Not many anime series feature the art of cooking and food preparation, but the ones that do are such a treat! Especially when they awaken our hidden desires... as foodies, that is.
Not only do these anime series take us away from generic sci-fi and fantasy to focus instead on chefs, cuisine, and recipes, they also tend to have stunning visuals that make them truly enticing to watch.
Plus, a lot of the recipes in these anime series are based on real-life foods and drinks. Sure, the cooking processes might be exaggerated—flying pans, superhuman cutting skills, etc.—but the end product is usually realistic and plausible.
Here are my picks for the best anime series about food and cooking, from ones that center on the hardships of a sous chef to those that feature extraordinary recipes you'll want to try making yourself.
10. Mister Ajikko
Originally aired 1987 to 1989
99 episodes (1 season)
Let's start off with a classic anime series from Sunrise: Mister Ajikko, adapted from the manga of the same name that was written and illustrated by Daisuke Terasawa.
It follows the story of Youichi Ajiyoshi, a young cook who just wants to keep his diner in business. But when a seasoned chef is impressed by his culinary prowess, he gets caught up in the world of competitive cooking and must prove that his skills are praiseworthy.
Mister Ajikko is widely known as the anime series that pioneered the cooking competition genre, which would later inspire modern anime series like Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma.
9. Gourmet Girl Graffiti
Comedy, Gourmet, Slice of Life
Originally aired 2015
12 episodes (1 season)
Gourmet Girl Graffiti is a slice-of-life anime adaptation of the manga of the same name, written and illustrated by Makoto Kawaii. It follows the story of Ryo Machiko, a middle schooler with great cooking skills.
This anime series features all kinds of meals prepared by Ryo, each one with a relatable story behind it, from the omurice she made with her peers to the oden they shared on New Year's Eve.
However, note that Gourmet Girl Graffiti is a seinen anime—a genre that's aimed at young adult males—so expect elements that are a little more on the mature side.
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Gourmet
Originally aired 2011 to 2014
147 episodes (3 seasons)
Toriko is an anime series that features fantastical environments you'd normally see in out-of-this-world adventures. However, in this one, the imaginative flora and fauna are ingredients to be collected by Toriko and the other Gourmet Hunters.
Most of them are monstrosities that can't be captured easily, and in this Gourmet World, the more dangerous creatures rank higher on the list of exotic and valuable ingredients.
Given that the main ingredients in Toriko are mostly monsters, don't expect the foods and recipes to be realistic! But that's okay because the adventures of the Gourmet Hunter are really fun to watch.
If you're looking for one of the best animes about food and fighting, Toriko is the first one you should check out.
7. Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World
Originally aired 2018
24 episodes (1 season)
In anime, the isekai genre usually involves characters who are whisked away to another world that's unlike our own. However, in the Isekai Izakaya anime series, it's the other way around.
Based on Natsuya Semikawa's light novel Isekai Izakaya Nobu, the anime Isekai Izakaya involves a pub with doors that only open to customers from Aitheria, a kingdom from another world.
Nobuyuki Yazawa (the owner of the pub) and Shinobu Senke (the waitress of the pub) serve and treat their foreign customers with foods and drinks from Japan (which they find exotic).
One thing that makes this anime unique is the inclusion of a live-action segment at the end of every episode where they showcase the actual dishes that were made and presented in the anime.
6. Campfire Cooking in Another World With My Absurd Skill
Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai
Originally aired 2023
12 episodes (1 season)
Most isekai protagonists have incredible skills of some kind, but in Campfire Cooking in Another World With My Absurd Skill, the protagonist's special ability is somewhat absurd yet still useful.
Tsuyoshi Mukoda has the ability to summon anything from the real world to the parallel world where he now resides. He uses this ability to acquire whatever tools and ingredients he needs to prepare meals.
Not only is Tsuyoshi an incredible cook, but he also has powerful allies and familiars who love his dishes and keep coming back for more.
MAPPA worked on the animation for Campfire Cooking in Another World With My Absurd Skill, which is adapted from Ren Eguchi's light novel. It's the best anime about cooking in another world.
5. Restaurant to Another World
Fantasy, Isekai, Slice of Life
Originally aired 2017 to 2021
24 episodes (2 seasons)
Restaurant to Another World, which is the anime adaptation of Junpei Inuzuka's light novel, has a premise that feels similar to Isekai Izakaya: our protagonists serve customers from another world.
However, whereas Isekai Izakaya only serves otherworldly characters, Restaurant to Another World features a restaurant that's open to real-world humans on the weekdays and monsters, mages, demons, and adventurers on Saturdays.
The restaurant offers many dishes, from typical dishes like beef stew and curry rice to Western dishes like hamburgers and spaghetti (which the otherworldly customers find very exotic).
4. True Cooking Master Boy
Originally aired 2019 to 2021
24 episodes (2 seasons)
True Cooking Master Boy is an anime adaptation of the manga Shin Chuuka Ichiban!, which was a follow-up sequel to Etsushi Ogawa's original manga Chuuka Ichiban!.
It follows the great chef Mao and his dream of becoming the best chef in the world. Along the way, we encounter famous Chinese dishes that are prepared by the master chefs of different restaurants, who are all warriors in the "Era of Cooking Wars."
Note that a big chunk of the story is missing in this anime because it was already explored in Cooking Master Boy, a previous (and separate) anime adaptation from 1997. In that one, we get to see how Mao became the great chef that he is now.
Despite all that, True Cooking Master Boy is a masterpiece anime about food and cooking, and it's absolutely worth watching on its own even if you never watch the original anime.
3. Cinderella Chef
Comedy, Drama, Gourmet, Romance
Originally aired 2018 to 2022
36 episodes (3 seasons)
Cinderella Chef is a Chinese original net animation that centers on the character of Ye Jiayao, a well-known chef who's poisoned by her own recipe. In this isekai anime, she wakes up in the body of a girl living in the distant past of Imperial China.
To make matters worse, right when she wakes up, she's kidnapped by bandits and held for ransom. She tries to impress them with her culinary skills, but things don't quite go her way.
Cinderella Chef is a fantastic anime that combines action, comedy, romance, and cooking with a unique storytelling approach. It's a light and fun series that's fun from start to finish.
2. Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits
Drama, Fantasy, Gourmet, Romance
Originally aired 2018
26 episodes (1 season)
Based on the light novel written by Midori Yuma, Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits centers on the story of Aoi Tsubaki, a regular student who can happen to see yokai.
Aoi is caught in a similar situation to Chihiro from Spirited Away: forced to pay off her grandfather's debt to an ogre, she ends up working in a spiritual realm (rather than marrying her grandfather's creditor).
Unlike other food and cooking isekai series, Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits specifically involves customers who are all yokai, and Aoi's first-rate cooking skills keep her customers coming back.
1. Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma
Originally aired 2015 to 2020
86 episodes (5 seasons)
What is the best anime about cooking? There's really no competition here. Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma surpasses every other series with its animation, visuals, humor, plot, and yes, fan service.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma is the anime adaptation of Yūto Tsukuda's manga. It follows the story of Soma Yukihira and his journey through an elite school where everyone is an aspiring chef.
This anime stands out for its incredible visuals, with dishes that are drawn and animated so well that they'll make your mouth water. You may even be able to taste them through the screen!
But some viewers may be turned off by the hypersexualization in this anime, which is done to emphasize just how amazing the dishes are but could understandably be seen as inappropriate.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma is the best anime about cooking school, and it may even inspire you to become a better cook. Many home cooks have tried to replicate Food Wars! recipes in real life!