We Need to Talk About All the Food in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

published Nov 28, 2016
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(Image credit: Netflix)

This past weekend the cult classic TV show Gilmore Girls rose from the dead and blessed us with four new episodes on Netflix. Gilmore Girls is ostensibly a show about a mother and daughter, and life, and love, and family dynamics, and the fantasy of small-town New England living. And so it is! It is all of these things. Also, it is a show about food. Lots and lots of food.

From snack Pop-Tarts and pre-dinner tater tots, to late-night coffee and early morning bourbon, here is everything consumed, pictured, or casually discussed over the course of the Netflix revival. Consider this your culinary recap. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)

(Image credit: Netflix)


  • Lorelai greets Rory, now a 32-year-old freelance journalist with one New Yorker Talk of the Town piece and three different cellular telephones, with a large coffee and a bag of tacos from Al’s Pancakes.
  • In celebration of Rory’s homecoming, Luke prepares two separate main courses: mac and cheese and Parmesan cutlets. Solid choices, high dairy, very Gilmore.
  • Finally! Rory takes a bite of the taco, which comes as a great relief to me personally. They have been carrying these tacos around for quite a long time, and it is snowing. How do you reheat a taco most effectively, I wonder? Please weigh in.
  • Tater tots (discussed, not eaten).
  • Rory also takes a bite of a powdered sugar mini-donut. This is the Gilmore dieting secret: Eat only single bites of everything.
  • Red wine.
  • More coffee (homemade)!
  • Eggs (assorted preparations), served to the WiFi-loving patrons of Luke’s; toast.
  • A “Fudgie banana milkshake,” requested by Kirk, in celebration of delivering his first satisfied (?) “Ooober” customer. (If there is an obvious flaw in this series, it is the excess of Kirk. A fudgie banana milkshake sounds good, though.)
  • Green pea congee, fried shallots, spring onions, and chili oil with abalone, prepared by Roy Choi (the Roy Choi, of Kogi fame), who is doing a pop-up restaurant at The Dragonfly Inn. But his pop-up is un-popped when Lorelai fires him, because he moved the coffee maker, and also is not Sookie. Previous fired guest chefs mentioned but not seen: Anthony Bourdain, April Bloomfield (“too much pork”), Alice Waters (“a little flaky”), and David Chang. A real draw, Stars Hollow!
  • Martinis with olives, as prepared by a grieving Emily Gilmore.
  • Sad flashback Scotch, consumed in excess after Richard’s funeral.
  • Sad flashback crudité (seen, not eaten).
  • Unidentified crunchy/smushy meat-cheese-and-maybe-peanut-butter casserole (?), prepared by Emily’s new and preternaturally cheerful maid, Berta.
  • Coffee (Luke’s), plus sprinkles off a single donut.
  • Fertility clinic coffee, apparently very good.
  • Stolen fluke carpaccio with lime and chilis, which Rory splits with noted London feminist Naomi Shropshire, whose memoir she is maybe ghostwriting.
  • Stolen cheeseburger, also split, also in London, which happens to be the home of none other than the now-engaged-to-a-French-heiress Logan Huntzberger.
  • Bourbon (not split).
  • Coffee (Luke’s).
  • Unidentified grain alcohol.
  • “Warm glogg.”

Total Coffees: 5

(Image credit: Netflix)


  • Bibimbap (featured, not eaten).
  • Paella (also featured, also not eaten).
  • Vietnamese suckling pig (upsetting to Kirk, not eaten).
  • Wine and assorted sandwiches, from Cassie’s auction basket.
  • Fancy unspecified British lunch at a Huntzberger family holding, featuring $300 wine and french fries.
  • An adorable bag of profiteroles, eaten by Lorelai at the town meeting where it is revealed that Stars Hollow does not have enough gay people for a gay pride parade.
  • Takeout chicken scallopini (Luke), linguini with meatballs (Lorelai), and a hangar steak (Paul Anka).
  • Wine.
  • Coffee (homemade).
  • Contraband Yano’s Burgers, which Luke and Lorelai eat during the screening of Kirk’s film.
  • Mystery Chinese takeout containers that Lane Kim and bandmates consumed during Kirk’s film.
  • Sausages.
  • Popcorn.
  • An entire chocolate cake.
  • “Soup and sammies for days,” prepared with great enthusiasm by another soon-to-be pop-up failure, Rachael Ray! The problem with Rachael is that no one is eating her sammies, because they are all B-list actors who don’t eat. Alas. Some things are not meant to be.
  • Scotch.
  • Hot dogs, chips, Funyuns, and Pepsi, the result of Rory taking Paris’s kids out to lunch.
  • Coffee (unspecified takeout).
  • A Bloody Mary, sipped by unhinged Naomi Shropshire as her lawyer dissolves Rory’s book contract.
  • “Crodough Cake” from “Monique Aswell” bakery (get it?).
  • Coffee, obtained by Lorelai while Rory is reporting “about lines” for GQ.
  • Street cart hot dogs.
  • Pot roast, mashed potatoes, and a banana split, ordered from room service to comfort Rory after her one-night stand with a Wookiee (ordered, never seen, much like the Wookiee himself).

