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15 Best Cooking Movies That Will Make You Hungry

Prepare your favorite gourmet treats and settle in with the flicks that celebrate the joys of cooking.

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Julie& Juliavia

Julie & Julia

Every foodie knows that this is one of the best cooking movies out there! Meryl Streep stars as the famous chef and cookbook writer Julia Child in this charming ode to the romance of cooking. Stanley Tucci shines as her devoted husband. Half the film follows Child’s adventures, while the other half focuses on Julie, played by the fetching Amy Adams. She plays the real-life blogger who struggled to follow Child’s recipes and documented her success and disasters online. These are the baking mistakes you probably don’t know you’re making.

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Cooking movies don’t have to be just for grown-ups—parents and kids alike will enjoy Disney Pixar’s ode to French cuisine. Ratatouille follows a determined little rodent, Remy, on his adventures to become a chef. Remy befriends a garbage boy named Alfredo Linguini with the same dream. The two aspiring chefs clash with a villainous restaurant owner to perfect the famous soup. Everything rests on getting a great review from a food critic. At the end, the two friends open a bistro, “La Ratatouille.” Bon Appetit! Here are some more children’s movies that the whole family will enjoy.

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No Reservationsvia

No Reservations

There’s no shortage of cooking movies that have a dash of romance mixed in. In this one, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhardt play star-crossed chefs competing for culinary perfection. Catherine loses her edge once she’s forced to take care of her niece, Abigail Breslin, after a family accident. Aaron comes aboard to help out as her kitchen underling, but his skills threaten to take over the lead role. It’s the perfect love-hate conflict to stir up some love. Highlights include gorgeous shots of artistic food platings. Here are the cooking mistakes you never knew made your food toxic.

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If you prefer your cooking movies more sweet than savory, then this is the film for you. Juliette Binoche sparkles as the single mom owner of La Chocolaterie Maya where the ingredients are literally dusted with magic. Johnny Depp plays the handsome gypsy who shows up to sweep Juliette off her feet. Your mouth will water as the camera pans across the delectable delights. The scene where the oppressive mayor played by Alfred Molina finally indulges in some chocolate is a celebration of giving into temptation. Watch with a box of bonbons close by! Here’s what it’s like to be a professional chocolate taster.

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Not many cooking movies can say they’ve ended up on the Broadway stage! Keri Russell stars as a talented pie-maker trapped in a bad marriage in this film that was adapted into a hit musical. Russell’s trapped by circumstance after she finds herself pregnant, but she unleashes transformative power when she bakes her famous pies. This movie is all about women’s creativity in the kitchen. Look out for pies with names like “Marshmallow Mermaid” and “Bad Baby.” Nathan Fillion shows up as her doctor love interest, but the highlights take place in the kitchen! Here are some more of our favorite Broadway musicals (some of which also got their start as movies!)

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The hundred Foot Journeyvia

The Hundred-Foot Journey

This delightful dramedy uses fusion cooking to send a positive message about multicultural acceptance. An Indian family fleeing violence finds a haven in a tiny French town. They buy a restaurant to start over but soon find themselves embroiled in competition with the bistro next door. Helen Mirren has a stake in the other restaurant so she tries to sabotage the Indian café. But she learns a big lesson when townspeople vandalize the new start-up. Soon enough, competing chefs are falling in love as they combine ingredients in a delectable merger of recipes and cultures. Check out some more of our favorite movies with happy endings.

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Like Water for Chocolatevia

Like Water for Chocolate

This beautiful Mexican romance is infused with magic and the mysteries of every great cook. It follows the story of a young woman whose food has the power to affect whoever consumes it with her mood at the time. Her tears cause intense emotion. And when she adds in some rose petals passions rise. She’s forbidden from seeing her great love because of class differences, but the magical recipes keep the two close. In the mood for romance? These are our favorite romantic movies of all time.

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Pieces of April

Katie Holmes and Patricia Clarkson play mother and daughter in this drama about the stress of making Thanksgiving dinner. It’s hard enough to get the special meal perfect, but when the oven breaks, pressure skyrockets. Holmes’s makeshift meal and limited cooking skills are crises enough without adding in mom’s cancer. Good food, family, and a little help from your friends prove that comfort food really does have the power to heal.

