This year we spotted a lot of heirloom produce, artisan cheeses, and poke bowls on restaurant menus across the nation. Given the year is almost up, we had to find out what grub the experts predict we’ll be summoning via Seamless six months from now.
Thanks to the The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) What’s Hot report, which surveyed approximately 700 chefs, we now have solid predictions on which food trends will infiltrate restaurants in 2018. Will your favorite burger joint continue spiking its sammies with Sriracha? Or perhaps that local coffee shop you frequent will finally retire pumpkin spice? Find out below, and then check out our Top 14 Food Trends of 2018.
Different Cuts of Meat
2017 may have been the year you finally put the cast-iron to good use and cooked rib-eye to perfection. In 2018, chefs polled by the NRA are forecasting that restaurants will take the plunge and offer a variety of different cuts of meat. Shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, anyone?
Instead of buying Hellman’s in bulk, chefs are predicting they’ll be whipping and stirring their own homemade condiments in the year ahead. Trust us, your taste buds will easily—and happily—differentiate house-made ketchup from Heinz.
Street Food-Inspired Dishes
Love tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas, but hate digging into them from a street vendor? Restaurants in the coming year may offer you a new spot aside from the sidewalk or park bench to enjoy your favorite street foods.
While a classic burger remains an all-American lunch staple, we can’t say we didn’t go for a falafel pita plenty of times this year. Thankfully, 2018 will be likely filled with a plethora of ethnic-inspired meals like chorizo-scrambled eggs for breakfast, harissa or curry-infused lunch, and Peruvian dishes for dinner. Let’s not forget the multi-cultural condiments chefs will spice up their creations with—hello, Sriracha, chimichurri, and zhug!
According to Reuters, the amount of fish in our oceans has declined by 50 percent since 1970. While unfortunate yet preventable factors, such as overfishing and pollution, continue to threaten our protein sources, we may (and hope to!) see more sustainable seafood sourcing in the months ahead.
Revamped Kids’ Meals
The Department of Agriculture isn’t the only one revamping children’s lunch options in 2018—restaurant chefs will be, too. The NRA predicts that some of your go-to grub joints will feature healthier kids’ meals that will also include ethnic-inspired foods (think sushi and tacos) and gourmet ingredients.
We’ve seen riced cauliflower and zoodles aplenty in 2017; get ready to fork into some more in 2018. Not only are your favorite carby side dishes getting a veggie makeover, but your beefy main courses may get a revamp as well. Plant-based burgers are all the rage right now and will continue to make waves in the upcoming year. While fast-casual chain BurgerFi rolled out Beyond Meat’s vegan Beyond Burger in summer 2017, the meatless burger brand recently announced it’ll be expanding its revolutionary patties onto T.G.I. Friday’s menus in early ’18.
Basil never fails to brighten up a pasta dish just as homemade soups always benefit from a few bay leaves. Just because we’re accustomed to our favorite herbs’ tastes and textures, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t experiment with other seasonings. Unconventional herbs such as chervil, lovage, lemon balm, and papalo are predicted to make a cameo in your next takeout order.
Thai-Rolled Ice Cream
How many times have you noticed artsy photos of cups filled with rods of rolled ice cream adorned with colorful toppings gracing your social media feed? Well, prepare to continue hitting the “Like” button, as chefs predict the Thai-rolled ice cream trend will become that much more mainstream.
Unconventional Doughnut Fillings
If you thought bacon was an odd doughnut topping to make a widespread debut, brace yourself for a variety of untraditional fillings come the new year. Rather than the classic Boston cream, desserts of the future may feature aromatic Earl Grey cream or a robust liqueur filling. Now that you’ve read about what’s to come in 2018, why not take a few minutes to reflect on the past year with these Best and Worst Fast Food Trends of 2017.