TikTok can seem incredibly mysterious to those who are not within (after all, that’s part of what makes it so enjoyable to some).
There is a variant of niches that the platform boasts, ‘straight TikTok’ which sees the typical dance trends and comical skits, ‘alt TikTok’ which is a force all in its own. There’s BreakUp TikTok, Mental Health TikTok, Religious Tik Tok. You get it. There really is, and this cannot be emphasised enough, a TikTok for everything.
@moribyanLet’s eat good together 💞 all these recipes are on my page! ##foodtiktok ##WorkingAtHome ##tiktokfood ##fyp ##foryou♬ original sound – Hajar Larbah
One of the most popular niches of course, belongs to the foodies. The popularity of the category is not at all surprising.
Mouth-watering meal tutorials in less than 60 seconds? Deliciously aesthetic food videos? Cultural food secrets or a day in the life of a Starbucks barista? Or how about the current trend of upside down pizza? Food Tok has it all. Vice has called it, the Food Platform of the People, and it truly is.
While the popularity of Food Tok is not a mystery, what actually makes a video tik, buzz, or soar to impossible heights sometimes can be. Just because the niche is popular, doesn’t automatically send any food related video to the top of the For You page. Just because a 13 year old’s pancake doing a backflip went viral, doesn’t necessarily mean your olympic qualified omelette is going to be seen by Drake.
However, if Food Tok intrigues you, whether you just want to learn a thing or two about cooking or if you want to become a foodie creative, here’s your basic guide to the world of Food Tok.
How to get in the know
For beginners in the TikTok world as a whole, your initial ‘For You’ page may seem confusing. TikTok is basically experimenting with you by means of random videos to see what sticks with you, so that your algorithm can pick up your interests. If Food Tok is your focus, try typing in hashtags, like #bagelrecipe, or type in “Food Tok” as a whole to get a general start.
This, firstly, will get you right to the recipe you want (if you use specific hashtags), and secondly, will tell TikTok your interests are food related.
Following the big Foodie accounts like @foodies or @foodiesofsa are good starts too, but believe me there is so much more to Food Tok.
Following specific Foodies
Who’s Who in the Foodie Zoo? Some of the best foodies to start following on TikTok are:
- @spurweezy, who’s videos are easy to follow, and offer great audio sync-ups.
- @eitan for recipes like ‘The World’s Easiest Nutella Babka’ or ‘The World’s creamiest Fettuccine Alfredo’. His videos cover the whole range of the food spectrum for intense diversity.
- @chelsweets who is the ultimate go-to for all things sweet. Prepare your sweet tooth well in advance. Bonus? Her creations are absolutely adorable.
@chelsweetsWhat should we name him?!? 🦔##hedgehog ##cupcake ##chelsweets♬ Send Me on My Way – Vibe Street
- @scheckeats who loves to sprinkle knowledge into his recipes. He has said before that he could write a dissertation on the misconceptions of certain foods and their histories, specifically Alfredo. He also has a tipsy baking series where he shows you a drink recipe and a baking recipe all in one little clip.
@scheckeatstime for an upgrade 😎 ##spicyrigatoni ##vodkasauce ##penneallavodka ##rigatoni ##spicyrigatonivodka ##gigihadid ##carbone ##pasta♬ Stories 2 – Danilo Stankovic
- @cookingbomb, or chef Vivian Aronson who was featured in MasterChef. Known for expertise in Chinese cuisine, her videos are easy to follow despite their exuberant nature.
@cookingbombThe best pineapple fried rice! What pineapple are you going to use? 😂 ##friedrice ##chinesefood ##pineapplefriedrice ##pineapple ##asianfood ##rice♬ original sound – Vivian Aronson 袁倩祎
- @jackgeorgeralph, the Chocolatier. Maybe you won’t be making the chocolate like he does, but indulging in a video of making honeycomb easter eggs sounds like a pure treat.
@jackgeorgeralphEdible chocolate mirrors solve everything ##chocolate ##chef ##food ##beautiful♬ WITHOUT YOU – The Kid LAROI
- @thekoreanvegan will not only make amazing, usually Korean based dishes on your screen, but she also has amazing topics that she discusses, and gorgeous advice.
@thekoreanvegan3rd time’s a charm, right? ##AdviceFromKoreanAunty ##WorthTheWait ##foodtiktok ##pov ##love♬ original sound – Joanne L. Molinaro (이선영)
- @travelandmunchies is for the curious soul. For amazing videos like ‘What my Ghanian dad eats in a day’ feature on her page.
@travelandmunchiesGhanaian Fried Yam with hot pepper, shito, fried egg and fried fish 👌🏿👌🏿 ##ghana ##nigeria ##deepfried ##foodtok♬ Infinity – Olamide
- @sulheejessica who makes the sweetest videos of her lunch box preparations for her kids. Her videos will honestly make you want to step up your own lunchbox prepping skills for your own kids, someone else’s kids, or yourself.
@sulheejessica🌺 Hawaii 🌴 inspired lunches ##bentobox ##lunchtime ##foodtok ##recipe ##letsmakesomelunchformykids♬ original sound – Jessica Woo
- @Iamtabithabrown, who creates amazing vegan dishes and provides messages of light and hope.
@iamtabithabrownMake it up as you go! 😋 ##vegan ##foodie ##tabithabrown♬ original sound – Tabitha Brown
@twaydabae For simple videos that range from the most amazing ramen noodles to oxtail Bò Kho.
@twaydabaeFull recipe in the comments (:♬ original sound – twaydabae
@the_pastaqueen for amazing food story-telling videos and tutorials, usually to do with pasta. Straight from Rome, right onto your screen.
@the_pastaqueenThe Assassin’s Spaghetti 🌶 ##pasta ##assassinspaghetti ##thepastaqueen♬ original sound – The Pasta Queen
@moribyan who can teach you how to make everything from KFC chicken tenders and McFlurries, to Ramadaan recipes.
@moribyanSince the KFC Nashville Tenders are sold out, let’s make them at home and even better! ##kfc ##kfcnashvillehot ##nashvillechickentenders ##recipe♬ Weekday Morning Routine – Dominant
Making your own foodie videos
As Tway Nguyen (@twaydabae) said, all you really need is a phone (and of course your ingredients) to get started. There is no set formula to TikTok, so the best ingredient you can use really is your creativity.
“A really good thing about TikTok is it’s still in the beginning stages where we’re still getting a lot of genuine and original personalities rather than just a lot of people copying each other,” Tway Nguyen told Vice.
What makes these videos so popular?
It has been said that TikTok is very different to Youtube for a whole book of reasons. TikTok’s popularity, especially in relation to Food Tok, really stems from the uniqueness, curiosity and relatability factors.
You can learn so much about how people of certain cultures actually prepare their food, as well as some of the most amazing tips and tricks (the wrap hack, we’re looking at you).
Additionally, the low quality videos, messy kitchens and short nature of the many of the videos are what make them relatable.
Relatability and curiosity are easily two of TikTok’s biggest pillars of success. The food videos are not always presented in a way that seems far fetched. The unfiltered nature of TikTok really makes people believe that anyone can make these creations, without expensive cooking equipment, expensive ingredients or years of culinary training.