Recognizing trends is critical to the work we do here at Food & Drink Resources. If we’re going to develop menus that consumers will want to enjoy 12 to 18 months from now, it’s essential we know what’s coming to the mainstream plate.
Food trend prediction is also fun. Our culinary team has come up with this list for food/beverage and another list for restaurant trends.
Pardon the pun. What we really mean to say is that cocktails loaded with over-the-top garnishes are IN. Lime wedges are OUT. Look for fruit-filled glasses along with unique flavor combos on sticks.
Israeli Inspired Fare
Mintel reports that 66% of US consumers are interested in Middle Eastern foods. We’d go even further to say that consumers are really into Israeli fare—think dates, pistachios, and mint especially.
This fits with the continued trend toward veg-centric dishes and healthier eating. Chefs like Alon Shaya—who opened the James Beard Award Winning Restaurant, Shaya in New Orleans— are really onto something we dig.
Where to eat it: In addition to Shaya, check out Zahav in Philadelphia and Safta in Denver.
We’ve been griping about kale for years and welcome the addition of wild greens on the plate. We especially like dandelion, mustard, and chicory greens.
Speaking of those greens—even those are fermented these days. Our favorite: fermented turnip greens. We have also enjoyed fermented mushrooms. The list of fermented foods goes on (and on). We should know. We can’t stop talking about it.
On the subject of fermentation…cultured butter WILL change your life. Because it is cultured, the lactobacillus (good bacteria) creates a complex creamy and acidic flavor that is unlike other butter.
Where to eat it: xtebarri near Bilboa, Spain, or buy it online.
Fine Dining Veggie
You can find vegetarian main dishes front and center at fine dining restaurants all over the country. Even our beloved noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, went vegetarian for months this year with a celeriac schwarma dish.
These days, there’s buzz around functional ingredients. Functional = food that supports your body’s health or your mind’s health. Nootropics are ingredients that could serve as memory enhancers. You are likely already eating some of these nootropic foods but be prepared to learn more about how eggs, extra virgin olive oil, blueberries, and other foods could improve your brain function.
CBD Cocktails and Coffee Drinks
Some could argue that cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid found in cannabis that does not get you high, is beneficial for your brain health and general well being, and some could argue it’s not beneficial. Either way, it’s happening in states where medical and/or recreational cannabis is legal and establishments can legally serve infused drinks.
New York is one such state. There are a number of bars and restaurants that create 21+ beverages with CBD-infused sugar.
Where to drink it: Bubby’s in Tribeca, New York City
Georgian Cuisine and Wine
With the new interest in Georgian (the country, not the state) orange wines, it naturally follows for the cuisine to emerge. For the last two years on our trends list, we have mentioned khachapuri, a Georgian-style pizza that is available at Compass Rose in D.C. Now the owner of Compass Rose has evolved from Georgian street food to a Georgian influenced full range menu at one of the newest “best restaurants” in the country at MAYDĀN.
More Authentic and Creative Latin Cuisine
We are not talking about burritos or tacos! We are talking about Peruvian, Guatemalan, and Mexican dishes that grandma still likes to make.
Not Your Ordinary Ice Cream
Clearly, ice cream will never go out of style. Currently, we’re still enjoying rolled ice cream, cookie dough and ice cream combos (check out DŌ in NYC and Mixing Bowl in Aurora, Colorado), and—our #1 pick—malasadas (fried dough coated in sugar) mix-ins at the Pipeline Bakery in Honolulu.
It doesn’t end here. We’ll be talking about emerging food trends all year here on the FDR blog. Check back with us often!