We *love* food, and we love watching shows about them just as much! If you’re not in the mood to whet your appetite with your fave mukbang, Korean variety shows are a great source for mouthwatering spreads of local cuisine (and some foreign dishes as well). A lot of them also give you the actual recipes for cooking the dishes, so you can flex your culinary prowess in your own kitchen.
Read on for a collection of Korea’s best food-themed shows that you can watch on Viu! Let us know your fave in a comment:
Baek Jong Won’s Alley Restaurants (2018-present)
Who’s in it: Baek Jong Won, Kim Sung Joo
Helmed by famous chef Baek Jong Won, this show’s goal is to give restaurants past their heyday a chance to get revived and become popular again. Chef Baek helps the resto owners and cooks in a particular alley revamp their dishes to attract more customers. Celebrities join to weigh in and give their opinions. You get to watch behind the scenes as the resto owners work on improvements, taking in Chef Baek’s advice to adjust their dishes for the better. It’s a great show for discovering food alley gems!
Delicious Rendezvous (2019-present)
Who’s in it: Baek Jong Won, Kim Heechul, Yang Se Hyung, Yoo Byung Jae, Kim Dong Jun
Here’s another show featuring Chef Baek Jong Won. It started as a way to encourage locals to buy ingredients with low consumption (see: “ugly” potatoes that are actually perfectly fine to use for cooking). The cast does this by using the ingredients in cool recipes that showcase just how yummy they are. They started with selling their food in rest stops to make the ingredients popular, then shifted to actually selling the products on live home shopping. The show is such a success that the products are almost always sold out!
Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant (2019-present)
Who’s in it: Lee Kyung Kyu, Lee Young Ja
This super fun show features celebs battling it out with recipes for the same theme or ingredient. Some guests who’ve appeared are The Return Of Superman's William and Bentley Hammington, Jung Il Woo, Jin Se Yeon, Lee Jung Hyun, and Yoon Eun Hye. Esteemed chef judges and market executives (and sometimes, a special judge squad) taste each dish and vote for their favorite. What’s cool about the show is that the winning recipe becomes a limited edition product sold at CU convenience store outlets nationwide. All sales go to charity. You’ll be surprised at the stars’ excellent cooking skills and all the interesting dishes they come up with (we personally love Il Woo’s rice cake pork chop bun).
Dining Together (2016-2020)
Who’s in it: Kang Ho Dong, Lee Kyung Kyu
In this unique show, the hosts and guests have a food-related mission: They must convince a family in the neighborhood they’re visiting to allow them to have dinner with them, sharing stories, and taking a picture along the way. If they fail to convince anyone, they can go to a convenience store and dine with someone eating there. If they fail even at that, they can’t eat dinner at all! Throughout the ep, the cast also shares details about the neighborhood’s sights and culture, making the show a good pick for both food and travel.
Kang’s Kitchen (2017-2019)
Who’s in it: Kang Ho Dong, Lee Soo Geun, Eun Ji Won, Ahn Jaehyun, Song Mino, P.O., Cho Kyuhyun
Kang’s Kitchen is actually a spinoff of another popular show by producer Na Young Seok. In Youn’s Kitchen (be sure to check out season 2 if you want some Park Seo Joon goodness), the cast has to run a resto by themselves in a foreign land. Kang’s Kitchen, on the other hand, stays in South Korea and features the hilarious cast of variety show New Journey to the West. All three seasons are super fun, and you’ll see how the cast improves as they make more complicated dishes and even desserts in latter seasons. But we do have a soft spot for season 1, where we see the cast pounding meat every night to make sure their signature dish, tonkatsu, is nice and tender for the next day.
Street Food Fighter (2018-2019)
Who’s in it: Baek Jong Won
We know, we know! Another show with Chef Baek Jong Won! As he’s one of South Korea’s resident food experts, you’ll see him in a lot of great food-centric shows. In this one, Chef Baek travels to different parts of the world to try all sorts of street food. He goes to nearby countries like China, Taiwan, and Malaysia, as well as places like the United States, Mexico, and Italy. It’s always a treat to get Chef Baek’s honest reactions to each cuisine he tries. He also tells you all about the history of each dish, so it’s a learning and a mukbang experience at the same time. If you love a change of scenery with your food shows, this one’s for you.
Chef & My Fridge (2014-2019)
Who’s in it: Kim Sung Joo, Ahn Jung Hwan
Ever wondered what celebs have in their fridge? This show exposes stars’ upkeep of their fridges, so you’ll get your fair share of rotten leftovers and expired ingredients. Chefs are tasked to take whatever’s in the fridge to make the best dishes ever in a limited timeframe—yes, even when there’s hardly anything worth using in the fridge (don’t worry; they also get to use a small selection of pantry essentials). The results are ah-mazing! Gordon Ramsay even makes a guest appearance as a competing chef in eps 158-159.
Three Meals A Day (2014-2019)
Who’s in it: Lee Seo Jin, Cha Seung Won
There’s a running joke from actor Seo Jin’s previous reality show, Grandpas Over Flowers, that he can’t cook. This eventually spawned this new show called Three Meals A Day. In it, Seo Jin and Ok Taecyeon are tasked to cook three meals every day—from scratch. Each season features a different village with all-new challenges. One season even has the cast planting their own crops for ingredients. We also get to see other stars take centerstage like actor Cha Seung Won. The most recent iteration is set in a fishing village on Jugkul Island with Seung Won, Yoo Hae Jin, and Son Ho Jun.