Restaurants and K-dramas. One does not initially associate those two together, but like ingredients used to make a delicious dish, this mix creates perfect harmony. (Besides, everything could use a little more food.) That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular K-dramas that are set and centered around restaurants and chefs. Check them out to find your next binge!
For lovers of both Korean and Italian cuisine and culture, this K-drama was made for you! Originally airing on MBC in 2010, this series centers on a romance occurring in the workplace of a restaurant. The drama focuses on Seo Yoo Kyung (The “Queen of Romantic Comedies,” Gong Hyo Jin), who is trying to become a successful chef. The daughter of a Chinese restaurant owner, Yoo Kyung must work her way up from the lowest position of kitchen assistant at the high-class La Sfera Italian restaurant. Things only get more difficult for her when a new hire (Coffee Prince’s Lee Sun Gyun) appears, and fires all the female employees. Will Yoo Kyung be able to get her job back and become the next great culinary chef?
Flower Boy Ramen Shop (꽃미남 라면가게)
Flower Boy Ramen Shop is also known as Flower Boy Ramyun Shop or Cool Guys Hot Ramen.
Twenty-something university student Yang Eun Bi (Bluebeard’s Lee Chung Ah) wants knowing more than to become a high school teacher. The cocky Cha Chi Soo (Cinderella With Four Knights’ Jung Il Woo) is the son of the owner of the Korean largest food company. They keep running into each other until eventually the two end up as coworkers at a ramen shop. The 2011 romantic-comedy series is the “first installment of tvN’s 'Oh! Boy' series of Flower Boy programming targeted at the teenage demographic.” But who are we kidding? Us adults are watching too!
I Order You (당신을 주문합니다)
This 2015 romantic-comedy series follows divorcee Yeo Gook Dae (TVXQ’s Jung Yunho a.k.a. U-Know) as he struggles to deal with his heartbreak. He’s also a skilled chef, running a homemade dosirak (packed lunches) shop. When he meets Park Song-ah (I Picked Up a Celebrity on the Street’s Kim Ga-eun), it seems as if yet another women has come to frustrate him as bickering quickly ensues. Will Gook Dae learn to love again? Can hate turn into love? This K-drama is based on a web novel of the same name, and originally aired on SBS Plus and Naver TV Cast.
Feast of the Gods (신들의 만찬)
This MBC K-drama, originally airing in 2012, is heavily focused on Korean tradition and cuisine. It tells of two stories of four women whose lives are connected. In the middle of all the drama is the prestigious royal Korean cuisine restaurant, Arirang, where only the best chefs are hired to continue on the heritage. Jealousy and pride drive the two rivals, Sung Do-hee (My Daughter, Geum Sa-wol’s Jeon In-hwa) and Baek Seol-hee (Living Death’s Kim Bo-yeon), for position of master chef. Many years later, another pair of young women (Hong Gil-dong’s Sung Yu-ri and The Beauty Inside’s Seo Hyun-jin) compete for this position. One of them seems to be the expectant recipient of the job since her mother once was master chef at Arirang. Things get even more complicated when it is revealed that the girls have a lot more in common than just cooking.
Oh My Ghostess (오 나의 귀신님)
Also known as Oh My Ghost.
tvN’s 2015 K-drama Oh My Ghostess not only deals with romance but also the supernatural. Na Bong Sun (Strong Woman Bong-soon’s Park Bo Young) is shy, has low self-esteem, has no friends, but works as an assistant chef at Sun Restaurant. Oh, and she can see ghosts sometimes… because of her shaman grandmother. That’s the least of her problems since she’s hiding a crush on her boss, the arrogant star chef Kang Sun Woo (My Annoying Brother’s Jo Jung Suk). If this wasn’t bad enough, Bong Sun gets inhabited by Shin Soon Ae (The Guardians’ Kim Seul Gi), a young woman who died having never experienced romance. Soon Ae is determined to find love before she can finally go on into the afterlife. Will both women find happiness and their hearts’ desires?
What’s your favourite restaurant-themed K-drama? Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments!
Want to watch even more food-themed K-dramas? Check out Essential K-dramas for the Food Lover in All of Us!