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Best Dining Scenes in Film History

Food, glorious food. Many of movie history’s most memorable moments take place around restaurant, kitchen, and dining room tables.

Food and feasting trigger our memories of the best and worst meals we’ve ever had, making us empathize with the characters as they talk, fight, cry, and celebrate together over food. Here’s a taste of some of the best dining scenes in film history for your cinematic consumption.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano (Actors)

Ratatouille (2007)

Remy the rat lives in France and seeks to become a great chef like his idol and imaginary mentor Auguste Gusteau. Finding his way to Paris, he secretly cooks at Gusteau’s restaurant by manipulating garbage boy Alfredo Linguini like a marionette.

Most dining scenes in Ratatouille happen in the restaurant, but the film makes a memorable point about the connection between food, family, and memory by showing prickly restaurant critic Anton Ego sampling Remy’s titular dish.

One bite transports him back to his family table, sampling his mother’s ratatouille and re-experiencing the love they felt for each other.

To continue learning, check out Ratatouille Movie Study.

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  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci (Actors)

Goodfellas (1990)

Good cooking can make any place feel like home. “In prison, dinner was always a big thing,” says mobster Henry Hill—and it sure is. At least if you're in the Mob and have access to fresh fish, lobster, beef, pork, veal, wine, and scotch.

Henry, his boss, and the other mobsters manage to make an exquisite Michelin three-star Italian restaurant meal behind bars. No one wants to go to jail, but the dinner they spread out might make you wish you could get a reservation at the nearest detention center.

Eat Drink Man Woman
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sihung Lung, Kuei-Mei Yang, Chien-Lien Wu (Actors)

Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

Ang Lee directs a lovely film about family dynamics, relationships, and, of course, food.

Brilliant chef Mr. Chu runs a Taiwanese restaurant where he creates incredible meals that are only outdone by the weekly feasts he produces for his three daughters every Sunday.

Sadly, Chu is losing his ability to taste and relies on a friend to sample and suggest adjustments to his meals at the restaurant.

Unfortunately, back home, his food lacks the right measure of ingredients, representing his inability to understand his daughters. Luckily for us, even though we can’t taste them, the meals Mr. Chu spreads out are a feast for the eyes.

Beauty and the Beast (Theatrical Version)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans (Actors)

Beauty and the Beast (1987)

Surprisingly enough, one of the best dining scenes in film history is animated. When Belle first arrives at the castle, she and the Beast don’t get along.

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Understandable, since the Beast still acts like the spoiled man-child he was when he earned the curse by denying shelter to the beautiful Enchantress disguised as a poor old woman.

The enchanted residents of the castle—including Lumiere the candelabra and Cogsworth the clock—take pity on Belle. As a consolation, they provide the ultimate version of “dinner and a show” in the showstopping number “Be Our Guest,” in which the dining room table is the stage.





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