Eat Your Heart Out: 9 Rom-Com Books for Foodies

Cassie Gutman

Staff Writer

Cassie Gutman is happiest when surrounded by books and dogs. Originally from a small, funny-named town near Louisville, Kentucky, she now edits words for a living near Chicago and would like to be paid in ice cream. You can find her on Instagram @happybooklovers or on Twitter @cassiepgutman.

Harper Paperbacks.

Sweetbitter meets The Hating Game in this unforgettable, heartwarming, and hilarious rom-com about chefs, cooking, love, and self-discovery. “Charms the reader with savory dishes, and engaging characters.” —Priscilla Oliveras Lumi. Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia—she can perceive a person’s emotions just by tasting their cooking. Julien Dax is a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. Sparks—and magic—begin to ignite when Lumi starts working at Julien’s French Bistro. Clever, witty, and romantic, A Taste of Sage is sure to delight and entertain readers until the very last page

The only thing better than reading about delicious, savory or sweet, mouth-watering, decadent meals is actually eating one yourself. But when you can’t quite satisfy that craving, foodies know that turning to books about the food they need is the next best thing, and adding romance into the mix is always a plus. Here are several fun, rom-com-style books that seem like they’re written specifically for food-lovers everywhere.

pride prejudice and other flavorsPride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Dr. Trisha Raje is a highly acclaimed neurosurgeon in San Francisco, but her highly competitive and strict immigrant family seem to only care about her brother’s political career. DJ Caine is a rising chef, and when he is offered a job from the Raje family, he needs the money and accepts. The two cannot be more different, and they drive each other up a wall, yet, they can’t seem to stay away. Recipe for Persuasion is the author’s second book, also a great rom-com for food lovers.

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and LoveHungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love, edited by Elsie Chapman

This collection is full of short stories by some rom-com author favorites like Sandhya Menon and Adi Alsaid as well as some from other genres, so there’s a good mix across the board. The interconnected tales explore how their families, culture, and lives are all connected with the one thing that holds us all together as humans: food.

Little Beach Street BakeryLittle Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Polly has to get away from her ruined relationship, and fast. She ends up in Cornwall in a small apartment on the seaside. She begins baking bread to ease her stress, and what was a hobby develops into a full-fledged new start. It doesn’t hurt that she’s including local honey with her bread, courtesy of a beekeeper she can’t seem to stop thinking about. Colgan has tons of other books that feature mouth-watering food too, like Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and The Cafe by the Sea.

The Wedding DateThe Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

All of Jasmine Guillory’s work features food prominently in the stories, but it all began with The Wedding Date. Alexa and Drew are strangers, stranded in an elevator during a power outage. But they bond over a cheese plate Alexa happens to have in her purse (don’t ask), and Drew asks her to be his plus-one to a wedding that weekend. They begin a whirlwind romance, both denying that it’s a relationship, while they share taco dinners, exchange doughnuts, and go on romantic city ice cream dates. The Proposal features a character from the first book, Carlos, who loves food perhaps more than life itself.

The Dinner ListThe Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

We’ve all thought about that magical list: the list of famous people we’d have dinner with if we could, no matter what time or place they lived in. But when Sabrina arrives at her birthday dinner, she never expects to find…well, exactly that. Audrey Hepburn, sitting next to her best friend, and others from her past as they share an elaborate dinner.

Crazy Rich AsiansCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

If you’ve seen this movie, you may remember the fun Singaporean street scenes, where characters had the time of their lives sampling many dishes. The book is that times ten! This truly funny series starter features Rachel as she accompanies her boyfriend Nicholas home to Singapore for a friend’s wedding. But Nicholas is rich—really rich. Their indulgences as they spend the summer traveling across the country (and the globe) are so much fun to read for food-lovers everywhere.

The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

When Olive’s sister’s wedding goes horribly awry, and all attendees are struck with food poisoning (a literal foodie nightmare), the bride and groom can’t go on their all-expenses-paid honeymoon. Olive and best man Ethan were too busy at the wedding to eat, so they’re the only ones who avoided the catastrophe. Jumping at the chance for a free vacation, they decide to take the trip and simply avoid each other. But things don’t go as planned, and the two pretend newlyweds may start to like each other more than they thought.

Stay SweetStay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Amelia and Cate are best friends who have worked at Meade Creamery, the local ice cream stand in Sand Lake, every summer for the past three years. But when the owner passes away unexpectedly and her grandnephew arrives to help manage the shop, the summer suddenly looks way different than they thought it would.

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

Natalie Tan rushes home when she learns of her mother’s death, even though they haven’t spoken in seven years because of Natalie’s decision to become a chef. She comes back to find San Francisco’s Chinatown to be much more vibrant than she remembered, and she’s doubly surprised when she inherits her grandmother’s restaurant. With a strange instruction to cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to help her neighbors and a surprising new friend, she starts to see that there may be something for her here, after all.