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The Best Cookbooks of 2021: 3 Lists

Who doesn’t want to know what the outstanding cookbooks of 2021 are? Judging by how often we’re asked that question, just about anyone who is interested in food and drink wants to know what's "the best cookbook this year."

If you’re visiting us here in the store, we respond to the best cookbook question with some questions of our own. Who is going to be using the book? Is that person experienced or an eager beginner? A recipe-follower or someone who borrows ideas for improvising? A weeknight cook, a weekend project cook, or an armchair chef who reads cookbooks like novels?

We love all those kinds of readers. Matching a cook to a book takes more than some bullet points, although see below. I, Matt, think Missy Robbins’ and Talia Biaocchi’s new Pasta is one of the most exciting books of 2021. 

Pasta cover

But I would never hand it to a novice and say, “here’s the best cookbook of the year, kiddo.” That’s not what a beginner needs.

At this time of year, there’s also a risk that anybody who’s paying attention to best cookbook lists will see the same titles again and again. That doesn’t really help a reader, and it doesn’t help authors either. Since we depend on authors for our livelihood, we want them to prosper.

So here are 3 different ways of trying to answer the best cookbook question. Books appear on their lists in order of publication.

Really Popular Books that Deserved to be Popular

Vegetable Simple cover

Wonderful Books You May Not Have Heard About

Sephardi cover

Great Reads

Taste Makers cover
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