I've Watched Basically Every Cooking Show On Netflix, And Some Are Better Than Others — These 15, However, Are Perfection

    I've watched a few of these multiple times, and I honestly have zero regrets.

    Ya know what there's truly no shortage of in this life? Netflix cooking shows. I mean, type "food" into the search bar, and the results feel pretty never-ending.

    Grid of many different food shows popping on a Netflix search

    Lucky for you, food shows are baaaaasically what I live for. As someone who writes about food and cooks for a living, I take my food content very seriously.

    I'm happy to report that all the shows in this list fully fulfill one of those two categories — and several hit that sweet spot between both. So whether you're looking to laugh out loud, drool all over your TV, or learn about something altogether extraordinary, I have a feeling you'll find it in one of my all-time favorite Netflix food shows.

    1. Salt Fat Acid Heat

    A freshly baked focaccia coming out of the oven, while host Samin Nosrat bites into it and smiles while she enjoys it

    WHY I LOVE IT: When Netflix announced it was adapting one of my favorite "cookbooks" into a limited series, I just about lost my mind — several rewatches later, I can confirm it's still one of the most wholesome and worthwhile cooking shows out there.

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    Samin Nosrat is basically my culinary hero, and once you watch her simply infectious (and equally informative) series, you'll understand exactly why. Nosrat's belief is that once you've mastered the four cornerstones of good cooking (hint: see title), you can cook anything. As someone who cooks pretty much daily, I'd echo her sentiments 100% — in fact, this series (and her book of the same name) are two things I always suggest for anyone looking to get more comfortable in the kitchen.

    Salt Fat Acid Heat doesn't aim to venture where "no other cooking show" has ever ventured before. What it does so beautifully is capture Nosrat's genuine love for both the art of cooking and act of enjoying good food, and it broadcasts that passion in a way that's palpable. Have you ever literally cried watching someone bite into a warm piece of freshly baked focaccia? Watch this show, and I can nearly guarantee you'll be able to check that off your bucket list.

    Watch Salt Fat Acid Heat here.

    2. Nadiya's Time to Eat

    Nadiya Hussain from "Nadiya's Time to Eat" talking about her kids demanding pancakes from her on weekdays, and an easy recipe she came up with instead

    WHY I LOVE IT: Considering she's one of the most beloved Great British Baking Show contestants in the show's history, it's no surprise that Nadiya Hussain's charming, actually helpful, and all-around mouthwatering cooking show is a 10/10.

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    Nadiya's Time to Eat is all about "time-smart" tips and tricks for getting delicious food on the table as quickly as possible, all in an effort to make time for — as the title suggests — more important things. Like eating! Unlike other cooking shows that tend to speak to home-cooking enthusiasts as their target audience, Nadiya empathizes with the average person just trying to get a good meal on the table. Her food is undeniably delicious, but you won't have to use a ton of effort or time to make any of it.

    In the Nadiya Cinematic Universe (which I can very much get behind), you should also check out her newest Netflix show, Nadiya Bakes, which premiered in 2021. For mega fans of Nadiya's Time to Eat, you can also purchase her cookbook, Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy Lives, which includes many of the recipes featured on the show.

    Watch Nadiya's Time to Eat here.

    3. Somebody Feed Phil

    Phil in "Somebody Feed Phil" eating street food while telling people on the street, "This is fantastic, people. It's so good!!!"

    WHY I LOVE IT: In the Bourdain-adjacent world of shows that explore how food, travel, and culture relate to one another, Somebody Feed Phil strikes that perfect balance between "endlessly watchable" and "genuinely informative."

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    Phil Rosenthal (best known as the creator of the mega-popular Everybody Loves Raymond) believes that "food is the great connector," and his travel-bug-inducing show is a beautiful testament to that.

    The places he visits and the foods he samples in this docuseries are nothing short of exceptional, and they run the gamut from tasting fried lobster in the Mississippi Delta to harvesting lotus stems in Vietnam. That said, even with all that deliciousness, Rosenthal is the true star of the show here. His natural charisma and curiosity make him the perfect host for a show of this nature, and as feel-good as every episode is, some will downright surprise you with just how moving they are.

    Watch Somebody Feed Phil here.

    4. Waffles + Mochi

    Three screenshots from "Waffles + Mochi" on Netflix, featuring Gaten Matarazzao — from "Stranger Things" — making a Stranger Things-related food pun

    WHY I LOVE IT: Waffles + Mochi is truly as heartwarming as it gets, and each and every episode feels like the warmest, coziest hug imaginable. Yes, that's coming from an adult.

