Cuisineer Best Upgrades Guide – Getting Your Priorities Straight

When you first boot up Cuisineer, you might notice a distinct lack of upgrades and a kit that feels pretty lacking, especially when you’re constantly diving into the game’s dungeons to leave a few minutes later because you’ve filled up your pitiful inventory. The game isn’t great at explaining how to get better with this, either, so it’s a tad frustrating.

Luckily, with some knowledge and taking some notes, you can pretty handily figure out how to find every vendor that’ll sell you the upgrades you need to succeed.

Even after this, though, you might be unaware of what upgrades will benefit you the most, so I’ll be ranking each of these permanent boosts from worst to best so you know where to spend your hard-earned dollar.

Selection Criteria

cuisineer fresh milk tea
Image from Monica Phillips.

While “upgrade” is a pretty vague term, for the purposes of this guide, I want purely permanent purchases that’ll serve to up your game, whether in the kitchen or out in combat. Either way, I’ve got a rather specific set of requirements for something to make this list and get up higher, so you know what to go for first.

  • Permanence is the most crucial factor in this list; it won’t be here if it’s temporary. A buff that only lasts a few minutes won’t count, but something that lets you carry more of those buffs does.
  • Cost is a significant factor, mainly to say, “If it has no cost of money or materials, it doesn’t count,” but also because factoring in cost is a big reason why some upgrades are better. If there are two equally essential upgrades, but one is cheaper, then grab the cheaper one, essentially.
  • Gameplay Significance just means, “How much does this help your gameplay, if at all?” This applies to both the kitchen and the roguelike, and it’s mostly about increasing efficiency and helping you out during a lunch rush or a boss fight.
  • Money and/or Material Gain is the primary goal of Cuisineer, but it’s hard to put a proper number on how much money an upgrade is roping in. For some, like a restaurant upgrade, it’s pretty quickly correlated, but for others, like weapon upgrades, it is less for money and more about easing your gameplay. Either way, if profits are up, the value of the upgrade is, too.

All that said, the best upgrades will help you out in your kitchen and out in the wild, giving you a significantly better gameplay experience for a small cost. On the other end, we have things that only help out a little, usually only on one of the two sides, and aren’t great to prioritize. Let’s go over each upgrade from worst to best, shall we?

#7 – Fridge Upgrades

cuisineer fridge upgrade
Image from Monica Phillips.
  • Cost: High
  • Gameplay Significance: Medium
  • Money and/or Material Gain: Very Little

Possibly the most useless upgrade in the game, you can, in fact, make your fridge bigger. I’m gonna level with you real quick: there’s no food spoilage mechanic in this game, and you can absolutely keep all your raw meats and cheeses in your backpack and keep them perfectly preserved. Your fridge helps store things, but it’s not that useful.

I’d recommend only getting these if you’re rolling in money and materials and getting annoyed by a lack of space for all your ingredients. Otherwise, you can skip this for quite a while. It only unlocks ten slots for each upgrade, and each time you upgrade it, it’ll keep getting more and more expensive, making this a questionable purchase.

Even just the first tier upgrade of this will cost a pretty steep price of Wood, Stone, Hardwood, Orichalcum, and 750 coins on top of that.

This price is comparable to later-tier restaurant upgrades that would give you more room to serve more people and use up everything that’s taking up space in your fridge anyway. This upgrade isn’t terribly helpful, so wait a while before considering it.

Whenever you feel like getting this mildly pitiful upgrade, you can head over to wherever you’ve put the fridge in your restaurant, open it, and click on the arrow in the top left of the menu.

It’s convenient, sure; it’s just not the best thing to spend your time on, but at least it’ll be an instant upgrade right when you hit that button.

#6 – Tea Belt Upgrades

cuisineer tea belt upgrade
Image from Monica Phillips.
  • Cost: Low
  • Gameplay Significance: It Depends
  • Money and/or Material Gain: Very Little

Now, this one is a measure of how good you are at the game. Throughout the game, you can use Boba Tea for various things, namely healing and defense. Still, if you’re not really getting hit and you are capable of abusing the copious amounts of hit stun that every weapon in this game applies to enemies, you don’t need them.

By all means, if you need more than one heal to get through an area with a full bag by the end of it, then feel free to upgrade this; it’s not extremely expensive since it only costs a bit of gold, and it doesn’t hurt to have some insurance. On top of that, the buffs that don’t heal you but instead make you do extra damage are nice but unnecessary.

