I'm (mentally) hungry and I want to eat (with my eyes)

I'm (mentally) hungry and I want to eat (with my eyes)
I want to read about food. Anyway, I don't care if it's real or fantasy, as long as it sounds tasty, then it's good. I want food to be very important. I want to read about food businesses. I want to read about reactions to sheer deliciousness and comments that praise food to the heavens.

This list is mostly concerned with food descriptions. Does the food sound tasty? Is food/cooking important? Do people react to the food in a hunger-inspiring way? Is it tasty? Is detail given? Do side characters bite into delicious morsels and wish to ascend to the skies because surely they'll never taste anything better?

I also like business aspects and such, but cooking at home is fine too. Contains het/bl mostly, but this list isn't really concerned with romance. A miscellaneous assortment of novels with some/a lot of focus on food that sounds good. I have other lists for plot. This list is for food. 
5 3432 22
Created: May 20th, 2023, Updated: Jan 9th, 2024
Created May 20th, 2023
Updated Jan 9th, 2024
CN (3.7)
104 Chapters Every 286.4 Day(s) 4733 Readers 49 Reviews 01-11-2022
CN (3.9)
39 Chapters Every 166.3 Day(s) 6799 Readers 81 Reviews 05-21-2017
CN (4.2)
52 Chapters Every 35 Day(s) 895 Readers 7 Reviews 02-08-2024
CN (4.2)
CN (4.6)
169 Chapters Every 67.9 Day(s) 6813 Readers 154 Reviews 05-27-2021
CN (4.5)
106 Chapters Every 59.7 Day(s) 4676 Readers 104 Reviews 09-25-2021
CN (4.6)
123 Chapters Every 199.4 Day(s) 14226 Readers 352 Reviews 01-05-2016
CN (3.9)
321 Chapters Every 81.1 Day(s) 4071 Readers 61 Reviews 11-20-2020
CN (4.5)
113 Chapters Every 70.2 Day(s) 4224 Readers 82 Reviews 04-30-2021
Honestly I think I've reread this at least 3x. It's tasty, it's comfy, if you're looking for a light food novel, it's just really good... more>>
CN (3.7)
150 Chapters Every 48.5 Day(s) 2121 Readers 24 Reviews 03-19-2022
CN (4)
25 Chapters Every 54.3 Day(s) 756 Readers 3 Reviews 03-24-2023
CN (4.2)
76 Chapters Every 11.9 Day(s) 2081 Readers 16 Reviews 02-27-2024
CN (3.8)
0 Chapters Every 826 Day(s) 2436 Readers 25 Reviews N/A
CN (3.8)
105 Chapters Every 3.4 Day(s) 849 Readers 12 Reviews 02-27-2024
CN (3.7)
139 Chapters Every 6.7 Day(s) 1159 Readers 15 Reviews 02-25-2024
Lots of food, sounds tasty. Food business. People falling over themselves due to the deliciousness. Weirdly abrupt ending, but whatever. 
CN (4)
79 Chapters Every 13.2 Day(s) 957 Readers 9 Reviews 08-31-2023
Some reviews for this novel complained about the lacklustre romance, but the novel doesn't even mention the ML in the summary; it's pretty clear it's... more>>
CN (4.4)
76 Chapters Every 3.5 Day(s) 981 Readers 6 Reviews 02-28-2024
This novel actually isn't as hard to MTL as the reviews would have you believe, IF you understand pinyin, which is pretty big caveat already.... more>>
CN (4.5)
701 Chapters Every 48.2 Day(s) 7874 Readers 189 Reviews 03-22-2022
CN (4.2)
108 Chapters Every 2.8 Day(s) 442 Readers 3 Reviews 02-29-2024
CN (3.8)
42 Chapters Every 4.8 Day(s) 398 Readers 5 Reviews 02-28-2024
CN (4)
87 Chapters Every 2.6 Day(s) 688 Readers 11 Reviews 02-20-2024
JP (4.5)
38 Chapters Every 2 Day(s) 475 Readers 2 Reviews 02-26-2024
(Really early to be adding this to a list, but I'm going to hope that even if plot/characterization deteriorates, good descriptions won't.) @ch11/v1ch2.3. Surprisingly tasty... more>>
Comments (5)
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  1. nopeitynopenope
    nopeitynopenope· Jul 26, 2023 01:33 PM
    Check out the small canteen of Dali temple?
    Reply · 2 Likes · ·
    • greenHills
      greenHills· Author · Sep 4, 2023 11:03 AM

      Late, but thank you for the rec! I recall being relatively busy when I first saw this comment, but read the novel today and wow, tasty crime solving? Hell yeah. I read the entire TL and then everything available on the MTL, and was surprised that it actually managed to combine the themes of a food/restaurant novel and a crime novel quite well, keeping both the food tasty and the plot engaging. Going to add it to my list and add a blurb later. 

