6 Contemporary YA Books for Food Lovers

Is there anything better than food? No? Then you haven’t heard about these YA books for food lovers! When I think of my own high school experience, food was not a prevalent part of it. Then again, I was running around in marching band, theatre club, and yearbook club. That said, these books really zone in on the role of food in these young protagonists! Explore the different options below!

**Note, the links below are affiliate links to my store through Bookshop.org. These links provide me a small commission and 10% of your purchase supports independent bookstores.

Here is a list of some of the most popular contemporary YA Books for Food Lovers. My full list is here


Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love

"A briliant multicultual collection that reminds readers that stories about food are rarely just about the food alone." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

I think this is a super approachable book if you are new the Young Adult or new to the foodie writing space. One of the best parts about this book is there are thirteen unique stories inside. That means you could simply read one story a day if you wanted. I love having this kind of book on my bedside table at night because reading one story is usually enough to get my brain to enter sleep mode - plus, you're away from your phone - which we know is a huge reason we're all staying awake (sorry - I got off track).

This is a collection of short stories that cross and interact other sub-genres and elements such as family, culture, and food in the lives of teens. There are also tons of unique diverse authors and voices, including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco.

Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas

Salty, Bitter, Sweet:

  • Is a YA contemporary #OwnVoices novel written by CNN producer Mayra Cuevas

  • Is a perfect book for foodies ages 13 and up, and features a Latina main character who is trilingual

  • Explores complicated family dynamics and relatable themes of friendship, acceptance, and learning to care for yourself

Man - Bookshop.org is crushing it with their breakdowns. I've been pitching this book as a new found family and a cooking school competition all at the same time. But as I take a step back, there's also a nod to Julia Child in here. If you aren't aware, Julia Child started cooking school after she moved abroad for her husband's new job (I'm really really paraphrasizing here). Isa, our heroine, is now in Leon, France, trying to rise through the ranks on her own cooking journey.

While trying to become the best chef she can be, she's trying to understand her new family that her father has married. She has a new step-mom, Margo, and a new step-brother-who-is-way-too-handsome, Diego.

Critics love Salty, Bitter, Sweet! School Library Journal says, "A heartwarming testament to the power of female friendships, the drive for success on one's own terms, and accepting one's family, even if they turn out differently than origina