Essentially, this upgrade comes down entirely to how skilled you are at the roguelike. If you can’t fill up your inventory before leaving without healing more than once, then you should consider this, but otherwise, feel completely free to skip this. While you’re at it, you should probably try and get every kind of tea since some do damage instead of healing and might be more helpful.

You can grab this one from the traveling Llama merchant, Pastel De Nata, which makes this one even less worth it since you can only get it at the same time you’d be getting inventory upgrades instead (more on that one later), but if you want it, keep checking in town to see if she’s there. If you have the money to spend, you can get it, but man, it’s not worth it; just get good.

#5 – Cooking Pot Upgrades

cuisineer cooking pot upgrade
Image by Monica Phillips.
  • Cost: Medium
  • Gameplay Significance: Low
  • Money and/or Material Gain: Medium

Now, we’re getting into the middle of the road, average upgrades. I can recommend going for these whenever you’ve got some materials and overhead to spare, but they shouldn’t be your highest priority.

First up in this mid-tier of upgrades is the Cooking Pot, which primarily lets you cook more than one dish at a time, allowing you to queue up food items as things get more hectic.

The only real issue with this is it’s quite literally all that upgrades do. You’ll probably need to get this eventually as you expand your restaurant and have more people ordering more things at a time, but for a long time, the basic pot can suffice with one meal at a time. Even then, cooking two at a time isn’t a massive upgrade, so you’ll want more quickly.

At the very least, it only costs some wood, stone, and money to upgrade, so it’s not a huge dent in your material stash whenever you choose to go for this. It’ll take the pressure off a little and be helpful late-game when you’ve got a ton of orders coming in at once, but for a really long while, this one will be blatantly unnecessary.

Whenever you feel it’s necessary, head up to your cooking pot and click the upgrade arrow again in the top left of the menu. It’ll be instant, and getting it as soon as you need it is pretty convenient, but it’s just okay and only essential once you’ve gotten quite a ways through the game and are feeling the heat when you’re in the kitchen.

#4 – Weapon Upgrades

cuisineer weapon upgrade
Image by Monica Phillips.
  • Cost: Medium
  • Gameplay Significance: Medium
  • Money and/or Material Gain: Low

This time, on the “this only benefits a single half of the game but is very useful to that half” side of things, we have Weapon Upgrades.

These vary in cost but are generally only a small amount of money, and some lighter materials like wood and stone, with only four upgrades needed to max the weapon out. If you want to 100% the game, you’ll have to max out all the weapon types, so this ease of upgrading is appreciated.

Needless to say, if you’re not struggling in the roguelike at all, you’re not going to need these as much, but unlike the tea, they’ll still come in handy for helping you blast through each level of an area way faster due to the increased damage and new abilities that these upgrades get you. Those abilities can be like an AOE fire blast or extra damage over time.

These abilities are pretty good to get but will only go as far as you can use them. If you’re already doing a bunch of damage and want to prioritize other things, you can skip them, but I’d say get these when you get the chance; they’ll be more helpful than not. Also, they make your fish catch people on fire, and that’s worth it for the visual alone.

You can get these by talking to Briquette in town, and she’s usually there, but do note you need to drag your weapons into your inventory and out of your equipment slots before you can upgrade them. She’s also not always there, so be aware that you’ll want to get there before night-time and on days that aren’t salty.

#3 – Equipment Upgrades

cuisineer equipment upgrade
Image by Monica Phillips.
  • Cost: Medium
  • Gameplay Significance: Medium
  • Money and/or Material Gain: Low

Equipment Upgrades are pretty similar to the weapon upgrades in terms of their general effect, but the extra abilities they grant you make them more worth it, in my mind.

They’ll mostly give you more health, which helps you tank more hits and run across lava on purpose, but they’ll also buff things like your dash with extra effects, giving you a fifth attack.

This benefits your moveset quite a bit more and changes how you play the game. I found myself intentionally dashing into the middle of enemies because I wanted to hit them with my dash instead of only using it as a panic button when I was taking damage. On top of that, if you are taking damage, being able to take more hits is pretty helpful.

Overall, I’d say these are worth prioritizing over damage, especially since they cost the same amount. You’ll be able to grab these pretty easily if you save up some money and materials, and I’d recommend going for them for the extra effects alone, as well as a nice boost to your health that isn’t extremely necessary but still nice to have.

