Cooking is one of the best things invented by humanity, let’s spit out the facts.
No person doesn’t enjoy eating a good gourmet dish, perhaps cooked by an expert hand.
But watching the preparation of these incredible dishes also has its appeal, and anime has figured it out.
Fear not, we have collected for you the best cooking-themed anime to eat with your eyes.
Daily reminder: rankings are based on our experience and personal taste.
Table of Contents
25. Jk Meshi!
Jk Meshi! consists of 26 shorts released in 2015, centered on comedy and cooking.
We will not see any kind of plot, but only 3 high school friends who cook different dishes around the world together all the time while having fun.
The shorts are certainly entertaining and light to watch, but they aren’t consistent or particularly interesting to view, and even the animation isn’t well done.
We recommend this show if you are really into cooking and don’t mind cute girls.
24. Piacevole! My Italian Cooking
You may have sensed an Italian inkling, and indeed Pleasant! My Italian Cooking is set in and focused totally on Italy and its cuisine.
This light slice-of-life comedy focused on cooking is divided into 12 episodes released in 2017.
On this premise, the focus is on the high school student Morina Nanase starting work at Trattoria Festa, an Italian restaurant in her town. We will follow his life between cooking, strange restaurant encounters, and ingenious chefs.
This anime is quite bizarre at first but what did you expect from the title?
We confess that we were amazed to see the appearance of dishes like caponata or penne arrabbiate, because many think that Italian cuisine is 90% pizza.
23. Cooking with Valkyries
Cooking with Valkyries is a non-canonical 19-episode short spin-off anime featuring characters from the mobile videogame Honkai Impact 3rd.
This is lovely if you want to see the heroines from the video game struggling with Japanese cooking in ever-changing situations.
The idea is that fans of Honkai Impact can watch their favorite waifus cook and get some comedy fanservice.
Still, we appreciate the work behind it and this is recommended only to those people who already know the series and are big fans of it.
Skip it if you have no clue what we are talking about.
22. Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family
Fate is a huge and very intricate franchise, with different stories intertwining with each other in different routes. But this is not always the case, as there are spin-offs totally detached from the usual fantasy and action-focused atmosphere.
And Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family is a perfect example of this.
It’s divided into a series of shorts of 13 episodes and focuses on daily life at the Emiya home when the battle isn’t heating, with Shiro busy cooking traditional Japanese dishes for the guests.
It’s the same as Cooking with Valkyries. If you are a fan of the characters and the franchise, then you can watch it for the fanservice.
Don’t even consider bothering if you have never read or watched Fate.
21. Bounjour Koiaji Pâtisserie
Bounjour Koiaji Pâtisserie is a 2014 anime released featuring reverse harem and cooking.
The story stars Sayuri Haruno, a girl enrolled in the Fleurir pastry school with dreams of one day opening her own business.
In her class, she will find several charming male classmates who aspire to the same thing, but will also begin to fight for Sayuri’s love.
Bounjour Koiaji Pâtisserie, as you can tell by reading the synopsis, is light-hearted and alternates between pastry and romantic situations.
This is one of the most interesting combinations we have ever watched, so give it a try if you love the trope.
20. Happy Cooking Graffiti
Based on a seinen manga, Happy Cooking Graffiti is a 12-episode anime that can seem innocent and carefree, but t hides a double face.
The story follows the daily lives of Ryo, a middle school girl who lives alone. The protagonist loves to cook Asian dishes and makes many acquaintances and friendships through food.
All innocent so far, until we realize that this passion for food of the protagonists often takes a, shall we say, erotic turn.
We don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, so if you want to understand what we mean, take a look, but get ready for some non-sense and really, really weird turns.
It’s not for children and can be defined as an “exciting culinary experience”.
19. Mister Ajikko
Let now move on to something vintage with Mister Ajikko, a series released in 1987 adapted from a shonen manga.
Ajiyoshi Yoichi is a talented cook who runs a Japanese traditional restaurant together with his mother. One day Murata Genjiro comes to the restaurant and, astounded by Yoichi’s skills, invites him to a competition against Marui, an Italian cook.
