Marvel fans love their rankings. From the best shows and movies to the best characters and romantic relationships in them, to even the post-credits scenes, the Marvel fandom has ranked it all. This was then done so again with updates after re-watching all the movies and realizing that maybe Iron Man 3 wasn't as bad as some remembered.
We here at The Direct love our rankings as well, but it has recently come to our attention that there is one aspect of Marvel Studios' projects that we had yet to definitively judge; perhaps the most important and critical of anything we could possibly list in order from worst to best.
But, fear not, for we have taken it upon ourselves to correct this glaring omission from the ranks of our, uh, rankings. Behold, The Direct's list of every Marvel Studios project based on the quality and quantity of its culinary content.
25. DOCTOR STRANGE
Notable food items: N/A
There’s no food in sight during this movie. We don’t get to see what Stephen Strange eats when he’s living large, or what the inhabitants of Kamar-Taj have on the menu, which is definitely a missed opportunity. Even a look at some likely unappetizing fare given to patients at the hospital Strange works at would have been something. Next.
24. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Notable food items: N/A
Once again, no food to be found here. This is extra disappointing since this movie takes place in various locations around the galaxy, so it could have been an opportunity for some nice world-building. It just barely avoids last place because Disney’s California Adventure came up with “Groot Bread” to serve its guests, but that’s not going to earn the film too much credit considering the delicacy was discontinued. (Please bring it back when Avengers Campus opens, Disney!)
23. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Notable food items: Vision’s home cooking
Finally, our first real glimpse of food on this list...depending on what you consider “food,” that is. Vision tries cooking...something for Wanda, but she hints (in the nicest way possible) that it’s pretty much inedible. Since Vision won’t let her go to the store, there’s probably no salvaging this android-prepared dish.
22. THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Notable food items: Unidentifiable stove-cooked breakfast
Bruce Banner makes himself (and his dog) some breakfast in his Brazilian quarters at the beginning of this movie. Truth be told, it doesn’t look that great, but it’s surely a step up from whatever Vision was trying to cook on the stove.
21. SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
Notable food items: A box of take-out
This movie takes its cast around Europe, but while we get to see some sights, we don’t get a taste of what they ate while on vacation. Instead, we get Happy eating Aunt May's take-out lunch in her office back in New York. The food looks decent and all, but the filmmakers choosing to show this over authentic European cuisine is definitely a major letdown.
There's also a whole restaurant scene featuring Spider-Man fighting some crime...which was ultimately cut from the film. Come on, Marvel! We’re starving here!
20. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
Notable food items: Stark Expo snacks and lots of alcohol
The only time we see anyone eat during this movie is during the Stark Expo when Steve snacks from a bag of what appears to be popcorn or nuts. His date turns down an offer for some, though, so they’re probably nothing to write home about.
What this film lacks in food it makes up for in drinks (and yes, that means alcohol). From Dr. Erskine sharing a drink with Steve the night before the serum experiment to war buddies hanging out at a bar, to Steve’s hopeless attempts to get drunk, there’s plenty of booze to go around in this movie.
19. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Notable food items: The contents of a hospital vending machine and breakfast as prepared by Sam Wilson
This is the movie in which Steve Rogers comments that the “food’s a lot better” in the 21st century compared to the era he grew up in, but that’s not a high bar to clear. These Captain America flicks are severely lacking in the refreshment department when the highlight of the trilogy consists of vending machine snacks and some scrambled eggs and orange juice. The most interesting thing about that vending machine isn’t even the chips or candy, but a USB drive! What a rip-off.
18. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Notable food items: A bag of zarg-nuts
Finally, a morsel of food-based world-building. This film contains the iconic “invisible Drax” scene in which he eats a bag of zarg-nuts. However, points off for lack of depth. What planet are these even from? Also, Disney should totally manufacture and sell these at Avengers Campus.
17. AVENGERS: ENDGAME
Notable food items: A peanut butter sandwich and juice pops
It seems like no one really cares about top-notch dining during the Blip, since Natasha’s peanut butter sandwich and Tony and Morgan’s juice pops are the main delicacies featured in this movie. It’d be remiss not to mention the reveal that Morgan has inherited her father’s love of cheeseburgers.
