10 Netflix Food Shows to Fuel Your Hunger and Wanderlust

While the whole world brawls with coronavirus, most of us are asked to stay at home and help eliminate the spread of the infectious disease. For sure, some of us resort to entertaining ourselves during these times, and if you’re like me—a big foodie traveller—then you’re probably watching food shows on Netflix in your spare time. Yes, travel withdrawal is real, so while those planned trips are on suspension, here are some Netflix shows you can binge on while on quarantine.

Well actually, with or without COVID-19, these are the top food shows for me. Once all this is over, let’s all hop into the planes and explore the world once again through food. Which ones below are your favorites?

1 | Somebody Feed Phil

TV writer and producer Phil Rosenthal showcases the best eats around the world in this travel and food documentary. If you’re looking for a show that’s light and heartwarming, you’ve got to watch this. Phil’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious—his knowledge and passion for food shines in everything he says, without alienating anyone. I love how friendly and kind he is towards everyone: the vendors, his fellow diners, his crew. At the end of each episode, he Facetimes with his parents, tells them about his food adventures, and occasionally shows them his food shopping hauls. Let’s just say that watching this show will make you want to book that flight to whatever destination he features.

2 | Chef’s Table

As opposed to Somebody Feed Phil, Chef’s Table is for real food geeks. Who doesn’t love hearing about the plight of chefs, our ultimate idols in the food industry? The truth is that we see them as some kind of celebrity, but it gets more personal when you hear their stories and struggles—it’s as if you’ve known them forever (#feelingero lol). Chef’s Table explores the chronicles of some of the best chefs in the world—from Michelin holders to passionate cooks. I’ve been very emotional watching this show, especially when I feel the chefs’ passion overflow. Some of my favorite episodes are those of Gaggan Anand (which made me book a seat at his Bangkok restaurant), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Jordi Roca (Spain), Jeong Kwan (Korea), Grant Achatz (USA), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Cristina Martinez (USA), and Albert Adria (Spain).

3 | Final Table

Cooking competitions always excite me, but if there’s an ultimate cooking contest, THIS IS IT. Here, professional chefs from different parts of the world battle with each other and are judged by … let’s just say, more accomplished professional chefs! In each episode, they are challenged to cook a certain national dish (round 1) and are given a key ingredient to showcase (round 2). The judge is a prominent chef from the country featured/represented—for example, it was Enrique Olvera in the Mexico challenge (that must have been nerve-wracking). If you love those intricate, creatively plated dishes, you will simply salivate while watching this show. Season 2, please?

4 | Street Food

I love street food—I believe that it shows the true character of a city. I believe that the quality of a city’s street food is a reflection of the excellence of all its food. In this docu-series, we are taken to 9 Asian cities where the street food scene is thriving. From Michelin-star crab omelets in Bangkok and street-side sushi in Osaka to gigantic fish head soups in Chiayi to eel soups in Cebu, Philippines (check out my experience here), there’s something for every craving, and there’s something that will make you want to plan your next trip. Season 2 featuring Latin America is coming—I can’t wait!

Read about my own street food adventures here:

5 | Million Pound Menu

Those interested in the restaurant industry will love this show, where in amazing food concepts in the UK are presented to investors and are given a chance to do a test run in the city. Participants must iron out their menus, business plans, and financial calculations—on top of showing potential investors that they can actually run a full-service restaurant in a busy district. Two food concepts battle per episode, and only one gets the chance to be offered an investment. Food entrepreneurs will learn a thing or two from this show, definitely—especially people who are looking for the next big thing.

6 | The Chef’s Line

This one is a recent discovery, one I accidentally watched in a wedding venue. LOL. Another unique cooking show concept, The Chef’s Line puts home cooks against professional chefs in Australia. In each episode, a specific cuisine is featured, and a restaurant known for that cuisine sends 4 representatives to the competition: an apprentice, a station chef, a sous chef, and the executive chef himself. Home cooks must fight it out with these four by making their best dishes per round (somebody gets eliminated per round), until only one remains and does a one-on-one battle with the executive chef. It’s quite interesting, and you’ll be shocked at how good the home cooks are!

7 | Ugly Delicious

In Ugly Delicious, food is explored at the “dish” level. That is, chef David Chang (Momofuku) finds out how certain dishes are cooked and eaten around the world—for example: chicken, tacos, pizza. I love David Chang. He talks a lot, he loves food and cooking so much—I want to go out and eat with him! I love the cultural aspect of the show, and how they compare food of the same kind and origin around the world, how they have evolved because of the landscape or the people. I think I ate way too much food myself while watching this series. LOL.

8 | Restaurants on the Edge

New on Netflix, Restaurants on the Edge features establishments around the globe which are, well, on the edge—of bankruptcy or closing, that is. Thus, a consultant (Nick Liberato), a chef (Dennis Prescott), and an interior designer (Karin Bohn) set it upon themselves to help revive and overhaul these restaurants. The episodes can be dragging and overly dramatic at times, to be honest (it has that Queer Eye quality), but it is still quite interesting to hear about all the improvements suggested, and how cultures are injected into places. Watching it also feels like traveling, so, yeah, why not?

9 | Taco Chronicles

Taco Chronicles explores the history of different taco styles around Mexico and America. The narration can be quite boring at times, but just seeing the mouthwatering meats being chopped then placed on tortillas always brings back my energy. LOL. Some episodes are so yummy that I want to plan a trip to Mexico—I should have gone while I was in Texas!

10 | Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

Do I need an explanation here? Japan. Of course!

Read all about my Japan adventures:

What are your favorite food shows on Netflix?

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