50 Best Food Scenes in Movies

I love movies, and I love food, and when the two come together, something magical happens.  Food scenes from our favorite movies can make us feel at home, make us homesick, make us laugh, cry, cringe, and care.  Below, I’ve complied and ranked my favorite food scenes ever put on film.  Where available, I’ve linked to the clips on Youtube…so browse and enjoy!

Gold Rush: Year 1925

While most probably haven’t seen this (silent) movie, you probably have seen the scene with Charlie Caplin doing a “dance” with the dinner rolls on the end of his folks.  More than any other, this clip has stood the test of time. http://youtu.be/4DLdMa98JdM

GoodFellas: Year 1990

Most of us think of prison food as less than appealing, but in Goodfellas, it’s the main event.  Lobsters, steaks, and of course beautiful tomato sauce, with the garlic cut with a razor so thinn it liquefies in the pan.  http://youtu.be/MQhBfRDd6GM

The GodFather: Year 1972

Many great food scenes in the Godfather, but the one that stands out for me, is when Michael shoots police captain McCluskey and Sollozo in the little Italian restaurant, drops the gun, and walks away.  Watch it here http://youtu.be/ppjyB2MpxBU

Cool Hand Luke: Year 1967

Paul Newman in a classic film of endurance and defiance.  He’s bored, so why not sucker his fellow inmates with a bet that he can take down 30 hard boiled eggs.  "Nobody can eat 30 eggs..." http://youtu.be/kNyl6gXLMLQ

The Jerk: Year 1979

Who says that instant riches doesn’t bring along instant refinement.  Watch as Steve Martin, orders some “fresh wine”; and is aghast at the snails which mysteriously  appeared on his plate! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sELqobCIXU

The Blues Brother: Year 1980

When the boys head out to recruit their old horn player from an upscale restaurant, they sit down for a meal, and hilarity ensues. http://youtu.be/mvZgwtpPmLY

Ferris Buller’s Day Off: Year 1986

One of the greatest 80’s movies of all times, and the provider of quite a few memorable moments.  Among them, when the Sloan and the boys work their way into one of Chicago’s finest eateries, with Ferris passing himself off as Abe Froman “The Sausage King of Chicago” http://youtu.be/7HNd3qz68Zw

Caddyshack: Year 1980

As with many things, Caddyshack delivers a few great food scenes, but dinner in the Clubhouse gives several great one-liners…like “You gonna eat your fat?”, “Want to make 14 dollars….the hard way”.  http://youtu.be/cMVvTl83gWg

The Great Outdoors Year 1988

In my humble opinion, one of John Candy’s more underappreciated roles.  One of the highlights, is when he and family are out to dinner, and he takes on the Old 96’er.  That’s a 6lb hunk of meat for those counting http://youtu.be/q_215iQ7KDs

The Silence of the Lambs: Year 1991

On the more freakish and scary side, is Hannibal Lector’s recounting of a meal consisting of his last victim….along with some Fava Beans and a nice Chianti. http://youtu.be/iVlkZVAw8Gc

Rocky: Year 1976

The original movie remains a classic and is truly an inspirational tale of a down and out guy overcoming the odds.  Rocky put in the effort in the gym for sure, but to kick the day off, he put just as much effort into downing five (that’s right 5) raw eggs.  That’s a tough son of a gun. http://youtu.be/NhkdLHSKo9s

Ratatouille Year 2007

Sometimes animation is able to capture reality more poignantly than real flesh and blood.  That’s exactly the feeling I got when I saw this seen from Ratatouille http://youtu.be/uXPlzdTcA-I.  Where a simple bite transports the food critic back to his mother’s table.  May we all be so lucky.

Goodfellas Year 1990

Need I say more than, “Am I a clown???? Do I amuse  you” http://youtu.be/E84VqqCPI7w

Untouchables: Year 1987

Why do mobster movies have such great restaurant and food scenes?  In the Untouchables, Robert DeNiro provides a great motivational speech about teamwork during a dinner with his crew http://youtu.be/QHH9EYZHoVU

Blazing Saddles: Year 1974.

Of course some of the great food scenes are both crass and immature.  Some are even able to pull off making the “oldest jokes in the book” funny again.  Like the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles.  Clip your nose, and enjoy the clip: http://youtu.be/VPIP9KXdmO0

Groundhog Day: Year 1993

Wouldn’t we all want to stuff massive pieces of cake down our gullet, washed down with coffee straight from the pot?  Let alone be “Not The God, but a god”?  Check out the diner scene from Groundhog Day: http://youtu.be/6VF5P7qLaEQ

Pulp Fiction: Year 1994

While I can’t agree with Sam Jackson that “pigs are a filthy animal, not worth human consumption”….I’ll buy that “dog’s do have personality, which goes a long way”.  Watch Vincent and Jules discuss over breakfast http://youtu.be/nJCzrSENHnQ

