The 20 best cooking shows on Netflix

The 20 best cooking shows on Netflix

The big red streamer offers a vast menu of delicious fare.

Over the past decade or so (while Food Network wasn't looking?), Netflix turned itself into a true foodie destination. From travelogues and in-depth stories to useful cooking tips to cultural explorations connecting history, geography, and food, the streamer has shown a commitment to cuisine. And while Netflix knows how to have silly, colorful fun (hello, Nailed It), its MO seems to fall on the Take Food Seriously side — as their adoption of BBC and PBS fare (The Great British Baking Show, Somebody Feed Phil) demonstrates. By focusing on high-quality, thoughtful, gorgeously shot programming, Netflix holds a special place in the hearts of home cooks (and eaters) everywhere. So, pull up a chair and fill up a plate, it's time to chow down on EW's delicious list of the 20 best cooking shows on Netflix.

"The Great British Baking Show" (2010–present)

Mark Bourdillon/ Netflix
Mark Bourdillon/ Netflix

Despite some bumps (um, Mexican Week?) and host swaps, everyone's favorite U.K. import is still as soothing as a warm cuppa. The politest of all cooking competitions, this program has always been a pleasant and, yes, educational venture — though that doesn't quite explain its longevity. Here's a theory: In this fractured era of individualized content and heated political discourse, it's quite lovely to agree on something, even if it's just universally deriving joy from watching bakers ice tarts beneath a crisp white tent.

From its origins on BBC to its first American spot (PBS) to its current home on Netflix, the show continues to highlight British culinary curiosities (Devonshire Splits, Bakewell Tarts, Maids of Honour?) along with the inherent magic of turning basic ingredients into art. And with a fresh new season (the 14th premiered in September 2023) things have only gotten tastier. Because while Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are still judges (if it ain't broke…), Matt Lucas has been replaced by beloved British morning show host Alison Hammond (known for completely disarming Harrison Ford). P.S.: the chemistry between Hammond and cohost Noel Fielding is like a Victoria Sponge with extra cream, which is to say, perfect.

Where to watch The Great British Baking Show: Netflix

Cast: Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Alison Hammond, Noel Fielding

Related content: The Great British Baking Show has nixed country-themed episodes for its new season: 'The world has changed'

"Chef's Table" (2015–2019)


An essential staple in any foodie's streaming pantry, Chef's Table is known for stunningly shot in-depth episodes focusing on fantastic fare — and the lives of the cooks who create it. Following one chef per episode, our writer called this globe-spanning series the "gold standard" of cooking shows, "presenting gorgeous dishes and ingredients with sumptuous cinematography that makes every culinary creation look like a beautiful work of art." Chef's Table has spawned many spin-offs as well, from barbecue to French cuisine. In other words, this Netflix original series makes for perfect dinner-time viewing, whether you're eating cold pizza or a four-course meal.

Where to watch Chef's Table: Netflix

Cast: Massimo Bottura, Dan Barber, Francis Mallmann, Niki Nakayama

Related content: Pie, oh, pie! Fire up the first trailer for Chef's Table: Pizza

"Nailed It" (2018–present)

Courtesy of NETFLIX
Courtesy of NETFLIX

Part comedy, part baking show, and 100% unbridled silliness, Nailed It was the first show to spring from a popular Pinterest meme: In this case, home bakers posting snaps of their extremely messed-up creations alongside their inspirations, summing up the ridiculousness of the entire Martha Stewart era in one neat moment. Not to get philosophical, but in these broken and crumbling creations, do we perhaps see…ourselves? Setting impossibly high standards, trying our best, and failing publicly? Observing DIYers attempt ridiculously complex challenges and with lackluster results isn't just funny, it's also inspiring. (We raise our flour-dusted fists in solidarity.) Because if the show was simply about laughing at people's screw-ups, it would be like biting into one of the dried-out layer cakes the contestants serve to the judges — a tough sell. Enter comedian (and non-baker) Nicole Byer (and her pal, real-life pastry genius Jacques Torres), bringing the necessary warmth needed to set the right tone. Byer's willingness to laugh without coming off as cruel is key to the show's success.

