July 14, 2024


Than a Food Fitter

20 Best Food Shows On Netflix: Good Cooking Series, Ranked

12 min read

Netflix has food shows on lock. They helped kick off the modern era of prestige food TV with Chef’s Table, back in 2015. They made the genre funny again with Nailed It. They even found a sort of “Bourdain with more anxieties” in longtime friend-of-Uproxx Phil Rosenthal’s show, Somebody Feed Phil.

Today, there’s a very long list of food shows to choose from on the streaming giant. They range from fast-paced cooking competitions to low-and-slow tales of the world’s greatest chefs. To help you sift through these wide-ranging options, we’re ranking our 20 favorites, below. The food shows featured represent a healthy mix of pure food porn, cooking competitions, and educational food docuseries.

The throughline here is that delicious food is front and center. Hopefully, these shows will inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook a little or travel to whatever corner of the world the food you crave is being cooked. Let’s dive in!

20. Fresh, Fried, & Crispy

1 Season, 8 Episodes | IMDb: 6.5/10

The Show:

This show should probably come with a complimentary blood pressure cuff. Host Daym Drops — the insanely popular YouTube food reviewer — is traveling America and eating some of the most ridiculous fried foods. While the show leans into deep-fried Oreos and state fair foods, it also trends towards traditional cuisines throughout America.

Plus, Daym Drops’ energy and deep love for these foods are both hard to deny and easy to enjoy.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Each episode is only 25 minutes, making this a super easy weekend binge. It’s also kind of like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives in that you can have it on in the background while you cook dinner. Otherwise, check out the Birmingham episode. It’s full of deep-fried pork and soul food that’ll leave you starving.

19. Restaurants On The Edge

2 Season, 13 Episodes | IMDb: 6.8/10

The Show:

Restaurants on the Edge is one part food reality show, one part travel show, and one part fixer-upper show. The main thrust is a crew of restauranteurs hit up a failing restaurant with an amazing location or view in a high-touristed area and try to save it from oblivion.

It’s fun, fascinating, and full of beautiful locations and food.

Can’t Miss Episode:

This is another great “have on in the background” show. Each episode is in a unique location around the world. So maybe just pick somewhere that sounds cool to you and go from there. Though, the season 2 opener in Slovenia is a great intro episode.

18. The American BBQ Showdown

1 Season, 8 Episodes | IMDb: 7.2/10

The Show:

This cooking competition is a breezy binge. It’s also a mouthwatering watch with piles of smoked meats and sides filling the screen from start to finish on every single episode. Judges Melissa Cookston (Memphis BBQ) and Compton’s own Kevin Bludso judge the smoked meats and sides while offering some serious education along the way. That’s what’s so nice about this show: You’re going to learn about smoking food while also getting into the drama of the cooking competition.

Can’t Miss Episode:

You really need to start with episode one and watch it the whole way through.

17. Cooked With Cannabis

1 Season, 6 Episodes | IMDb: 6.6/10

The Show:

This is Netflix’s second swing at a cannabis cooking show and it hits more often than not. The conceit is simple, cannabis chefs step into the studio kitchen and make the best THC or CBD-infused plates they can. It’s fairly fast-paced and the food is legitimately repeatable in your own kitchen (for the most part).

Each episode is just over half an hour and there are only six total, so this is a really easy binge if you’re stoned and couch-locked.

Can’t Miss Episode:

With only six episodes, just start at the beginning. Though, episode five, High Holidays, is a particularly fun episode with a “Danksgiving” theme.

16. Million Pound Menu

2 Seasons, 12 Episodes | IMDb: 6.7/10

The Show:

This British show is equal parts fascinating and entertaining. Burgeoning cooks gather to do a pop-up for the public and a group of judges, who are also restaurant investors. Meaning there’s are some serious stakes at play here. Pop-up chefs, home cooks, and food truck chefs are cooking for their professional futures.

The show doesn’t flinch as it takes you into what it’s really like to create a fully realized concept for a restaurant and then actually make that business function in the real world, in front of people willing to give you sometimes millions of dollars (well, millions of pounds, in this case) to turn your dreams into reality.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Episode five from season one is a great place to start. The episode covers two concepts: A small plate Korean restaurant and a reimagining of the British dish bubble & squeak into a whole menu. While it’s clear early on which of these two will get funded, it’s still a fun and hunger-inducing watch.

15. Flavorful Origins

3 Seasons, 40 Episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10

The Show:

More than anything, this show is beautiful to look at the Chef’s Table aesthetic is on full display as the camera and narrator take us around two Chinese provinces with a laser focus on the food.

