27 Of The Best Songs About Food

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

You’ll find out that there are many songs out there that talk about food. From ice cream to onions (yes, there is), we can say that food is a pretty popular theme among songwriters.

Not all of these songs talk about that particular food, though. Oftentimes, they are a metaphor for certain aspects of life or relationship.

We have compiled a list of 27 of the best songs about food, and we’ll give you a taste of what the songs are about. So grab a snack and keep reading!

1. “Sugar” By Maroon 5

First off the menu is “Sugar” by the American pop-rock band Maroon 5. Released from the 2014 album V, the song quickly gained popularity and commercial success due to its upbeat tempo and romantic lyrics.

Simply put, this is a feel-good love song that uses a sugary sweet metaphor to celebrate the joy of being in love. The lyrics wholeheartedly express desire and reflect a sense of euphoria.

With an unforgettable hook, a delightful sound, and incredibly soulful vocals, what’s not to love about “Sugar”? Today, it is a favorite among fans and a popular choice for celebrations, weddings, and feel-good playlists.

2. “Candy Shop” By 50 Cent Ft. Olivia

Up next on our list is a song from 2009. The hip-hop track “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent featuring Olivia features seductive lyrics revolving around candy and lollipops. It was the second single from his album, The Massacre, and quickly became a chart-topping hit.

The song emphasizes themes of desire, intimacy, and indulgence. It stands out not only for its catchy tune but also for its clever wordplay, which manages to be both provocative and playful at once.

Its usage of candy as a metaphor for pleasure has solidified it as one of the most notable examples of sensual R&B music.

3. “Bacon” By Nick Jonas

Our list gets interesting as next we have “Bacon” from singer-songwriter Nick Jonas. Don’t be fooled by its catchy hooks and upbeat tempo, though. “Bacon” carries a sad message addressed to a woman in the singer’s life.

In a song that mentions food in the form of bacon, we find the singer appreciating the woman’s attractiveness. Everything seems fine until we get to the second verse, where he expresses his aversion toward a long-term commitment. She causes drama, wanting him to be tied down to her.

It’s not that the man loves bacon more than he does her. Rather, he wants to do everything with freedom, whether that’s staying out late, waking up late, or eating bacon whenever he wants.

4. “Cake By The Ocean” By DNCE

You’re probably salivating by now as we move on to “Cake by the Ocean” by the American band DNCE. It quickly became a chart-topping hit, thanks to its infectious energy, playful writing, and danceable groove.

Lyrically, “Cake by the Ocean” contains suggestive imagery with a carefree and fun-loving spirit. The title is a euphemism that effortlessly delves into themes of indulgence and pleasure.

This song tells us to take risks sometimes. To get out of our comfort zone and “start livin’ dangerously.” In other words, live your life to the fullest.

5. “Birthday Cake” By Rihanna

Another cake-themed song on our list happens to be one from singer Rihanna. “Birthday Cake” was released in 2011 from her album Talk That Talk. Clocking at only a minute and 18 seconds, the song garnered significant attention for its suggestive lyrics and catchy melody.

“Birthday Cake” features sparse lyrics, with Rihanna chanting, “cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake.” Here, the food is used as a euphemism to refer to the body parts that her lover wants.

The verses are full of innuendos about what she intends to have her lover do. It’s not her birthday, really, but she gets to experience intimate things that most people only get on their special days.

6. “Lemon Tree” By Fools Garden

We’ve got too much cake in the previous entries. Let’s balance it out with Fools Garden‘s “Lemon Tree.” Released in 1995, this bittersweet pop-rock anthem features relatable lyrics and catchy melodies.

The lyrics show the singer in a dejected and bored state. He’s got plenty of time on his hands, but nothing ever happens. The song uses two opposing metaphors: blue sky and lemon tree. As we know, the blue sky represents happiness.

Lemon, meanwhile, is bitter and sour and represents sad things. It can also symbolize the fleeting nature of happiness and life’s disappointments. The lyrics depict the singer’s yearning for stability and contentment, only to be faced with the realization that life is often unpredictable and filled with ups and downs.

