Top 10 eighties movies paired with nostalgic recipes

I’ve got to start this post with a bit of a disclaimer because this is a controversial list… it’s so hard to choose the top 10 eighties movies… don’t you think. So here it is – Disclaimer: I was a kid in the 80s so my memories and taste will be the equivalent to a sophisticated 10-year-old. So, please, hold your judgement and, instead, share your top 10!

What a decade, the fluro, the cool dancing, the big hair, the awesome toys and crazy food. Let’s go back in time, in film and in food to a decade where memories were made then shoved into the nostalgia folder. Here are my top 10 eighties movies paired with rad food!

1. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

We must include a Star Wars movie in this list… just one and this is my all-time favourite, probably because of the cute little bears and the closure at the end. I love closure. The battle between good and evil, dark and not-so-dark sides, comes to a climax in this film with Luke facing his father and the other ‘goodies’ taking on the dopey men in white plastic with a positive outcome. It’s a keeper, a classic and if you haven’t seen it (and I know some who haven’t) then do it, watch it… NOW!

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

More action than you can poke a stick at, more manly, sweaty scenes with near-misses with massive rolling stones and a pit full of snakes. Eeek. This is a great adventure movie through exotic places with memorable characters… another awesome Han Solo…ahem… I mean Harrison Ford film with heart, history and humour! Check it out.

3. The Breakfast Club (1985)

The brat pack stars in this super-cool movie about a bunch of school misfits who have a Saturday detention in the same boring old library with the same idiotic teacher looking in on them from time to time. They all represent a clique in the school: the nerd, the jock, the rebel, the goth, the pretty girl and they have nothing in common… or do they? By the end they’ve bonded through their moments of vulnerability where they connect and nothing will ever be the same. Classic.


Oooo what were you eating in the eighties? Take a trip down memory lane with these 80s-inspired dishes to go with these awesome movies. We’ll start with a staple dish served for ‘company’ in my childhood home – it’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s French Onion Dip from Delish.


Image: Delish

4. E.T  (1982)

This is a beautiful movie. Though it is all about a weird-looking alien thing, you really grow to love him. It’s like you’re one of the family trying desperately to hide E.T from those bad scientists who want to poke and prod him – to study his life form instead of just loving the poor little thing. It’s so fun to see the eighties fashion and decor and, of course, a tiny little Drew Barrymore. You must see it. Get out your tissues.

5.  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

So many famous quotes – one-liners like “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller” and “When Cameron was in Egypt’s land… let my Cameron go!” and of course “I hope he doesn’t die. I can’t handle summer school.” I love cheeky little Ferris Bueller who tricks his naive parents into giving him yet another day off school while his sister and principle try to bust his little butt. But he’s too smart, to charming to be caught, he’s Ferris and he’s cool.

6. Dirty Dancing (1987)

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen this film – I love it all – the romance, dancing, characters, music (‘She’s Like The Wind’), the moments “And I owe it all to you!” (sing it!). How could you not love this movie? It stars the ridiculously cute Patrick Swayze with the young, sweet Jennifer Grey – a great combo on screen. It’s a fun, deep, romantic, addictive movie that I can’t get enough of… a cult classic.

Main meal:

Two dishes for your main and they kind of clash but that was the eighties. I remember my parents bringing a dish to a BBQ to contribute to the group’s meal so these two kind of fit in a way. Let’s start with a weird one – it’s served with the main meal but it’s super-sweet. Have you tried it? It’s Cherry, Pineapple and Mandarin Orange  Ambrosia salad from Coupon Clipping Cook.

AND, the eighties classic, Quiche Lorraine recipe from Red Online. Eggy, bacon-y and crunchy – a brilliant combination!


Image: Red Online

7. Back to the Future (1985)

Time travel, romance, families, dogs, a mad professor and a teenager with hightops! Cool as. When this film was released it was pretty cutting edge. Characters became old then young, time travel was brought to life making us all wonder if we would ever really be able to do it ourselves. And Michael J. Fox went from TV star to super-duper movie star. What a dude.

8. Ghostbusters (1984)

Freak me out baby! This was the first truly scary movie I ever saw, especially that first scene with the freaky granny ghost in the library. Oh and when Sigourney Weaver’s character is possessed and those horrible dog statues come to life and New York City explodes with ghosts and ghostbusters. It’s such a fun, funny, creepy movie – not sure my kids are up to seeing it yet, but I’ll sure give it another go! Love Bill Murray and the rest of the gang. What a brilliant idea.

9. Beaches (1988)

I had to put this one on the list. I’ve seen it um… too many times to count. It’s so sad, I don’t know why I love it so much. It’s all about friendship lasting a lifetime through thick and thin, through relationship breakdowns and kids, careers, success and awful failures. Bette Midler is sensational as the vain songstress and Barbara Hershey as the boring lawyer-type. Have you seen it? You must (especially if you are a girl with a bestie). It’s kinda lovely-sad-soppy-beautiful.

10. Flashdance (1983)

This is another girly classic but I reckon fellas should give it a watch as well. It’s a woman in a man’s world – Alex (girl) is a welder in a steel mill but dreams of being a fully fledged dancer on the professional circuit. She falls for her big boss, gives up performing as an exotic dancer and decides to audition for the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory but gets scared then does her awesome audition with a fabbo soundtrack. It’s a great scene. Love it.


Sweets in the 80s were far from healthy – they were full of sugary goodness and this dish embodies the spirit of this fun decade. This is a tasty twist on the traditional recipe – Abuelita Syrup and Strawberry Ice Cream Parfait from



 How did I go with the movies and meals? What would you watch/eat on an 80s night?

More fab films with matching food right here…

The Help movie matched with recipes from the South
* The Karate Kid film paired with Chinese food by a 9-year-old
* 6 best Hawaiian films paired with Polynesian food