Where to watch Nailed It: Netflix

Cast: Nicole Byer, Jacques Torres, Weston Bahr

Related content: How the producers of Nailed It and Top Chef highlight diverse stories in Hollywood

"Ugly Delicious" (2018–present)


Ugly Delicious, the celebrated culinary travel show starring the charismatic food fanatic (and Momofuku founder) David Chang, brings some serious credentials to the table. Produced by Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville, this is the show to beat, combining striking photography, juicy details, comic touches, and a sheer passionate energy that can't be matched. Taking on one topic per episode (tacos, pizza, Thanksgiving) and going deep, the series revels in the finer points and never fails to make us hungry. As EW's writer put it, Ugly Delicious "uses food as a gateway for tackling misconceptions, breaking down cultural barriers, and finding common ground in shared experiences." Not only that, but season 2 reveals a nervous new-dad-to-be Chang preparing for his first child in the chef-iest way possible: learning how to make baby food.

Where to watch Ugly Delicious: Netflix

Cast: David Chang

Related content: Ugly Delicious star David Chang gains 'appreciation' for Asian-American successes

"Somebody Feed Phil" (2018–present)

Courtesy of NETFLIX
Courtesy of NETFLIX

It may not sound like much on paper — a middle-aged Hollywood producer (Everybody Loves Raymond, among others) wanders the world, eating. But there's just something about Phil Rosenthal that makes him an ideal host. Is it his personable, big-hearted, and curious nature? Or his wide-eyed pleasure over the deliciousness of whatever he's eating? No matter the reason, the effect is life-affirming humble charm, with the show devoting a large chunk of time to local charities while showcasing Rosenthal's boundless enthusiasm for every taste, sight, and cultural tidbit from his destinations (Austin to Croatia, Seoul to London). Comedy cameos from his pals (Ray Romano, Patton Oswalt, Allison Janney, the late Paul Reubens) are icing on the cake along with a healthy helping of humor.

Where to watch Somebody Feed Phil: Netflix

Cast: Phil Rosenthal

Related content: Bon appétit! We devoured three rounds with Somebody Feed Phil host Phil Rosenthal

"Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend" (2022)

Patrick Wymore/Netflix
Patrick Wymore/Netflix

Who will win the Golden Knife? This Netflix reboot of the Food Network staple proves that Iron Chefs never die, they just get resurrected. Famed host/writer/nerd Alton Brown again takes the reins alongside Top Chef champ Kristen Kish and actor/martial artist Mark Dacascos (returning as "The Chairman") for play-by-plays, oohing and aahing as celebrity chefs face off against, uh, regular ones. And, yes, this new batch of Iron Chefs is on fire: Gabriela Cámara, Curtis Stone, and Dominique Crenn bring stellar credentials from around the globe alongside legendary restaurateur/best-selling author Marcus Samuelsson and one of the OG PBS chefs, Ming Tsai. Together, they bring the noise to Kitchen Stadium once more.

Where to watch Iron Chef: The Quest for an Iron Legend: Netflix

Cast: Alton Brown, Kristen Kish, Mark Dacascos

Related content: Meet the 5 new Iron Chefs taking over Kitchen Stadium in Netflix's reboot

"Salt Fat Acid Heat" (2018)


Host/cook/author Samin Nosrat's opening statement, "I've spent my entire life in pursuit of flavor," serves as the guiding principle for every moment that follows. Nosrat's brilliantly clear idea — breaking down cooking into four essential elements (the salt, fat, acid, and heat of the title) — is one of those masterful concepts so perfect that you wonder where it's been all your life. Understand these principles and bam, you've unlocked the secret to exceptional meals. So if you're a newbie, clueless, bored, or simply mystified about the whole "cooking" thing, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

A master at removing the intimidation factor from the kitchen, Nosrat is warm, bubbly, and encouraging throughout. Of course, this show isn't just for beginners — even the most seasoned home chefs will walk away from each lovingly shot episode with new tools, tips, and some major inspiration. One of the shining jewels in the Netflix foodie crown, we give this program (and Nosrat) all the Michelin stars.

