There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to cooking. From intense cooking competitions to food-centric quests, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Dream-Colored Pastry Chef
Dream-Colored Pastry Chef is a cute and wholesome anime that explores one’s passion for baking delicious meals. The cozy atmosphere this series gives off with its visuals and storytelling makes it a worthwhile watch for any aspiring baker or food enthusiast.
Dream-Colored Pastry Chef is about a clumsy girl named Ichigo Amano. She enrolls in a prestigious culinary school after making a great first impression on a famous pastry maker. Although she’s known for not being great at anything outside of her tasting abilities.
On that note, she lacks knowledge and experience in the baking world. However, this famous person’s recommendation allows Ichigo to climb the ranks and stand toe to toe with the school’s topmost group, referred to as the Sweets Princes. Joined by two baker experts and a slew of helpful fairy-like companions, Ichigo must work toward her newfound goals in this world of competitive sweet competition.
If you’re looking for a wholesome but slightly intense cooking anime, then Dream-Colored Pastry Chef should be on your watch list.
Food Wars is a cooking anime full of comedy and charm. Unlike most cooking anime, Food Wars treads the line with hits reactionary and bodily humor. All of the characters have a level of depth put into them and are exciting to watch on screen.
Food Wars tells the story of an aspiring cook named Yukihira Soma. He wants to exceed his father in the culinary world and attain ownership of his restaurant. Despite building upon his craft every day, Soma is in for a rude awakening when he sees his father closing up shop to take a gig in New York.
Although his father offers him a chance to tag along, Soma refuses and enrols in the highly-acclaimed Tootsuki Culinary Academy, where only 10% of its students graduate. This school is known for its brutal cooking competitions called Shokugeki. However, if Soma hopes to become the new owner of the family restaurant and surpass his father, he must survive and graduate from Tootsuki Culinary Academy.
Unlike most cooking anime, Food Wars contains a plethora of shōnen tropes from tournament arcs to shouting out specific cooking-based actions. There’s no action akin to shows like Dragon Ball or Naruto, but the food competitions capture the same thrilling energy as their fights.
Toriko feels like a mixture of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s masculinity and Food Wars’s cooking enthusiasm. This anime offers great story arcs, phenomenal characters, and a visually appealing world. The anime also adds a great bit of hilarity to keep you engaged too.
Toriko follows the journey between Gourmet Hunter Toriko and highly-skilled chef companion Komatsu. His goal is to complete a menu of his desires, but this journey will lead him and his friend down a path of enjoyment and cruelty.
The journey is full of fantasy and charm. You’ll bear witness to hamburgers growing from the ground like plants and flowers to Volcanos containing streams of Mac and Cheese instead of lava. As with other shōnen anime, Toriko’s quest revolves around collecting items to fulfill a life-long desire. He’ll encounter various obstacles from powerful villains to difficult internal struggles on his journey.
These struggles in particular allow the anime to feel fresh and exciting with each episode. Toriko’s storyline gradually builds up over time and feels as imaginative as the world’s depicted in famous shōnen like Dragon Ball and One Piece. If you’re looking for an adventurous cooking anime, Toriko’s got you covered.
Cooking Master Boy
Cooking Master Boy is an underrated drama and action anime from the late 90s’. It takes place in 19th century China during a fictional era called “The Era of the Cooking Wars.”
In this era, chefs battled it out in brutal cooking competitions to declare themselves the best in the country. Earning this status meant obtaining respect and power for oneself. But losing meant relinquishing everything they had ever cherished or owned.
Enter Mao, a boy who becomes a Super Chef as an oath to his deceased mother. Mao also hopes to attain the title of Master Chef of his mother’s restaurant. To earn this title, Mao embarks on a journey to develop his cooking skills. While he makes great friends along the way, Mao will meet many fierce challengers aiming to destroy his cooking passion.
Cooking Master Boy offers an incredible story free of predictability and cliché. The anime offers wonderful twists and cliffhangers to keep fans pondering what will happen next. There’s a lot of food trivia and Easter eggs in this anime. Some come across as common knowledge while others may catch you off-guard.
On that note, it’s a great anime for food enthusiasts to watch since it offers educational value.
This slice-of-life anime features a stellar mix of cooking and romance. The characters in this have wonderful personalities and stories that intertwine, revealing more hidden layers about our cast. With its impressive visuals, well-developed characters, and rich world, Ristorante Paradiso promises fans will walk away entertained.
Our tale follows Nicoletta, a girl who flees to Rome to ruin her mother’s life. This is because her mother abandoned her when she was younger to remarry someone. In Rome, Nicoletta finds her mother at a restaurant called Casetta dell’Orso. When she walks in, she’s greeted by kind gentlemen. Through their kind words, Nicoletta’s lust for revenge starts fading, leading her to discover a life full of romance and warm food.
Fans of Italy and its customs will get a kick out of this show’s imagery and atmosphere. Everything from the characters’ mannerisms to the food they cook feels like a love letter to the wonderous territory. The romance between Nicoletta and one of the restaurant’s workers is wonderfully built upon over time. You’ll get a heartwarming feeling seeing these two interact with each other.
If you’re looking for an amazing romance anime with a cooking focus, check out Ristorante Paradiso.
Ramen Fighter Miki
Ramen Fighter Miki is an action-packed cooking anime. There isn’t an over-arching narrative to be found here, though. This series focuses on the daily life of its delivery girl protagonist, Miki Onimaru. It showcases her struggling to manage her position because of the combat and hilarious situations she gets involved in.
While this may not be appealing to some, Ramen Fighter Miki handles its humor and combat scenes well. This show enjoys parodying superheroes, romance, and action-oriented works. The humor often stems from funny slapstick to exaggerated facial expressions. The jokes never feel stale or repetitive. Every funny piece of dialogue or visual humor is executed brilliantly and distinctly.
