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A two-by-two grid of screenshots from Delicious in Dungeon of the main cast tasting a variety of food encountered throughout the series. Image: Trigger/Netflix

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Delicious in Dungeon’s delectable dishes, ranked

From ‘Ugh, yuck’ to ‘Mmm-mmm!’

It’s no secret that anime food has a reputation for being gobsmackingly good-looking. This is especially true in Delicious in Dungeon, the new “action gourmet” fantasy anime from Studio Trigger that premiered in January on Netflix. Each episode, our intrepid troupe of adventurers ventures deeper and deeper into the catacombs of a gigantic underground kingdom as they vanquish (and cook) a slew of foul creatures on their way to rescuing one of their own from a powerful red dragon. All of the dishes look amazing, though some more than others.

In the spirit of such shows as Top Chef and Chopped, we’ve assembled a panel of Polygon’s premiere anime food gourmands to rank each of the dishes as they appear throughout the series. We’ll check back every week to update our ranking and offer our take on which ones look the tastiest, but for now, here’s our verdict on the most delectable-looking dishes we’ve seen so far in Delicious in Dungeon.

Our latest update added Porridge made from Grain that was just Lying Around, Giant Parasite from Giant Kraken, and Kelpie Grilled Meat.

17. Steamed Living Armor

A knight’s helmet shaped like a lion steaming over a pot cooking over a skillet. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 3
Ingredients: Living Armor, seasonings (salt, soy sauce, vinegar, etc.)

Of all the mouthwateringly scrumptious-looking dishes seen in Delicious in Dungeon so far, this is easily the least appetizing. I mean, c’mon; it’s literally just the head of a living suit of armor heated over a pot on a stove with some seasoning thrown in. Even Laios said it tasted like mold, and that guy loves eating dungeon creatures. The next time I go out to eat and see a full-course living armor meal on the menu, I’ll tell the waiter to leave the head. —Toussaint Egan

16. Grilled Living Armor

Three squid-like creatures nestled in oyster shell-shaped metal dishes. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 3
Ingredients: Living Armor, seasonings (salt, soy sauce, vinegar, etc.)

OK, now we’re talking. These grilled Living Armor dishes look like grilled oysters or calamari arranged on small metallic platters. They look succulent and chewy, and I can only imagine what they taste like when well seasoned with salt and soy sauce. They’re far from the most appetizing dish seen so far in Delicious in Dungeon, but they’re certainly a step up from the abysmally undercooked Steamed Living Armor. I’d take this as an appetizer any day, if only for the fact that I could say that I tried it. —TE

15. Man-Eating Plant Tart

A delicious looking baked tart decorated with sliced tomatoes and other assorted vegetables. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 2
Ingredients: Leftover scorpion broth (from lunch; 200 ml), slime gelatin (80 grams), Baraselia (3 med. size), Meeroak (5 or 6 med. size), Betan (3 med. size), salt (to taste), pepper (a little)

I love fluffy baked foods and I absolutely love vegetables, so yeah, this dish would totally fit my palate. I don’t know, something about the idea of scorpion broth and slime gelatin baked into a scrumptious and crunchy treat. The only drawback is that you can’t eat the crust; otherwise, this dish would be much higher up on my personal ranking. —TE

14. Golem Field Fresh Veggie Lunch

A soup bowl filled with boiled cabbage, sliced potatoes and carrots, onions, and bacon situated next to a small bowl filled with vegetables. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 4
Ingredients: Cabbage (1 head), carrots (2), potatoes (4 large size), onions (2 med. size), thick-sliced basilisk bacon (8 slices), salt and pepper (to taste), water (a generous amount); turnips (2 med. size), carrot (a small amount), carrot greens (to taste), olive oil (to taste)

I find the most appetizing foods in Delicious in Dungeon are the ones that come together in a whole rounded meal. This one looks like a lovely lunch of quick vegetable soup in a bacon-flavored broth, a substantial but light meal that won’t weigh you down as you continue on your adventuring way. But I must confess that the most appealing thing about this dish is philosophical. Cow’s milk, sheep’s wool, bees’ honey — you can’t tell me there’s any conceptual difference between those animal byproducts and these golem-flesh-grown vegetables. I would eat this to absolutely freak a vegan out. —Susana Polo

13. Living Armor Dwarf-Style Stir-Fry and Living Armor Soup

A plate of boiled medicinal herbs and season squid-like creatures next to a small bowl of soup. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 3
Ingredients: Antidotal herb (2 bunches), medicinal herb (1 bunch), Living Armor (7-8 med. pieces), special sauce (1 tbsp), salt and pepper (a little)

