As time presses on in Final Fantasy XIV, the Culinarian becomes a more and more appealing profession for making gil. While the gear, reagents and materials produced by other professions decline in demand and value over time, there remains a consistent (if not growing) demand for HQ end-game food. As more players find themselves at max level and with expendable income, they turn to Culinarian goods to boost their stats as this is one area they cannot max out from dungeon drops!
In this FFXIV Culinarian leveling guide, you will discover the fastest and cheapest methods for taking your Culinarian to level 50. We will start with leveling tips, move on to repeatable leve locations, and finally discuss grinding options.
FFXIV Culinarian Leveling Tips
There are four specific tips you should know for speeding up the leveling process in Final Fantasy 14. These tips apply to any craft.
Higher Quality, More Experience
As you are crafting, you will notice that increasing the “quality” measure in your crafts will give you a higher chance to make a high quality item. However, getting a high quality score on items that provide experience will also provide you with bonus experience. This bonus experience can be several times the normal experience offered by completing a craft. As a result, maxing out the quality during your crafting attempts makes leveling any craft much cheaper.
Engineering Manual II Makes Low Levels Faster
At your Grand Company’s Quartermaster, you can buy an Engineering Manual II which grants the user up to 40,000 maximum bonus by increasing base experience points earned by 50%. If crafting an item normally brought in 1000 experience points, crafting it with the Engineering Manual II active would make that total 1500 points, with 500 bonus being earned. Since you can earn up to 40,000 off of one manual, you could collect this bonus for up to 80 crafts using this example.
This item does not scale with level, but also has no minimum level. It is incredible when using with a level 1 character, still excellent for levels 11-20, decent from 20-29, then quite poor from levels 30 and beyond. At that point, the bonus often does not even last a full level, making it an inconvenience for its cost rather than a bonus.
Food provides 3% bonus experience points while active and also can be used to increase crafting stats. Do not spend too much here though as the crafting bonuses are minor. I like to use Raw Oysters just because they seem to be available for next to nothing. If you follow this guide, you will only need a few dozen at most to get all the way from 1-50 as a Culinarian.
Primary and Secondary Tools Trump Gear
Finally, you should know that when you are gearing your Culinarian, your most important items to upgrade regularly are your frying pan and your culinary knife. The armor and jewelry slots do not need to be upgraded nearly as much, say, once every 10-20 levels. I leveled all of my professions with just two to three gear sets total on the way to 50. You can always buy yourself a set of end-game gear once you hit level 50.
FFXIV Culinarian Repeatable Leve Locations & Recommendations
Using repeatable leves is the best way to level up any profession in Final Fantasy XIV. These are leves that can be turned in up to three times rather than just once for one allowance, allowing players to rack up large amounts of experience points off of a single allowance. There are two leves for each level range from 20 to 45. Below, I will list both leves and make a recommendation on which is most efficient or easiest to complete.
Level 20 Culinarian Repeatable Leves
Limsa Lominsa: 3x Walnut Bread (1x Fire Shard, 1x Water Shard, 1x Sunset Wheat Flour, 1x Buffalo Milk, 1x Tablet Salt, 1x Smooth Butter, 1x Maple Sugar, 1x Gridanian Walnut).
Quarrymill: 3x Apple Tart (1x Fire Shard, 1x Water Shard, 1x Pie Dough, 1x Faerie Apple, 1x Chicken Egg, 1x Cinnamon, 1x Maple Sugar, 1x Smooth Butter).
The ingredients are about the same difficulty aside for the Gridanian Walnut (Walnut Bread) and the Faerie Apple (Apple Tart). Whichever one is easiest to get makes the best quest here. I find that you can typically find HQ Apple Tarts cheap enough to just buy already crafted to turn in without crafting.
Level 25 Culinarian Repeatable Leves
Limsa Lominsa: 3x Cups of Chamomile Tea (2x Fire Shard, 2x Water Shard, 1x Chamomile, 1x Honey, 1x Mineral Water).
Quarrymill: 3x Eel Pies (2x Fire Shard, 2x Water Shard, 1x Pie Dough, 1x Black Eel, 1x Smooth Butter, 1x Popoto, 1x Black Pepper, 1x Cloves).
Chamomile Tea is by far the easier recipe here. You will have to buy Chamomile off of the Market Boards, but it usually is not too expensive. Honey is available from the “Tradecraft Supplier” in any major city.
Level 30 Culinarian Repeatable Leves
Limsa Lominsa: 6x Cornmeal (3x Fire Shard, 3x Millioncorn).
Costa del Sol: 3x Baked Sole (3x Fire Shard, 3x Water Shard, 1x Black Sole, 1x Gil Bun, 1x Cieldalaes Spinach, 1x Table Salt).
Cornmeal is definitely the cheaper option here. If Millioncorn is all sold out on the Market Boards, you can buy pre-made Cornmeal for 57 gil each off of the NPC “Littlejohn” at the Whistling Miller in Old Gridania. You can just buy it in stacks and then turn it in for experience!
Level 35 Culinarian Repeatable Leves
Limsa Lominsa: 3x Acorn Cookies (4x Fire Shard, 3x Water Shard, 1x Rye Flour, 1x Tablet Salt, 1x Iron Acorn, 1x Mineral Water).
Observatorium (Coerthas): 3x Cawl Cennin (4x Fire Shard, 3x Water Shard, 1x Salt Leek, 1x Chicken Stock, 1x Smooth Butter, 1x Sweet Cream, 1x Wild Onion, 1x Mineral Water).