16. CAPTAIN MARVEL
Notable food items: Diagonally-cut toast and a nice, home-cooked meal
The heroes share what appears to be some nice home cooking in the Rambeaus’ Louisiana home at the end of the movie, but the real edible star of the show here doesn’t even appear on-screen. Yes, this is the movie in which we learn Nicky Fury refuses to eat toast that is diagonally cut. Admittedly, it wasn’t exactly something Marvel fans had been wondering about, but it did raise a lot of new questions about the future director of SHIELD.
15. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
Notable food items: Thousand-year-old Asgardian alcohol and Barton home cooking
The Avengers have a party in this movie, and a highlight of the scene is Stan Lee getting drunk on thousand-year-old Asgardian alcohol. Later, the team is sent to the Barton family’s dwellings as their safe house, and Fury pops by as well.
Nothing about the meal seen in the movie was notable until Captain Marvel came out, sparking a debate among fans whether the bread Fury eats in the scene is, in fact, diagonally-cut toast, the very thing he said he could not eat in that movie. Prequel oversight, character development, or fans seeing something that isn’t there? We may never know.
14. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
Notable food items: A Dairy Queen and button-shaped chocolates from space
The opening scene of this movie starts strong by featuring a Dairy Queen restaurant but then pulls the rug out from under ice cream enthusiasts everywhere when the characters just leave their car in the parking lot without even going inside. Groot is seen eating what looks like the intergalactic equivalent of M&M’s a little later on, but that’s not much to write home about.
13. THOR: THE DARK WORLD
Notable food items: An upscale restaurant and an Asgardian feast
This film had the potential to easily take the top spot on this list, but every time it looks like we’re going to get to see some good food the action transitions elsewhere. The Asgardians are seen having a celebratory feast early on in the film, but there are only a few brief shots of the meal to be found.
Right after this comes a scene in which Jane Foster goes on a date with a guy to what appears to be quite a nice restaurant featuring chicken, vegetarian, and fish entrée options, but leaves before she even orders anything. Disappointing.
12. IRON MAN 3
Notable food items: A restaurant scene and a bowl of fortune cookies
Tony and Rhodey go to a restaurant together early on in the film. Nothing of note with the food itself happens, but Rhodey’s fries and Tony’s vegetables do look pretty tasty.
Later on in the film, Trevor Slattery is seen enjoying some fortune cookies, which he mentions are not Chinese as often advertised but were actually invented in America and based on a Japanese recipe. Now, that is exactly the kind of culinary fact it’s nice to see dropped in a Marvel project!
11. BLACK PANTHER
Notable food items: Heart-Shaped Herb
This movie is another example of a missed opportunity to world-build through food (hopefully, we’ll see some of that in the upcoming sequel), but it kind of makes up for it with the Heart-Shaped Herb native to Wakanda. When ingested, the herb not only enhances the Black Panther’s physical abilities but allows them to enter the Ancestral Plane and communicate with the dead. That’s pretty awesome.
10. THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
Notable food items: A Tunisian cafe lunch, a Brooklyn restaurant, and Wilson Family Seafood
Only two episodes of this series have been released so far, but it’s already one of the better Marvel projects on a culinary level. The first episode alone sees each of the main characters having lunch with a friend, Sam at a café in Tunisia, and Bucky at a restaurant in Brooklyn named Izzy. (It should be mentioned that Bucky and his friend Yori frequent this place weekly, so you know it’s gotta be good.)
As the cherry on top, it is later revealed that Sam’s sister Sarah is running their family’s business...and it’s a seafood company! While “Episode 2” was disappointing on the food front, promotional material has shown that Sarah and the seafood boat will be coming back at some point, making this a promising series when it comes to good eats.
9. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
Notable food items: Various examples of New York’s culinary offerings
Peter Parker lives in New York City (Queens, to be precise), so there are lots of scenes with him eating his way through the city, from eating a deli sandwich to enjoying a churro from a street vendor to eating Thai larb at a restaurant with Aunt May. None of it takes center-stage, but it’s enough to make anyone crave the delicious offerings of the city.