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    Waffles + Mochi follows the title characters — two puppets from "the land of frozen foods" — as they learn all about the wonders of the rest of their grocery store. Their teacher is none other than Michelle Obama. Yep, literally the former First Lady.

    Look, even as a fully grown adult, I found this show to be entertaining, heartfelt, and incredibly informative. For the kids, there's no shortage of adorable puppets, mesmerizing visuals, and (no pun intended) easy-to-digest information on foods they might be totally unfamiliar with. For the adults, the series tackles some really important subject matter, like the importance of learning about culturally diverse foods and supporting sustainable food practices. The best part of all? Between the former First Lady herself and guest stars like Zach Galifianakis and Rashida Jones, the cast is beyond star-studded.

    If your kids become Waffles + Mochi fans, you can even order one of the show's three companion books, including Follow That Food and the show's official cookbook, which feature a plethora of kid-friendly recipes that just so happen to be healthy.

    Watch Waffles + Mochi here.

    5. High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America

    Host of "High on the Hog" talking to a woman about okra at a market, saying, "Okra is African, because it made the journey with us"

    WHY I LOVE IT: High on the Hog takes the standard format of a food-driven docuseries and turns it into an inspiring showcase of the legacy and importance of African cuisine in American food and culture — and it's as visually stunning as it is raw and emotional.

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    As host Stephen Satterfield says in the show's trailer, "A lot of American food has its roots in African American food, traditions, and ingenuity." Based on the book of the same name, High on the Hog eloquently proves Satterfield's point over the course of four inspiring episodes, and each one chips away at just how deep-rooted African American cuisine is in the foods and traditions that grew to define America.

    In my opinion, the most incredible aspect of this show is — and realistically, there are many to choose from — its unique ability to convey the emotional connection between the dishes explored and their unique, sometimes painful histories. And if you're yearning for more after finishing up the first season, you'll be thrilled to know that the show was renewed for a second season in August 2021.

    Watch High on the Hog here.

    6. The Great British Baking Show

    A "Great British Baking Show" host asking contestant Liam if he's ever made a certain element before, and him responded with wide, scared eyes...then laughing hysterically and saying that he's "joking"

    WHY I LOVE IT: Even if cooking competition shows aren't normally your cup of tea, GBBS puts a wholesome twist on a conventional format — and honestly, I dare you not to smile from ear to ear while you watch it. Spoiler alert: It's impossible.

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    If you're somehow not on the Great British Baking Show bandwagon yet, I'm sincerely jealous of the nine seasons (!!!) of pure, unadulterated bliss you'll get to enjoy from beginning to end. GBBS was a bit of a "cultural reset," so to speak — it's a far cry from the shows like Chopped and Top Chef that've grown to define the modern-day cooking competition.

    Instead of manufacturing drama through ridiculous challenges and occasionally cruel judging, GBBS relies on intimate portraits of its contestants, employs hosts and judges who feel like family, and leans heavily into the British charm to hook its viewers. Nine seasons later, it's clear that they're doing something right. It's feel-good TV at its best, and TBH, I can't think of a single season that's at all subpar. Each and every one is *chef's kiss*.

    Watch The Great British Baking Show here.

    7. Chef's Table

    Chef Grant Achatz in an episode of "Chef's Table," saying, "For the first time ever, I think I can be a chef without tasting," pointing to his head and saying, "It's up here," then pointing to his mouth and saying, "It's not here."

    WHY I LOVE IT: From the highest Michelin-starred highs to the truly unthinkable lows, Chef's Table beautifully captures the inspiring (and occasionally heartbreaking) stories of some of the most talented chefs in the world.

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    The chefs featured in Chef's Table are (and I don't say this lightly) nothing short of sheer brilliance. This docuseries offers an intimate, jaw-droppingly gorgeous look into each of their lives and decorated careers — and it does so with a whole lot of humanity, too.

    On the outside, each and every episode is visually stunning. I mean, it's so stunning you could probably cry from the sheer beauty of the food these chefs are able to whip up on a nightly basis — and it has multiple Outstanding Cinematography Emmy noms to prove it. However, on the inside, this series also packs in lots of heart. Even the most successful chefs lead lives that are anything but glamorous, and Chef's Table authentically captures exactly what it means to devote your entire life to the culinary world — and what it's like to reach the very top.

    Watch Chef's Table here.