Where to watch Salt Fat Acid Heat: Netflix

Cast: Samin Nosrat

Related content: Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat honors the culinary importance of grandmas

"The Chef Show" (2019–present)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

We admit it: The Chef Show gives us the warm fuzzies. Effortlessly transferring the 2014 movie Chef's look, feel, color palette, and heart from the big to the small screen, producer and star Jon Favreau connects food to friendship in every frame. Reuniting with his buddy and producing partner, Roy Choi (whose fusion taco truck, Kogi, served as Chef's inspo), this series feels like a true labor of love. Choi, a creative wizard who taught Favreau how to cook like a pro for the film (bringing him up to speed on everything from knife skills to prep to finishing touches), shares the screen with the actor on all sorts of culinary adventures, from baking bread at Tartine to assembling a giant lasagna. The Chef Show is like a food-series-meets-buddy-comedy, and the result is as irresistible as their famous grilled cheese.

Where to watch The Chef Show: Netflix

Cast: Jon Favreau, Roy Choi

Related content: Watch the Avengers assemble with Jon Favreau and Roy Choi for Netflix's The Chef Show

"Waffles and Mochi" (2021–2022)


Globe-trotting puppets, delicious healthy food, and a glowing Michelle Obama? If you don't have kids, you may have missed this little slice of happiness. But hey, it's never too late to catch up — and we highly recommend you do — because this show is 100% pure yum. Did we mention it also features two of the cutest cooking show hosts ever? Live from the freezer, it's Waffles (a blue furry monster with waffle ears) and Mochi (a tiny, baby-voiced pink ball)!

With a supporting cast of characters that includes a singing tomato (who sounds suspiciously like Sia), guest visits from Jack Black, Rashida Jones, Zach Galifianakis, and Gaten Matarazzo, plus celeb chefs like Samin Nosrat and José Andrés, what's not to like? And you don't have to be 6 years old to appreciate this lovely world, even though there are lots of silly touches (shout-out to Steve, a talking mop). There are plenty of old-school PBS/Sesame Street doc-style segments, too, featuring real people telling true food tales. The stories are fascinating but simple enough for little ones, food for thought about the history of what's on their plates. Not bad for a couple of puppets!

Where to watch Waffles and Mochi: Netflix

Cast: Michelle Obama, Piotr Michael, Michelle Zamora, Russ Walko, Jonathan Kidder

Related content: Michelle Obama on her Netflix children's series Waffles and Mochi and the food that brings her comfort

"Sugar Rush" (2018–2020)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

As the title literally promises, Sugar Rush is a show about making outrageously colorful and decadent desserts in a stress-inducingly short amount of time. This pressure-cooker of a show is a nail-biting, crave-worthy mad dash to the finish line. One fun perk (besides feasting your eyes on the craziest creations this side of Wonka) is that one of the judges is our favorite inventor, Candace Nelson (creator of the Sprinkles Cupcakes vending machines, thank you very much). Silly, frantic, over-the-top, and probably not very good for you, this show will satisfy your sweetest cravings.

Where to watch Sugar Rush: Netflix

Cast: Hunter March, Candace Nelson, Adriano Zumbo

Related content: Naya Rivera will appear on Netflix's Sugar Rush

"Fresh Fried and Crispy" (2021)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Impressively bearded, irrepressibly charming, and absolutely willing to take giant bites of uber-crunchy food on camera, Daym Drops is the host with the most enthusiasm. This YouTuber turned Netflix food fanatic travels the U.S. in pursuit of the best in fried fare, sampling heart-stopping delicacies like fried mac 'n cheese, fried Oreos, and something called a "Whale Burger" (which we're not sure we even want to know about). Drops isn't just super funny, he's fearless, too. Watching him bravely bite into a deep-fried "Rocky Mountain Oyster" (if you know, you know) on the "Denver" episode is truly squirm-inducing fun.

