Jan 30 2019
Jenn Mar
2 Minutes to read

This may come as a surprise but our team at ezCater spends a lot of time talking about food trends. We’re often swooning over regional cuisines like Szechuan, discussing the pros and cons of the popular keto diet, and arguing about whether popsicles and other foods of nostalgia will make a comeback in America. At the end of the year, we take a hard look at what people are ordering for catering. From our data, we find noteworthy trends on the most popular foods in America. This year we’ve compiled a list of the most popular cuisines and types of foods that delighted American eaters in 2018. The results are surprising.

For instance, in Georgia people still worship at the altar of biscuits and chicken, but when it comes to delivery, handcrafted sushi is getting a lot of buzz. In Massachusetts, home of fried clams, people are becoming suckers for Eastern European and Russian food, one of the hottest cuisines right now. Our data can be a reminder that you can’t fence in eaters. There’s plenty to be excited about in the food world and every year people like to try out new dishes and cuisines.

Here are the most popular cuisines and types of foods that Americans loved in 2018, broken down by states. (The figures show their growth in popularity.)

The Most Popular Cuisines in America in 2018

Alabama: Italian orders rose 1,776%. 

For quintessential Italian, go for a nice, bright plate of pasta. 

Alaska: sandwich orders rose 541%.

A perfect sandwich is all about the balance of flavors. Try the muffuletta, with so many kinds of meats and cheeses and topped with a delicious briny spread.  

Arizona: healthy food orders rose 4,500%.

Stay energized with fresh wraps and hearty salads flavored with umami-packed dressings.

Arkansas: burger orders rose 8,300%.

Soft bun, melty cheese, and a perfectly browned patty. Try one with a fried egg on top.

California: Spanish food and tapas orders rose 600%.

Rustic Spanish dishes like paella really hit the spot. 

Colorado: sushi orders rose 10,800%.

Order up a tray of sweet, rosy-colored fish on seasoned rice. Add bowls of rich ramen noodle soup to accompany you on chilly days. 

Connecticut: sushi orders rose 4,200%.

Make sure you order enough sushi pieces for the whole gang. Pan-fried dumplings and crisp tempura-battered vegetables and prawns make great appetizers. 

Delaware: Asian food orders rose 2,200%.

From dumplings to spicy Szechuan noodles, Asian is so flavorful.

Florida: vegetarian-friendly food orders rose 2,050%.

Check out these trendy vegetarian dishes, from grain bowls to juicy plant-based burgers, charged with flavor. 

Georgia: sushi orders rose 2,033%.

You can get great sushi even if you’re on a budget. Order up a catering tray of assorted sashimi if you’re new to this. 

Hawaii: sandwich orders rose 1,150%.

Roasted pepper and goat cheese, veggie and hummus, Italian-style. There are tons of sandwiches to choose from, even vegetarian and gluten-free options. 

Idaho: Asian food orders rose 1,900%.

People will flock for the umami-bomb that is Asian food. 

Illinois: seafood orders rose 1,916%.

For a meal on the lighter side, try a delicate white fish or shrimp. 

Indiana: Greek food orders rose 6,500%.

From grilled lamb skewers to mint infused salads, Greek food is where it’s at. 

Iowa: snack and dessert orders rose 650%.

Try the tres leches cake, hailing from Latin America and soaked in three kinds of milk.

Kansas: snack and dessert orders rose 583%.

For a fun afternoon treat, try chocolate-covered pretzels. 

Kentucky: Greek food orders rose 694%.

The Greek spinach pie, called spanakopita, consists of a rich filling of spinach and cheese tucked inside layers of flaky phyllo. 

Louisiana: Middle Eastern food orders rose 1,175%.

Braised chicken and fragrant saffron rice will please just about everyone, especially when the weather is terrible. 

The Most Popular Cuisines in America in 2018

Maine: burger orders rose 550%.

If you can’t fire up the grill at work, just order juicy burgers for the office. 

Maryland: vegetarian-friendly food orders rose 1,700%.

We’ve got plenty of flavorful vegetable dishes to keep you feeling cozy this year. 