    8. Nailed It

    Nicole Byer describing a Rapunzel cake as "scary," and that "no one's coming to rescue her" while laughing

    WHY I LOVE IT: Watch it because Nicole Byer might just be the most hilarious TV host ever, or watch it because the baking fails actually make you laugh out loud. Either way, this show is hysterical, joyful perfection.

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    Nailed It doesn't claim to be the best cooking competition show out there, or the most original. Instead, it delivers on one component better than any other show out there: the laughs. Good lord, the laughs just never stop.

    The premise here is simple: In a straight-from-Pinterest twist, contestants are tasked with recreating some seriously complex cakes and confections. I should add that these bakers are anything but professional, so the results are straight-up LOL-worthy. Don't expect Great British Baking Show-level reveals here — Nailed It takes pride in the weird, wacky, and altogether WTF creations.

    If the six available seasons aren't enough for you, there's a seemingly never-ending supply of spinoffs, from holiday specials to international versions from all across the globe. If baking fails are your love language, I'm pleased to report that you'll simply never run out of content.

    Watch Nailed It here.

    9. The Chef Show

    Tom Holland slurping down an oyster with Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr.

    WHY I LOVE IT: Come for the impressive celebrity guests (read: the literal Avengers) and stay for the hosts' genuine chemistry...in addition to all that mouthwatering food.

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    Tiny bit of backstory here: Jon Favreau's 2014 film Chef was loosely based on the life of Roy Choi, whose food truck Kogi basically became synonymous with the food truck movement. While working on the film as Favreau's culinary advisor, the two became close, and thus the inspiring, charming-as-hell, and super-bingeable The Chef Show was born. Two seasons and four volumes later, it's still just as good as Episode 1.

    Even if you're not a cooking die-hard, this show has a little bit of something for everyone. If you're into travel, the pair ventures to some pretty amazing locales to find the best food out there. Are celebs your thing? With guests like Gwyneth Paltrow, Seth Rogen, and even the literal Avengers, there's no shortage. Both of these elements combine with Choi and Favreau's delightful chemistry to create one of the best food-focused docuseries that Netflix has ever released.

    Watch The Chef Show here.

    10. Taco Chronicles

    Caption saying, "It's because it's perfect" over a picture of juicy roasted pork, and a chef exclaiming, "Who doesn't want a taco?" and shrugging while smiling

    WHY I LOVE IT: If you're a taco lover — and really, who isn't — there's a whole lot you probably don't realize about them. Taco Chronicles goes deep into the histories and traditions surrounding some of the most popular ones. Warning: It WILL make you hungry.

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    At first glance, Taco Chronicles is food porn — and it's reaaaaaally great food porn at that. I mean, visuals of pork being roasted over a hefty open flame and juices running down the side of a homemade corn tortilla?! If that's not heaven, I don't know what is. However, the show goes much deeper than just showcasing some really tantalizing shots of tacos: It also serves as a rich history of the cultures and traditions associated with an internationally adored food.

    Each of the 13 available episodes dives head first into one variety of taco, and they get really specific. For example, the pilot goes deep into a taco that lots of folks already know and love — tacos al pastor. While it's one of the most popular taco varieties in Mexico City, you may not know that its roots trace back to when Mediterranean immigrants settled in Mexico. Tacos al pastor became the Mexican equivalent of popular Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, like Turkish kebabs and Greek gyros. And yes, along with all the fascinating information comes a whole lot of mouthwatering shots of freshly shaved roasted pork. Because duh.

    Watch Taco Chronicles here.

    11. School of Chocolate

    Host Amaury Guichon asking students if they're "up to the challenge," met with blank stares from the contestant...and Amaury responding with, "You should run"

    WHY I LOVE IT: I can pretty much guarantee you've seen chocolatier Amaury Guichon's mega-viral videos on some form of social media — this competition show builds on that content with a twist that's so refreshingly wholesome.

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    Let's cut to the chase — the twist here is that, drum roll please, no one goes home! Yep, not a single contestant is eliminated in School of Chocolate, and honestly, I think it adds a lot to the show. Since there are only eight contestants, you end up learning about each and every one of them, and getting to watch each chef grow and improve over the course of the season is oddly satisfying.

    If you've ever seen one of his countless viral videos, you know that Amaury Guichon is truly blessed with his ability to make just about anything out of chocolate. His Netflix show reveals that as good as he is at actually making the stuff, he's just as good — if not better — at teaching others to do so. Seriously, Guichon is a gifted mentor, and watching him eloquently teach hard lessons to his students is just as entertaining as watching him build...IDK, an entire tiger out of chocolate or something.

    Watch School of Chocolate here.

