There are plenty of ways to nourish ourselves—the COVID-19 crisis has inspired us to try meditation, relaxing gaming, and comfort binge watches. But this list is all about sumptuous cooking and food anime that will feed your mind and soul. Filled with heroic chefs, action-packed competitive culinary battles, and dishes that will make you want to become a better cook, these seven shows have something for everyone. So get cozy, grab your fave snack, and tuck into these wonderful, entertaining, and sweet delights!
This stunning Shonen-inspired take on the hero’s journey through the world of competitive cooking features top-notch animation and a cast of delightful characters you can’t help rooting for. The smash hit series centers on a classic underdog: the young short order cook Soma, who goes from his family restaurant to an elite private school for the world’s best chefs.
Each episode is filled with enticing food that’ll inspire you to create your own delectable dishes. A small warning, though: Food Wars does get a little saucy with a whole bunch of non-frontal nudity which usually occurs when people eat dishes that get them so excited they could… explode.
Currently streaming on: Hulu, Free on Adult Swim, Crunchyroll
Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie
If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, check out Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie. Sayuri wants nothing more than to open her own bakery, but to do so she has to traverse the halls of the elite confectionery school Fleurir.
Unlike the students in Food Wars, Sayuri finds romance rather than conflict, meeting a group of beautiful and talented young bakers who all seem to find her totally irresistible. This is the perfect pick if you enjoy romance or if you have a sweet tooth. You’ll surely be delighted by the intricate and extravagant creations and the gender-swapped Harem Anime setup of it all.
Currently streaming on: Crunchyroll
Flavors of Youth
You’ve likely seen stunning gifs and clips from Flavors of Youth floating around the internet, and they’ve gone viral for a reason. There’s a sincerity in the way food is represented in Flavors of Youth that makes every dish a beautiful work of art.
The anthology format focuses on three stories, each based around a memory and the food that’s tied to it. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but there’s a universality to the innate connection between food and nostalgia that will tug at your heart strings (and your stomach!).
Currently streaming on: Netflix
Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits
Though this isn’t technically a solely cooking-based anime, it’s still totally magical and features many wonderful dishes. Aoi is a student who loves to cook; she can also see ghosts, which she inherited from her grandfather.
That’s not all she inherited, though, as she discovers when she’s kidnapped by an ogre who states that she has to marry him to pay off her grandad’s debt. Aoi uses her smarts to negotiate, agreeing that she’ll instead work in the Bed and Breakfast the ogre runs in the spirit realm, which is filled with other mythical creatures and customers. Magic, cooking, and supernatural romance… what more could you want?
Currently streaming on: Funimation
Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro’s Toriko melds cooking anime and action into something entirely new. Centering on the titular Gourmet Hunter, this series follows Toriko as he uses his superhuman strength to source the strangest and most stunning ingredients to make his dream “Full Course Meal.”
The planet split into two spaces: the Human World and the Gourmet. The former is a small area which resembles society as we know it and the latter is a desolate wild where only the greatest Gourmet Hunters can survive. Want something different but still delicious? This is for you.
Currently streaming on: Hulu
Gourmet Girl Graffiti
Shaft, Anime Network
After the loss of her grandmother, Ryō has been struggling to enjoy her one passion: cooking. But when her cousin comes to stay, the pair forms a bond and Ryō begins to rediscover her love for making food. Over the course of the series, the girls find new friends who share their dedication to creating and enjoying delightful dishes.
This show is a joy to watch not only because of the bountiful smorgasbord of amazing food but also because, at its core, it’s a story about female friendship. Gourmet Girl Graffiti will speak to anyone who relishes memories of cooking with their loved ones and sharing food with friends.
Currently streaming on: Crunchyroll and HiDive
Restaurant to Another World
Need something extra magical to keep your belly full and your eyes engaged? Then check out this immersive series about an unassuming eatery in Tokyo that specializes in Western dishes… except for once a week when the restaurant becomes a portal to another world for all kinds of witches, wizards, and mythical creatures who can’t wait to taste the exotic wares on offer! The perfect combination of coziness, creativity, cooking, and spell-casting, Restaurant to Another World is the perfect escape for the often very un-magical real world.
Currently streaming on: Crunchyroll and Funimation
Feature Image: Adult Swim