A great film is a lot like a memorable meal: best enjoyed in a social setting, like a movie theater or restaurant. With a complex mix of ingredients, be it spices and a fresh cut of meat or a challenging script and adept cast, can leave you experiencing sensations you’ve never felt before. These are the kind of delicious sensations you’ll want to enjoy again and again.
With that in mind, these are some of our favorite movies about food — and the people who lovingly cook and enjoy said cuisine. Much like the memorable dishes painstakingly prepared and captured on celluloid, these movies are delectable, crafted with love, and unforgettable.
This Japanese “ramen western” manages to make noodles sexy and fun as the film follows two milk-truck drivers who stop to help a restaurant owner up their ramen game. It’s a movie that makes food fun while also aping many American movie tropes.
Babette’s Feast (1987)
This Danish drama, about a Parisian refugee who is sent to become a pious family’s new cook, explores the connection between food and pleasure. Viewers can expect both melancholy and sweet in equal measures;it was a hit at Cannes and won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Big Night (1996)
The movie is an intoxicating ride about two immigrant brothers (played by Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci) struggling to keep their Italian restaurant open in 1950’s New Jersey. They throw one giant dinner party to save their business featuring a giant timpano di pasta. You’ll want a big plate of pasta and a glass of vino to accompany the viewing.
In this comedy-drama, a mother and daughter arrive in a small (fictional) French town to open a chocolate shop. Soon enough, their sweets cause a sensation and they’re met with temptation and romance. The film received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and the stacked cast includes Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina, and Judi Dench.
Pixar’s animated feature is just as much about the relationship between critics and artists as it is about a chef and his rat friend with a highly refined palette. The sophisticated storyline and emotional heft of its themes elevate this beautiful cartoon into a fine piece of art.
This overlooked delight is writer/actor/director Jon Favreau’s ode to the modern dining scene and follows a chef who, after a very public humiliation, goes back to the basics with a food truck and rediscovers Cuban food along the way. Along for the ride in this film set in Los Angeles, Austin, and New Orleans are Sofia Vergara, Bobby Cannavale, John Leguizamo and Scarlett Johansson.