I take food photography seriously!
It’s no joke! Good food deserves respect! Being able to take decent food photos inside dark restaurants is my number one criteria for choosing camera equipment. As good as smartphones have come, there’s no replacement for a decent camera, and you can get kick-ass quality in smaller camera bodies nowadays.
Using a flash inside a restaurant is a no-no!
I’m currently using a Fujifilm X-E1 with 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS kit zoom (the kit zoom to rule all kit zooms) and 35mm f1.4 prime lens. Older photos (pre-2013) were taken with Panasonic Lumix GF1/GX1 (micro 4/3) with Lumix 20mm f1.7 prime.
BOTTOM LINE: I’d recommend the micro 4/3 system or the Fuji X system to any serious foodie.