American Names · Name Lists

Read the Menu: Baby Names from Food

Are you looking for a list of baby names exclusively associated with healthy foods? If so, you’ve come to the wrong blog post. If that *is* what you’re looking for, check out my posts on baby names inspired by fruits and vegetables! For everything from comfort food to haute cuisine, you’re in the right place. Either way, I hope you’re hungry. Here is a food baby names you’ll find on a menu, for foodies and culinarians alike!


  • Benedict is a distinguished vintage baby name that shares its name with a popular egg dish. Benedict teeters on the edge of the top 1000 with a ranking of #991 in the U.S., though it’s sure to rise thanks to Bridgerton. I’ve written extensively about Benedict here.
  • Bran is an Irish and Welsh name meaning “raven,” a Game of Thrones character, and a type of cereal. 14 boys were named Bran in 2021.
  • Nova is a type of salmon lox typically served atop a cream cheese bagel. Despite this Latin word’s meaning of “new,” Nova is a vintage name that was mildly popular in the early 20th century and that’s become wildly in the 21st. At last count in 2021, Nova ranked #32 for baby girls and #853 for baby boys. Who knows how much higher it will jump when the 2022 data arrives in May?

Appetizers and Sides:

  • Bao – When I saw Bao in the SSA data, I immediately thought of bao buns. Bao exists as a name in both Chinese and Vietnamese, and in Chinese the meaning depends on the character used to write it (one possible definition is “treasure” or “jewel”). 11 boys were named Bao in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Chip is a stylish nickname for Charles or Christopher, though I bet it would also work for Chester! The question is, are we talking about kettle-cooked potato chips or fries? 39 boys were named Chip in 2021.
  • Nori is the seaweed sheet you find wrapped around sushi, a Japanese name with varying kanji, and a dwarf character in Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Many Americans are more familiar with Nori as the nickname of Kardashian baby North West. 251 girls and 23 boys were named Nori in 2021.
  • Roe is a rare, gender-neutral baby name that shares its letters with a surname and fish eggs. Caviar, anyone? 17 girls and 9 boys were named Roe in 2021.

Cheese Plate:

  • Blue – Mmm, blue cheese. All three commonly-accepted English spellings (Blue, Bleu, and Blu) are established baby names. Chances are most parents stick Blue in the middle name spot, but the parents of 45 boys and 42 girls gave it first name status in 2021. Parents of 42 boys and 33 girls named their children Bleu that year, and parents of 46 boys and 35 girls used the Blu spelling. Blue/Bleu/Blu is a fun gender-neutral word name, and I wonder if it’s going to take off in the coming years?
  • Brie – There’s no denying the flexibility and usability of Brie as a baby name, especially as a nickname. Brianna, Brielle, Gabriella, and Sabrina can all shorten to Brie, whose sound is as soft and lovely as the cheese. 77 girls.
  • Cabot – Cabot may sound like your classic English surname (and it is), but it can also be a variation on Italian Caboto, the last name of early explorer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot). 7 boys were named Cabot in 2021.
  • Colby is a modern unisex name that fits in any era and setting from the beaches of California to a New England prep school. Colby currently ranks #650 for boys with 418 uses, though 55 baby girls also received the name in 2021.
  • Jack is a classic nickname for John that’s even more popular, ranking #11 in the U.S. to john’s #27.


  • Amandine isn’t just a French variation of Amanda – it’s also an almond-based garnish to dishes like Trout Amandine and Green Beans Amandine. The name is so rare in the U.S. that it hasn’t registered for several years.
  • Bento was given to 13 boys in 2021. Many more people ate from bento boxes, or Japanese boxed lunches. According to Behind the Name, the name Bento is a Portuguese nickname for Benedito.
  • Chana is the Hebrew version of Hannah. Currently ranking #802 in the U.S., most of the 348 baby girls who received this form of the name in 2021 were born in New York and New Jersey, states with large frum Jewish populations. Meanwhile, Chana Masala is delicious Indian dish consisting primarily of chickpeas and spices.
  • Chole is another name for Chana Masala, and ostensibly also a common misspelling of Chloe. While not all Choles may truly be Chloes, it’s one of the baby names parents legally change the most often according to the Washington Post. Anecdotally, I know a Chloe whose name was misspelled “Chole” on an important medical document, which makes me wonder if some of the children whose names are changed had that happen to them too. 44 baby girls were registered under the name Chole in 2021, and I’m curious to see if that number is smaller in an updated set that arrives in May.
  • Curry – Mmm, who doesn’t love a steaming, fragrant bowl of curry? Curry didn’t appear in SSA birth data for 2021, but it frequently shows up in other years. I’m thinking Steph Curry may be a popular namesake?
  • Frank and Frankfurter are some of the other names for hot dogs that you’ll hear. A timeless boys’ name associated with Francis, Franklin, and Frankie, Frank ranked #444 in 2021.
  • John reminds me of Hoppin’ John, a classic Lowcountry Southern dish with West African heritage and influences. It is traditionally made from black-eyed peas, rice, and pork (the types of peas or meat used may vary). John currently ranks #27 in the U.S.
  • London hearkens to London Broil, an American beef dish. A unisex place name, London ranks #219 for baby girls and #864 for baby boys.
  • Patty is traditionally a nickname for Martha or Patricia, but I’m thinking about burgers and falafel. 6 girls were named Patty in 2021.
  • Reuben is both a Biblical name and a tasty sandwich. A classic reuben consists of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and either Russian or Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. There are many variants (especially pastrami), of course, and nowadays they don’t even need to contain meat. Current rank: #883.
  • Rachel is what you call a reuben with coleslaw instead of sauerkraut. Many rachels swap out the corned beef or pastrami for turkey. Rachel currently ranks #239 nationally.
  • Salmon isn’t a name you really hear anymore (it’s Biblical!), but Salmon P. Chase was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court between the Lincoln and Grant administrations.


  • Ambrosia is an option for anyone who’s looking to honor an Ambrose in their life or family tree. These days, ambrosia is a fruit salad made with marshmallows and some kind of cream, though in Greek Mythology it’s the divine food only the gods can eat. 8 girls were named Ambrosia in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Caesar probably isn’t the healthiest salad either, but it’s great for people who struggle with the texture of raw tomatoes and onions, which seem to be found on most other classic salads. 55 baby boys were given this imperial name in 2021, but Cesar (the Spanish and Portuguese version) is a top 1000 baby name ranking #386.


  • Alaska is a trendy place name and the namesake of Baked Alaska, an ice cream cake that’s sometimes set on fire. 88 girls were named Alaska in 2021.
  • Charlotte is the #3 girls’ name in the U.S. and the name of a bread pudding style.
  • King – It’s past Mardi Gras, but who doesn’t love the colors and flavors of a king cake? King ranks #185 in the U.S.
  • Madeleine is the French version of Magdalene and the name of a delightful cookie. The current U.S. rank for this spelling is #381; Madeline and Madelyn are both more popular.
  • Napoleon – Most of us will think of the emperor, but it’s also a type of layered puff pastry treat. 14 boys were named Napoleon in 2021.

Other inspired options include Bryan (via Matzo Brei), Holland (via Hollandaise), Loxley (from Lox), Pomeline (via Pommes Frites, or French Fries), and Rue (from Roux and Rugelach).

Do you have a favorite food name from this list? Are there any other culinary baby names you would add? Let me know!

Note: Data for U.S. baby names comes from the Social Security Administration, which publishes both a national list of the top 1000 baby names and an extended list down to 5 uses based on all the applications they receive for a given year.

One thought on “Read the Menu: Baby Names from Food

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