...especially if you can't heal. Bandages work for restoring health when you need a quick boost, but many of the foods you can cook yourself have added buff benefits. Almost all the foods that give beneficial buffs are made by Cooking, so you're really missing out if you don't learn how to cook.
Generally, most foods that give a buff will increase your spirit and stamina for from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. The bonus might not seem like much, but it will help you recover faster (spirit determines health and mana regeneration rate) and survive longer (stamina determines how much health you have total).
Here are some examples of foods that give different or extra boosts besides spirit and stamina:
- Thistle Tea (requires Cooking 60) - Gives rogues a small burst of instant energy.
- Smoked Sagefish (requires Cooking 80) - Gain 3 mana every 5 seconds for 15 minutes. The recipe can be bought from most cooking suppliers as a limited sale item.
- Captain Rumsey's Lager (requires Cooking 100) - Another hard one to get that increases your skill in fishing by 10 for 3 minutes.
- Goldthorn Tea (requires Cooking 175) - Another difficult one to get, but restores 1344 mana over 27 seconds.
- Sagefish Delight (requires Cooking 175) - Gain 6 mana every 5 seconds for 15 minutes. The recipe can be bought from most cooking suppliers as a limited sale item.
- Grilled Squid (requires Cooking 240) - Increases your agility by 10 for 10 minutes. Buy the recipe from Gikkix on the northeast coast of Tanaris.
- Charred Bear Kabobs (requires Cooking 250) - Gain 24 attack power for 15 minutes. Look for the recipe at vendors in Felwood.
- Juicy Bear Burger (requires Cooking 250) - Increases your damage and healing from magical spells and effects by up to 14 for 15 minutes. Look for the recipe at vendors in Felwood.
- Nightfin Soup (requires Cooking 250) - Restores 8 Mana every 5 seconds for 10 minutes. Buy the recipe from Gikkix on the northeast coast of Tanaris.
- Poached Sunscale Salmon (requires Cooking 250) - Restores 6 health every 5 seconds for 10 minutes. Buy the recipe from Gikkix on the northeast coast of Tanaris.
- Runn Tum Tuber Surprise (requires Cooking 275) - Increases your Intellect by 10 for 10 minutes. Recipe dropped by a pesky imp named Pusillin in Dire Maul east.
- Smoked Desert Dumplings (requires Cooking 285) - Gain 20 Strength for 15 minutes. Recipe from a quest given by a Sandy Cookbook found in Silithus.
- Broiled Bloodfin (requires Cooking 300) - Gain 8 resistance to all schools of magic for 30 minutes. A rare drop from Warp Hunters in Terokkar Forest, Outland or occasionally in the Barrel of Fish from the Cooking daily quest.
Some examples of fun foods that do things other than give bonuses:
- Savory Deviate Delight (requires Cooking 85) - Hard to get but tons of fun. An instant costume snack!
- Dragonbreath Chili (requires Cooking 200) - Sometimes breath fire for 10 minutes.
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