‘The Bear‘ is a drama series created by Christopher Storer (‘Dickinson‘). It revolves around Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), a fine-dining chef who returns to his hometown and takes over his family’s restaurant after the tragic suicide of his brother. Dealing with the loss of his brother and his own anxieties, Carmy bonds with his new rough-around-the-edges staff.
The series has garnered critical acclaim and highlights the inner workings of a professional kitchen. It showcases the struggles of running small businesses and underlines the burnout caused by the demanding nature of the jobs in a professional kitchen. If the heartfelt and hardboiled drama touched your heart, and you wish to binge more such shows, we’ve got you covered! Here is a list of similar shows we have compiled for you. You can watch most of these shows like ‘The Bear’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu!
7. Chowder (2007-2010)
Kicking off this list is ‘Chowder,’ an animated series created by C. H. Greenblatt. It follows a young boy named Chowder, who aspires to become a top professional chef. During his apprenticeship at Chef Mung Daal’s catering company, Chowder faces a variety of whacky conflicts and hones his skills to become a Masterchef.
Despite being an animated series, the narrative captures the characters’ passion for cooking similarly to ‘The Bear.’ If you thought ‘The Bear’ does not explore its characters’ humorous and quirky sides, ‘Chowder’ will undoubtedly serve you a full plate of hysterical shenanigans.
6. Sweetbitter (2018-19)
‘Sweetbitter’ is a drama series created by Stephanie Danler based on her own 2016 novel of the same name. It tells the story of Tess, a new girl in New York City who finds a job at one of the city’s best restaurants. However, Tess must find a way to keep her sanity and manage her personal life while dealing with the demanding nature of her new job. Viewers will find Tess’ character arc similar to that of Sydney in ‘The Bear.’ Moreover, both shows focus on highlighting the captivating allure of professional kitchens without hiding any of its drawbacks in an inventive manner.
5. Shameless (2011-2021)
Developed for television by John Wells, ‘Shameless‘ is a comedy-drama based on Paul Abbott’s British series of the same name. It revolves around the dysfunctional Gallagher family led by negligent patriarch Frank Gallagher. While Frank dwindles away in his own misery, his six children learn to take care of themselves while attempting to see the human side of their father.
If watching ‘The Bear’ made you a fan of Jeremy Allen White’s Carmy, you will enjoy his performance as Philip “Lip” Gallagher in ‘Shameless.’ Both of White’s characters are the heart of two drastically dysfunctional setups, and both shows are set in Chicago, making them spiritually similar.
4. Midnight Diner (2009-2019)
‘Midnight Diner’ is a Japanese anthology series about a nameless 12-seat Izakaya (informal bar) in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Each episode tells a unique story from the perspective of Master, the unnamed diner’s mysterious yet highly-skilled chef and owner. The stories focus on the plights of the customers, who often find a philosophical life lesson during their visit to the diner.
The series is a complete contrast to ‘The Bear’ despite both being set in a restaurant and focusing on a chef. While ‘The Bear’ is an inward journey with the restaurant’s staff, ‘Midnight Diner’ is an outward journey with the customers. While viewers are likely to get swept in the chaos of the former show, the latter has a calming effect on the audience.
3. Ramy (2019-)
‘Ramy‘ is a comedy-drama series that follows Ramy Hassan, a millennial American Muslim, as he struggles with the ideas of faith while living in a conservative Egyptian community in New Jersey. While the show’s narrative and setting are drastically different from ‘The Bear,’ it still features similar nuances and personal struggles that its protagonists face. Both shows boast episodes directed by Christopher Storer, who brings his unique eye for detail while exploring the conflicts of emotionally closed-off characters. Hence, ‘Ramy’ will provide a fresh cultural perspective for viewers while retaining the emotional resonance of ‘The Bear.’
2. Gentefied (2020-2021)
‘Gentefied‘ tells the story of three Mexican-American cousins chasing the American dream. Created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, the series follows the three cousins as they work in their family taco shop, Mama Fina’s. The restaurant setting allows the show to explore the community aspects of the story, which are only touched upon in ‘The Bear.’ For viewers looking for a more diverse take on the struggles of running a small business with added humor, ‘Gentefied’ should be a feast for you!
1. Chef’s Table (2015-)
Created by David Gelb, ‘Chef’s Table’ is a food docuseries that takes viewers into the lives of top professional chefs and their kitchens. If ‘The Bear’ got you excited about the world of professional kitchens, their appeal, and the challenges faced by those who work there, ‘Chef’s Table’ is the right pick. It beautifully balances the hardships of life in a professional kitchen while underlining the tender side of the chefs who work tirelessly to hone their skills. If you thought Carmy’s story was the pinnacle of struggle in the restaurant business, ‘Chef’s Table’ will pleasingly surprise you! For those reasons, the series is our top pick for the list!