The boy wins the clash, and from then on he will face many other rivals to obtain the title of best cook.
Take the classic shonen formula, where the protagonist wants to become number 1 and adapt it to cooking.
Mr. Ajikko is probably the first to have perfected this formula, so it’s worth watching just for that, to see something slighty different.
18. Muteki Kanban Musume
Muteki Kanban Musume is a strongly demented comedy released in 2006 in 12 episodes.
The protagonist Onimaru Miki is a poster girl who works for her mother’s Chinese restaurant. On the surface, she is a normal, sweet girl, but hides a heated and grumpy character, especially when provoked.
This often causes her problems, resulting in arguments with her mother, customers, and other acquaintances almost daily.
This is the main theme, so demented situations that arise when Miki is provoked and loses her temper.
This anime is not ideal if you want to enjoy cooking but it’s ideal if you want to watch some salty scenes from the eyes of restaurant workers.
17. One Piece
We all know the adventures of Luffy’s crew, and many will know Sanji, the shipboard cook who will delight us with lots of dishes from all ethnicities.
But that is not the only reason for the inclusion of One Piece in this list. The entire story arc of Whole Cake Island winks at cooking and there are plenty of references to cooking and sweets.
The Devil Fruit powers of Big Mom’s children and servants are either based on food or cooking methods. While many fans didn’t appreciate the arc, we loved it for the Rufy-Sanji relationship and for introducing one Emperor.
That said, we can’t recommend you One Piece for cooking alone, since it’s an adventure anime with fights. You should read or watch it for other reasons, like the worldbuilding or the
16. Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits-
Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- is a supernatural slice of life released in 2018 in 26 episodes from the light novel of the same name.
Aoi is a college girl, proud of the cooking skills that allow her to make incredible Japanese dishes, who has inherited the ability to see spirits from her grandfather.
But one day she is kidnapped by Ayakashi, manager of the Heavenly Inn, who claims Aoi as a bride as a ransom for her grandfather’s debts.
Aoi will refuse, but to clear her debts she will begin working at the inn, which is frequented by all kinds of spirits.
She will become an excellent cook and manager of the inn, while feelings for Ayakashi slowly begin to develop.
Toriko is one of Weekly Shonen Jump’s most overlooked series in recent years, probably because of the stiff competition it was struggling with at the time of its release.
Indeed, suffice it to say that it was being serialized alongside such giants as Naruto, Bleach, and Gintama. Still, it remains a good series and is slightly different from its peers.
In a world where the taste and texture of food are the basis of society, Toriko, a hunter of rare and valuable foods, fights mammoth monsters to satisfy the palates of wealthy customers, trying to find rare ingredients.
Toriko is a classic battle shonen, but innovative in many ways.
It’s probably the only one to have such a large focus on cooking, even basing its power system on it. The protagonist will obtain his powers by eating, and getting different power-ups based on what he consumes.
And this as you can imagine will allow us to see a lot of different dishes from all around the world.
Oishinbo had its anime adaptation in 1988 with 136 episodes, so we can already tell you this is not for everyone.
Shiro Yamaoka works in the prestigious offices of Tozai News, but he is known as a local slacker, arrogant, and without ambition.
But despite this, he is given the prestigious task of organizing the banquet for the 100th anniversary of the newspaper’s founding.
This is because Shiro’s only dowry is that he has an extremely fine palate for food and drink from all over the world.
Oishinbo is an interesting anime, where you can enjoy encyclopedic explanations of food, rather than just watching people cook, as it’s common in the other series.
13. Wakako Sake
Wakako Sake is an entertaining and original slice-of-life that you can watch without commitment thanks to its 12 episodes.
Wakako is a 26-year-old young office worker who likes to go out alone to restaurants or bars to enjoy a good Japanese meal or a nice drink in her spare time.
This is especially true when she has a bad day at work, so this will happen quite often. The idea behind this show is nothing innovative but relatable to many viewers.
After an annoying and stressful day, it makes sense to relax with the pleasures of food and some drinks. That’s what many do and we think this idea should be used more to create chiller anime.
