Is it Rude to Criticize Food?

Sharing meals together is a cherished pastime for families and friends… but, what if the food isn’t good? 

Is it rude to criticize someone’s cooking? Read on below and discover the answer.

Is it Rude to Criticize Food?

In most cultures, criticizing someone’s cooking is uncalled for and is more often than not considered extremely rude. There are more important aspects to sharing food with others than how it actually tastes. 

Sure, everyone enjoys a tasty meal, but not everyone’s tastes are identical and it is nearly impossible to make a meal that pleases everyone at the dinner table. Keep these facts in mind before you speak up about how much you dislike the food you are being served.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, criticizing someone’s food rates 10. Criticizing someone’s cooking, especially after they put time, effort, and most probably love into the preparation of the food, can be extremely hurtful to the cook. 

There are much more politer and creative ways to let someone know the food wasn’t to your liking without criticizing them. 

Why is it Rude?

If you don’t like someone’s cooking, simply not eating much of the food on your plate is generally enough to let them know it wasn’t to your liking. No good can come out of openly criticizing someone’s cooking skills in front of the rest of the dinner guests. 

The fact is, not everyone enjoys the same flavors (and maybe everyone else really likes the food, even though you don’t). 

Other Options to Do Instead

Rather than outright criticizing someone’s food, there are a few creative options you can do instead:

  • Invite the person out to eat next time (so you can order food prepared by someone else)
  • Take a cooking class and invite them along (so they can learn to cook better)
  • Invite them to dinner next time (so you can be the cook)
  • Suggest drinks and snacks for your next get-together (rather than lunch or dinner)

Common Questions

How do you say food is not good?

There is no pleasant way to tell someone that their food is not good. It is much better to simply avoid the topic. If you must let them know the food is not good, however, try to do so as politely as possible (or tell a white lie like you aren’t very hungry or have an upset stomach).

What do food critics do?

Food critics look specifically at the ingredients used, how much time and skill it took to create the food, creativity, and presentation. That means, not only are they judging how the food tastes, but they are also judging how it looks, smells, and more.

Are food critics good cooks?

Food critics are often great cooks, but not always. In fact, you can become a food critic without ever having cooked a meal in your life. That said, you must be fair and honest to be a food critic, as well as open to the advice and opinion of expert cooks and other food critics alike.