Farms, markets, hawker stalls, family dinner tables, and professional kitchens blend to create a clear sense of the place through the food the people grow, prepare, and eat. The episodes are also about 12 minutes each, making this a really easy binge.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Season two (Chaoshan Cuisine) episode two about Hu Tieu is a great place to start. The thick rice noodle takes on many forms over the 13-minute runtime and will have you craving noodles immediately.

14. The Final Table

1 Season, 10 Episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10

The Show:

This was a huge step up for Netflix when it came to fast-paced cooking competitions. Real-deal chefs gather in-studio to cook food based around a different nation’s food culture each week, creating a truly global feel.

While the show punts on their American episode, the rest of the series moves at a break-neck pace and features some truly inspired cooking.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Start with episode one based around Mexican cuisine. It’s an hour-long episode but will give you a great introduction to the show overall.

13. Ugly Delicious

2 Seasons, 12 Episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10

The Show:

Chef David Chang’s first Netflix show has a lot to offer. The show follows the chef around as he does his best to fill the shoes of Anthony Bourdain. There’s a clear travel element that’s focused on a food theme for each place. The second season focuses even more, with Chang taking you into his family’s home as he has his first child and ponders food for kids before heading off to India and Australia.

Once you get through Ugly Delicious, check out Chang’s other food and travel show, Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, especially the episode in Cambodia with Kate McKinnon.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Season one, episode six (about fried chicken) is really when Chang hits a stride. The episode travels from Nashville’s hot chicken scene to a Chinese KFC to a Japanese home kitchen by the end. Plus, it’s all about fried chicken. That’s an easy subject to watch for an hour.

12. Somebody Feed Phil

4 Seasons, 22 Episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10

The Show:

There’s something very infectious about Phil Rosenthal’s wide-eyed wonder at all the beautiful food in the world. While this show is just as much about travel as it is food, it’s really Rosenthal’s affability that carries the hour-long episodes. You really want to be at the table with him as he dives into amazing-looking dishes found all over the world.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Episode five of season one, New Orleans, is a great place to start. From there, jump around to whatever episode piques your interest. Don’t skip Tel Aviv or Saigon though.

11. High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America

1 Season, 4 Episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10

The Show:

High on the Hog is based on the seminal work of Dr. Jessica Harris and her breaking down of how African food cultures mingled with Indigenous American foods and European techniques to help define what American food is today. The show is a sort of short-hand for Dr. Harris’ work and book, with chef and writer Stephen Satterfield trekking around America and West Africa looking back at the origins of African American cuisines, where those foods are today, and profiling the people keeping those traditions alive.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Satterfield told us the Texas episode with Black cowboys moving their cattle was the moment that moved him the most. So we’d recommend watching that episode first, which is actually the last episode. Still, there are only four episodes in total, making this an easy binge.

10. Taco Chronicles

2 Seasons, 13 Episodes | IMDb: 7.9/10

The Show:

Taco Chronicles comes from Netflix’s Latin American division but feels like a spiritual successor to Chef’s Table. The look and feel of the show are outstanding. Each 30-minute episode takes you into a sub-culture of tacos across Mexico.

This is taco culture at every level from the farms to the streets and everywhere in between. Just make sure to have taco plans before you finish your binge. You’re going to want to feed a serious taco fix. Trust us.

Can’t Miss Episode:

This is a really easy six-episode binge from the beginning. Still, if we had to pick just one episode, it’d probably be barbacoa. The episode covers how the ancient traditions of this dish are still used today.

9. MeatEater

4 Seasons, 34 Episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10

The Show:

Steven Rinella has devoted his life to conservation, the celebration of wild foods, and educating the public on those subjects. MeatEater follows Rinella and other hunters as they travel the Americas to hunt, fish, and cook.

This show is unflinching and deeply informational, especially if you’re looking into sourcing your own foods. Each episode ends with a cook, often in nature, of what the crew has recently hunted.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Start with season seven, episode 16. This 22-minute episode takes Rinella out of the field and into his kitchen to demonstrate various techniques for cooking game, fish, and foraged foods. It’s a great entry-level episode.

8. The Great British Baking Show

8 Collections, 10 Episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10

The Show:

There’s probably little left to be said about this massive hit from the U.K. Home bakers assemble to, well, bake the British butts off. The show has it all — from catty judges to ridiculous recipes to all the drama as the ovens heat up and flour flies.

All in all, this is a very easy and fun watch, especially if you have the time to binge.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Collection One is the place to start. Ten episodes ensue as 12 home bakers fight for the championship.