Easily the most appetizing and well-rounded course of the Living Armor meal, the stir-fry-and-soup combo is definitely my idea of good eating. As soon as I heard Chilchuck say that the living armor itself tastes like mushrooms, I was sold. I love mushrooms! Just looking at the image alone makes me want to dig in, crunch up those scrumptious-looking medicinal leaves, and slurp up that delicious broth that Senshi prepared. Très magnifique! —TE

12. Mandrake Kakiage and Giant Bat Tempura

Four flaky looking batches of breaded food situated on a bed of leaves on a wooded platter. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 2
Ingredients: Mandrake, Big Bat breast meat, basilisk egg (1), weak flour (150 grams), water (170 cc), soy sauce (1 tbsp), sake (1 tbsp), salt (a pinch), garlic and ginger (to taste)

I’m not super sold on eating a giant bat, but I cannot deny the satisfying crunch that it makes on screen. And anyway, deep frying kills all the potentially suspicious bacteria… right? I also love a good kakiage, so the mandrake version would be appealing (though hopefully I don’t have to see their screaming faces). It really looks like the perfect ratio of crispy batter and food substance within it! —Petrana Radulovic

11. Naturally Delicious Treasure Insect Snacks

A jar of candied jam, golden crackers, pearl skewers, and a pair of bread buns. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 5
Ingredients: Treasure insect nest (1 with eggs and larvae), water, sugar, coin bugs, oil, salt, pearl centipedes

This is easily one of the most creative and unconventional dishes to appear on Delicious in Dungeon so far. The thought that insects could devise a way to mimic the appearance of treasure in order to ensnare their victims is about as surprising as the realization you could prepare them to be eaten. The Insect Nest Jam is the most fun and tasty-looking of the bunch, though the Coin Bug Crackers sound pretty appetizing, too. I’d have to pinch my nose and brace myself to take a bite out of a Centipede Skewer, though. The way that Marcille describes the taste as “creamy” has me about as intrigued as I am worried I might wretch it back up. —TE

10. Boiled Mimic

A skillet filled with bright red crab-like legs and claws. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 6
Ingredients: Mimic upper body (1), claws (1 pair), legs (4), salt

I love shellfish, so for me the boiled mimic seems like the juiciest, biggest crab ever. I know cracking those claws would be so satisfying! And sure, maybe getting some of the meat out of those more spindly legs would be hard, but part of the appeal of eating crabs and lobster to me is the challenge. The only thing missing is some nice butter for dipping and a spritz of lemon. On its own, the boiled mimic might be a little bland, even if it’s juicy. —PR

9. Giant Parasite from Giant Kraken: Grilled Plain and Kabayaki-Style

Grilled meat skewered on sticks roasting on an open grate grill. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 7
Ingredients: Giant Parasite (1); Dipping sauce (Soy sauce (100 ml), Mirin (100 ml), Sugar (80 grams), Sake (40 ml))

While the thought of eating a literal parasite makes my stomach turn a bit, I can’t argue with the results of Laois and Senshi’s gastronomical experimentation. Simply put, I love grilled food. I can’t get enough of it. Of the two ways prepared, I would totally eat it marinated with the sweet and tangy dipping sauce that Senshi whipped up. That said, I would absolutely not be so bold as to eat it raw, as Laois’ brush with parasitic food poisoning would be more than enough to make sure my meal was grilled all the way through. —TE

8. Kelpie Grilled Meat

A pot filled with various cuts of meat, lettuce, and sliced onions. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 8
Ingredients: Round, Loin and Chuck, Fillet, Liver, Plate, Tail, Mane (aquatic plants), Cabbage, Onion

While a part of me feels a tiny bit bad about eating a majestic shape-shifting water spirit, that treacherous creature’s life was forfeit the exact moment it tried to drown and eat Senshi. I’ve never had horse meat before, but grilled meat is amazing, and a variety of different flavors and textures based on the assorted cuts of the Kelpie’s body sounds even better. —TE

7. Porridge made from Grain that was just Lying Around

Porridge topped with meat and barley in a large skillet. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 7
Ingredients: Barley (200 grams), Water (1000 ml), Salt (to taste), Mimic meat (1 leg), Waterweed

While I’ve never quite considered myself a fan of porridge, Laios’ improvised dish is absolutely scrumptious to behold. I love the lightly browned texture of the barley, the simmering broth melding with the crunchy flavor, topped off with an enticing garnish of waterweed and mimic meat. I especially like the tiny fish eggs sprinkled between the waterweed that pop while you’re chewing, adding just a variety of flavor and sensation that makes the meal as a whole feel less like simple food and more like a flavorful experience to behold. —TE

