41 voters

The Best TV Shows Set In Restaurants

Updated December 30, 2020 143 votes 41 voters 3.4k views20 items

List RulesVote up the best scripted television shows that take place in restaurants and around food service.

Food is a central part of most people's lives so it's no wonder that restaurants are a common setting for a television series. From the stress of catering to the dream come true of running your own bakery, to just having a place where everybody knows your name, shows set in restaurants and bars can be intensely relatable - even if you've never worked food service. This list of the best restaurant TV shows and series set in kitchens or around food service can be your menu to what restaurant shows to watch.

Series like Bob's Burgers and SpongeBob SquarePants don't spend the entirety of the show in a restaurant, but the work the characters do serving and making food and how they manage being employees and managers is a big part of the show. Other series and sitcoms set in restaurants and bars, including Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories and Cheers, almost never step foot outside the titular eatery. No matter what end of the spectrum they're on shows set in restaurants wouldn't be the same if they took place in an office or law firm.

Which shows about restaurants should be at the top of the list? Vote up the best TV shows set in restaurants, then vote down the shows that should be sent back to the kitchen, and add any great scripted restaurant shows that are missing. Remember, the bulk of the show needs to take place in, or be centered around, restaurants, bars, and food service.

  • 1


    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman

    PremieredSeptember 30, 1982

    Name of restaurant: Cheers

    Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC...  more
  • 2

    Bob's Burgers

    H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz

    PremieredJanuary 9, 2011

    Name of restaurant: Bob's Burgers

    Bob's Burgers (FOX, 2011) is an American animated comedy television series created by Loren Bouchard. The series centers on the Belcher family — parents Bob and Linda and their children Tina, Gene...  more
  • 3


    Ella Purnell, Tom Sturridge

    PremieredMay 6, 2018

    Name of restaurant: never named

    Sweetbitter (Starz, 2018) is an American drama television series, based on the novel by Stephanie Danler. Shortly after arriving in New York City, Tess (Ella Purnell) lands a job at a celebrated...  more
  • 4

    Pushing Daisies

    Lee Pace, Anna Friel

    PremieredOctober 3, 2007

    Name of restaurant: Pie Hole

    Pushing Daisies (ABC, 2007) is an American fantasy comedy-drama television series created by Bryan Fuller. A pie-maker (Lee Pace) with the ability to reanimate the dead teams up with his formerly...  more
  • 5


    Linda Lavin, Philip McKeon

    PremieredAugust 31, 1976

    Name of restaurant: Mel's Diner

    Alice is an American sitcom television series that ran from August 31, 1976 to March 19, 1985 on CBS. The series is based on the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. The show stars Linda Lavin...  more
  • 6

    SpongeBob SquarePants

    Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass

    PremieredMay 1, 1999

    Name of restaurant: Krusty Krab

    SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon, 1999) is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures...  more
  • 7

    It's a Living

    Michael Richards, Susan Sullivan


    Name of restaurant: Above the Top

    It's a Living is an American sitcom set in a restaurant at the top of the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. The show aired on ABC from October 30, 1980 until June 11, 1982. After the series was...  more
  • 8

    Two Guys and a Girl

    Traylor Howard, Ryan Reynolds


    Name of restaurant: Beacon Street Pizza

    Two Guys and a Girl is an American sitcom created by Kenny Schwartz and Danny Jacobson. It was originally broadcast on ABC from March 10, 1998, to May 16, 2001. Eighty-one episodes were aired over...  more
  • 9


    Jerry Stiller, Blythe Danner


    Name of restaurant: Tattingers

    Tattingers is an American comedy-drama series that aired by the NBC television network as part of its 1988 fall lineup. After failing in the Nielsen ratings as an hour-long program, the plot and...  more
  • 10

    Three's a Crowd

    John Ritter, Jessica Walter


    Name of restaurant: Robin's Nest

    Three's a Crowd is an American television sitcom sequel to Three's Company. It is loosely based on the British TV series Robin's Nest, which was itself a spin-off of Man About the House, on which...  more
  • 11

    Coffee Prince

    Kris Bernal, Aljur Abrenica


    Name of restaurant: Coffee Prince

    Coffee Prince is a Filipino romantic-comedy series developed by Des Garbes Severino, which premiered on GMA Network on October 8, 2012 replacing One True Love on GMA Telebabad block and October 9,...  more
  • 12


    Miranda Hart, Patricia Hodge

    PremieredMay 7, 2010

    Name of restaurant: Gary's

    Miranda is a British television sitcom written by and starring comedian Miranda Hart. It originally aired on BBC Two from 9 November 2009 and later on BBC One until 1 January 2015, lasting three...  more
  • 13

    Party Down

    Adam Scott, Ken Marino

    PremieredMarch 20, 2009

    Name of restaurant: Party Down Catering

    Party Down (Starz, 2009) is an American sitcom created by John Enbom, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge, and Paul Rudd. A catering team of aspiring actors, writers, and lost souls work small-time gigs, while...  more
  • 14


    Paul Michael, Sue Devaney


    Name of restaurant: Spatz

    Spatz is a children's comedy series that ran on CITV during the 1990s, produced by Thames Television and created by Andrew Bethell. The show originally ran from 21 February 1990 to 10 April 1992. The...  more
  • 15

    Kitchen Confidential

    Bradley Cooper, Jaime King


    Name of restaurant: Nolita

    Kitchen Confidential is an American television sitcom that debuted on September 19, 2005, on the Fox network, based on Anthony Bourdain's New York Times bestselling book, Kitchen Confidential:...  more
  • 16

    Shirokuma Café

    Hiroshi Kamiya, Takahiro Sakurai


    Name of restaurant: Polar Bear's Café

    Shirokuma Cafe is a Japanese manga series by Aloha Higa. It revolves around the everyday lives of a group of animals mingling with humans at a café run by a polar bear. An anime adaptation by Studio...  more
  • 17

    Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

    Kaoru Kobayashi, Joe Odagiri


    Name of restaurant: Midnight Diner

    Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (Netflix, 2016) is the fourth season of the Japanese TV series based on the manga by Yarō Abe. An anthology of human relationship stories connected by the only open...  more
  • 18


    Natalie Morales, Neil Flynn


    Name of restaurant: Abby's

    Abby's (NBC, 2019) is an American comedy television series created by Josh Malmuth. A woman (Natalie Morales) runs an unlicensed bar out of her backyard....  more
  • 19


    Joaquín Cosio, Karrie Martin

    PremieredFebruary 21, 2020

    Name of restaurant: Mama Fina's Restaurant & Mexican Food & Tacos

    Gentefied (Netflix, 2020) is an American comedy drama television series created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez. Three Mexican-American cousins (Joaquín Cosío, J.J. Soria, and Karrie Martin)...  more
  • 20

    Call Me Kat

    Mayim Bialik, Swoosie Kurtz

    PremieredJanuary 3, 2021

    Call Me Kat (Fox, 2021) is an American comedy series based on the British sitcom Miranda by Miranda Hart. Carla follows a 39-year-old woman called Carla who struggles every day against society and...  more