Shakespeare’s plays are full of food and drink quotes. As usual with Shakespeare, he uses such everyday things to characterise the people who populate the world of his plays. He also uses food and drink as metaphors to create accurate impressions of the times he lived in. No Sweat Shakespeare has browsed through the plays to delight you with the top 20 Shakespeare quotes on food and drink.

Do you think because you are virtuous, that there shall be no more cakes and ale?

Twelfth Night: Act 2, Scene 3

Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used.

Othello: Act 2, Scene 3

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale.

Henry V: Act 3, Scene 2

Truly, thou art damned like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side.

As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 2

Why, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five senses.

The Merry Wives Of Windsor: Act 1, Scene 1

Eight wild boars roasted whole at breakfast, but twelve persons there.

Antony and Cleopatra: Act 2, Scene 1

Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.

Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 2

I am a great eater of beefd and I believe that does harm to my wit.

Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 3

He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his.

Henry IV Part 1: Act 2, Scene 1

Drink sir, is a great provoker of three things….nose-painting, sleep and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire but takes away the performance.

Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 3

O, he is as tedious as a tired horse, a railing wife; worse than a smokey house: I had rather live with cheese and garlic in a windmil, far, than than feed on cates and have him talk to me in any summer-house in Christendom.

Henry IV Part 1: Act 3, Scene 1

Unquiet meals make ill digestions.

The Comedy Of Errors: Act 5, Scene 1

My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn I saw good strawberries in your garden there; I do beseech you send for some of them.

Richard III: Act 3, Scene 4

And, most dear actors, eat no onions or garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words: Away! Go, away!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 4, Scene 2

A’ shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.

Henry IV Part 2: Act 5, Scene 1

Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon.

All’s Well That Ends Well: Act 5, Scene 3

They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.

Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 4

A man cannot make him laugh – but that’s no marvel; he drinks no wine.

Henry IV Part 2: Act 2, Scene 4

I pray you, do not fall in love with me, For I am falser than vows made in wine.

As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 5

O thou invisible spirit of wine! If thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!

Othello: Act 2, Scene 3

painting of an elizabethan feast

Painting of an elizabethan feast

What do you think of these Shakespeare quotes on food and drink – any that we’re missing? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 1 Ismet says:

    Thank you!

  • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 2 peter downes says:

    Good quotes – but names of characters would be useful too.

    • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 3 Sven Diamond says:

      Or, Peter, you could maybe do that bit of homework yourself, instead of making a ‘cavil on the ninth part of a hair’ . I’ll let you discover which character said that on your own shall I? :-)

      • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 4 Floss Capegue says:

        “you are a saucy boy,” Sven Diamond. I appreciate that in a man.

  • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 5 rose says:

    thanks for the info, i have to write an essay! I’m only 12, I shouldn’t have to spend my entire weekend writing it.

    • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 6 Martin says:

      I wrote a book to make Shakespeare fun and accessible called ‘To Be Or Not To Be, Innit. A Yoof-Speak Guide to Shakespeare. It became an unexpected best-seller.

  • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 7 Frank says:

    Bardolph’s line is a malaprop in Merrie Wives: “…5 sentences.”

  • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 8 Can't find correct info on internet says:

    Drink is a provoker quote is from MacBeth, not Henry IV

    • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 9 claire says:

      Yes, i noticed that too, having just skim read the scottish play

    • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 10 SCOTT JOHNSON says:

      your totally right!!!

  • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 11 Sarah Stillion says:

    Several of those quotes are attributed to the wrong play.
    Drink sir, is the provoker of three things…. is from Macbeth the Porter says it.
    And most, dear actors, let us eat no onions or garlic… is from Midsummer and Bottom says it.
    My lord of Ely… is from Richard III said by Richard.
    I suspect one or two more are incorrect, but those are the ones that I know.

    • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 12 John says:

      Hi Sarah, all the quotes you mentioned are attributed to the right plays that you mention… perhaps the layout of our page is a little confusing!

      • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 13 Jeff Carnes says:

        You should fix the spacing–every quote looks like it’s attributed to the following play!

        • Shakespeare Quotes on Food and Drink 12 John says:

          You’re quite right Jeff – ’tis done!