Build a RESTful API with Flask, MongoDB, & Python

Build a RESTful API with Flask, MongoDB, & Python

This tutorial demonstrate how to create a RESTful API with Python, Flask and MongoDB.

This post will show how I built a RESTful API for a collection of cocktail recipes I just happen to have lying around. The aim is to show an API server with some complexity, so although it's a small example, it will cover important factors such as:

  • Data transformation between the database and a JSON representation.
  • Data validation.
  • Pagination.
  • Error-handling.


  • Python 3.8 or above
  • A MongoDB Atlas cluster. Follow the "Get Started with Atlas" guide to create your account and MongoDB cluster. Keep a note of your database username, password, and connection string as you will need those later.

This is an advanced guide, so it'll cover a whole bunch of different libraries which can be brought together to build a declarative Restful API server on top of MongoDB. I won't cover repeating patterns in the codebase, so if you want to build the whole thing, I recommend checking out the source code, which is all on GitHub.

It won't cover the basics of Python, Flask, or MongoDB, so if that's what you're looking for, I recommend checking out the following resources before tackling this post:

Getting Started

Begin by cloning the sample code source from GitHub. There are four top-level directories:

  • actix-cocktail-api: You can ignore this for now.
  • data: This contains an export of my cocktail data. You'll import this into your cluster in a moment.
  • flask-cocktail-api: The code for this blog post.
  • test_scripts: A few shell scripts that use curl to test the HTTP interface of the API server.

python mongodb flask api

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