There’s just something about food when it is animated that just make it look delicious. No matter whether you want to learn some new recipes, watch girls enjoy food in an almost sexual way, or enjoying high-octane cooking competitions, there is a food anime out there that can satisfy you.
Gourmet Girl Graffiti
Gourmet Girl Graffiti is, in its simplest terms, about girls enjoying food together. Like in other shows, it is occasionally weirdly sexual. However, you learn the basics of each recipe and watch the girls eat it. Within it discusses how food tastes better when you are with friends and does a little philosophizing on what different foods are good for different seasons or occasions.
Wakakozake is a short episode series about an office lady that likes to eat and drink to unwind each night after work. This is another show that is all about food philosophy, such as what food and spirits go together, what to eat after a long day, and so on and so forth. It features simple animation and simple stories, but the food looks amazing.
This anime is just slightly more elegant than most cooking anime series. It is about a young girl that initially wants revenge for her mother leaving when she was young. However, when she goes into a Italian restaurant, she is so captivated by the elegance, her need for revenge fades. This, in turn, sends her down the long road of learning to cook.
Bartender isn’t really about food, but rather about drink. Cocktails can have a similar effect as a good dish. They can have explosive flavors, and the whole plot of Bartender is basically helping people with their problems by pairing them with the right cocktail.
Japan has a major love affair for pastries, and you better believe that Yumeiro Patissiere won’t be the last anime about pastry chefs on this list. It is, however, aimed at a younger, female audience. If you like competitive cooking shows, then this is an excellent option. However, most people just watch it for the good looking baked goods and okay-looking slight romance.
Not all food anime series have to be about cooking. Something they are about fighting. Fighting over food. Fighting over lunch box bento, to be specific. That is the premise of Ben-To. People fighting over the best bento boxes with the best prices.
Although this anime series is older, if you want to get into Japanese cooking, it can be a very informative series. The series has a basic plot about a dad cooking for his kid, but it is an excellent show that displays a number of basic recipes and light food philosophy.
Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie
This is one of the newer pastry chef anime series out there, but Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie is one for the ladies. Essentially, the show is Ouran High School Host Club if all the boys were pastry chefs. You watch bishounen make delicious sweets, what more of a sell do you need?
Ostensiblity an anime about farming, what is farming if not the very first steps of cooking? Not only does Silver Spoon give you an idea of how your ingredients are grown and produced, but it actually does cook a few recipes and they… Look… Amaaaazing.
Yakitate Japan tells the story of Kazuma Azuma, a teenaged boy with warm hands that are excellent for making bread. His dream is to make Ja-Pan, the national bread of Japan (“Pan” meaning bread in Japanese). If you have ever been interested in the finer points of making bread, well, here you go.
Like Cooking Papa, Oishinbo is an older anime series and vastly more lengthy manga series following a culinary journalist and his partner. They live, they laugh, and they eat ten tons of food, critiquing it and how it is made. You want to see lots and lots of food? Choose this series.
Ramen Fighter Miki
This is the story of two young delivery people. Miki, who delivers ramen for her parent’s shop, and Megumi, who delivers bread for her parent’s bakery. They take their jobs and their products very seriously. So seriously it results in fights. To be honest, this one has less of a focus on the food, but it is still a fun watch despite the basic animation.
You don’t need to watch Toradora to enjoy this short bonus series, but it helps. This short episode series has no plot, except for food. It is all about making excellent boxed lunches.
Cooking Master Boy
You want a food show a little more flamboyantly original? Well, Cooking Master Boy takes place in the (fictional) Era of Cooking Wars in China. Liu Mao Hsing dreams of becoming a legendary chef, so he travels China to expand his knowledge and challenge great masters. This is actually a nice change of pace because it focuses on Chinese cuisine rather than Japanese.
Sweetness and Lightning
Although Sweetness and Lightning is about parenthood, or rather, single fatherhood, it is also about cooking. A single father and teacher learns to cook for his young daughter alongside one of his students at her mother’s restaurant. Together they learn to make and enjoy some truly amazing looking food.
Three girls have master the art of JK Meshi cooking, or “high school girl” cooking. This is a show about them trying to focus on school, but getting distracted and ending up JK Meshi cooking. It is simple and easy food, but it looks and probably is delicious.
Food Wars has probably become the most famous cooking anime because it combines the excitement of a shounen series, the gags of a comedy series, the all the amazing food of a competitive cooking series into one tidy and addicting package. While every episode isn’t much more than cooking something, the “something” they try to cook are made to look as alluring as the reactions make them seem.
While Food Wars captures some of the shounen intensity that keeps audiences addicted, Toriko takes it up a notch. The whole show is about fighting for rare ingredients and eating to gain power. They basically made a food-themed Dragonball Z, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.
Mister Ajikko tells the story of the young Youichi Ajiyoshi that helps his mother cook at their restaurant. However, he catches the eye of one of the most famous food critics in Japan who then invites him to Japan’s most prestigious cooking competition. If you need a Top Chef, Master Chef, or Hell’s Kitchen fix in anime form, this is for you.
Surprised? Yes, Moyashimon is about bacteria, but if you have ever had a fermented food, then you will know that bacteria can play a big role in cooking. While not the main focus of the show, it is referenced frequently.
Have we wet your appetite, but not satisfied you? If we missed your favorite cooking anime or anime series about food, share with us in the comments section below.