entertainment

11 Food-Themed K-Dramas That Absolutely Cannot Be Watched On An Empty Stomach

Cue all the Korean food cravings!

Cover image via KOCOWA TV (YouTube) & Noonas Over Forks

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1. The Let's Eat series

Image via BNT News

Spanning three seasons, the Let's Eat series follows the daily life and journey of Goo Dae Young, an insurance agent/food blogger who not only loves food, but also enjoys showing off his foodie expertise to others.

Each season follows a different storyline and brings on new cast members, but expect TONNES of mouth-watering foodporn shots and mukbang scenes as Dae Young introduces delicious dishes to the people around him.

Main cast (Season 1): Yoon Doo Joon, Lee Soo Kyung, Shim Hyung Tak, and Yoon So Hee

Main cast (Season 2):
Yoon Doo Joon, Seo Hyun Jin, and Kwon Yul

Main cast (Season 3): Yoon Doo Joon and Baek Jin Hee

Episode count: 16 (Season 1) | 18 (Season 2) | 14 (Season 3)

Watch it if you like:
- Food
- Romance
- Comedy
- Friendship
- Slice of life

2. Dae Jang Geum / Jewel in the Palace

Image via Dramabeans

Set in the Joseon dynasty, this drama is based on the real-life story of Jang Geum, a legendary girl who rose from her low-class status to become the first female royal physician. She was even granted the title 'Dae Jang Geum' (The Great Jang Geum) by the king.

Her journey starts when she becomes a young apprentice cook in the royal kitchen, where she learns the secrets of Korean cooking, before going on to learn about Korean medicine. This drama will give you a wonderful, detailed look into Korean royal cuisine, and even features a royal cooking competition at one point.

Image via IMDb

Main cast: Lee Young Ae, Ji Jin Hee, Hong Ri Na, Im Ho, Yang Mi Kyung, Kyeon Mi Ri

Episode count: 54

Watch it if you like:
- Sageuk / Period dramas
- Historical fiction
- Strong female characters
- Korean history and culture
- Royalty
- Food and cooking
- Medicine

3. Dae Jang Geum Is Watching / Jang-Geum, Oh My Grandma

Image via Hellokpop

What if the descendants of the iconic Dae Jang Geum inherited her incredible capabilities and skills? This drama explores that imagined notion through three siblings' hectic lives, romantic relationships, and love for food.

Each has inherited a different trait from their ancestor, Dae Jang Geum—the eldest brother has an excellent sense of taste, the middle sister has an exceptional sense of smell, and the youngest brother has amazing cooking skills.

This drama even includes various recipes, both for proper Korean dishes and convenience store creations, as well as recommendations for actual restaurants in Korea, complete with ratings.

Main cast: Shin Dong Wook, Kwon Yu Ri, Lee Yeol Eum, Kim Hyun Joon, and Lee Min Hyuk

Episode count: 16

Watch it if you like:
- Food and cooking
- Comedy
- Romance
- Drama
- Family
- Slight supernatural elements (their inherited traits are depicted as superpowers, each with its own consequence)

4. Late Night Restaurant

Image via Han Cinema

Open from midnight to 7am, a small late night restaurant is run by a mysterious owner and chef, simply called 'Master'. The restaurant has no set menu, but Master takes orders from his customers and cooks up anything they request. People from all walks of life gather at the restaurant and share stories about their lives, all while indulging in comfort food.

Each episode focuses on a different customer, the dish they order, and the story of why said dish is special to them. It's a truly feel-good drama that'll give you warm fuzzies and soothe your soul.

Image via ONE TV Asia

Main cast: Kim Seung Woo

Episode count: 20

Watch this if you like:
- Food and cooking
- Slice of life stories
- Episodic serials

5. Sweet Munchies

Image via MyDramaList

Park Jin Sung is a chef who owns and runs a late-night snack restaurant where customers only choose which drinks they want, with Jin Sung customising dishes to match their drinks. His greatest joy in life is seeing customers enjoying their food.

On the verge of losing his restaurant, Jin Sung lies about his sexual orientation when he finds out that Kim Ah Jin, one of his regular customers, is in need of a gay chef to host a cooking programme she's producing. Both Ah Jin and Jin Sung end up in an atypical love triangle with fashion designer Kang Tae Wan, who seems to be hiding a secret.

Watching the delectable dishes Jin Sung prepares and serves at his restaurant is sure to have your stomach growling!

Main cast: Jung Il Woo, Kang Ji Young, and Lee Hak Joo

Episode count: 12

Watch it if you like:
- Food and cooking
- Romance
- Love triangles
- Comedy
- Friendship
- Drama

6. Eccentric! Chef Moon

Once an elite chef famous for making Korean cuisine popular all around the world through pop-up restaurants, Moon Seung Mo has turned his back on his culinary career and hidden away in a remote village after a tragic accident.

