What are the best cooking games on PC? If you want to relax and create mouth-watering masterpieces or challenge your friends to some kitchen chaos, the wonderful world of cooking and restaurant games doesn’t disappoint. We’ve rummaged through the contents of the PC world’s metaphorical cupboards to rustle up a list of the very best.
You don’t have to be a dab hand in the kitchen to work your way around these chef specials, as the best PC games for the budding restauranteur don’t always have to appeal to the chef in us; they can be colorful management games, be as much about farming as preparing, or require some serious recipe grinding. They can also be a relaxing way to pass the time, whether that’s by throwing tomatoes at your friend to chop in Overcooked or dragging a monster home for your evening meal in Battle Chef Brigade. Whatever cooking experience you’re after, look no further than this list of the best cooking games on PC.
Here are the best cooking games on PC in 2023:
In Overcooked 2, you play as a cartoon chef trying to fulfill customer orders by following recipes using the various ingredients, utensils, and gadgets around the kitchen. Simple, right? No. Overcooked 2 ramps up the difficulty with each new level, starting out with one-ingredient sushi recipes in a standard kitchen to careering through the clouds on a burning hot air balloon while managing multiple pizza orders. It also means a lot of teamwork and communication – so a stack of dirty plates doesn’t build up and cost you precious points.
Overcooked 2 doubles down on the platforming elements of the first game, with levels boasting moving sections of kitchen, jumping puzzles, and even conveyor belts. Plus, you can throw ingredients around this time, which saves time – thank goodness the Onion Kingdom doesn’t have food hygiene ratings. Both Overcooked games have been remastered and re-released under the name Overcooked! All You Can Eat, and a few new levels were added to the Overcooked games for free in October 2022, so there are more kitchens and dishes to explore than ever before.
One of the more popular cooking titles on Steam right now, Espresso Tycoon is – predictably – a coffee shop simulator. Good news if you’re anything like me and could live off coffee more than food.
Like most other games in this list, Espresso Tycoon crosses genres, being predominantly a management sim, but the colorful and delicious concoctions you can brew up should certainly scratch that cooking itch – whether it’s simple frothy coffees, macaroon and ice cream-topped beverages, or cakes and other sweet treats.
Espresso Tycoon is already receiving rave reviews having only been released in June 2023, and there’s a free Steam demo if you fancy giving it a try before you buy. If only I could do that with my daily coffee.
Taking the art of cooking a little more seriously, Cooking Simulator is a first-person cooking game that lets you prep, slice, and dice away at workstations in a top-of-the-range kitchen. The career mode enables you to grow your reputation and culinary skills to unlock new ingredients and recipes along the way. Or, if you prefer to kick back and alleviate the pressure with the sandbox mode, you’ll have access to all the recipes and ingredients you could possibly need.
Cooking Simulator can improve your cooking skills, as the fully stocked kitchen has abundant ingredients and equipment that test your cooking abilities. A lot of Cooking Simulator is physics-based, which adds a degree of tension to even basic burger flips – the possibilities for messing things up horribly are endless.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
The third installment of the popular cooking game series is finally out in Steam Early Access. This time you’ll be traveling in your food truck to participate in the National Foodtruck Championships, which means a greater focus on street foods like ramen, Cuban sandwiches, and poutine – bless you, Québécois cuisine.
We particularly love the new chill mode, which makes this one of the most relaxing games by removing any time limits and letting you cook at your own pace.
Disney Dreamlight Valley
Dreamlight Valley burst onto the scene as undoubtedly one of the surprise hits of last year. Even in its current early access state, Dreamlight Valley has earned its place as one of the best Disney games of all time, and one of the best life games, too.
We also think it deserves to be among the best cooking games though, thanks to over 170 cookable Dreamlight Valley recipes playing their part in every aspect of the game. Cook meals in Remy’s restaurant, discover new ingredients as part of friendship and story quests, or simply sell some of your tastiest meals for some extra Star Coins. But they do say the way to someone’s heart is often through their stomach, so we think any food you don’t need for quests is best gifted to your new Disney neighbors.
