Essential K-Dramas for the Food Lover in All of Us!

By Tiffany Simms

There’s nothing quite like staying in for the night with a good drama online and some delicious Korean takeout! What’s even better is to watch a food-themed drama while eating!

Here is a short list of some of my favourite K-dramas in which food is vital to the plot:

  • Let’s Eat 1, 2, and 3

Let’s Eat has three seasons, but they are all very different! The things they have in common are the male lead, the central theme of food, and a love of eating bringing people together.

Let’s Eat 1 focuses on a group of single people whose lives end up entangled when they realize dining out is not intended for parties of one. The producer-director of the drama, Park Joon-hwa said, “The drama focuses on building relationships between strangers through having a meal and ultimately relieving their solitude. It portrays the process of how people improve relations via food." He continued, "Korean dramas have lots of eating scenes in which conflict erupts or settles down."

Let’s Eat 2 brings back only one of the first season’s leads, Yoon Doo-joon (leader of pop group Highlight) as Goo Dae-young. Moving from Seoul to a small town, he befriends his neighbour, Baek Soo-ji (The Beauty Inside’s Seo Hyun-Jin), and the two make a contract to help her pursue the man of her dreams. Meanwhile, Baek Soo-ji struggles to maintain both her love of food and a perfect self-image.

In Let’s Eat 3, Goo Dae-young has found himself in a slump in both work and personal life. To work through this and heal some wounds, he goes on a journey that includes revisiting his old passion for food, and ends up doing so with help from a former college classmate.

Next to Let’s Eat 2 and Strong Woman Do Bong-soon, Let’s Eat 1 is probably my favourite K-drama as it didn’t quite fit the stereotypes I had seen in dramas before. It also focused very heavily on food, which was a big plus for me! I found myself having serious food cravings whenever I watched an episode, but it also stirred up an interest in Korean cuisine that I had not had before.

Growing up, there weren’t Korean restaurants in my city so I hadn’t had much exposure to Korean food until I started watching K-dramas. Let’s Eat was definitely a large factor in my growing interest in Korean cuisine as I now seek out Korean restaurants, learn and make Korean recipes, and am obviously a lover of Korean snacks (hence being an intern for SnackFever).

  • The Cravings a.k.a. The Hungry Woman

If you enjoy Let’s Eat 1, you should like The Cravings, too! The main characters are similar: Women in their thirties dealing with the problems of life through a good meal.

The Cravings is a quirky and underrated drama that follows the life of an average single woman dealing with daily struggles, and surviving with food! Whenever I see this show described anywhere, it usually has a plot description like, “A film about a single woman's gluttony!”

If that’s the case, then why isn’t there a show about me yet?!

My favourite part about The Cravings is that each episode ends with a recipe and short cooking tutorial of a dish eaten in the show! For years, I’ve watched dramas in which there would be scenes featuring delicious food, and would always wonder what it was and where could I get it. This drama not only highlights the food, informing you on what dishes appear, but also instructs you on how you, too, can cook it.

The Cravings was made to be watched conveniently on mobile. The average episode runs only about ten minutes long, making it extremely easy to binge-watch! Lucky for you, there is not only one, but two seasons on Netflix right now!

  • Lunch Box

Lunch Box is a very short K-drama, starring Strong Woman Do Bong-soon fan-favourite, Jisoo, as the male lead. In this drama, he is a young chef named Yong, who falls in love with an Indonesian girl, and decides that the way to win a woman’s heart is through her stomach. He isn’t wrong, is he?

Yong cooks lunch boxes specifically with her in mind in hopes that she will eat them and return his feelings. A handsome guy cooking meals for you everyday?! Isn’t that every girl’s dream?

Lunch Box is a web drama produced by K-FOOD Fair 2015 Indonesia, Malaysia, and UAE as a way to promote halal Korean food and increase trade between Indonesia and Korea.

Food-themed K-dramas have continued to increase in popularity, especially with the recent trend of meokbangs giving viewers vicarious pleasure and providing a form of “therapeutic ASMR.” Director Yoon Sung-ho (The Cravings) said, "Isolated individuals find consolation by seeing others eating. Meokbang is a symptom of our society's loneliness."

There is a rise in one-person households with young singles moving out of parents’ homes and remaining unmarried, especially in Korea. Eating is a popular solution to everyday problems, including loneliness, but because eating alone is not always preferred, many persons enjoy to watch meokbangs to combat these feelings. As a result, recent dramas include more eating scenes.

What is your favourite food-themed K-drama?
What is your go-to snack or meal for a night-in to watch dramas?

Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more drama recommendations for you fellow foodies from us here at SnackFever!

Want to get some more snacks for your next binge-watch? Order some from your friends here at SnackFever!

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