7. “Ice Cream Man” By Van Halen

Get your sweet tooth fix with our next song, “Ice Cream Man” by Van Halen. This is a lively and raucous rock anthem that showcases the band’s signature energy and swagger.

The song will remind you of carefree summer days and the excitement of chasing after the ice cream truck. Just the thought of this sweet and cold treat during a scorching day makes your throat dry.

The lyrics playfully portray the ice cream man as a charming figure who brings joy and anticipation to the neighborhood. He’s got different flavors “guaranteed to satisfy.”

8. “Lollipop” By Mika

Our second entry for this specific candy comes from the singer-songwriter Mika. “Lollipop,” from the album Life in Cartoon Motion, is a sweet and playful pop song guaranteed to get stuck in your head.

In the song, the lollipop represents what goes on behind the bedroom door. “Sucking too hard” on it means being hasty and jumping into relationships.

Lyrically, the singer addresses young ladies and warns them against falling in love and giving in too fast. Doing so will put them in a situation of heartbreak and disappointment.

He tells them that “love’s gonna get you down” if they do not slow down. What they can do in the meantime is to enjoy living their lives until they find the right kind of love.

9. “Pork And Beans” By Weezer

Pork and beans: a popular culinary dish, or the American rock band Weezer‘s 2008 single. “Pork and Beans” is a tongue-in-cheek anthem that challenges societal pressures and celebrates individuality.

This song with food in the title begins with the singer recounting what others want him to do. He is told how to style his hair, work out, and look cool. What “Pork and Beans” promotes is being himself and not being afraid to reject conformity. It’s all about being authentic as a person.

And that means doing what makes him happy, even if it’s eating “candy with the pork and beans.” He’s happy with himself and with the fact that he “ain’t got a thing to prove to you.”

10. “Honey” By Mariah Carey

Honey is addicting, as Mariah Carey would tell you in her sweet love song “Honey.” It showcases some of her signature musical elements: catchy hooks, infectious melodies, and intriguing songwriting.

Speaking of intrigue, the song was written with New York Yankee player Derek Jeter in mind. Carey had an affair with him when she was still married to Tommy Mottola. In light of the situation they were in, Carey found herself addicted to the love she found in Jeter.

She finds herself “always strung out for another taste of your honey.” Her addiction comes to the point that she’s dying and crying for him. Nothing can abate it other than spending some special time with him.

11. “Savoy Truffle” By The Beatles

Almost all of the songs written about candy are not about candy at all. Most of the time, it’s a metaphor for other things. But The Beatles‘ “Savoy Truffle” is a fun, upbeat song about candy and the effect of having too much.

This song was written as a joke about Eric Clapton’s love for chocolate and candy. Your mouth will water with all the candies mentioned in the song, from creme tangerine to savoy truffle.

Playful and satirical, it takes a humorous look at the overindulgence of such sweet treats. The singer warns that you’ll have all your teeth pulled out after you consume the savoy truffle.

12. “Candy” By Iggy Pop Ft. Kate Pierson

Candy can be that confection made from sugar, or it can be the name of a woman. Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson’s “Candy” is the latter and, at the same time, a rock ballad that delves into the bittersweet nature of love.

The song begins with Iggy Pop reminiscing about meeting a woman named Candy some 20 years ago. She was a “beautiful girl from the North” who loved him like no one else did. Even after all this time, he has not forgotten her.

Pierson, meanwhile, sings about how it hurt her when he left her. It left a hole in her heart that no one was able to fill. She looked for love elsewhere but wasn’t able to find it.

13. “American Pie” By Don McLean

More than 50 years later and Don McLean‘s “American Pie” still resonates with listeners. This folk rock song is regarded as one of the most iconic songs in music history.

The song contains various references to people and events that took place in the late 1950s until the late 1960s or 1970s. It begins with a reference to the day when McLean’s favorite musicians died in a plane crash.

The title itself originates from apple pie: a symbol of good-natured American comfort food. However, this song goes beyond the tasty treat and discusses various aspects of American culture. It serves as a nostalgic reflection for individuals who lived through those tumultuous times.

14. “Banana Pancakes” By Jack Johnson

A song with food in the lyrics will definitely get your taste buds working. “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson is an instant favorite among those who love food and music. The track appears in In Between Dreams and paints a warm, welcoming picture.