Bartender is the story of an incredibly empathetic bartender since many people come to his bar to solve their problems with the aid of a good listener like him.
We will hear different stories of people of all types, rich and poor, and see their pasts and traumas analyzed, seeking verbal comfort or just sinking their problems into alcohol.
11 episodes of pure human introspection. Not surprisingly, this anime is based on a seinen manga, and you will notice that in every frame.
Psychology and introspection are the main themes, so this is not really about the act of cooking. But between speeches, the bartender prepares wonderful cocktails in great detail, and it is a culinary art in its own right.
11. Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World
Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World is an isekai in its own right, but focused on cuisine, with no worlds or princesses to save.
Nobu is a cafe located on a street that is not very busy in Kyoto but has a great and unique feature.
The front entrance of the bar is connected to the alternate world of Aiteria, similar to medieval Europe, with its own share of strange customers.
We will meet all kinds of clients, such as adventurers, princesses, and knights.
Definitely not the classic isekai, but that might appeal for that very reason, given its uniqueness.
Funny moments, drunken knights, Asian dishes, and much more await you, just don’t ask for a complex and detailed plot.
10. Ristorante Paradiso
Restaurant Paradise is a 2009 anime adapted into 11 episodes.
This story is set in Italy and tells us about Nicoletta, a 21-year-old girl who moved from the quiet countryside to chaotic Rome to meet her mother, Olga.
Her mother, years before, had left her in the care of her grandmother so she could be with Lorenzo, a man who doesn’t want to have relationships with women with children.
Nicoletta, now grown up, shows up at the restaurant run by the man, determined to get revenge on her mother, but she is fascinated by the restaurant.
She will work at the place as an apprentice, honing her culinary art in the meanwhile.
Ristorante Paradiso has a rich and interesting plot, with a well-crafted Italian setting and a nice cast of characters.
The focus on the Italian cuisine and dishes will be crucial, with a lot of food that will make you starve just by looking.
9. Cooking Master Boy
Cooking Master Boy is a 1997 anime released in 52 episodes, which like the previously mentioned Master Ajikko combines classic shonen manga themes with cooking.
China, 19th century. We are in the fictional era of culinary warfare, where the most renowned chefs hold the power. Therefore, aspiring chefs are trying to expand and improve their skills to become the best chefs in the whole country and gain power.
The main character, Mao, is one of them, and after the death of his mother, a famous chef, he begins training to improve his art and be worthy of inheriting his mother’s title.
Cooking Master Boy is a story in crescendo, where we will see Mao start from the beginning until he becomes a true cooking legend.
We will see him grow, improve, form relationships and become better and better, seeing his efforts rewarded, inevitably ending up becoming attached to him.
And the focus as you can guess is on traditional and Chinese cuisine, in a very interesting way.
8. Welcome to Rokuhoudou Café
Welcome to Rokuhoudou Café is a very interesting anime released in 2018 in 12 episodes, based on a seinen manga.
The story takes place in a Japanese-style tea house called Rokuhodo, where 4 specialists work. Sui makes tea, Gure creates latte decorations, Tsubaki makes cakes, and Tokitaka cooks.
In addition to offering these basic services, they sometimes help their customers solve problems of all kinds.
And these problems are serious, real, and shareable issues that some of you may find yourself in.
If you are looking for the right mix of cooking, mature themes, and entertainment, then you can’t miss it. The focus on introspection is fair enough and we can say it manages to keep its chill vibe.
7. Laid-Back Camp
An interesting slice-of-life anime that does not focus as usual on school or city lives, but rather on travel, with ever-changing locations.
Rin loves to go on lonely camping trips around lakes from which there is a beautiful view, while Nadeshiko has a hobby of taking bike rides to various places from which to admire the view.
At one point, the two girls meet and begin making trips together, eating ramen and admiring the scenery.
An anime with many location changes, with which to admire new landscapes, sharing the journey with the 2 protagonists.
This anime is based on the adventure and time spent together by the girls. There will be interludes where the girls eat during breaks from their journey or when they are camping though.
