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5 Food Dramas to Satisfy Your Hunger After The Bear

The restaurant industry is an inspiring backdrop for some of the best scripted TV.
  • From Scratch, Feed the Beast, Sweetbitter, and Julia (Photos: Netflix/Max/Everett Collections;Primetimer graphic)
    From Scratch, Feed the Beast, Sweetbitter, and Julia (Photos: Netflix/Max/Everett Collections;Primetimer graphic)

    The Bear packs quite a punch — it’s a family drama, a workplace comedy, and a kitchen thriller all in one. The FX series centers on Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), a fine-dining chef who returns to his hometown of Chicago to revitalize his family’s Italian beef shop following his brother’s death. Season 2 is a fight against the clock, as the staff race to transform their homely shop into an upscale restaurant worthy of a Michelin Star.

    The Bear is a reminder that the restaurant industry is a fruitful backdrop for some of the best television. While there’s a plethora of unscripted kitchen reality shows out in the world, fictional shows like The Bear offer a rich tapestry of narratives not just about food, but the way it can tell larger stories about relationships, personal growth, and the pursuit of dreams.

    The only drawback is that there just aren’t enough episodes to devour. A Season 3 renewal has yet to be announced, though it seems inevitable at this point. And even then, these episodes wouldn’t be available until next summer, at the earliest. While we (im)patiently wait, here are five more delicious restaurant dramas that can hopefully satiate fans’ cravings in the meantime.


    Streaming on Starz

    Based on Stephanie Danler’s 2016 novel of the same name, Sweetbitter immerses viewers into the heart of New York’s most prestigious restaurant scene. The two-season Starz drama follows Tess (Ella Purnell), an inexperienced 21-year-old who somehow lands a waitress gig at one of the city’s most high-end restaurants. Similar to The Bear, Sweetbitter delivers an abundance of drama set against the chaotic backdrop of the grueling culinary industry.

    Where The Bear delves into the nitty-gritty details of the kitchen staff, Sweetbitter shifts its focus to the front of house, exploring the gender and power dynamics involved with being a woman within the demanding world of restaurant hospitality. And the series further amplifies the stakes by highlighting Tess’ struggles with balancing her professional and personal lives, making it an ideal coming-of-age story that captures the essence of being a twentysomething in search of self-discovery.

    Feed The Beast

    Streaming on AMC+

    Of all the entries in this guide, AMC’s Feed The Beast might be the most tonally similar to The Bear. Released in 2016, the one-season drama follows the intertwined lives of two friends as they take a daring leap into the restaurant business. Tommy (David Schwimmer) is a single father grappling with the tragic loss of his wife, who finds solace and a renewed sense of purpose in the dream of opening an upscale Greek restaurant in the Bronx. Meanwhile, Dion (Jim Sturgess) is fresh out of prison and sees this venture as his shot at redemption.

    The show’s parallels to The Bear are striking, with both series exploring themes of grief and loss. While Carmy mourns the death of his brother, Tommy channels his own sorrow into the pursuit of his culinary vision, filling the void left by his wife’s absence. However, Feed the Beast focuses more heavily on the drama surrounding the characters’ personal lives, rather than the details of their actual restaurant. Dion must juggle his aspirations with the looming threat of the Polish mob, while Tommy faces the challenges of being a single father.

    From Scratch

    Streaming on Netflix

    Netflix’s From Scratch weaves a heart-wrenching love story against a backdrop of culinary delights. Based on Tembi Locke’s memoir of the same name, the limited series follows Amy (Zoe Saldana), a young woman who spends a summer studying art in Florence, and Lino (Eugenio Mastrandrea), a talented Sicilian chef at a high-end restaurant. Their journey begins as an escapist love affair, though soon evolves into a devastating family drama, as the duo grapple with Lino’s cancer diagnosis. Amidst the unfolding narrative, From Scratch beautifully explores the power of food, showcasing how meals are more than just sustenance — they become bridges that connect hearts and cultures.


    Streaming on Max

    No one embodies culinary comfort quite like Julia Child. Her story has been celebrated in various fictionalized retellings, most notably in Nora Ephron’s Julie and Julia, where Meryl Streep co-starred as the titular character. In many ways, Max’s biographical drama Julia serves as the perfect chaser to Ephron’s 2009 film, capturing Child’s life shortly after the release of her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Sarah Lancashire delivers an absolutely divine performance, expertly channeling all of Julia’s nuanced charm. The series follows Julia's journey to take the culinary world by storm as she hosts her groundbreaking cooking show, The French Chef.

    The Max original holds a wholesome energy akin to Ted Lasso, though it captures that cozy quality without veering too heavily into saccharine territory. And as an added bonus, the series was renewed for a second season last May, so viewers can look forward to even more mouthwatering food shots.

    Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

    Streaming on Netflix

    Nestled in the heart of Tokyo, a nameless after-hours diner serves as a sanctuary where customers gather and their stories unfold. Based on a manga series by Yarō Abe, Midnight Diner centers on an enigmatic owner and chef known as “The Master,” who offers philosophical life lessons to his customers. While most episodes maintain a lighthearted tone, some venture into deeper, more poignant territories with bittersweet resolutions. It’s in stark contrast to The Bear’s frenetic energy, as Midnight Diner embraces a soothing ambience. It’s the perfect palate cleanser for when the Berzatto clan’s outbreaks get to be too much.

    The series originally aired on MBS between 2009 to 2014 and found a new home on Netflix for Seasons 4 and 5, which bear the title Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories. Unfortunately, only the last two seasons are available to stream on the platform. Yet the show’s anthology format allows viewers to discover the hidden gem at their own pace, dipping in and out of the heartfelt tales that unfold within the walls of the diner.

    Dianna Shen is a TV Writer at Primetimer based in New York. Her work has been featured in Paste Magazine and Decider, among other outlets.

    TOPICS: The Bear, AMC+, FX, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Starz, Feed the Beast, From Scratch, Julia, Midnight Diner, Sweetbitter