Battle Chef Brigade
We’ve included this anime game for its beautiful hand-drawn art style and RPG twist on cooking games. You’ll need to hunt and catch your ingredients before taking them back to the kitchen – the better the cookware you can loot, the better the dish you’ll end up with This intriguing cooking game combines 2D brawler combat against monsters in different locations and a match 3-inspired cooking puzzler to win contests for the best meal.
Battle Chef Brigade is also a story game, featuring a single-player campaign and local multiplayer, with various challenges and modes on offer that keep this tasty morsel of a game feeling fresh.
Far from a conventional cooking game, Dungeon Munchies is a 2D platform game where your best bet at survival is to craft and perfect recipes to get as much nutrition out of the ingredients as possible. It just so happens that those ingredients are your enemies. So slay some broccoli demons and steam them up to munch on later.
Despite initially being released in early access and having only been fully rolled out a few months ago, Dungeon Munchies is already getting Michelin stars from Steam reviewers, sitting at the top of the rankings for the best cooking games.
Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game
This tycoon restaurant game focuses a little less on the cooking and more on management games, complete with a customizable chef and a range of style options for your new eatery. There are plenty of recipes plus a recipe maker, so you can curate your own menu and restaurant theme, allowing you to be the best at burgers – if that’s your thing.
As you progress, you’ll unlock skills and develop your menu, and the world will react to your choices. It’s all about balancing the cost of your dishes and providing the quality service customers will return for. It is pretty challenging, but the results are worth it.
A time and restaurant management game with a kooky story campaign delivered as comic strips, Cooking Dash uses an old-school animation style and satisfying level design to keep you hooked. Cooking Dash ramps up the difficulty as it progresses but is one of the more relaxing games you can switch off to.
Featured as one of our best idle games for PC, Cookie Clicker does what it says on the tin. So if you’re into your baked goods and want to spend some time clicking a giant cookie to gain awards, Cookie Clicker is a just click away.
This baking game relies solely on your clicks to progress, with each click earning you a cookie. The further your progress, you can hire cookie-making grandmas or sow fields of cookie seeds. There’s only one real goal – cookie.
The realistic baking game, Bakery Simulator, requires you to master all the skills it takes to be a virtual master baker, including painstakingly measuring out ingredients, operating potentially deadly appliances, and trying to navigate a volatile physics engine.
Bakery simulator operates slightly differently from a typical restaurant management game, tasking you with sourcing ingredients, teaching you how to make an assortment of breads, and – naturally – how to avoid death by fire. You can play a demo for yourself via the Bakery Simulator’s Steam page.
For mushroom stew fanatics, we imagine Minecraft easily makes the list of best cooking games, but the rest of us might be left hungry for a little more variety when it comes to Minecraft food preparation. Fortunately for the culinarily inclined, with a few Minecraft mods and these wonderful Minecraft kitchen ideas you can acquire a fully functioning kitchen in which you can whip up anything from asparagus quiche to Yorkshire pudding.
Several mods add more depth to cooking in Minecraft, but we recommend these two. Pam’s Harvestcraft adds over 275 foods and recipes to the game, and the trees and crops from which you’ll harvest your ingredients. Cooking for Blockheads will help make sense of the chaos by providing you with a cookbook that shows you everything you can make with the ingredients you have on hand. It also adds all the blocks you’ll need to make a fully functioning kitchen – an oven, a sink, a fridge, etc. – you know what goes in a kitchen.
Now pop on that chef’s hat and tuck into some of these culinary delights. If you like teaming up with others to achieve a goal, here is a serving of the best co-op games on PC. If you’re already a fan of some of these games, then make sure you’re ready for the Minecraft 1.20 release date, and take a look at the next Dreamlight Valley update and the new characters you could expect to meet.
Additional contributions by Danielle Rose.