11 Books Like 'Sweetbitter' To Read If You're Obsessed With The Novel & New TV Show
Have you fallen for the sparkling world of Stephanie Danler's Sweetbitter yet? Now a hit series on Starz, Sweetbitter is the story of 22-year-old Tess, who has just arrived in New York City with big dreams and ambitions. But when she takes a job at an upscale restaurant, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the wild world of the high-end food service industry. As she trains to be a waitress in the cut-throat atmosphere, plenty of drama ensues — including a few sizzling love affairs.
Whenever I finish a good book, I am always a little bit sad to say goodbye. Luckily, there are more than a few books that can satisfy your Sweetbitter cravings. The 11 books below will give you a backstage pass to the culinary industry, transport you to the dazzling but competitive world of New York City, and carry you away on journeys of intrigue. Like Sweetbitter, these are coming-of-age stories, food stories, and love stories that contain every flavor of the human experience.
So Sweetbitter fans, while you wait for the next episode, go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine, whip up one of your favorite dishes, and take a leap into these five-star reads.
'Give a Girl a Knife' by Amy Thielen
This food memoir chronicles Amy Thielen's journey to becoming a chef, tracing her journey from the Midwest to the world of New York City restaurants. This is a beautifully told coming-of-age story that will appeal to anyone obsessed with Sweetbitter's culinary theme.
'Neon in Daylight' by Hermione Hoby
In this debut novel, Katie moves to NYC and becomes infatuated with a writer and his daughter. You'll adore the bustling, artsy version of NYC in this read.
'All Grown Up' by Jami Attenberg
This novel follows Andrea, a woman living in NYC and attempting to pin down who she really is. Told through a series of short stories about her life, this book will give you a totally unique perspective on what it means to be an "ordinary" person just trying to find a corner of the world where they can find some peace.
'Everything I Know About Love' by Dolly Alderton
This hilarious memoir chronicles former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton's experiences with finding love. If you love the romantic drama of Sweetbitter, you'll adore this book.
'Food and the City' by Ina Yalof
If Sweetbitter piqued your curiousity about the IRL restaurant scene in New York, pick up this behind-the-scenes look at NYC food culture.
'The Hopefuls' by Jennifer Close
This novel is set in Washington D.C., but it has the same bustling feel of Sweetbitter. When Beth first arrives in the nation's capital, she hates the city. But when she and her husband befriend another couple, they soon get pulled into a whole new world of jealousy, competition, and rumors.
'M Train' by Patti Smith
Anyone who loves a good New York story should not miss Patti Smith's gorgeous memoir about her life as an artist, a lover, and a New Yorker.
'Laura & Emma' by Kate Greathead
When Laura, a wealthy thirty-something, gets unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand, she begins to reckon with the privileged world where she's spent her entire life. As she raises her daughter, Emma, in the same upper-crust world where she grew up, she begins to question whether it's the right place for either of them.
'Behold the Dreamers' by Imbolo Mbue
While this fantastic novel is pretty different from Sweetbitter, it provides another unique glimpse into the business of serving the upper class. In 2007, Jende Jonga is an immigrant from Cameroon who has moved to NYC to make a life for himself, his wife, and their son. When he lands a job as a chauffeur for a high-ranking executive, he gets an eye-opening glimpse into a world of power and privilege.
'Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste' by Bianca Bosker
Wine is a pretty big deal in Sweetbitter, so if you want to dive into the wild, complex world of vino, pick up Cork Dork. When tech reporter Bianca Bosker stumbled her way into the elite, illustrious world of wine, she embarked on a journey to uncover the secrets of this fascinating obsession.
'The Lesser Bohemians' by Eimear McBride
This brilliant novel is filled with all the passion and curiosity of Sweetbitter, with another story of a young woman finding her place in the world. In this novel, 18-year-old Eily has just arrived to London from Ireland, ready to start her career as a drama student. But things take a surprising turn when she gets drawn into the world of an attractive older man.