      Reply · ·
  2. greenHills
    greenHills· Author · Jun 23, 2023 10:17 AM
    Other food/food-related novels I've read and notes on them, + misc novels in the cooking tag:
    Reply · ·
    • greenHills
      greenHills· Author · Jun 23, 2023 10:24 AM

      clear.pngStrange World Little cooking Saint:

      Finished TL, may MTL. It's hard to rate because the translator seems to have changed a lot of the original work, to the point where it seems better to rate them separately. Can't recommend the TL as a cooking novel, because while I appreciate the TL's dedication to fixing things, it doesn't feel as mentally tasty to read when you know that there's 999 cooking errors and snarky TL fix-it notes everywhere. It's fun, but it breaks mental appetite and suspension of disbelief. The food often also isn't described all that well, which is probably an issue inherent to the novel, seeing as there are apparently so many blatant errors. 

      clear.pngAccidentally born in the '60s:

      MTL. Not focused on cooking/food per se, but there's a solid amount of food present, as is to be expected when the first arc is focused on solving the family's poverty. Presence of food intermittently throughout afterwards, primarily focused on catching/obtaining it and eating heartily, and not so much the cooking itself. The MTL is readable, and the TL right now seems to be a very rough MTL anyway, seeing as "grandma" has been directly translated to "milk" in the TL. (The character is the same 奶.)

      clear.png The King of Hell's Genius Pampered Wife:

      Maybe I just haven't read enough of it, but idk why tf this is tagged with cooking when cooking (and food) doesn't seem that important at all. 

      clear.png The Grand Secretary's Genius Pampered Wife:

      I can see why it's tagged cooking, and food does show up often, but it's not a foodie novel. Despite the bucketload of tropes it starts with, I liked the novel quite a bit, but the military stuff is more memorable to me than the food, sooo...

      clear.png After I Livestreamed Raising Cubs I Became The Wealthiest In Interstellar:

      The food is present, but it's often hard to really relate to because a lot of it is magical sci-fi future energy beastman food. It's fine if it's not real food, but the descriptions are less about the taste and more about the cool sci-fi effects the food has, in a way that's kind of overly cutesy. The novel itself...it's funny now and then, but tries way, way, way too hard to sell meng all the time. Exhausting. Saccharine. 

      clear.png Transmigrated to the '80s to be a Stepmother:

      Decently tasty. I MTL' d and don't remember how it ends, but the food was pretty good. 

      Reply · ·
    • greenHills
      greenHills· Author · Dec 6, 2023 01:03 AM

      clear.pngIsekai Izakaya Nobu:

      This sucks. Dropped at CH17. Everything about the novel is too s*upid. This wouldn't necessarily matter for food p*rn if it just has a shitty plot, but the problem is that it's s*upid in a way that affects the food p*rn and makes me feel like "this author doesn't know jacksh*t about food". The English TL is also awkward to read, which decreases mental tastiness; I don't know if the original handles that better. 

      clear.pngShuangwen Female Main Character Doesn’t Want To Be a Sensation:

      Decently tasty but not food focused. It's an entertaining light read, but peters out towards the end. It's not a food novel, though.

      clear.pngThere Will Always Be Protagonists With Delusions of Starting a Harem:

      The food was okay, I guess? I don't remember it showing up enough for it to deserve the cooking tag. Otherwise, I like the concept, but the pacing is complete garbage; disappointing in execution. It's not very good overall.

      clear.pngTraveling Through Ancient Times To Be a Shopkeeper:

      Reasonably tasty. Might put it on the list, but I dunno. The thing about this novel is that even though the businesses the MC opens are generally food/food-related businesses, the novel itself is way more focused on the business aspect than the 'tasty food' aspect.

      clear.pngI Became a Witch in a World Full of Urban Legends:

      why is this even tagged cooking.

      okay, no, I kind of understand why, but most of this novel is absolutely not tasty. (so far, anyway.) anyway, it's not cooking in the tasty way. it's cooking in the 'I'm chopping horror monsters into salad" way.

      clear.pngIsekai Nonbiri Nouka:

      Didn't get very far in. It's not tasty because it reads like I'm going over a script for a toddler and has basically 0 descriptive language. It feels like it's just not written for a prose format, which is bad, because as a light novel, it's primarily prose. I think it'd be acceptable if this was the script for a manga, but...it's supposed to be prose. While I'm not a fan because I think it's written really badly, I also don't think it's tasty because there's no mental tastiness if the novel just skips descriptions and goes, "I ate a roasted rabbit. I went to sleep." 

      clear.pngTop Assassin Retires and Becomes a Farmer After Time Traveling to the Past:

      The food is actually pretty good and shows up reasonably often, but I don't think I'd consider it a foodie novel. The problem is kind of similar to "The Grand Secretary's Genius Pampered Wife" -- sure, there's food and it's tasty, but overall, the more memorable part of this novel is how it Steampunks Ancient China.

      Reply · ·