Where to watch Fresh Fried and Crispy: Netflix

Cast: Daym Drops

"Bake Squad" (2021–present)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Bake Squad puts the spotlight on talent, and while there is an element of "competition" (the client has to choose one of the creations), it's all very good-natured. Led by a respected figure in the cooking world (author, baker, and Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi) the Squad is made up of four amazingly artistic, wholly unique bakers creating awesome feats of flour, butter, and sugar. An exploding cake? Yes! A floating cake? Why not? How about a life-sized chocolate piano or a giant chocolate dragon egg or a supersized smash cake? Let's do this! Watching this show feels like hanging out in the kitchen at a really cool bakery, spying on all of the mind-blowingly elaborate techniques. Truly, no idea is too crazy for Bake Squad, and we love them for it.

Where to watch Bake Squad: Netflix

Cast: Christina Tosi, Maya-Camille Broussard, Ashley Holt, Gonzo Jimenez, Christophe Rull

"K Food Show" (2022–present)


Divided into three "seasons" (series?) with just two or three episodes in each installment, this is an incredibly mouth-watering cooking show that we have trouble watching on an empty stomach. Each "season" focuses on a different Korean delicacy (A Nation of Kimchi, A Nation of Banchan, and A Nation of Broth), allocating time to fully explore each. And even though kimchi alone — with its rich history, array of techniques, and variations — is worthy of an epic four-hour feature film, these two sub-60-minute episodes will have to do. K Food Show is a beautiful travelogue of a fascinating country with some seriously incredible food, and watching it is like taking a dream vacation without ever leaving home.

Where to watch K Food Show: Netflix

Cast: Huh Young-man, Ham Yon-ji, Ryu Soo-young

"Nadiya's Time to Eat" (2019)


Cookbook author Nadiya Hussain, a Great British Baking Show winner, is not just a warm, friendly, creative force in the kitchen; She's also an incredibly soothing presence for new cooks. Time to Eat is the kind of show that not only makes you think, "Hey, I could do that," but "Hey, I WANT to do that," presenting a series of healthy and surprising dishes that are both mouth-watering and super cool (peanut chicken traybake and ingenious noodles in a jar are just two examples). Hussain, unlike some TV chefs (who shall not be named), never forgets that real home cooks have time-crunched lives, needing to fit meal prep somewhere between jobs, school, commutes, chores, and everything else. Parents (and all busy folks!) around the world owe her a standing ovation.

Where to watch Nadiya's Time to Eat: Netflix

Cast: Nadiya Hussain

"Best Leftovers Ever" (2020)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

A makeover show for leftovers? We can get behind that. Now, a show all about those bits and bobs left in your fridge from last night might not seem like the most high-brow offering on the Netflix cooking show menu, but it just might be the most important. Why? Well, as you probably know, billions of pounds of food is wasted every year in the United States alone — but not if Best Leftovers Ever can help it. Hosted by actress Jackie Tohn (Melanie "MelRose" Rosen of GLOW), creativity rules here, whether you're turning dinner into breakfast, kid's meals into cocktail apps, or Mexican fare into…gnocchi? By amping up the flavor and presentation, the revolving cast of enthusiastic competitors (an assortment of real folks, from home cooks to personal chefs, battling for a $10,000 prize) really do manage to transform fridge-chilled blah to restaurant-ready yum.

Where to watch Best Leftovers Ever: Netflix

Cast: Jackie Tohn, David So, Rosemary Shrager

"Flavorful Origins" (2020–present)


Remember what we said about Netflix taking a serious approach to cooking shows? Exhibit A would have to be Flavorful Origins. Spanning 40 episodes across three seasons, this Chinese docuseries goes deep, y'all. And you can forget about sweet 'n sour anything; this is a crash course in authentic Chinese cuisine, though the episode names ("Gluten," "Mutton," "Cooked Chopped Entrails of Sheep," "Tofu Cake," etc.) probably gave this away. The seasons are divided by region ("Chaoshan," "Yunnan," "Gansu") and feel like traveling across China with a knowledgeable guide. A mini cooking school via quick-hit sub-15-minute episodes, this subtitled dive into the awe-inspiring varieties of the nation's food is doggedly un-commercial and a total treat.