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Big Night

Critics loved this cinematic love letter to Italian cooking. Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub shine as rivalrous brothers trying to keep their restaurant afloat. When a famed singer is supposed to make an appearance, the two throw everything into creating a perfect feast for the big night. The stakes are high in this ode to culinary perfection, but the celebrated guest never shows. It’s the meal of a lifetime and a true celebration of Italian cuisine. Here are the foods professional chefs order when they dine at Italian restaurants.

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Soul Food

This popular movie takes place around the crowded, lively dinner table of an African-American family dealing with their matriarch’s illness. The table overflows with comfort staples like macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, potato salad, and mouthwatering biscuits. Vanessa Williams, Nia Long, and Vivica A. Fox show up as sisters who know that all good cooking comes from the heart. Love really is food for the soul. Watch the best movies about sisters to keep the family theme going.

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

In one of our favorite cooking movies, most of the food isn’t even real—but the imagination is what makes it so iconic. The best parts of the Gene Wilder classic are the set pieces in the factory that show us how Everlasting Gobstoppers get made or how to turn a person into a blueberry. With chocolate rivers, golden eggs, and edible teacups, you’ll be craving candy in no time! The early musical number about “The Candy Man” is a special treat that’s satisfying and delicious.

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Bradley Cooper gets bossy with love interest Sienna Miller in this romantic drama about earning hard-to-get ratings for top-notch cuisine. Cooper is a chef trying to get his edge back after rehab. Cooking is a high-stakes art form, but its true power is the way it allows redemption—with some romance on the side. Look out for plated masterpieces that will make foodies swoon.

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mystic pizzavia

Mystic Pizza

Who doesn’t love a movie about pizza? Of course, this movie is about much more than just pizza it’s about sisterhood, friendship, love, and finding yourself. Julia Roberts stars in this ’80s flick as a young woman who waitresses at a pizza shop with her sister and their best friend in Mystic, Connecticut. Their boss and mentor, Leona, makes the best pizza in town but she needs more than just locals and summer tourism to survive. Her secret family recipe for her sauce is what makes her pizza pies so delectable. The girls believe that getting a renowned television food critic will be just what they need to rally in new customers and revive the business back to financial stability. After taking several ooey-gooey bites out of his slice of mushroom pizza, he essentially ends up calling the pizza “superb.” And we must say that every pan of piping hot pizza in every scene truly does look superb to our taste buds! These are the 25 brilliant kitchen shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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chef movievia


Carl Casper, played by Jon Favreau is an acclaimed restaurant chef who uses his senses of taste and smells to whip up unique cuisine creations. Unfortunately, his boss isn’t fond of his culinary art and wants him to stick to the menu. But when a restaurant critic brutally picks apart his cooking skills for the food his boss forced him to make against his own instincts, his frustrations go viral in a video confrontation between Casper and the critic. With his career in hot water, his ex-wife suggests refurbishing an old food truck so he can have the freedom to create and cook whatever he wants. He travels across America with his old colleague and son by his side to rebuild his reputation as a culinary connoisseur. And along the way, his passion for cooking and love of food also helps him bond with his family and find his purpose in life. This is a movie that will make you laugh, smile, and salivate, trust us, those Cubano sandwiches look muy delicioso!

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because i said sovia

Because I Said So

Mandy Moore and Diane Keaton make a hilarious, but endearing pair in this movie about an overbearing mother who posts a dating ad for her hopelessly single daughter. Aside from the usual trials and tribulations that come with any mother/daughter relationship, the beautifully ornate cakes and chocolate soufflés that they bake from scratch look absolutely scrumptious. To all the movie buffs with a sweet tooth, this is just one of the many cooking movies for you! Find yourself craving food even after these cooking movies are long over? Make sure you never make these 25 cooking mistakes that ruin your food.

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Reader’s Digest editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of revenue from our partners, such as Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected] 

Molly Pennington, PhD
Molly is a writer and collage artist with a PhD in film and cultural studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her professional astrology services and artwork are available at Baroque Moon Astrology. She covers the zodiac, books, movies, TV and culture for Reader’s Digest, and loves to talk about all the ways we make meaning.