11+ Best Food & Cooking Magazine Themes (ala Bon Appétit) for WordPress in 2017

In this delectable roundup, we serve you the best WordPress food & cooking magazine themes for 2017.  Chances are, if you landed here from Google, you’re a cooking and cuisine enthusiast looking to channel that passion into your own WordPress website. These themes provide a great–not to mention cheap–way to get started quickly and easily.

To keep things fresh, so to speak, we tried to limit our selections to themes no more than a year old at publication. There are a couple of exceptions: themes too strong to omit. But you won’t find any obsolete technology or out of style designs on this list.

Our primary goal was to select themes with the highest quality magazine designs, layouts, and overall aesthetics.  Obviously, there’s a ton of simple, minimalist blog themes out there for sharing recipes. For this article, we wanted to spotlight slightly more complex, scalable options. Themes that, in many ways, invoke prominent food & cooking publications like Bon Appétit, Gourmet, or Epicurious, but without being blatant ripoffs.

Most of our picks share common secondary features. Extras like Visual Composer and Slider Revolution, premium plugins that are commonly bundled, are nice to have, but not essential.  Ad management is an especially nice include, and we considered SEO friendly code and optimization a must-have. There’s no point in launching a magazine that will alienate mighty Google.

Finally, if you haven’t decided on a hosting plan for your WordPress cooking magazine yet, we recommend Bluehost.

Cookbook

As the name implies, Cookbook was designed from the ground up as a cooking magazine theme. The designers embraced a somewhat classic magazine layout, with a large homepage slider and a layout slightly more complex than a standard WordPress blog.

Lots of white space and clean typography guarantee high readability, the UX design is well thought out and implemented. Performance is snappy.

The customization options are useful and clear, giving webmasters and WordPress admins full control over colors, font choice, and more. The theme includes 40 header options, and a page builder for building even more complex, unique layouts.

The provided ad space and ad manager help with monetization efforts. Cookbook is SEO optimized, to help you reach a front page presence on Google and other search engines. Nicely documented and well-supported

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Caress

Something that we see more and more often with premium WordPress themes are products that leverage developer efforts by including multiple designs tailored toward specific niches. Caresses one of these multipurpose themes. Six distinct skins are included, one crafted especially for food and cooking magazines.

The theme boasts a very flexible design, featuring fourteen blog and category layouts. Webmasters can adjust and tweak the elements and colors via the options panel in the admin, bypassing any need to dig around in the code.

Contact Form 7 and MailChimp are integrated. WooCommerce is supported for shopping cart functionality and setting up your own online store. Responsiveness and retina ready design ensure a consistent, user-friendly experience across the wide range of mobile and desktop devices.

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Sprout & Spoon

This lovely food and cooking magazine theme has managed to rack up an impressive amount of users in a relatively short period. Part of that can be attributed to its elegant, minimalistic design that efficiently draws the eye to photos and content.

The feature set is light but focused, offering up visually engaging promo widgets, a featured area, and newsletter support. Recipe card functionality is provided courtesy of the Solo Pine Recipe Plugin. The theme forgoes an overtly complex magazine style layout in favor of a traditional blogging UX.

Theme options are integrated with WordPress’s real-time Live Customizer, with plenty of color options. Six custom widgets are included, providing more versatility. The popular Contact Form 7 plugin is integrated. Sprout & Spoon is translation ready and fully responsive for flawless display and performance on smart phones and tablets.

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Neptune

We almost missed Neptune, because it’s a bit older – released late last year – but it seemed unreasonable not to include it considering how strong the design and features are.

Perhaps most noteworthy is the uniqueness of the design. Most premium themes tend to stick close to contemporary trends, but Neptune scores some points with a bit of extra visual flare. The complex layout goes well beyond that of a classic blog, and presents content in many engaging ways.

There’s a smorgasbord of cooking-specific features, too. Ingredients lists, nutritional information, recipe cards and even a timer are provided. The included ad management feature helps to monetize the site. Site visitors can even submit their own recipes.

This is the most feature-rich cooking magazine theme on our list, and offers up more than we can succinctly summarize here. We recommend clicking through to the product page for a full rundown of all the bells and whistles.via the options panel in the admin. (Don’t worry, no one pays us for clicks.  I wish.)

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Florentine

Next up we have Florentine. This theme was previously named Meridian Recipes. This gorgeous, elegant theme boasts one of our favorite designs on the list. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be especially tailored toward food and cooking, but a closer look reveals some very nice recipe related features indeed. Users are given the intuitive tools necessary for publishing ingredients lists and preparation steps.

The social media features are strong in this one, with modal elements to encourage social sharing and engagement. Like Neptune, this one probably requires a closer look to get the full feel of the theme and understand the scope of what it has to offer.

Contact Form 7 support is baked in, and a useful, easy-to-use review system. Highly recommended.

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Elvira

Elvira is a curious choice of name, and it doesn’t necessarily make me think of cooking (boobs), but make no mistake – this is a food oriented theme first. The design and layout are in the style of a classic blog, and features customization options integrated with Live Customizer. WooCommerce is included for shopping cart functionality, for when you’ve got something to sell online.

This is a straightforward, no fuss theme for food writers and cooks who want to keep things simple. We debated including this one, since it doesn’t offer a more complex, magazine style layout, but the aesthetic fits the food and recipe niche so nicely we couldn’t help but feel like it belonged.

If you don’t agree, maybe you’ll prefer our next pick, which is…

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Sukawati

This is another multipurpose magazine, with a skin crafted specifically for online food and cooking publications. Unlike of Elvira, this theme diverts from the traditional blog design and features a more complex homepage layout (without overdoing it).

One-click demo installation makes it a breeze to set up, and help you get started quickly. Theme customization on the back-end provides a codeless way to brand the theme with color options, font choice, and a logo upload form. WooCommerce and MailChimp are supported.

A few built-in add-ons like related posts, and a “pop-up” recommended post feature, help to encourage visitor engagement. Of course, this theme is retina-ready for high-resolution devices, and responsive on smart phones and tablets.

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Solstice

Although Solstice isn’t explicitly a food & cooking magazine theme, taking a more generalized approach, it lends itself beautifully to that purpose. A large homepage slider, and prominently featured articles, give this theme with its magazine style aesthetic.

A light features set keeps things simple, and a more advanced, slightly more expensive version of the theme is available with more features (like WooCommerce support) for those who need shopping cart functionality.

Lots of useful options are packed in to the admin, and some handy custom widgets and social media integration at extra value. A solid product overall.

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Kale

Kale is another purpose-oriented theme, envisioned and developed exclusively for food blogs and cooking magazines. The airy, minimalistic approach is a major selling point, and intuitive UX and fast performance seals the deal.

On the features end, users will find a built-in recipe index (with Google friendly structured data), excellent social sharing, and a built-in ad manager.

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Veggie Mojo

If it seems like you’re always being redirected to ThemeForest when browsing for WordPress themes and “best of” lists, there’s a good reason for that. Most of the most talented WordPress themers in the world have gathered there to promote their brand  and sell their work. But for the sake of variety, I thought we should include this lovely theme from the Mojo Marketplace.

Veggie is fast, user-friendly, and expertly conceived and designed. The unique homepage header will capture your visitors’ attention and engage them with your content the moment they arrive. The layout is in a magazine style, but widgetized homepages allow webmasters to adjust and structure their own, unique layout. The option to go with a more traditional blog layout is also provided.

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