Acorn Cookies are by far the cheapest option here. Rye Flour can be bought for a very low price from Littlejohn at the Whistling Miller (just 2 gil each)!
Level 40 Culinarian Repeatable Leves
Limsa Lominsa: 3x Apple Juice (5x Fire Shard, 4x Water Shard, 6x Mirror Apple).
Whitebrim (Coerthas): 3x Pastry Fish (5x Fire Shard, 4x Water Shard, 1x Pie Dough, 1x Raisins, 1x Desert Saffron, 1x Table Salt, 1x Almonds, 1x Mirror Apple).
Apple Juice is the best recipe here. I have found that you can often find high quality or even just regular quality Apple Juice up on the Market Boards. You can just buy it and turn it in for the quest rather than try and make your own juice!
Level 45 Culinarian Repeatable Leves
Limsa Lominsa: 3x La Noscean Toast (6x Fire Shard, 5x Water Shard, 1x Walnut Bread, 1x Buffalo Milk, 1x Apkallu Egg, 1x Smooth Butter, 1x Maple Syrup, 1x Olive Oil).
St. Coinach’s Find (Mor Dhona): 3x Tomato Pies (6x Fire Shard, 5x Water Shard, 1x Pie Dough, 1x Wild Onion, 1x Ruby Tomato, 1x Midland Basil, 1x Cottage Cheese, 1x Table Salt).
Tomato Pies are definitely the best bet here. You can also often find these for cheap on the Market Boards. It may be worth just using Apple Juice all the way to 50 since it is often available so cheaply on the Market Boards.
FFXIV Culinarian Leveling Guide: Video
The video guide below talks about all of the tips and repeatable leves discussed earlier in this article. It also shows exactly which NPCs sell the cheap ingredients you can use to level cheaply and efficiently as a Culinarian in FFXIV:
Recommended Culinarian Grinding Leveling Options By Level
If you are low on leve allowances but still want to level up your Culinarian, here is a good list of items that you can craft in order to earn experience points. This list primarily considers the cost and ease of getting ingredients; many of these recipes use ingredients which can be purchased completely off of NPCs.
Levels 1-4: Maple Syrup (1x Fire Shard, 1x Maple Sap)
Levels 4-6: Honey (1x Fire Shard, 3x Beehive Chip)
Levels 6-10: Sunset Wheat (1x Fire Shard, 4x Sunset Wheat). Save this for Pie Dough a few steps down.
Levels 10-12: Kukuru Butter (1x Fire Shard, 2x Kukuru Bean)
Levels 12-14: Tomato Sauce (1x Fire Shard, 1x Ruby Tomato, 1x Wild Onion, 1x Garlean Garlic)
Levels 14-18: Pie Dough (1x Fire Shard, 1x Sunset Wheat Flour, 1x Tablet Salt, 1x Mineral Water). You may want to save this for use in later syntheses as it is used in even high level items.
Levels 18-20: Meat Miq’abob (1x Fire Shard, 1x Water Shard, 1x Dodo Tenderloin, 1x Paprika, 1x Ruby Tomato, 1x Table Salt). Buy the Dodo Tenderloin off of the Guild Supplier. Sell these on the Market Boards for a slight profit.
Levels 20-25: Dried Prunes (2x Fire Shard, 1x Water Shard, 1x Pixie Plums. Buy the Pixie Plums on the Market Boards; sell the completed Dried Prunes on the Market Boards to break even.
Levels 25-32: Chicken Stock (3x Fire Shard, 1x Chicken Breast, 1x Wild Onion, 1x Coerthas Carrot). Buy the Chicken Breast off of the Tradecraft Supplier; sell or save for later use, as Chicken Stock has some value.
Levels 32-35: Acorn Cookie (4x Fire Shard, 3x Water Shard, 1x Rye Flour, 1x Table Salt, 1x Iron Acorn, 1x Mineral Water). You can buy the Rye Flour from the Whistling Miller in Gridania to save some time. You can either use these Acorn Cookies for the repeatable leve (recommended) or sell on the Market Boards, often at a slight profit over the ingredient cost.
Levels 38-42: Knight’s Bread (4x Fire Shard, 4x Water Shard, 1x Rye Flour, 1x Mineral Water, 1x Honey, 1x Midland Basil, 1x Chicken Egg). The Rye Flour can be bought at the Whistling Miller, while the Honey and Chicken Egg are available from the Tradecraft Supplier. The only item you have to buy off of the Market Boards to make Knight’s Bread is Midland Basil, making this recipe fairly inexpensive. Sell your completed Knight’s Bread for a profit.
Levels 42-50: Tomato Pie (6x Fire Shard, 5x Water Shard, 1x Pie Dough, 1x Wild Onion, 1x Ruby Tomato, 1x Midland Basil, 1x Cottage Cheese, 1x Table Salt). The Midland Basil is the only item you will have to buy off the Market Boards here, but the shard cost is still somewhat expensive. There are not many high level items that are cheap to cook, so you will want to take this opportunity to use the Tomato Pies you make in this level range to complete the level 45 repeatable leve at St. Coinach’s Find.
Ideally, you will want to wait for your repeatable leves beyond level 30. It is so much easier to just buy Cornmeal off of Littlejohn at The Whistling Miller in Gridania and turn it in for 5 fast levels than it is to try to grind it out during this level range. You can then use Apple Juice to go easily from 40 to 50 without crafting a single item or spending much gil.