10 Best K-Dramas About Food & Cooking

Summary

  • K-dramas use food to push storylines forward, such as in Mr. Queen and Itaewon Class.
  • Korean entertainment integrates food to showcase culture and boost interest in East Asian cuisine.
  • Delicious visuals and exploration of cuisine in K-dramas like Wok of Love and Chocolate captivate audiences.



K-dramas are often associated with genres such as romance and thriller, but a few series also implement storylines involving cooking. Whether it’s used as a means to bring characters closer together or simply acts as the series’ main setting, food, restaurants, and cooking are present in a few K-dramas. Series such as Mr. Queen and Itaewon Class use food as a way to push the story forward.

Over the years, Korean entertainment has widely increased in popularity, especially when it comes to K-pop and K-dramas. It is within these forms of entertainment that audiences are exposed to parts of Korean culture, including the food. One of the best outcomes of K-dramas centering around food, aside from the mouthwatering visuals, is the exposure and interest surrounding East Asian cuisine.


Related

9 Best K-Dramas For Beginners

Choosing a K-drama can be overwhelming for new audiences, but there are a few shows that are enjoyable for beginners who don’t know where to start.


10 Jewel In The Palace

(2003-2004)

Two characters looking worried in Jewel in the Palace

Set during the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, Jewel in the Palace follows Seo Jang-geum, a cook who uses food and medicine to tend to the king. Seo Jang-geum, wanting to cook in the palace kitchen as her late mother did, builds her skills in the medical field and kitchen to achieve her goals. Jewel in the Palace was widely popular and even prompted an animated spin-off series. For its authentic displays of Korean culture, namely its cuisine and traditional medicinal practices, Jewel in the Palace is often noted as boosting interest in Korean cuisine, locally and abroad.


Watch on Viki

9 Let’s Eat

(2013-2018)

Lee Soo-kyung smiling.

Across three seasons, Let’s Eat follows Goo Dae-young as he moves through different phases of his life. Whether he’s befriending his neighbors or reuniting with a former college classmate, one thing that’s consistent in Goo Dae-young’s life is his passion for delicious food. Each season of Let’s Eat finds a way to explore this, as he finds a common love for food with those around him. Accompanying the exploration of cuisine are typical storylines audiences can expect in a K-drama, involving romance and comedy.

Watch on Tubi


8 Wok Of Love

(2018)

As its name would suggest, Wok of Love is a romance K-drama. A Chinese restaurant, “Hungry Wok,” is run by Doo Chil-sung and his gang and gains two new employees after Seo Poong is fired from his job and Dan Sae-woo goes bankrupt. Wok of Love is a lighthearted watch and the friendship between the characters is entertaining to see develop. Though there is a romance budding between the two co-workers, the biggest takeaway from Wok of Love is the food. Scenes that take place in the kitchen are the essence of the series, showcasing a variety of savory meals.

Watch on Viki

7 My Lovely Sam Soon

(2005)

Kim Sam-soon looking to the side and Hyun Jin-heon looking at her.


One of the highest-rated K-dramas, My Lovely Sam Soon, is about the titular character, Kim Sam-soon, who gets hired by Hyun Jin-heon to work at his restaurant. Following the popular romance trope in K-dramas of enemies-to-lovers, the two start with an opposing relationship as they are constantly bickering with one another, but this quickly develops into romantic feelings. The restaurant, and Sam-soon’s pastry business, take the backseat in My Lovely Sam Soon, making room for the romance storyline, but there’s still enough food content to satisfy audiences.

Watch on Viki

6 Itaewon Class

(2020)

Kim Da-mi's Jo Yi-seo and Park Seo-joon's Park Sae-roy in Itaewon Class


Park Sae-ro-yi opens up his own bar-restaurant in Itaewon Class, hoping to overshadow others in the area. His reasons for doing so are rooted in revenge after the son of a CEO causes Sae-ro-yi’s father to be killed. Sae-ro-yi’s restaurant is staffed with a mix of personalities and backgrounds, making for an entertaining watch. It’s no wonder why audiences became invested in the characters’ journeys in Itaewon Class, leading to a finale that left audiences feeling mixed. Itaewon Class had audiences hooked from the beginning as the series skillfully balances lightheartedness with elements of revenge.

Watch on Netflix

Related

10 Best Revenge K-Dramas, Ranked

From acclaimed shows like The Glory to action thrillers like Taxi Driver, there are plenty of amazing K-dramas, but one stands out from the rest.


5 Sweet Munchies

(2020)

One day in Sweet Munchies, Kim Ah-jin walks into Park Jin-sung’s restaurant and asks if he’s able to host a cooking show she’s hoping to get produced. Though Sweet Munchies has elements of comedy and romance, especially between Ah-jin and Jin-sung, there’s also a serious tone as the series touches upon societal issues. However, there’s no shortage of food in Sweet Munchies. At his restaurant, Jin-sung is uniquely skilled at creating the perfect dishes tailored to each customer’s cravings.

Watch on Viki

4 Eccentric! Chef Moon

(2020)

The family sitting in the living room.


In Eccentric! Chef Moon, Moon Seung-mo has given up on being a chef following the death of his parents. A once skilled and passionate chef, Seung-mo made a name for himself, but now lives a quiet life in a small village. That’s until he meets Yoo Yoo-jin and, along with developing romantic feelings, Seung-mo rediscovers his passion for cooking. Resembling other shows centered around food, Eccentric! Chef Moon utilizes appetizing and detailed shots of cooking that appeal to every sense. Eccentric! Chef Moon also has an endearing plot involving the idea of a found family, adding to the series’ overall tone.

Watch on Viki

3 Oh My Ghost

(2015)

Kang Sun-woo holding up a piece sign behind Na Bong-sun's head.


Combining thriller and romance, Oh My Ghost is about Na Bong-sun, a timid girl working at a restaurant who suddenly gets possessed by the ghost of Shin Soo-ae. This completely transforms Bong-sun’s personality as she is now wildly confident. Her newfound confidence gets the attention of her boss, Kang Sun-woo, but is complicated by the love triangle in Oh My Ghost. Although the romance, and mystery as to what happened to Shin Soo-ae, are the main focus of the series, there are still a decent number of scenes in the kitchen.

Watch on Viki

2 Chocolate

(2019-2020)

Lee Kang and Moon Cha-yeong are sitting down at a table and eating.


Chocolate tells the story of two individuals, Lee Kang and Moon Cha-young, who are reunited years later when working at the hospice. While working, the two discover a shared love of food. A common theme throughout Chocolate is the comfort food brings to each character, especially the hospice patients. The reunion between Kang and Cha-young, as well as their passion for food, contrast the heavy weight of their workplace, making for a tear-jerking drama. Additionally, the scenes of food preparation in Chocolate are nothing short of captivating.

Watch on Netflix

1 Mr. Queen

(2020-2021)


In Mr. Queen, Jang Bong-hwa, a head chef, is mysteriously transported back in time after a near-death accident and wakes up in the body of Kim So-yong, a queen in Korea. Bong-hwan’s bold personality as So-yong is a comical contrast to the expectations and rules set in place within the palace. The mystery of how this happened to Bong-hwan, and more importantly, how to get back to his own body, is a large focus of Mr. Queen, but there are still elements of cooking, notably when Bong-hwan uses his cooking skills to take the palace chef’s job.

Watch on Netflix

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *