Best Cookbooks of 2020

…and the top-rated book around the world in 2020 is Ottolenghi Flavour – the 6th time he has had the book of the year.

This is our 12th year of compiling the Best of the Best. We search the globe to come up with the definitive list of the best books on food and drink of the year. Not just one reviewer’s opinion but an amalgamation of every list we could find.

In this year’s Best of the Best list we combined 350 Best Cookbooks of 2020 lists from TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Websites, Blogs and Booksellers across the world (there are links to all of them below).

For those of you interested in data:

  • From 353 lists there were 3,102 votes
  • 629 different cookbooks made the list
  • 302 cookbooks had only one vote

Check out the Best cookbooks of 2019, 2018, 2017201620152014, 201320122011, 2010 and 2009 lists.

Indexed

1. Ottolenghi Flavour / Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, and Tara Wigley is everything we expect from an Ottolenghi title. Beautiful, vibrant recipes that you will want to make over and over again.

Indexed

2. In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen shares 75 recipes and stories gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. This is a beautiful book filled with gorgeous photography. You will fall in love with the bibis and their passion for sharing their cuisine.

Indexed

3. The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking in 114 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma demonstrates how to convert approachable spices, herbs, and commonplace pantry items into tasty, simple dishes (115 in total). The author provides inspiration and knowledge to both home cooks and seasoned chefs, this in-depth exploration into the science of taste and features Sharma’s evocative, trademark photography style.

Indexed

4. Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry showcases 100 accessible recipes that result in delicious vegan meals from vegetables, grains, and legumes. Beautiful imagery is shared throughout this book that makes plant-based cooking not only exciting but also comforting and satisfying.

Indexed

5.  Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley is filled with vibrant dishes that beg to be created by our less than worthy hands and a narrative that cements the authors’ love of Palestine, Falastin is a gem. It is a book that doesn’t take a back seat to any Middle Eastern cookbooks but holds up beside the greatest of them all on its own merit.

Indexed

6. The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food by Marcus Samuelsson brings together a feast of food, culture, history, and more–celebrating the vibrant diversity and deliciousness of African-American cooking today, through his own journey to America and the stories and inspiration of two dozen other top black chefs. A work of stunning breadth and beauty with 150 recipes, The Rise returns African-American cooking to its rightful place as an essential expression of our culture – and is an essential new American cookbook.

Indexed

7. Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten is pack with nearly one-hundred recipes to provide comfort which is needed this year more than any other. Ina’s recipes always turn out perfect as they are tried and tested and she doesn’t rewrite the book with new spices or ingredients, she writes dishes that every level of cook can master.

Indexed

8. East: 120 Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing by Meera Sodha delivers modern, vibrant, fuss-free food made from everyday ingredients but with an Eastern slant, East is a must-have whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply want to eat more delicious meat-free food.

Indexed

9. Xi’an Famous Foods: The Cuisine of Western China, from New York’s Favorite Noodle Shop by Jason Wang is the long-awaited cookbook from an iconic New York restaurant, revealing never-before-published recipes. Since its humble opening in 2005, Xi’an Famous Foods has expanded from one stall in Flushing to numerous locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Learn how to make Biang-Biang or hand-ripped noodles or how to roll out dumpling skins along with everything from starter salads to Chilled rice cake with honey.

Indexed

10. Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence by Claire Saffitz offers wisdom, problem-solving strategies, and more than 100 meticulously tested, creative, and inspiring recipes. We will be wowed with recipes like Babkallah (a babka-Challah mashup), Apple and Concord Grape Crumble Pie, Strawberry-Cornmeal Layer Cake, Crispy Mushroom Galette, and Malted Forever Brownies. Claire outlines the problems and solutions for each recipe – like what to do if your pie dough for Sour Cherry Pie cracks (patch it with dough or a quiche flour paste!) – as well as practical do’s and don’ts, skill level, prep and bake time, and foundational know-how.