    12. The Final Table

    A plate of beautiful food with a judge asking a contestant, "Have you reinvented anything?" and then responding, "No"

    WHY I LOVE IT: It's one part Olympics, one part Iron Chef...but mostly it's just a wildly impressive cooking competition starring mesmerizing chefs from all over the globe.

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    I pretty much grew up with Iron Chef — anyone else? If you loved that show like I did, I can basically guarantee you'll be obsessed with The Final Table. Sadly, the show was never renewed for a second season...but the first season was a very worthwhile watch regardless.

    In this cooking competition, chefs from all over the world are paired up, and they go head to head with other teams in a series of challenges. Each episode hones in on a different country, and the chefs are tasked with creating an elevated version of that country's "national dish." More so than other competition shows, I found myself rooting for my favorites with all my might, and the drama they face throughout is honestly unreal. I mean, can you imagine the pressure of trying to reimagine your own country's national dish and potentially failing?! It's incredible television from beginning to end.

    Watch The Final Table here.

    13. Ugly Delicious

    David Chang eating a restaurant and admitting that the service is "bright," with guest Ali Wong. Ali says, "Yeah...like, too bright. Where you worry that the quality is bad. you want them to ignore you!" and David laughs

    WHY I LOVE IT: As the title suggests, Ugly Delicious focuses on foods from all over the world that are pretty hard to beat when it comes to taste, even if they're not the most aesthetically pleasing. It's witty as hell, and if you ask me, I think the food still looks pretty darn delicious.

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    David Chang's Ugly Delicious is many things — it's a travel show that showcases culturally rich destinations, a sociological deep dive into internationally beloved foods, and most importantly, it's just a really great time. Chang himself is a masterful host, and when you add in incredible guests like Padma Lakshmi and Ali Wong, things get even better.

    Each episode focuses on a very specific type of food: In the first season's "fried chicken" episode, Chang samples fried chicken from basically everywhere — from Nashville hot chicken to KFC's China menu, and he even touches on the complex and painful history of "soul food" in America. Ugly Delicious is one of those rare shows that'll make you feel more informed as you move through life while also entertaining you to your core, and in my book, that's a total win.

    Watch Ugly Delicious here.

    14. Street Food: Asia and Street Food: Latin America

    Chef talking to the camera, saying, "I am meticulous about every dish that I serve," and then shot of her cooking in a wok over an open flame at a street food vendor, saying she "cooks every dish herself"


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    In 2019, Netflix released Street Food: Asia, a docuseries from the creators of Chef's Table that highlighted various chefs across Asia who devoted their lives to  street food. The show was so successful that they filmed a second season in various Latin American countries, spanning everywhere from Argentina to Mexico. The dishes this show showcases are possibly some of the most droolworthy I've ever seen, but the inspiring stories of those who work tirelessly to serve their communities day in and day out are the real draw here.

    As awe-inspiring as the food is, the featured chefs that make it are 10 times more so. Since the dishes in Street Food practically make me want to lick my own TV, that's really saying something. In the first season alone, you'll follow a Thai chef who struggled for years until she finally earned a Michelin star, and even a Vietnamese chef who puts her son through college by selling her father's recipe for snails. Each episode is better than the next, and I for one am anxiously awaiting the next drop of Street Food episodes. It truly can't come soon enough.

    Watch Street Food: Asia here, and watch Street Food: Latin America here.

    15. Fresh, Fried and Crispy

    Host biting into a burger and leaning heavily on a table, pausing, and saying, "Me and the burger are having a moment"

    WHY I LOVE IT: It's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with ONLY fried food, plus a host that I'd give an A+ to if I could. So basically, it's perfection.

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    You may know Daym Drops from his viral YouTube food reviews, but if you don't, let's just say that he's got more charisma in his pinky than most people have in their entire body...so it's no surprise that he makes one hell of a good TV host. In his new Netflix series, Daym visits restaurants across the United States in search of the best fried food out there. TBH, I'd like to visit (and eat at) each and every stop he makes on his journey.

    The show itself is campy, tongue-in-cheek, and utterly enjoyable from beginning to end. It's incredibly reminiscent of a very 2022 "Triple D" in terms of its willingness to showcase incredible dishes from just about anywhere, but the fact that it only features fried foods makes things even more decadent. All I know is that after watching Episode 2, I'm planning a trip to Savannah to taste that deep-fried peach ASAP.

    Watch Fresh, Fried and Crispy here.

    If we missed any of your favorite Netflix food shows, drop 'em in the comments below!