Total Coffees: 3

(Image credit: Netflix)


  • Salad, garlic bread, and what I think is macaroni and cheese at a family dinner with Luke’s daughter, April, now a student at MIT.
  • Popcorn, eaten by Lorelai and Luke, who are watching The Returned.
  • O-So strawberry sodas, sipped poolside by Lorelai and Rory.
  • Dry gin martini (Lorelai) and tequila with salt (Michel) at the Secret Bar, where Michel announces it’s time for him to leave The Dragonfly Inn.
  • Scotch, found in Rory’s desk at the Stars Hollow Gazette, where she is now editor.
  • Coffee.
  • Burgers, prepared by Luke as part of the Inn’s “Tuesday Burger Day.”
  • One strawberry milkshake with six straws, to be shared by the Stars Hollow “30-Something Gang,” all fans of Paul Thomas Anderson.
  • Coffee again, the morning after a stressful gazette distribution day.
  • Pop-Tarts, also.
  • Chinese, Greek, and Italian takeout, plus hot dogs (unseen, ordered in a gazette-induced frenzy).
  • Tea (I am assuming it is tea), served at Emily’s DAR meeting.
  • What may or may not be crab puffs, by Berta.
  • More desk Scotch, shared by Rory and Jess, who helpfully suggests that Rory write a book about her relationship with her mother. Every mother’s dream!
  • Pitcher of gimlets with Russian vodka, made by Emily’s new boyfriend, the generic Jack Smith.
  • Pellegrino, poured, although not consumed.

Total Coffees: 2

(Image credit: Netflix)


  • Freeze-dried hiking meatballs, eaten as Lorelai prepares to embark on her own Wild-inspired journey up the Pacific Coast Trail. Also pictured: freeze-dried chili mac, freeze-dried spaghetti.
  • Boxed Franzia, purchased from Trader Joe’s (3 for $10!) by a fellow Wild-inspired hiker.
  • LeanCuisines, enthusiastically devoured by the Wild gang (mentioned but not pictured: Snackwells, VitaTops. Did you know Snackwells still exists? I did not, but I find their continued presence in the world oddly reassuring).
  • Champagne, various snacks, and assorted other alcohols, part of Logan’s grand gesture, uproariously devoured by Rory, Logan, Colin, Finn, and Robert, dressed in steampunk ensembles.
  • More Champagne, this time at a secret tango club that might be located somewhere in New Hampshire!
  • Morning martinis.
  • Steak, prepared for Paul Anka by Luke, despondent without Lorelai.
  • Unspecified alcoholic beverage with two limes, consumed by Emily on Nantucket.
  • Stealth small coffee (in Michel’s hands, never mentioned).
  • Pop-Tarts, Chinese takeout, ice cream, Red Vines, and coffee, thus ending the memoir-induced fight between Rory and Lorelai.
  • Fancy store-bought cookies in tiny wrappers, as they would be, at what will be the last of Emily’s DAR meetings.
  • DAR tea or coffee — who knows what those ladies do?
  • Coffee (Starbucks, Venti), which Christopher buys for Rory when she comes to his office to cryptically ask how he felt about Lorelai raising her alone.
  • Sherry, part of Emily’s newly instated afternoon sherry policy.
  • ’69 Dom Perignon (discussed, not pictured).
  • A surfeit of wedding cakes, prepared for Luke and Lorelai’s impending nuptials by Sookie, who is back to celebrate, and also to appease us emotionally.
  • Sookie’s fat-free magic granola (eaten in quantity by Michel, although not seen).
  • Unspecified soup (not pictured).
  • Pop-Tarts, shared by Rory and Lorelai.
  • Prenuptial pizzas, shared by Luke and Lorelai.
  • Prenuptial donuts (seen, neither eaten nor discussed).
  • Wine, contentedly drunk alone by Emily on Nantucket.
  • Morning wedding Champagne, meaningfully consumed by Lorelai but not Rory, who is mysteriously pregnant. Surprise!

Total Coffees: 3

Total Coffees in Revival: 13

Who is the father? What is your favorite flavor of Pop-Tarts? Is Rory charming, or insufferable? Are they even mutually exclusive? Let us discuss.