Runners Up

Top British/Irish Picks

1. Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes and Stories by Nigella Lawson 
2. Ottolenghi Flavour / Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, and Tara Wigley

=3. Nadiya Bakes: Over 100 Must Try Recipes for Breads, Cakes, Biscuits, Pies and More by Nadiya Hussain
=3. Red Sands: Reportage and Recipes Through Central Asia, from Hinterland to Heartland by Caroline Eden 
=3. Simply: Easy Everyday Dishes from the Bestselling Author of Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour
=6. One Tin Bakes: Sweet and Simple Traybakes, Pies, Bars and Buns by Edd Kimber
=6. The Hand & Flowers Cookbook by Tom Kerridge 
=6. The Pie Room by Calum Franklin=9.  Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
=9. Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen by Ravinder Bhogal 
=9. The Rangoon Sisters: Recipes from Our Burmese Family Kitchen by Amy and Emily Chung

Top Australian/New Zealand Picks

=2. Australian Food by Bill Granger
=2. Beatrix Bakes by Natalie Paull
=4. Ottolenghi Flavour / Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, and Tara Wigley=4. Parwana: Recipes and Stories from an Afghan Kitchen by Durkhanai, Farida and Fatima Ayubi
=8. Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley

Top Canadian Picks

=1. Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern Thailand by Nuit Regular
=1. In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen
3. Ottolenghi Flavour / Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, and Tara Wigley
=4. You Wanna Piece of Me?: More than 100 Seriously Tasty Recipes for Sweet and Savory Pies by Jenell Parsons
=4. The Hunter Chef Cookbook: Hunt, Fish, and Forage in Over 100 Recipes by Chef Michael Hunter
=4. The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking in 114 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma
=4. Oh She Glows for Dinner: Nourishing Plant-Based Meals to Keep You Glowing by Angela Liddon
=4. Matty Matheson: Home Style Cookery by Matty Matheson
=4. Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking by Angus An
=4. Chez Lesley by Lesley Chesterman

Top Drinks Books

1. Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason by Julia Bainbridge
=2. Drink What You Want: The Subjective Guide to Making Objectively Delicious Cocktails by John deBary
=2. Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes by David Lebovitz
4. Noble Rot Book: Wine from Another Galaxy by Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew
5. The New Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Think Like a Master Mixologist, with 500 Recipes by Dale Degroff
=6. Beautiful Booze: Stylish Cocktails to Make at Home by Natalie Migliarini and James Stevenson
=6. Big Macs & Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World by Vanessa Price and Adam Laukhuf
=6. Inside Bordeaux: The Châteaux, Their Wines and the Terroir by Jane Anson
=6. Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails, with 100 Recipes from Leyenda & Beyond by Ivy Mix
=10. Camp Cocktails by Emily Vikre
=10. CBD Cocktails: Take the Edge Off With Over 100 Recipes by Sailene Ossman
=10. Fizz: 80 Joyful Cocktails and Mocktails for Every Occasion by Olly Smith
=10. How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing (Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers) by Vincent Obsopoeus
=10. Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World by Adrienne Stillman
=10. Very Merry Cocktails: 50+ Festive Drinks for the Holiday Season by Jessica Strand

Top Vegetarian & Vegan Books

 
1.    Ottolenghi Flavour / Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, and Tara Wigley 
2.    Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry
3.    East: 120 Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing by Meera Sodha
5.    Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater

Top Memoirs & Books About Food

1. Eat a Peach: A Memoir by David Chang
2. Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking by Bill Buford
=8. Borough Market: Edible Histories by Mark Riddaway
=8. Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters by Dominique Crenn and Emma Brockes

Sources for Data

Eat Your Books

EYB top picks (Jan-June), EYB top picks (July-Dec)

TV, Radio, YouTube & Podcasts

BBC (The Food Programme), CNN Travel, Cooking the Books, Food Network, Food Network (vegan), Food Network (healthy), KCRW Good Food (Santa Monica), KQED Bay Area Bites (San Francisco CA), NBC News (Better), NPR (The Concierge), NPR (Here & Now), St. Louis Public Radio, Today FM (Ireland), Today Show (NBC), Today Show (gifts)