As for our protagonist and side characters, don’t expect them to be fleshed out. The goal of these characters is to make you laugh through distinct methods. That’s not to say that the characters don’t have likable personalities, but it’s best not to go into Ramen Fighter Miki with high expectations for its plot and characters.
Fans looking for a show that will provide them a few giggles and comedic-oriented action sequences should give Ramen Fighter Miki a shot.
Gourmet Girl Graffiti
Imagine the moe anime K-on but with cooking elements, and you’ll end up with an anime like Gourmet Girl Grafitti. This anime is a heartwarming comfy series with not much of a structured plot. This anime is guaranteed to entertain fans who admire eating well-cooked meals with friends or loved ones.
Gourmet Girl Grafitti follows a young cooking prodigy named Ryou Machiko. Despite losing her late grandmother, she’s managed to craft a wonderful cooking career for herself. Unfortunately, her cooked meals don’t taste as wonderful as they look. This all stems from her fear that she may live a lonely life, thus destroying her motive to strive for better.
This all changes when her aunt informs her that her cousin Kirin Morino plans to attend the same cram school as her. Upon arriving at her household, Ryou’s cooking skills slightly improve for some apparent reason. Therefore, this anime follows Ryou on a quest for self-discovery, as she learns that spending time with those closest to her is the key to crafting the perfect dish.
As one can tell, this anime offers a character-driven narrative that slowly builds upon Ryou’s current relationship with friends and family. The characters in this anime have remarkable personalities and are at their best whenever they’re grouped up. The visuals in this anime are immaculate as you will find its food imagery mouth-watering.
Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World
This food-themed anime is as peculiar as its title. This show feels like a gateway to understanding and appreciating Japanese culture and cuisine. While the show includes some memorable characters, engaging visuals, and a nice soundtrack, it’s one you’ll need to watch with an open mind.
Our tale takes place in a fantasy world and follows the daily lives of an experienced chef named Nobuyuki Yazawa and his waitress Shinobu Senke. They run a traditional Japanese bar called Nobu, where they serve delicious food and beverages to their customers. Their bar isn’t your run-of-the-mill establishment as it has a doorway that allows people from a fantasy world called Aitheria to enter and dine here.
News about Nobuyuki’s meals spread to this mystical land, attracting more clients to his establishment. Therefore, this anime focuses on stories and daily shenanigans involving Nobuyuki, Shinobu, and their endless array of colorful customers. Each episode follows a similar structure involving new customers entering the establishment, admiring Nobuyuki’s meals, and sharing details about themselves.
The premise is simple yet effective. Many people will find their stories genuine, as it will remind them of times when they visited restaurants or bars and chatted with the workers of said workplaces. On that note, this is an anime that encourages viewers to relax and take in the beauty of its mouth-watering visuals. This anime differs from most cooking anime by incorporating live-action cooking segments, too.
This additional content adds to the supernatural aspect of the series. If you’re looking for a relaxing cooking anime that feels like a love letter to Japanese meals and culture, check out Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World.
Where Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World felt like a love letter to fans of Japanese cuisine, Yakitate!! Japan serves to showcase the wonders of bread. This anime features a slew of comedic dialogue and physical humor alongside a compelling narrative.
This anime tells the story of an aspiring breadmaker named Kazuma Azuma who is disheartened by Japan’s and his family’s treatment of bread. Therefore, Azuma embarks on a quest to create the greatest form of bread imaginable in hopes of getting his Japanese brethren to understand its value.
This anime’s premise is hilariously charming and features shonen-like tropes. You’ll get a kick out of the exaggerated facial expressions that appear on Azuma and the other character’s faces. The rivalry between Azuma and the other cooks is a marvel to watch. The competitions are fierce and the cuisines they whip up during these exchanges are mouth-watering.
Fans will appreciate Azuma’s steady growth into becoming a formidable breadmaker. While he’s given the essence of supernatural abilities, he’ll undergo immense training and cook-offs to help him sharpen his craft. If you’re a fan of cooking anime featuring a gifted but inexperienced protagonist, this anime is right up your alley.
Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits
This is an enchanting slice-of-life anime with a hint of cooking and supernatural elements. This anime utilizes its cooking elements creatively, despite its plot lacking complexity or twists. With its colorful cast, wonderful visuals, and charming OST, Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits delivers a splendid slice-of-life experience.
Our tale revolves around a female college student named Aoi Tsubaki. She has the ability to see supernatural entities from ghosts to otherworldly creatures. She inherited this gift from her late grandfather who had taught her ways to cope with her spirit companions peacefully. After his passing, Tsubaki continues her life as normal, by attending college and improving upon her cooking skills.
She creates meals for the spirits to prevent them from harming her or anyone else. One day, she decides to give one of these ghostly entities her lunch, which results in her teleporting to a mystical realm. The ghostly reveals himself as the Master Innkeeper named Oodanna and informs Tsubaki that she must marry him as payment for her grandfather’s debt.
Tsubaki declines his offer and suggests that she pay off his debt by opening up an eatery at Oodanna’s inn. Therefore, the anime revolves around Tsubaki meeting and catering to these entities’ needs through the power of fine dining and cooking. This anime explores the joys of food and how it emotionally and mentally changes people.
Tsubaki’s interactions with the ghosts are fun and delightful. There’s never a dull moment in this one, as it offers a slew of hilarious gags and an intriguing romantic subplot to keep fans entertained. The characters in this have likable personalities and serve their roles in the narrative well. If you’re looking for a cooking show with a simple premise and fun characters, give this one a shot.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about cooking!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!