Great list, Jessie…I’d add Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands and Tom Jones. Thanks for your entirely enjoyable and useful blog!

  6. great list of movies! I have to check netflix and see if they have “Eat Drink Man Woman” Hurley and I love Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory!

    That scene from Lady and The Tramp is just too precious 🙂

  7. Awesome list of movies! Eat Drink Man Woman is in my DVD player now. And I worship Chocolat. Maria Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst is another good one – for those scenes with the ‘pretty’ platters of sweets that make me swoon.

  8. What a great idea, Jessie! Another charming film, not so much about food but in which food plays a big role, is a French film from the late sixties, The Two of Us. Absolutely worth tracking down. I tweeted this post, BTW. Thought even more people should know about it.

  9. Babette’s Feast is definitely my favorite – Netflix it for sure if you haven’t seen it! I watched it while taking a gastronomy & communications course and it was a very strong influence on the way I approach food and culture in my writing. All the themes are there – religion, history, culture, cuisine, nostalgia, love and loss… through the medium of food.

  10. The prep work with that cleaver, in the first movie is remarkable! Nice post! My NY Giants are out so there is little interest in this years Super Bowl. I’m going to check this movie out and a couple of others, Ha!

  11. Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie
    La Grande Bouffe
    La Graine et le Mulet
    Le Grand Restaurant

    are four great French movies on the subject, the first 2 being absolute classics!

  12. I haven’t seen all the movies, but my fav of those I have is “Big Night”. It has it all: food, comedy, characters and heartbreak. I love Stanley Tucci and the great ensemble cast!