8 best fiction books for the foodie in your life

A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos. Image courtesy HarperCollins Publishers
A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos. Image courtesy HarperCollins Publishers /

Eight great fiction books with a food or cooking theme

Who doesn’t like to escape into good fiction books? It’s like going on a vacation without leaving your house and in the world we live in now, that’s about the only vacay we’re going to get.

Books that have a food-theme or make food a big part of the story are always a hit. Who wouldn’t want to dive into a world where food is magical or where the main character is a chef and you get to experience that life for an hour or two?

Let’s take a look at eight great fiction books that include food and cooking as a main component of the story.

8 foodie fiction books to read now

With Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

If you’re looking for a character that’s as obsessed with food and cooking as you are, Emoni in With Fire on High is for you. The book follows Emoni Santiago, a teen mom who is just trying to finish high school and make a life for herself with her baby, Emma. The book covers everything that comes with being a teen mom and what it’s like to live without much money.

Can Emoni and her family afford for her to one day work in a real kitchen? Or does she have to put her dreams aside for her daughter?

I just finished this book and it is incredible. Elizabeth Acevedo is one of the best writers of our time. But don’t read while hungry! You’ll end up in the kitchen making something you might regret later.

Or maybe you’ll end up making one of the recipes featured throughout the story.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

As the title alludes to, this is one of the cutest books known to man. It stars Pepper, one of the daughters of a family who owns and runs a major fast food chain, and Jack, a boy who works in his family’s deli.

They go to school together, but when Jack accuses Pepper’s family’s restaurant of stealing his grandmother’s grilled cheese recipe, their less-than-friendly relationship turns into an all out Twitter war.

As they fight back and forth, they become closer and learn that each other’s lives are not what they seem.

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Midsummer’s  Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Speaking of cute, Midsummer’s Mayhem is an adorable play on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream but with lots of cupcakes and other baked treats. The story features Mimi Mackson, a daughter in a large Indian family. She loves nothing more than to bake and when she hears about a baking competition at a new local bakery, she cannot wait to enter.

But when her dad starts acting weird and then her siblings, she and her new friend, Vik, try to find out what’s wrong with everyone and how they can fix it.

If you’re looking for a book for your kids or for you that mixes Shakespeare, baking, and a few hijinks, this is definitely the story for you.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

If you need a good cry or love a good coming home story, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is for you. Natalie finds out her mother has died which means she finally has to go back to her childhood home and make arrangements for the mother she was estranged from. She has to plan the funeral and also take care of her grandmother’s restaurant.

She initially ran away from life with her mom because she wouldn’t support Natalie’s dreams of becoming a chef.

As she comes back to the neighborhood, meets old friends and makes a few new ones, Natalie discovers her grandmother’s recipes have more power than just filling her belly. And they might just help her save the neighborhood

I have a habit of crying while reading every book. I practically sobbed through this whole thing. But it also includes a bunch of recipes for all the magical recipes Natalie makes, so it makes up for the tears.

Food-themed fiction books are perfect for all types of bookworms

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Full disclosure: this is one of my favorite books of this year. I love a Jane Austen retelling and this one is better than most. It retells Austen’s Persuasion and does a great job of putting in important moments from that novel but also making it it’s own unique story.

It all starts with Chef Ashna Raje who is trying to keep her father’s restaurant afloat while also not drawing too much attention to the fact that she gets nauseous just thinking about making a new recipe.

But when her mother calls and Ashna has to figure out some way to impress her, she says she’s going on a reality cooking show. She’s initially lying but when her friends and family push her to be on one, she folds. She doesn’t know that her former love, soccer star Rico Silva, is going to be the celebrity she’ll be teamed up with.

Rico isn’t exactly happy either, but at least he can show he’s finally over Ashna. As you can probably guess, the opposite occurs.

A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos

What if you could know a person’s emotion by tasting their food? I have cooked angry before so I’m not sure it would be a good idea for anyone to eat that. But that’s the case for Chef Lumi Santana in A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos.

When her Dominican restaurant goes under, she has to take a position at a French restaurant run by the less-than-pleasant Chef Julien Dax. As soon as they meet and begin working together, they get along like oil and vinegar. But there’s something underneath all the barbs that draws them towards each other.

Lumi doesn’t start to change her opinion of Julien until she tries his food and then begins to crave it like nothing else. After that moment, it becomes more and more difficult to stay away from him. And he certainly has no problem getting closer to her.

But not everyone is as happy about them getting close and Lumi might be in danger.

The food is described so well in this book. Do not read this book hungry!

Salt, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas

After Isabella Fields’ grandmother dies and her parents divorce, she has to pick up the pieces of what seems to be a broken life. She also moves to France with her dad who has a new wife and she doesn’t exactly feel like she belongs in this new country.

But there has to be a plus, right? There is and it comes in the form of the restaurant of the famous Chef Pascal Grattard and his kitchen apprenticeship. Isabella signs up and is dying to get the job at Chef Grattard’s restaurant, but she’s not sure she’ll get it with poorly she’s doing in class.

It also doesn’t help that her stepmom is pregnant and that she misses her grandmother more than ever. There also happens to be a new guy with an albino dog that she’s not too sure about.

Nothing seems to be going her way, but Isabella is willing to take a leap of faith to achieve her dreams.

The Confectioner’s Guild by Claire Luana

This is the first book in The Confectioner’s Chronicles series by Claire Luana. This book is about magic and baking and conspiracies and secrets. What more could you want? While the other books on this list are based in the real world or only contain a little bit of magic, this one is all fantasy.

One day, Wren is told that her baked goods contain magic and that she is one of the confectioners (those who can transfer magic into sweet treats). She is swept away to the Confectioner’s Guild but once she’s there, the head of guild tries one of her cupcakes and immediately drops dead!

Wren is immediately charged with murder, but with a little help of a nice (and handsome) inspector and a few friends she makes while staying at the guild, she might just be able to find out who actually killed the guild master.

But in doing so, she discovers a much bigger political conspiracy that might be the whole kingdom down with it.

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What are your favorite fiction books that feature food? Have you read any of these fiction books? If you have, what did you think. Let us know in the comments below!