Reservoir Dogs: Year 1992

Admittedly it would be a bummer to have your gangster name be Mr. Pink, but is that any reason for Steve Buscemi to stiff the waitress in this hilarious scene from Reservoir Dogs? http://youtu.be/Z-qV9wVGb38

Christmas Story: Year 1983

One of the greatest Christmas movies of all times, provides a couple great food scenes.  The youngest son eating like a pig, the Clumpas’ dogs devouring the Turkey, but the most memorable, and meaningful to me…the Chinese Christmas Dinner that closes the movie, http://youtu.be/xTq20prt0K8

Indian Jones & The Temple of Doom: Year 1984

Probably the weakest of the Indian Jones Trilogy, the 2nd installment still delivers on one of the greatest hair raising dinner scenes in cinema.  Snake, monkey brains, and more…. http://youtu.be/Rd75qdmqm3s

LA Story: Year 1991

An often overlooked movie, this film is filled is great satire about “the good life” in LA in the late 80’s early 90’s.  One of my favorite scenes is at the restaurant where Steve Martin and company introduce “California Cuisine”, experience an earthquake and order a hilarious round of coffees http://youtu.be/z-CrML0BzOA

Five Easy Pieces. Year 1970

Jack Nicholson turns in great performance in this movie.  In this scene, a waitress goes a little nuts with her authority to control menu substitutions and Jack gives it right back to her, using quick thinking wit that I wish I had at my disposal.  http://youtu.be/38maVb_30ng

Lady and the Tramp. Year 1955

Again from the animated side of film comes one of the most iconic food scenes ever.  As “down and out” Lady and Tramp, dine on their plate of charity spaghetti, unbenounced to them, they set up to share an innocent yet meaningful first kiss.  Very cute, very innocent, and very reflective of everyone’s first kiss. http://youtu.be/9gwZC5s2IU0

GodFather: Year 1972

Another from the Godfather, with one of the greatest lines ever, “Leave the gun, take the Canoli” http://youtu.be/yHzh0PvMWTI

Stand By Me Year 1986

Perhaps more a cult classic for the gen X’ers (of which I am one) than a time honored classic, the barf scene from Stand by Me always held a place in my heart.  During a coming of age tale, it’s one kid’s creativity and passion at work, and a glimpse into his story telling future.  http://youtu.be/STB4s7Qhf40

Breakfast Club Year 1985

John Huges was an 80’s genius and he scored big with The Breakfast Club.  What a great way to highlight the differences of the detention misfits than through their lunch choices, which only serve to cement our preconceived stereotypes.  http://youtu.be/u3mupIlFIYQ

Young Frankenstein Year 1974

Mel Brooks filled this movie with laughs, and near the top of the list, is cameo scene with Gene Hackman as the blind priest providing dinner to the monster.  In addition to learning “Fire is our friend”, the monster learns getting food on a plate can be tough work http://youtu.be/sXGzO2aDDRU

The Princess Bride  Year 1987

Never did such a lovely picnic spread turn so deadly as the Iocane Powder scene in The Princess Bride, with Vizzini facing our masked crusader.  Such a great set up with perfectly timed, and hilarious, back and forth dialogue over a pleasant meal and a glass of wine.  http://youtu.be/U_eZmEiyTo0

WallStreet Year 1987

One of the greatest demonstrations of power in the 1980’s world of high finance, comes during a lunch between Gordon Gecko, and soon to be protégé Bud Fox.  Once they sit down, Gordon delivers the line “Get the steak tartar, it’s not on the menu”.  I had no idea there was such a thing as “off the menu”  No clip

American Pie Year 1999

Crude and crass, leaving the question in your mind, “did he really just go there”, the scene with Jim making love to the apple pie, is at least….memorable. http://youtu.be/RmXLeytgV54

To Kill a Mocking Bird. Year 1962

One of the greatest books of all time, and a great movie with Gregory Peck, there are many lessons to be learned peppered throughout.  One of my favorites, is when a less well-off member of the Cunningham family comes over for lunch, douses his lunch with maple syrup, to the horror of young Scout.  She’s quickly reminded that one’s guests, in one’s home, deserve our respect and consideration even when they act differently or oddly.

Pulp Fiction: Year 1994

Not shot in a restaurant.  Nor does food even make an appearance, but the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder aka, the Royale with Cheese. conversation in the car has made its way into the lexicon and deserves attention: http://youtu.be/6Pkq_eBHXJ4

Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Year 1982

Who knew that working at All American Burger was the job to have?  That is until, an unruly customer complains about his eggs, and you have to “refund 100% of his ass”! http://youtu.be/TmrFwJtlY3k

Anchorman.  Year 2004

It’s not easy to find deep meaning in any of the scenes in Anchorman, and the Jazz flute at Tino’s is no exception.  Not much to say about this scene, other than it’s damn funny!  http://youtu.be/_c_ufaxeSTs