6. Cinderella Chef
Cinderella Chef is a Chinese production based on a web manga later adapted into anime in 2018. It’s based on Chinese cuisine and features slice of life with historical elements.
Ye Jiayao is a young and talented cook who dreams of one day becoming an important chef.
Suddenly, she is mysteriously transported back in time to Imperial China and ends up being enslaved. She will have to earn her freedom with her culinary skills and wits.
Cinderella Chef is a classic Chinese production that perfectly treads the themes, animation, and narrative structure of Chinese anime.
So as you may guess the accuracy of Chinese dishes is high.
If you want to change the atmosphere a bit, discover ancient China, and all with a light, cooking-centered anime, we recommend it.
5. Restaurant to Another World
Combine fantasy, slice of life, cooking and monsters and you get Restaurant to Another World, a cute 12-episode anime to watch in your spare time.
Yoshoku no Nekoya is on the surface an ordinary Japanese restaurant, frequented by salarymen from the neighborhood in which it is located.
But on Saturdays, the restaurant completely changes its face and opens its doors to all kinds of clientele, be they elves, monsters, or any kind of fantasy creature.
And this of course by adapting the menu to each typical dish of every race and creature.
Attention to detail is important when taking into account such differences and we think that Restaurant to Another World does a great job of that.
4. Yumeiro Pâtissière
Yumeiro Pâtissière is a scholastic and sentimental anime centered on cooking, based on an award-winning manga.
Ichigo Amano is a 14-year-old girl who has a sweet tooth. Following an encounter with Henrie Lucas at a dessert buffet, the girl decides to enroll in St. Marie Academy, an institute for apprentice pastry chefs.
Despite initial awkwardness and heated competition, she will do her best.
The anime consists of 50 episodes, but it should be specified, that it is aimed primarily at a children’s audience. So if you are looking for a complex or deep plot, it is not for you.
It has good character design, which is very reminiscent of the shojo style with features such as large eyes and warm colors, and a plot that though childish in tone runs smoothly.
3. Sweetness and Lightning
Sweetness and Lightning is a sweet and entertaining anime with a blend of different themes.
The story tells of the daily life of Kouhei Inuzuka, a mathematics professor who, after the sad death of his wife, must take care of his small daughter Tsumugi alone.
The problem is that Professor Inazuka is a disaster when it comes to household chores, and he can’t cook at all.
But with the help of Kotori Iida, one of his students, he will gradually manage to become better and better at cooking. This strange extended family will be able to overcome any problems while having fun in the kitchen.
The majority of dishes come from Japanese cuisine due to the setting of the anime.
Sweetness and Lightning is a unique and innovative anime that boldly merges cooking with deep themes such as mourning the loss of a loved one and parental love.
But contrary to how it may seem it manages to do this without being overly sad or heavy-handed.
2. Yakitate! Japan
Yakitate! Japan is definitely about food in the strict sense of the term but in a more particular, almost demented, sense.
Kazuma, the main character, is obsessed with bread. When he was a child, his grandfather, arguing with Kazuma’s sister, decided to banish bread from the house for breakfast, deciding to allow only rice.
Kazuma at first supported his grandfather, but his sister kidnapped and took him to a bakery to show him the magic of freshly baked bread.
Kazuma is not only converted but discovers that he has a talent for bread, becoming his reason for living.
Yakitate! Japan is an anime that although it focuses on cooking in the round still manages to have a very strong comedic component that is demented.
The perfect candidate you must see if you are looking for the union of cooking and comedy at a high level.
1. Food Wars
Based on a celebrated manga serialized in no less than Weekly Shonen Jump, Food Wars follows the story of Soma Yukihira.
He is a young aspiring chef who enrolls in an elite cooking school to fulfill his dream of becoming a great and renowned professional.
The school is famous for its tough and unforgiving exams, but Soma is determined to pass them all and become an excellent chef.
The competition is far from low, however, and the bar will gradually get higher and higher.
The anime as you might guess is based on cooking and is full of gripping culinary battles, funny moments, and lots of ecchi fan service.
Definitely the best anime about cooking around at the moment, that you must watch if you’re interested in food, no excuses.