Where to watch Flavorful Origins: Netflix

Cast: Yang Chen, Hao Chen, Vivian Lu

"Breakfast Lunch and Dinner" (2019)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Noodles with Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) in Cambodia? Couscous with Chrissy Teigen in Marrakesh? Yes, please! This show is a slightly decadent and occassionally ridiculous pleasure, like traveling with a true friend. No stress, no drama, no worries about calorie counts, and no pressure to learn stuff. In fact, one of the first things Teigen says upon greeting host David Chang in her (amazing) Moroccan villa is "I shall teach you…no, I won't." And while Chang + celebrity guest + traveling to a fabulous destination while eating tons of delicious food might have been a clever way to get Netflix to pay for some glam R and R (kidding?), we don't mind one bit, because the result (four jam-packed episodes) is pure escapist fun.

Where to watch Breakfast Lunch and Dinner: Netflix

Cast: David Chang, Seth Rogen, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, Kate McKinnon

Related content: Chrissy Teigen, Kate McKinnon, more stars go on global eating tour in new Netflix food series

"Street Food" (2019–2022)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

If you've ever dreamed of eating your way across the world (guilty as charged), Street Food has got you covered. From O'ahu to Lima, Portland to Osaka, this show is a glorious mash-up of food and travel. Viewers can rack up (honorary) frequent-flier miles by witnessing a wild assortment of treats from the streets (vendors, markets, carts, local spots), all of it as delicious and unpretentious as it gets. Brought to you by Chef's Table masterminds Brian McGinn and David Gelb, this series also puts the spotlight on the cooks (a fascinating bunch!) and their stories.

Where to watch Street Food: Netflix

Related content: See these mouthwatering dishes from Netflix's Street Food

"Is It Cake?" (2022–present)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Yet another successful meme-to-series transformation (see: Nailed It), Is It Cake? scratches our itch for fun while serving up major eye candy…make that eye cake (which admittedly doesn't roll off the tongue as well). Edible optical illusions taken to the Nth degree, this show is an invitation to marvel at an elite force of skilled bakers pulling off the impossible: Disguising dessert as a roll of toilet paper? A shoe? A cash register with money sticking out of it? Yup, and it's all made out of cake! This is the kind of show you have to see to believe (again, the cash register, guys), and when you do see it, you won't be able to look away. Even if you start yelling something along the lines of "NO WAY!" at the screen, it's okay. We get it. With his mix of aw-shucks sincerity and a slightly sinister grin, Saturday Night Live cast member Mikey Day is the ideal host for such bizarre (yet tasty) proceedings.

Where to watch Is It Cake?: Netflix

Cast: Mikey Day

Related content: Shocking judging fail on Netflix's Is It Cake, Too? leads to emotional elimination: 'Let's shake that off'

"Taco Chronicles" (2019–2022)

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

If you've ever waited in line at a taco truck, you can attest to the infinite possibilities this hand-held mini-meal holds. Bean, queso, guac? Nopales, pico, shrimp? Chorizo, carnitas, fajitas? Yes, chef! All of which is to say that tacos are an obvious subject for a docuseries. The story ideas are as endless as the recipes, and this cooking show does it all, showing off gorgeous variations of the dish from around the world while diving into the rich history. From birria to asada, puffy to pescado, no matter how much you think you know about tacos, we guarantee you will learn something new. (Like, al pastor came from…shawarma?) Originally from Mexico (where it was known as Las Crónicas del Taco), this series has a ton of fun with the subject, including a couple of episodes narrated in Spanish by the tacos themselves, in which they (sensually?) declare things like, "take a look at me, enjoy me"?!

Where to watch Taco Chronicles: Netflix

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.