Essentially, this breezy song proves that simplicity is often best for music. It explores the carefree act of relaxing on a rainy day and not having to wake up so early.

Besides, there’s “no need to go outside” as it’s raining. The singer offers to make her homemade banana pancakes and “pretend like it’s the weekend.”

15. “Cheeseburger In Paradise” By Jimmy Buffett

If the previous entries didn’t make you hungry, our next song might do the trick. Get salivating while Jimmy Buffett serenades your taste buds with “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

Like people who are on a diet, sometimes it’s difficult to stick to healthy food such as sunflower seeds, carrot juice, and vegetables. Dieting goes out the window when we crave something sinfully delicious and high in calories.

Like a cheeseburger cooked just right. “Medium rare with mustard,” “an onion slice,” “with lettuce and tomato.” Throw in an ice-cold beer and “French fried potatoes” on the side for that heavenly meal. Hungry yet?

16. “Biscuits” By Kacey Musgraves

Imagine how peaceful the world would be if only people minded their own business. Let’s leave it to Kacey Musgraves to share some words of wisdom in her 2015 single, “Biscuits.”

In the lyrics, the singer has learned some valuable lessons from sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Doing bad things to others does not make you a better person.

The best thing to do is always mind your own business. Focus on your own life, your family, and “mind your own biscuits.” At the same time, respect other people by letting them live their lives according to how they want to. If everyone does this, the world will be a better place.

17. “Peaches” By The Presidents Of The United States Of America

After going through foods that are either cooked or baked, let’s get to something that’s in its natural state. Fruits! Here we have “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America. Released on their eponymous album in 1996, it quickly became one of the band’s signature hits.

According to lead singer Chris Ballew, he came across a homeless man who kept muttering, “I’m moving to the country, I’m gonna eat a lot of peaches.” Ballew thought this was interesting and thus wrote a song containing the phrase.

With its humorous imagery, distinctive vocals, and lighthearted tone, this track is memorable in every sense. Today, it is one of the best numbers about food and remains popular among fans of alternative rock music.

18. “Tutti Frutti” By Little Richard

You are probably hungry by now with all the delectable food on our list. Hang on as we move to “Tutti Frutti” from singer-songwriter Little Richard. With its energetic refrain and playful lyrics, it quickly became a model song for rock and roll.

Tutti fruity refers to ice cream mixed with chopped and candied fruits. In fact, it’s Italian for “all fruits.” However, in the context of the song, the term refers to a homosexual man. The original lyrics were too vulgar that some lines had to be rewritten for lyrical purity.

The song’s refrain is catchy, sounding like “A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-lop-bam-boom!” It also features loud volume and a distinct rhythm that’s characteristic of rock and roll.

19. “Coconut” By Harry Nilsson

Up next is a little humorous song about the effects of ingredients you shouldn’t mix. “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson is a classic song with an unforgettable hook. Based on a drink featuring lime and coconut, this whimsical tune features a catchy melody, humorous lyrics, and tropical vibes.

“Coconut” is a simple song with lyrics that keep repeating throughout. It tells the story of a girl who makes herself sick by taking a mixture of coconut and lime and getting a stomach ache in the process.

She wakes up the doctor in the wee hours of the morning, asking for a remedy. But the doctor tells her to take the very same mixture and go back to him in the morning during his office hours.

20. “The Candy Man” By Sammy Davis Jr.

Did you know that Sammy Davis Jr. disliked “The Candy Man”? He apparently found it too sweet. Surprisingly, it became his only #1 hit song on the Billboard Hot 100.

Davis’ rendition is an upbeat number that showcases his soulful vocals and charismatic energy. The lyrics follow the story of a character known as the Candy Man. He spreads happiness through his sugary treats and transforms ordinary occurrences into moments of sweetness.

Quite simply, this song is about children and their love for sweets. Adults might find themselves reminiscing about their childhood days when having candy brought so much joy.

21. “Beans and Cornbread” By Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five

Certain foods go together. Peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, fish and chips… the list goes endless. And, of course, “Beans and Cornbread” by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five show a classic food pairing. This lively hit celebrates the simple joys of everyone’s favorite traditional Southern meal.