His peaceful life is turned upside down when he meets Yoo Yoo Jin, a world-renowned fashion designer who has lost her memory. The eccentric woman's seemingly unquenchable desire for food helps him rediscover his passion for cooking and life.

Get ready to drool as you watch Chef Moon whip up incredible dishes and show off his impressive knife skills.

Image via Soompi

Main cast: Eric Mun and Go Won Hee

Episode count: 16

Watch it if you like:
- Food and cooking
- Romance
- Comedy
- Cohabitation shenanigans
- Drama
- Trauma and healing

7. How Are You Bread

Image via Pinterest

There are rumours swirling around genius patissier Han Do Woo's mysterious bakery — if you eat his magical and delicious pastries, your wish will come true! As Do Woo and his bakery become the talk of the town, he catches the attention of TV writer Noh Mi Rae, who is determined to cast him in a hit baking competition show.

If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely the drama for you. Watching beautiful and scrumptious desserts being created is sure to having you wishing you could reach through the screen and taste them yourself.

Main cast: Suho and Lee Se Young

Episode count: 5

Watch it if you like:
- Food and cooking / baking
- Romance
- Fantasy
- Drama

8. Chocolate

Image via MyDramaList

Though he once dreamed of becoming a chef, Lee Kang is now a neurosurgeon. Meanwhile, world-famous chef Moon Cha Young was actually inspired to pursue that career because of a childhood encounter with Lee Kang, during which he cooked and served her a meal. The two meet again at a hospice ward, where they heal their own emotional scars by preparing meals for the patients there.

Despite the drama's title, it's not just chocolate and desserts that you can expect to see, though of course there's plenty of that to tantalise you. There are also lots of yummy savoury dishes featured, so you get the best of both worlds.

Image via MyDramaList

Main cast: Yoon Kye Sang, Ha Ji Won, Jang Seung Jo, and Min Jin Woong

Episode count: 16

Watch it if you like:
- Food and cooking / baking
- Romance
- Medical
- Trauma and healing
- Tropes like slow burn romance

9. Dinner Mate

Image via MyDramaList

After a coincidental meeting, a producer at a digital content company and a psychiatrist end up having dinner together. Later, the duo find that they keep coincidentally running into each other, and decide to become "dinner mates". Without revealing any of their personal information, not even their names, the two only meet up to have dinner and talk.

While this drama isn't very foodporn-y, food and sharing meals is still a central theme. Plus, the two main characters are huge foodies!

Image via MyDramaList

Main cast: Song Seung Heon, Seo Ji Hye, Lee Ji Hoon, and Son Na Eun

Episode count: 32

Watch it if you like:
- Food
- Romance
- Drama
- Comedy
- Trauma and healing

10. Wok of Love

Image via Juneunicorn

When their once-perfect lives are turned upside down overnight, star chef Seo Poong and bankrupt heiress Dan Sae Woo both end up working at Hungry Wok, a small and shabby Chinese restaurant run by former gangsters of the Big Dipper Gang.

Oh mannnn, the Chinese food cravings are seriously gonna hit you hard when you watch this drama. It showcases all kinds of mouthwatering dishes — jjajangmyeon, xiao long bao, wonton noodle soup, lo mai gai, har gau, nai wong bao, and more!

Main cast: Lee Jun Ho, Jang Hyuk, and Jung Ryeo Won

Episode count: 38

Watch it if you like:
- Food and cooking
- Romance
- Drama
- Comedy
- Love triangles

11. Pasta

Image via MyDramaList

Dreaming to become a chef of Italian cuisine, Seo Yoo Kyung spends three years working her way up from kitchen assistant to assistant chef at La Sfera restaurant. But on the very day of her promotion, the restaurant gets a new head chef, Choi Hyun Wook, who fires all the female chefs after just one day. Determined to get her job back, Yoo Kyung sets out to prove to Hyun Wook that she has what it takes.

You might wanna have some pasta on hand while watching Pasta, because as the title suggests, you're gonna see lots of it. Vongole pasta is particularly iconic in this drama, and there are so many other Italian dishes to drool over too.

Main cast: Gong Hyo Jin, Lee Sun Kyun, Lee Ha Nui, and Alex Chu

Episode count: 20

Watch it if you like:
- Food and cooking
- Romance
- Drama
- Comedy
- Tropes like boss/employee romance

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Feel like having Korean food now? Check out some places where you can satisfy your cravings:

Need more K-drama and K-movie recommendations? We gotchu:

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