8. THOR: RAGNAROK
Notable food items: Asgardian fruit; Sakaarian alcohol, food lying around Valkyrie’s apartment
No one is seen having a full meal in this movie, but there is certainly a lot of snacking going on. First, there’s Loki (disguised as Odin) enjoying some sort of Asgardian fruit while watching the play at the beginning of the movie. Bruce also chows down when he arrives at Valkyrie’s apartment and starts eating pretty much whatever he can get his hands on. It’s nothing fancy, but it seems to get the job done.
The coolest food item seen in Ragnarok, though, is the bottle of Sakaarian alcohol with literal fire shooting out of it. Though this may make it admittedly hard to drink, it sure does look cool.
Notable food items: Diner food, including what seems to be some amazing coffee
This is the movie in which Thor loves the coffee served to him at a diner so much, he straight-up smashes it on the ground and demands another. To those from Earth, this would seem like the behavior of someone who didn’t enjoy their beverage, but it turns out to be a customary gesture of appreciation on Asgard. There’s some culinary world-building for you!
Notable food items: Baskin-Robbins
After leaving prison, Scott gets a job at a Baskin-Robbins location. We actually get to see the inside of the place this time (looking at you, Dairy Queen) but no actual ice cream appears on-screen. Still, it’s pretty cool that a soon-to-be Avenger worked at the place, so major points for that!
5. IRON MAN 2
Notable food items: Salmon carpaccio, melted organic ice cream sundae, giant donut, strawberries
Iron Man 2 is serious about its food. Justin Hammer and Ivan Vanko share a fancy meal together consisting of salmon carpaccio and an ice cream sundae (which admittedly loses points for being half-melted). This is also the movie with the iconic shot of Tony Stark eating a donut within a gigantic donut in the Iron Man suit.
For those who prefer something more simple, there is a scene featuring some fresh-looking strawberries, though the fact that Pepper mentions she’s allergic to them conjures up some fairly unappetizing images.
Notable food items: Magically-prepared 50s dinner, 60s swim club hors d'oeuvres, 70s bowl of fruit, Halloween candy, Yo-Magic!
WandaVision’s first few episodes feature food pretty prominently; there’s the near-disaster of a dinner in the first episode, the hors d’oeuvres Wanda chows down on in the second, and the bowl of fruit used to cover her baby bump in the third.
The only other episode with food as a major player is the one set during Halloween. There’s plenty of candy to be collected, of course, but it’s also the episode that features the commercial for Yo-Magic! While this isn’t real food, even in the Hex-altered Westview, it does look pretty tasty...until you remember that skeleton sitting on the island at the end of the ad.
3. IRON MAN
Notable food items: Tony's long-awaited American cheeseburger
What Iron Man lacks in fancy fare, it makes up for in prominence of the food it does feature. Nearly every Marvel fan fondly remembers Tony Stark’s first wish after arriving home from Afghanistan: an American cheeseburger, which he was so eager to dig into he just sat down in the middle of a press conference (that he himself called, mind you) to eat it. Iconic.
2. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Notable food items: Hotel kitchen food
Here it is, folks. After 10 years of existence, the MCU's first food fight finally came in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Set in a hotel kitchen, tomatoes were splattered, carrots were chopped, and a salt shaker was enlarged. Great stuff.
On the less-fortunate side, Hank offers Scott "a juice box and some string cheese" later on in the film, but it turns out to be nothing more than a tease, both for Scott and all the foodies watching the movie.
1. THE AVENGERS
Notable food items: Shawarma
This is, without a doubt, the most iconic scene featuring food in the MCU. The Avengers were so desperate to grab some shawarma that they left the mess they made on the streets of New York unattended just so they could get some as soon as possible once the world was saved. They didn't even bother to help clean up the restaurant they visited, which was in pretty bad shape from all the fighting that had taken place. Nope, the Avengers wanted shawarma, and shawarma they received.
Every shawarma place within walking distance to a convention center has had amazing business every weekend a comic convention has been held since 2012 thanks to cosplayers venturing over to get some good food, and even better pictures, emulating this scene.
Happy April Fool's Day from all of us here at The Direct!