But while they usually go together, the track’s lyrics depict an argument between the beans and the cornbread. Cornbread challenges Beans to a fight the following day, to which Beans says he’ll be ready.

However, both realize the significance of sticking together despite the conflict. They go “hand-in-hand” and just hang out together like brothers and sisters.

22. “C Is For Cookie” By Cookie Monster

Cookies are far from boring food. Oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, there are just so many variations you can do. Take it from the cookie expert, none other than Cookie Monster in “C is for Cookie.”

Young children and those young at heart have enjoyed this song since its release in 1971. Here, Cookie Monster from Sesame Street sings about his infinite love for cookies and draws viewers and listeners in with the infectious melody.

On the surface level, the lyrics may be simple and silly. But the message behind them resonates with anyone who loves indulging in cookies or sweet treats now and then.

23. “Cherry Pie” By Warrant

Dessert, anyone? “Cherry Pie” by Warrant is a metal song from 1990 that finds its way to our list. The song is the title track of the album of the same name, reaching #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Cherry Pie” explores the concept of infatuation and describes the singer’s love interest as a delicious cherry pie. The couple enjoys simple things such as singing and dancing and spending time with each other.

Thanks to its catchy chorus and guitar riffs, this track is an essential part of endless ’90s metal playlists. For many fans, it is not just the lyrics but also the upbeat energy that encourages them to sing along.

24. “Bread And Butter” By The Newbeats

One of the most famous food pairings is bread and butter. The Newbeats, a pop vocal trio, used it as the title of their 1964 hit “Bread and Butter.”

The song follows a couple where the woman feeds him bread and butter and toast and jam. She doesn’t prepare him mashed potatoes or steak, perhaps signifying that he can’t afford such an expensive meal. But he likes the simple food his wife prepares, telling us he is content with his wife and life.

Or so he thinks. Because one day, he goes home early and catches his wife eating “chicken and dumplings” with another guy.

25. “Pineapple Princess” By Annette Funicello

Imagine yourself on a Hawaiian island enjoying the sea, sun, and sand. In the background, Annette Funicello’s “Pineapple Princess” plays. This song is a fun and energetic track that fits perfectly on this list.

Featured on the Hawaiiannette album, this delightful song showcases her charming vocal style and an upbeat melody. It describes a beautiful relationship between two young lovers and uses pineapple as a term of endearment and a metaphor for innocence.

The joyful and lively tone creates an image of a vibrant, magical summer. “Pineapple Princess” remains a beloved classic that transports listeners to an idyllic island paradise.

26. “Chicken Fried” By Zac Brown Band

It’s the little things that count, as Zac Brown Band will tell you in “Chicken Fried.” The song was released in 2005 and celebrates the simple pleasures of life.

The lyrics paint a picture of a laid-back and wholesome lifestyle. The song emphasizes the importance of family, love, and all the things in between. The singer particularly enjoys a Friday night by having a cold beer and chicken that’s fried.

But more than that, he enjoys the life he has. He doesn’t have much in the way of material things, but he has a loving wife and a child and grew up knowing a mother’s love. He pretty sure doesn’t ask for anything else. Except for “a little bit of chicken fried.”

27. “Food, Glorious Food” By Oliver! Cast

Everything comes together in our final song of the list. In “Food, Glorious Food” from the classic musical Oliver!, we have appetizers, the main meal, and desserts!

In the lyrics, Oliver laments about how they have to grow old and have nothing delicious to eat. He and the other workhouse boys eat gruel all the time, a staple food for most peasants.

And so he imagines delicious and “glorious food” such as sausage, “a great big steak,” and pudding and custard. He wonders what it would be like to enjoy “three banquets a day.” It doesn’t matter whether they swallow or chew as long as there’s food.

Summing Up Our List Of Food Songs

Our list above is by no means comprehensive. There are still a lot of songs out there about food. But with stomachs growling, we come to the end of our list.

If there’s one thing we can say about these songs, it’s that the songwriters made masterpieces out of them.

We hope you’ve immensely enjoyed our presentation of food-themed songs today. Did you find new favorites? Be sure to add our collection to your playlist! We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.