Animal House: Year 1978

It’s insane how many memorable scenes and quotes come from Animal House.  Among my favorites, is the food fight in the cafeteria, that starts out with Pluto’s imitation of….a zit!  Which of course, leads right to the food fight.  http://youtu.be/DZN4r8p6KbU

American Beauty:  Year 1999

I went into American Beauty knowing next to nothing about the film, and came away a very satisfied moviegoer.   Lots of great, well-acted, realistic scenes, one of which is the uber uncomfortable dinner scene, when Kevin Spacy goes off on his wife’s choice of dinner music! http://youtu.be/NRfZQN9cMfo

Glengary Glen Ross: Year 1992

If you haven’t seen Glengary Glen Ross,  you really need to.  It’s hard to make a movie interesting with just 5 or 6 actors, in 2 or 3 locations, but this one does it.  While not food per se, the “Coffee is for Closers” scene is intense and is part of one the greatest performances of Alec Baldwin’s career. http://youtu.be/QMFwFgG9NE8

Swimming with Sharks: Year 1994

Who knew that food could be torture, literally?  I don’t get squeamish often in movies, but Kevin Spacy getting the paper cut & tabasco treatment in this movie did it to me. http://youtu.be/_eruoEC4LsA

Forest Gump: Year 1994

Ok, perhaps the oft repeated Forest Gump “Life is like a box of chocolates” isn’t a single scene, but it’s a repeated food reference that does help stitch together the various adventures in the movie.  There’s also a pretty good life lesson there. http://youtu.be/CJh59vZ8ccc

Vacation Year 1983

Dinner at cousin Eddies never looked so good.  Real tomato ketchup.  Hand stirred cool-aid…and of course Hamburger Helper does just fine be itself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkExpbnjsX8

Saving Private Ryan: Year 1998

Saving Private Ryan is one of my favorite modern war movies, with dozens of visually stunning actions scenes.  Interspersed throughout are the more humanizing scene, including an early one, right after the D-day invasion, where Tom Hanks, coming just off the line to talk with this superiors, see’s first hand the steaming coffee, and abundant food, available those “behind the line”.  No clip available

Back to the Future: Year 1985

It’s tough to make a good “fish out of water” movie, but Michael J Fox pulled it off in this 80’s classic.  One of my favorite lines is when he’s in the diner, and asks “…for a tab”.  The owner won’t give him a tab unless he orders something, so he order a “Pepsi Free”…of course, if he wants a pepsi…he’s gotta pay for it! http://youtu.be/xteH6y0Mr0k 

Lawrence of Arabia: Year 1962

If you talking about cool customer’s Peter O’toole in Lawrence of Arabia should be on the list.  In this scene, he just crossed the desert with one servant (another dying on the way).  Once they get back to the British “camp”, they go into the officers club for a glass of lemonade, where Lawrence makes it clear at times “petty rules should not apply” http://youtu.be/y9YXuvLfECk

The Great Escape: Year 1963

One of the best WWII movies ever made, I love this profile of a British POW camp tunneling their way to freedom.  And a bit of Yankee pride burst forth, when the couple US camp residents, figure out how to make a homemade still, cook up some potato vodka, and ring in the 4th of July right. http://youtu.be/MZsEl3QIs38

When Harry Met Sally Year 1989

The diner scene where Meg Ryan proves she can fake it…need I say more? http://youtu.be/F-bsf2x-aeE

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Year 1971

I’ll make the call that candy is food.  And in doing so, I needed to acknowledge Willy Wonka is one of the greatest food movies of all times.  To many scenes to recount them all.  My favorite comes at the end with Charlie is put to his final test, and gives back the everlasting gobstopper.  That scene is a true reflection of the innocence and goodness in little kids. Watch the first half of this clip.  http://youtu.be/xLFo-idElMI

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Year 1966

My favorite Christmas movie remains the original animated version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.   And from that movie comes the story line of the Christmas Feast, complete with the Roast Beast.  Who can’t help but feel good, when the nice warm and kind Grinch returns the feast to the little Cindy Lu Who? http://youtu.be/jzZ_YlYNINI

Christmas Vacation Year 1989

Holiday movies obviously are replete with food scenes, and Christmas Vacation has a very solid scene complete with a desiccated Turkey; but my favorite food moment comes with the one liner from Cousin Eddy, when Clark sees his bonus this year, and get his membership to the Jelly of the Month Club! http://youtu.be/1K8-kNuDgoA

Cramer vs Cramer Year 1979

This scene from Cramer vs Cramer where Billy acts out and eats the Ice Cream is just painful if you’re a parent.  So well acted, it’s easy to get lost in the moment and really feel for both characters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kIsYLV8bE8

Trading Places 1983

Who knew the world of commodity trading could be so funny?  Start your education with this briefing from the Duke brothers, on what commodities are, and how they make money.   http://youtu.be/g4Uv4ftekaI

Comments (3 )

Hayley R
January 12th, 2019 - 2:33pm
Lol this really made me chuckle. My favourite is definitely the scene from the Great Outdoors - a classic!
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