This might just be the most somber-looking joyous film ever made. Centered around a meal prepared by a French Catholic woman living in a small village in 19th-century Denmark, Babette's Feast takes its sweet time getting to the feast itself. But when the food finally arrives, the looks on the faces of the Danes around the table, and the emotion in the eyes of the Frenchwoman who prepared it for them, are priceless.
Watch the trailer for Babette’s Feast.
Tampopo is arguably the best movie ever made about the bond between love and food. No one who sees this movie by Juzo Itami will ever forget one scene in particular. In love and lust, a man and woman pass an egg yolk back and forth between them, from his mouth to hers, until one of them dissolves in quiet, messy ecstasy.
Watch the scene from Tampopo.
There's a reason "the fake orgasm scene" in this Rob Reiner comedy classic still hits home today. A quarter-century later, it's still hilarious. That it happens in a legendary eatery, Katz's Delicatessen on Manhattan's Lower East Side, over pastrami sandwiches somehow makes it even funnier. (Note: The woman who utters the best line of the scene—“I'll have what she's having”—is played by Reiner's mother.)
Watch the fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally.
As Bobby Darrin’s smooth version of "Beyond the Sea" plays in the background, the scene in which Paulie Cicero (Paul Sorvino) slices garlic with a razor while preparing pasta sauce in prison is unforgettable. Not even being locked up in the joint can keep these wise guys from focusing on the truly important things in life—food, friends, and good red wine.
Watch the scene from Goodfellas.
The final kitchen scene in this movie is so quiet, so intimate, and so moving that few movie fans who see it will ever forget it. Stanley Tucci, Minnie Driver, Tony Shalhoub, and Isabella Rossellini give masterful performances. No one has ever made a more eloquent, wordless argument for the healing power of simple food cooked with love.
Watch the scene from Big Night.
With the exception of the near-perfect Up, Brad Bird's Ratatouille is the strangest of Pixar's many strange and wonderful offerings. But perhaps the strongest case for Ratatouille's inclusion in this list can be found in the scene near the end of the film, when Bird and his team somehow manage to make the sight of a kitchen packed with rats … well, charming.
Watch the scene from Ratatouille.
Sometimes pan-fried fish is just pan-fried fish, while other times, it's an epiphany. In Julie & Julia, Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) share a dish of Sole Meunière so delicious it renders Julia comically speechless.
Watch the scene from Julie & Julia.
If British humor is your cup of tea, this food-and-wine-fueled buddy film—about two friends who often seem to despise each other—delivers in almost every single scene. Still if we had to choose one, it would be the Michael Caine impersonation scene, even if not a morsel of food is eaten throughout.
Watch the Michael Caine impersonation scene from The Trip.
Also see Best Movie Workout Scenes.