This is obtained by talking to Briquette and using the same menu and in the same fashion. Once again, remember to come there when she’s there and put your desired items in your inventory after unequipping them. I’d also recommend actually looking closely at what each upgrade is giving you, specifically, since they’re all somewhat different.

#2 – Restaurant Upgrades

cuisineer restaurant upgrade
Image by Monica Phillips.
  • Cost: High
  • Gameplay Significance: High
  • Money and/or Material Gain: High

Definitely the strongest correlation to money gain, upgrading your restaurant can give you a ton of extra space, which allows you to serve more customers and decorate a bit better while giving you more freedom to run around and get everything done more efficiently. This pretty much gives you more space, but that extra space is incredibly lovely to have.

It’s pretty simple, really. You get a few extra spaces in your restaurant per upgrade, usually increasing the width by one tile. It’ll cost you a decent amount and gets to be pretty expensive by the end, but it’s worth it when you can fit in a few more tables and chairs and serve several more customers each time you open your restaurant, leading to great profits.

The only issue is that it will take a long time to get done. Every time you request a restaurant upgrade, you wait a day for Alder to get started, then wait a day for Alder to do the upgrade, then you’ll have it the next day.

On top of the high cost that only gets more significant the more you upgrade, this makes this something you should strive for, even though it’s complicated.

You can get this any time by just talking to Alder and buying it, but again, it’s the only one that’s not instantaneous, so be sure to plan ahead. Alder is also unavailable at night or during Umami days, and I’ve found that eliminates many times I want to talk to him. Plan on this ahead of time, and you’ll have a great time with a prominent place.

#1 – Inventory Upgrades

cuisineer inventory upgrade
Image by Monica Phillips.
  • Cost: Medium
  • Gameplay Significance: High
  • Money and/or Material Gain: High

Now, for the crowning jewel of “How the actual hell do I get this” that I’ve had in a recent video game, upgrading your inventory in Cuisineer is a simple task that somehow eludes everyone who plays this game. Nonetheless, it’s incredibly important, as your inventory size is almost always the limiting factor during the roguelite mode, above anything else.

The extra materials and ingredients you can grab with this help out a lot, both in making a large variety of recipes for your customers and helping you clear out more of the roguelite and get materials and money for upgrades. This is one of the best upgrades in the game because it’ll help out both sides and give you a nice boost to your gameplay.

The best part is that these upgrades aren’t too expensive, either. You can grab these with some money, and it costs no materials. While it’ll get more expensive the more you buy it (it also only gives you five extra slots per upgrade), getting a slight boost early on will lead to massive gains, and you should be prioritizing this whenever it comes around.

Unfortunately, the big catch with Inventory Upgrades is that they, once again, only come from the traveling Llama merchant, Pastel De Nata. She doesn’t come around too often or consistently, so you’ll probably be stuck checking every morning to see if she’s there and coming back tomorrow if she isn’t. Just save your money, and you’ll be alright.

Questions and Answers

Question: How do You Upgrade Your Inventory in Cuisineer?

Answer: Every so often, a traveling merchant named Pastel De Nata will arrive in town, and you can go to her and buy upgrades for both your inventory and your tea slots. Just keep an eye out, and you’ll find her eventually.

Question: How do You Get Better Weapons in Cuisineer?

Answer: You can either buy different classes of weapons and hope you’ll get a random drop of a better weapon from a chest in an area or go to the Smithy, Briquette, and have her upgrade your weapons for extra damage and effects.

Question: How do I Get a Bigger Restaurant in Cuisineer?

Answer: To get more space in your place, you’ll want to talk to Alder outside your shop and select upgrade. Give him the required materials and money, and you’ll have a slightly bigger restaurant within a few days.


Overall, most of the upgrades in Cuisineer are okay. There aren’t any I’d say you explicitly shouldn’t get, but there are some that are more worth it than others. You can get any of these at any point in the game, and they’d improve your experience a little bit, but the best ones will have you skyrocketing to restaurant perfection in no time.

I’d say just gun for the inventory and restaurant upgrades above all else since they’re the absolute powerhouses when it comes to getting things done a lot more efficiently and making the experience a lot nicer. That said, don’t let me discourage you from getting Tea slots or Fridge space if you want them; you do what you want and customize your experience.

Continue reading:

Cuisineer Review – Slow-Cooked to Perfection

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