Newspapers & magazines

USA: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (best kids’ cookbooks), Atlanta Journal-Constitution (best drinks books), Bake From Scratch Magazine, Bon Appétit, Bon Appétit (spring), Bookpage, Bookpage (gifts), The Boston Globe, The Boston Globe (fall), The Buffalo News, The Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Conde Nast Traveler, Culture Magazine (cheese books), Dallas Morning News (baking), Detroit Free Press, Esquire, Esquire (spring), Food & Wine Magazine (cookbooks), Food & Wine Magazine (fall), Forbes, Forbes (drinks books), Forbes (wine books), Garden & Gun, Houston Chronicle, LA Weekly (Squid Ink), Los Angeles Times (spring), Los Angeles Times (fall), Martha Stewart Living, Men’s Health, New Haven Register, The New York Times, The New York Times (spring), The New York Times (best wine books), The New Yorker, New York Magazine (fall), Outside, Philadelphia Inquirer, Publishers Weekly (lifestyle), Publishers Weekly (Shelf Talker), Publishers Weekly (gifts), Real Simple, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, San Jose Mercury News (gifts), Saveur, Saveur (gifts), Seattle Times (gifts), Seattle Times (indie bookstores), Southern Living, Star Tribune, Star Tribune (hunter/forager books), Sunset Magazine, Sweet Paul Magazine, Taste of Home, Time Out Los Angeles, The Times-Picayune, The Times-Picayune (local), Town & Country Magazine, Town & Country Magazine (cocktails), Twin Cities Pioneer Press, USA Today, Union-Tribune San Diego (cocktail books), Vogue, Wall Street Journal (food books), The Washington Post (cookbooks), The Washington Post (wine books), Wine Enthusiast, Wired, Women’s Health (healthy)

Canada: Best Health, Chatelaine Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Montreal Gazette, National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun

UK & Ireland: BBC Good Food, Belfast Telegraph, Cosmopolitan, Country & Town House, Country & Town House (vegan), The Courier, Daily Mail, Delicious Magazine, Financial Times, Food & Wine (IE), Good Housekeeping UK, GQ Magazine, The Guardian, The Guardian (food & wine pairing books), Hello Magazine, The Herald (Scotland), The Independent, The Independent (best non-fiction), The Independent (healthy), The Independent (gluten-free), The Independent (vegan), Irish Examiner, Irish Examiner (healthy), Irish Independent, The Irish Times, Islington Gazette, London Evening Standard, National Geographic UK, Observer Food Monthly, The Scotsman, The Spectator, Suffolk News (spring), Suffolk News Pt.1, Suffolk News Pt.2, The Telegraph, The Telegraph (wine books), The Times, Time Out, The Week (vegetarian/vegan, Woman & Home

Australia & New Zealand: Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Australian Financial Review, Canberra Times, Delicious, Delicious (food travel), Delicious (lockdown books), Good Food (Sydney Morning Herald), New Zealand Herald)

International: Japan Times, The National (UAE), South China Morning Post, The Sunday Times (South Africa)