7. Cooked

1 Season, 4 Episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10

The Show:

Journalist and author Michael Pollan’s Cooked takes a look at food from a scientific and often personal POV. Each episode looks at how fire, water, air, and the earth help us create the food and flavors we know and love. This is the sort of show for food lovers who want to have a better understanding of what it is that makes food cultures worldwide/ through history so incredibly unique.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Episode one, Fire, is a great place to start. The episode looks at how cooking the food we eat changed us as a species and what we owe the animals we choose to eat. It’s heady stuff but worthwhile.

6. Street Food

2 Season, 15 Episodes | IMDb: 8/10

The Show:

Street Food Asia and Street Food Latin America are kind of like Chef’s Table lite. The shows focus on street chefs around Asia and Latin America with short personal stories woven into the dramatic and delicious-looking street food they cook. The look of Chef’s Table is still present but the stories aren’t about inaccessible cuisines. Instead, it’s all about people feeding people literally on the streets.

The beauty of this show is that each chef and food represented is 100 percent accessible to you. You just have to visit.

Can’t Miss Episode:

The Lima, Peru episode in the Latin America season is pretty spectacular. It follows Indigenous cooks grilling meats as they’ve done for millennia next to Japanese migrants making ceviche with their own traditions melding with local ones. After that, check out the Oaxaca episode for some of the best-looking blue corn tortillas ever filmed.

5. Salt Fat Acid Heat

1 Season, 4 Episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10

The Show:

Chef Samin Nosrat travels the world, digging into how salt, fat, acid, and heat change food and all the ways those elements differ across cultures. Nosrat’s infectious love of all things food really draws you in, with the beautiful dishes and locales adding a layer of wanderlust to the whole affair. It’ll be really hard not to binge this series in one sitting, is what we’re saying.

Can’t Miss Episode:

The first episode, Fat, is a great place to start. Again, just binge this one. It’s only four hours of beautiful TV at the end of the day.

4. Nailed It!

6 Seasons, 42 Episodes | IMDb: 7.4/10

The Show:

Comedian Nicole Byer and star baker Jacques Torres come together to offer home bakers the chance at winning $10,000 for recreating a ridiculous cake or confectionary. Celebrity guest judges drop in for judging (and zinger) duties. The 30-minute format and one-and-out nature of the competition make this a very addictive show that feels new with every episode.

Can’t Miss Episode:

Pop over to the “Holiday” version of the show. Season one, episode six has Jason Mantzoukas guest judging a New Year’s Eve bake-off and it’s an absolute blast.

3. Rotten

2 Seasons, 12 Episodes | IMDb: 7.2/10

The Show:

This is a crucial watch. The series is a journalist-forward documentary series covering our food supply chains. There are some harrowing aspects to how we get the food we eat every day and they’re revealed here in sobering detail. Over two seasons, the show covers everything from chocolate and big chicken to bottled water and French wine.

Can’t Miss Episode:

The season two opener, The Avocado Wars, is an eye-opening look at how Mexican cartels are shifting to avocados to fill in the gap left by losing part of the cannabis market.

2. The Chef Show

4 Volumes, 25 Episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10

The Show:

Jon Favreau and chef Roy Choi created a great cooking show based on Favreau’s hit movie, Chef. The show takes elements from food and travel TV and stand-and-stir cooking shows and blends them into a micro-talk show format with big-name guests.

This show has it all but still feels small and personal. Plus, the easy back-and-forth between Favreau and Choi as they cook is wonderfully familiar.

Can’t Miss Episode:

The fourth episode of Volume Two where Choi and Favreau head to Hog Island Oysters is a great place to start, especially if you’re looking for a little bit more of a travel element. The episode ends with a massive oyster cook right on the beach that’ll leave you salivating.

1. Chef’s Table

7 Seasons, 31 Episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10

The Show:

Chef’s Table is the gold standard of the Netflix food series. The show has even spun off into a Street Food series that we’d highly recommend watching after this one.

The thrust of the series is a look at a chef, baker, butcher, or cook who has devoted their lives to food. There’s a travel element at play here, but it’s really the single personality at the center of each story that drives this series. From a visual standpoint, this show is also just amazing to look at.

Can’t Miss Episode:

The Volume Six opener with The Grey’s chef Mashama Bailey is the perfect place to start. The show goes deep into Georgia and Savannah’s food scene with one of the region’s most important chefs. It’s a part history lesson, part culinary education, and 100 percent entertaining.

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