6. Roast Basilisk

A roast basilisk resembling a rotisserie chicken steaming in a large skillet. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 2
Ingredients: Basilisk (1, tail and innards removed), mana herb (to taste), salt and pepper (to taste); antidotal herb (1 med. size), strong medicinal herb (1 bunch), ultra medicinal herb (1 bunch), anti-paralysis herb (1 med. size), anti-petrify herb (1 med. size)

OK, this just looks like a rotisserie chicken. But consider: It looks like the juiciest, most decadent rotisserie chicken I’ve ever seen in my life. I just know the skin is crispy and will drip some delicious juices down my chin as I take a bite. Also! There’s healing herbs in it, so no skimping. I trust that it’s not like the dry rotisserie chickens at my local grocery store. —PR

5. Mandrake and Basilisk Omelet

An omelet packed with meat and cheeses spilling out from a hole in the middle. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ch. 4
Ingredients: Mandrake (1 med. size), basilisk bacon (use the fattiest cuts, 50 grams), basilisk egg (1), salt and pepper (to taste), ketchup (to taste)

The mandrake is the Delicious in Dungeon ingredient I am most frustrated that I cannot try. It seems so versatile! It’s firm enough to fry up in kakiage, but cooks down soft enough to enjoy in an omelet. Is it a strong flavor like the similarly gnarled ginger root? Or more mild like a carrot? Or sweet like a yam? In real life, eating any of the plants at one time classified as a “mandrake” will mess you up pretty good in a completely non-supernatural way, so I will never know. This haunts me. —SP

4. Court Cuisine: Full Course Meal

An assortment of various dishes in bowls and plates on a wooden table with a goblet of wine. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 6
Ingredients: Pumpkin soup, sautéed green soybeans and white fish, fruit, golden wheat bread, duck roast, golden cow’s cheese

Is this food real? No. Does it fill you up? Also no. Does it look absolutely delicious? Yes. Honestly, the fact that it doesn’t fill you up might be a perk. You eat as much as you want, try every last morsel, then hop right out of the painting. Ground yourself, then jump right back in for even more. I see no downsides. — PR

3. Freshly Stolen Vegetables and Chicken Stewed with Cabbage Accompanied by Plundered Bread

Baked bread tortillas filled with shredded cabbage, a pot of vegetable stew, and two pieces of bread. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 4
Ingredients: Chicken (400 grams), cabbage (stolen, 1 head), carrots (stolen, 2), onions (stolen, 2 med.), cayenne pepper, salt and pepper; wheat flour (stolen, 60 grams), olive oil; bread flour (stolen, 250 grams), water (160 ml), bread starter (stolen), sugar

When I sit to eat I don’t just want good food — I want a good meal. That’s why the stolen vegetables with chicken and bread dish is my favorite of the series so far. It looks delicious, it’s got a variety of foods in it, it covers a lot of nutritional bases (which Senshi would remind you is important), and it’s a successful tool of interspecies diplomacy. I don’t just want to taste this food, I want to have this experience. That’s the real potential of a good meal with friends. —SP

2. Exorcism Sorbet

A wooden bowl filled with a colorful mound of sorbet topped with a mint leaf and jeweled candies. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 5
Ingredients: Special interfaith holy water (500 ml), sturdy jar (1), sacred cordon rope (1, if not available use regular rope), ghosts (5 or more)

Who’d have thought Laois and his band of adventurers would be eating a frozen confection on their quest to slay the red dragon? Not me, that’s who! This sorbet looks so tasty with its assorted medley of colors and its soft, creamy texture. Throw in a couple leftover candy critters from the Treasure Insect Snacks and a mint leaf and you’ve got a dessert worth fighting a whole dungeon’s worth of ghosts for. —TE

1. Huge Scorpion and Walking Mushroom Hotpot

a boiling skillet filled with purple jelly noodles, mushroom, corn, assorted vegetables, and pieces of scorpion. Image: Trigger/Netflix

Appears in: Ep. 1
Ingredients: Huge Scorpion, Walking Mushroom, seaweed, Invertatoes, dried slime, water

This is the moment. The legend. The first dish we see Senshi make and the one we’ve been chasing ever since. The individual parts are questionable — slime? Scorpions? Sentient mushrooms? — but by God, that is the most delicious soup I’ve ever seen. You know the slime noodles have a tantalizing texture, and that the scorpion meat is juicy, and that the mushrooms are flavorful. It’s the sort of dish where I’ll be eating every bit and slurp up the last drops of soup at the bottom of the bowl. —PR


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