Blogs, websites & online magazines

USA: AARP, AllRecipes, A Beautiful Plate, Book Authority, Bookish, Booklist, BookRiot (vegetarian), Browned Butter Blondie, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Chowhound (fall), Civil Eats, Connecticut In Style, The Corkscrew Concierge, A Cup of Jo, Dadong NY, The Daily Beast (readers’ favorites), The Daily Beast (gifts), Dandelion Chandelier, Delish, Didn’t I Just Feed You?, Eat Drink Frolic, Eater (spring), Eater (fall), Eater (chef books), Eater (memoirs), Epicurious, Epicurious (gift books), Epicurious (chefs), Epicurious (spring), Epicurious (fall), Everyday Annie, Fine Dining Lovers, Five Books, Flirting With Flavors, Food52, The Fresh Cooky, Gear Patrol, Greatist (plant-based), Greatist (fall), Grub Street, Grub Street (chefs, International Culinary Center, The Kitchn (fall), The Kitchn (baking, Kosher Like Me, Leite’s Culinaria, Lennart’s Place, Library Journal, Life as a Strawberry, Luxury Defined, The Manual, MarthaStewart.com, Mashed, Mind Body Green, Modern Mrs. Darcy, Modern Mrs. Darcy (memoirs), Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, J.P. Morgan, Mother Jones, My Best Cookbooks, My Recipes, My Shopping Guides, Omnivoracious, One Green Planet, Organized Island, Outside, PETA.org (vegan), Plant-based on a Budget, Plate, PopSugar, PureWow (plant-based), Read It Forward, Refinery 29 (vegan), Refinery 29 (black authors), Remodelsita, The Robb Report, The Robb Report (spring), Salon, A Serious Bunburyist, Serious Eats, She Knows, She Reads, Shelf Awareness, Simply Recipes, Smart in the Kitchen, Smithsonian.com, The Spruce Eats, StyleCaster, The Takeout, Taste, Thrillist, Travel Crazies, Treats With a Twist, TripSavvy, Unpeeled, Vegazones, We Are Not Martha, Well + Good, Well Plated, What’s Gaby Cooking, Whole Food Bellies, Wine Blog, Worldly Gentleman, Yummy Dishes, Zestful Kitchen

Canada: Academy of Culinary Nutrition, The Canadian, Daily Hive, Eat North, Gothic Epicures, The Savvy Reader, The Savvy Reader (gifts), Simple Bites, Styled to Sparkle, Taste Canada Awards, Vancouver is Awesome

UK & Ireland: Tim Atkin (booze books), Beer52 (best beer books), Cookbook Confidential, Cookbook Review Blog, Culture Whisper, GastroGays, The Good Web Guide, The Happy Foodie, The Happy Foodie (green cookbooks), April J. Harris, HerFamily.ie, Hot Dinners, Huffington Post (UK), Kavey Eats, Matching Food & Wine (Fiona Beckett), Ms. Marmite Lover, MOB Kitchen, Muddy Stilettos, Pebble Magazine (vegan), Saffron Strands, Sheerluxe, Shemazing, SquareMeal

Australia & New Zealand: Broadsheet, Escape (travel), Lambs’ Ears & Honey, The New Daily (baking)

Booksellers, Libraries & Book Awards

Amazon.com (cookbooks), Amazon.com (bios & memoirs), Amazon.com (food writing), The Andre Simon Awards (food books), The Andre Simon Awards (drinks books), Angus & Robertson Bookworld (Australia), Ann Arbor District Library, Appetite for Books of Montreal, Avid Reader (Brisbane, Australia), Barnes & Noble, Bold Fork Books of Washington D.C., The Book Depository, Bookculture of New York City, Book Larder of Seattle, Books-a-Million, Bookshop Santa Cruz of CA, USA, Booktopia (Australia), Brookline Booksmith of MA, USA, City of Asylum Bookstore of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Cook + Book of Arnhem, Netherlands, Cook the Books of Auckland, cookbookbake of Brighton, The Cookbook Co. Cooks of Alberta, Dymock’s (Australia), East City Bookshop of Washington DC, Goldhahn und Sampson of Berlin, Germany, Good Reads, Green Apple Books of San Francisco, Harvard Book Store of Cambridge MA, Indigo (Canada), Indigo (Heather’s Picks), (Canada), Irish Book Awards, Kitchen Arts & Letters of New York, Kitchen Arts & Letters (chef books) of New York, Kitchen Arts & Letters (baking books) of New York, De Kookboekhandel of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Now Serving of Los Angeles, Omnivore Books of San Francisco, Powell’s of Portland, Powell’s (staff picks), Read It and Eat of Chicago, Readable Feast (New England Books), Readings of Melbourne, Scrumptious Reads of Brisbane, Waterstones (chefs), Waterstones (regional), Waterstones (vegan & vegetarian), Waterstones (baking)

Authors

Darina Allen, Dorie Greenspan, Kathy Gunst, Diana Henry, Gina Homolka (SkinnyTaste), Honey & Co., Rose Prince, Kerstin Rodgers, Ed Smith, Meera Sodha, Maria Speck