The Best Movies That Take Place In Restaurants

By Rick Gonzales | Published

Best Movies That Take Place in Restaurants

There is something about movies that are set in or around restaurants that have a certain appeal to them. It could be nostalgic for some who have worked in the food industry. It could be that the interest to take a peek behind the scenes at what goes on at a restaurant is high. It could be that audiences are dealing with superhero fatigue and are simply looking for another genre to keep them entertained.

There are plenty of movies that take place in restaurants. Some you will find based on true stories while others are simply there to make you laugh. Here are eight films set in restaurants if you haven’t already seen them, what are you waiting for?

Chef (2014)

Back in 2014, Jon Favreau decided to take a break from the big-budget Marvel superhero movies and get “back to basics.” So, he wrote, directed, and starred in this tasty little treat called Chef. It tells the story of Carl Casper, the head chef at a fancy LA eatery.

When a food critic pans one of his meals, Carl’s meltdown causes him to lose his job. Unemployed, Carl begins to restore a food truck with the help of his estranged son. This dramedy also stars Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, and Oliver Platt. Favreau even enlisted the services of Robert Downey Jr.

Waiting (2005)

If you like your restaurant movies with a heaping helping of raunchy humor, then Waiting… is your film. The film follows the entire wait staff and kitchen at a chain restaurant called Shenaniganz. Talk about authenticity, Rob McKittrick, who directed the film, also wrote it and did so while he was working as a waiter. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Anna Farris, Justin Long, Chi McBride, and Luis Guzman.


Ratatouille (2007)

Ratatouille is a Disney Pixar film about a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a great chef in a Parisian restaurant. When he forms a friendship with the new garbage boy, he is one step closer to his dream. This film is easily one of Pixar’s finest as it showcases just how stressful it can be inside the kitchen of a popular restaurant. Patton Oswalt, Brad Garrett, Peter O’Toole, Janeane Garofolo, and Will Arnet provide the voices.

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

Helen Mirren is absolutely perfect as Madame Mallory in The Hundred-Foot Journey, a film about an Indian family who opens a restaurant in France across the street from a Michelin-starred French restaurant. When the Kadam family relocated from India to France, they set up shop in a French village, putting them in direct odds with Madame Mallory’s restaurant. The film is many times funny but shows the stress felt by both a seasoned restauranter and a new one trying to make their businesses work.

Tampopo (1985)

A comedy about ramen noodles? Yes, a very good one. This Japanese comedy is fun and playful and tells the story of a truck driver who happens upon a small noodle shop and decides he wants to help them out. Tampopo is the widowed owner of a run-down noodle shop who is in search of the perfect bowl of ramen noodles.

With the assistance of Gorō and his trusty truck-driving sidekick Gun, not only do they want to help her create that perfect bowl, but they also want to help turn her business around.

Burnt (2015)

Bradley Cooper is no stranger to projects involving restaurants. A decade before he starred in this 2015 film, he headlined the underrated television series Kitchen Confidential. Here, Cooper plays Adam Jones, a talented but temperamental chef whose attitude and drug habit destroyed his career.

Now, with the thought of losing the only thing he loves, Adam attempts to make a comeback against all odds. Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Emma Thompson, Alicia Vikander, Matthew Rhys, Lily James, and Uma Thurman co-star.

Big Night (1996)

Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub are two Italian immigrant brothers who, despite producing wonderful meals, find their Italian restaurant failing. They just can’t seem to keep up with a rival Italian restaurant.

So, in an effort to save what they love, they pull all of their remaining funds together for one big night. They throw their entire savings into creating the best menu possible, inviting people to join them for one fantastic feast.

The film is set in 1950s New Jersey and also stars Isabella Rossellini, Ian Holm, and Minnie Driver.

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The Menu (2022)

Hold on to your hats for this dark comedy of a restaurant movie. Ralph Fiennes is positively creepy as Chef Slowik in The Menu, a story about Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) who visit Slowik’s exclusive restaurant to test out his wonderful menu.

What the couple and the remaining guests were not prepared for was the mayhem and death that was to follow. As Chef Slowik slowly slips into madness, Margot and Tyler find themselves trying to survive the night.