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​The Best Shows on Food Network and Cooking Channel

From Molly Yeh's Girl Meets Farm to Alton Brown's Good Eats

Kaitlin Thomas

Culinary programming has gone through a bit of a renaissance lately thanks to popular streaming services like Netflix, but there's still nothing quite like The Food Network or its sister network The Cooking Channel when it comes to our favorite food-centric shows. Whether we're interested in competition shows, educational programs, or a series simply about watching people eat enormous amounts of food, there's always something to watch. And these shows all lend themselves perfectly to marathon viewing, making them the go-to destinations for comfort television. So check out TV Guide's list of the best shows on The Food Network and Cooking Channel below and settle in for a weekend full of food and fun.

1. Good Eats

Alton Brown, Good Eats: The Return

Alton Brown, Good Eats: The Return

Anders Krusberg/The Food Network

As educational as it is entertaining, Alton Brown's Good Eats, which returned with new episodes earlier this year after a seven-year hiatus, is the pinnacle of Food Network programming. Part food science program, part instructional cooking show, Good Eats is an innovative series that blends history lessons with silly skits to tell engaging stories about food and cooking different dishes. It's pretty nerdy at times, but it's also a fun way to take in information, and the ways in which Brown uses different techniques to capture what he's doing in the kitchen makes the series stand out in a way very few food shows do.

2. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Jamie Smith and Steve Smith, co-owners of Smitty's Wings & Things in Stockton, California, and host Guy Fieri, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Jamie Smith and Steve Smith, co-owners of Smitty's Wings & Things in Stockton, California, and host Guy Fieri, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Citizen Pictures

While this can easily be proven false, it feels like you can turn on Food Network at any given time of day and find Guy Fieri and his signature travel series Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives rolling through small towns and big cities across the country looking to find the best grub in easy-to-miss locations. While the formula and the host remain the same from episode to episode, it remains a winning combination even a billion seasons later. It doesn't matter how many times Guy and his bleached 'do make the same lame jokes, it's always interesting to see the men and women behind the joints featured on the show get to do the things they love in front of the camera.

If You're Not Taking the Food Network Seriously, You're Not Paying Attention

3. Girl Meets Farm

Molly Yeh, Girl Meets Farm

Molly Yeh, Girl Meets Farm

Chantell Lauren/Food Network

Food blogger-turned-cooking show host Molly Yeh, a city girl who relocated to a farm on the Minnesota/North Dakota border with her husband after meeting him at Juilliard, is the secret behind Girl Meets Farm's success. While it's easy to compare her to Ree Drummond, the host of The Pioneer Woman -- the two are both transplants living in the middle of nowhere and cooking for farmers/ranchers -- Yeh is more innovative and natural in her style and approach, interacting with her audience through a wry relationship with the camera -- she knows she's putting on a show, but the result is not the all-too-familiar cheesefest that sometimes happens on cooking shows -- and she attempts to bring some of her Jewish and Chinese roots to some of the stalwarts of Midwestern cuisine. It's not far-fetched to say that Yeh is the face of the next generation.

4. Beat Bobby Flay

​Bobby Flay, Beat Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay, Beat Bobby Flay

Stephen Davis Phillips/Food Network

Beat Bobby Flay is as fun to watch as its eponymous chef is skilled in the kitchen. The popular competition series, in which chefs from around the country challenge Bobby Flay to make their signature dish better than they can, requires Flay to handle whatever is thrown his way during any given episode. Sometimes he actually loses, but he usually wins, which only makes you want to watch the show more in the hopes that Flay and his seemingly huge ego will eventually be knocked down a peg.

5. The Best Thing I Ever Ate

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Cooking Channel

If we're all being honest with ourselves, we really just want someone to tell us which foods taste great, and that's why The Best Thing I Ever Ate, which features celebrity chefs and personalities describing the best dishes they've eaten, is one of the best concepts ever for a TV show. It's a hand-crafted bucket list for food! Sometimes the people interviewed describe the best cheese-centered dish they ate, sometimes it's the best burger, and sometimes it's the best dessert. The sky is truly the limit here. And while it's highly unlikely we'll ever actually go to any of the restaurants mentioned on the show, it's still fun to imagine we will.

6. Iron Chef America

Iron Chef America

Iron Chef America

Anders Krusberg/Food Network

Although Iron Chef America is no longer airing new episodes, the classic food competition series based on the Japanese series in which chefs compete against an Iron Chef of their choosing in an epic battle in Kitchen Stadium remains a thrilling way to pass the time. Watching immensely talented chefs find interesting and innovative ways to cook and prepare dishes using the same central ingredient makes for not just good television, but educational television as well.

7. Trisha's Southern Kitchen

Trisha Yearwood, Trisha's Southern Kitchen

Trisha Yearwood, Trisha's Southern Kitchen

Matt Blair/The Food Network

Watching Trisha's Southern Kitchenis the TV equivalent of eating a rich and comforting home-cooked meal and not feeling the least bit bad about it. Host and country singer Trisha Yearwood often cooks Southern-inspired family recipes with the help of her sister and other people she's worked with over the years, and there's something natural and familiar about Yearwood -- probably because she's a performer and used to putting on a show -- that makes it feel more like you're hanging out in your friend's kitchen than watching someone on TV in a polished set-up we can never possibly have.

8. Chopped



Scott Gries/Food Network

The more we watch Chopped the harder it is for us to continue watching Chopped because we just want everyone to go home a winner. Alas, we still have not stopped watching Chopped. The wildly popular cooking competition series, which has already aired more than 500 episodes, features chefs who are given a basket of ingredients and have to impress the judges with their culinary skills in order to move on to the next round and be in contention to win a cash prize.

9. Food Truck Nation

Brad Miller, Food Truck Nation

Brad Miller, Food Truck Nation

Emilee Ramsier/Cooking Channel

The number of food truck-related culinary programs has grown in recent years as food trucks themselves have become more and more popular across the country, but we're partial to Food Truck Nation, hosted by Brad Miller. It highlights chefs who are pushing the boundaries with their culinary offerings, and doing it all from a tiny mobile kitchen. If you're lucky enough to live in the cities visited on the show, you can get a pretty good idea of the food truck scene in your area, and that's always a plus.

10. Man v. Food

Casey Webb, Man v. Food

Casey Webb, Man v. Food

Food Network

Look, everyone enjoys watching someone else try to eat as much food as possible in a certain amount of time -- competitive eating is a real thing! -- so don't act like you're above Man v. Food, which is now hosted by Casey Webb.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)