Massachusetts: Eastern European and Russian food orders rose 2,100%. 

Think juicy Georgian dumplings loaded with meat and tender herbs like tarragon. Need we say more? 

Michigan: salad orders rose 2,200%.

For a filling salad, go for raw vegetables tossed with ingredients like hearty chickpeas, chicken, and chewy grains.

Minnesota: snack and dessert orders rose 1,055%.

Did you know glazed chicken wings are a snack?

Mississippi: South American food orders rose 2,500%.

For a lunch that won’t make a mess, try the chivito sandwich, with bits of steak and rose-colored ham.

Missouri: health food orders rose 4,100%.

Who doesn’t enjoy delicious, crunchy toppings in a toasty wrap?

Montana: Asian food orders rose 1,450%.

Stir-fries and dumplings crank up the joy in your life. 

Nebraska: deli orders rose 1,750%.

Deli cold cuts on a nice toasty roll is delicious and exciting.

Nevada: sushi orders rose 6,500%.

Whether you dip sushi in soy sauce and wasabi, it’s delicious. 

New Hampshire: Mediterranean food orders rose 2,600%.

It’s all about the fresh tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, and cheeses. Order up some grilled lamb skewers, scented with mint, and sides of roasted vegetables and salads.

New Jersey: snack and dessert orders rose 1,358%.

Get a toffee pudding or chocolate cake to show them you care. 

New Mexico: orders of chicken dishes rose 554%.

For something new, try chicken with a Thai or Sri Lankan twist

New York: Cajun food orders rose 1,980%.

Every try Cajun-blacked shrimp? Spicy and juicy. You’ll love it. 

North Carolina: healthy food orders rose 1,350%.

Fresh wraps and hearty salads and soups will keep the department energized all day long. Go for a white bean soup if it’s cold outside. If you’re battling summer weather, try cold sesame noodles loaded with crunchy vegetables. 

North Dakota: sandwich orders rose 398%. 

If you’re looking for a light but indulgent sandwich, the turkey avocado will do you good (you can even slip in some crisp bacon). 

Ohio: seafood orders rose 6,300%.

The combination of delicate seafood and pasta is irresistible. 

Oklahoma: deli orders rose 2,231%.

A pastrami sandwich, with just a smidgen of mustard, just might be a cut above the rest.  

Oregon: salad orders rose 6,850%.

We love fresh salads loaded with ingredients like roasted cauliflower and chickpeas.

Pennsylvania: orders of hors d’oeuvres rose 900%.

Make sure you get a tray of mushrooms stuffed with cheese and herbs. 

Rhode Island: snack and dessert orders rose 3,300%.

Try a fragrant coconut layer cake. 

South Carolina: healthy food orders rose 6,500%.

Stay energized with a chewy grain salad with roasted vegetables.

The Most Popular Cuisines in America in 2018

South Dakota: Mexican food orders rose 933%.

We could happily munch on toasted Mexican sandwiches, called tortas, all day. 

Tennessee: salad orders rose 2,263%.

Choose a beautiful, bright dressing like miso-ginger or Green Goddess. 

Texas: African food orders rose 2,500%.

If you’re new to the cuisine, try the flavorful, juicy piri-piri chicken. 

Utah: Mediterranean food orders rose 890%.

You can’t go wrong with braised chicken with lemon and olives.

Vermont: Mediterranean food orders rose 700%.

Make sure you order up some sides, like stuffed tomatoes and olives. 

Virginia: snack and dessert orders rose 654%.

A dark chocolate cake looks stunning in the office.

Washington: burger orders rose 478%.

We like our crisp beef patties topped with a single slice of yellow cheese on a soft bun. If you’re feeling adventurous, top it off with spicy, pickled kimchi and a fried egg.

Washington, DC: Southern food orders rose 1,175%.

Fresh cornbread and fried chicken can bring the whole team together. 

West Virginia: Italian food orders rose 1,333%.

Perfectly cooked pasta in meat sauce and plenty of bread to sop up the plate, uh, catering tray.  

Wisconsin: healthy food orders rose 2,950%.

Go for a simple roast chicken or salmon topped with bright salsa verde sauce. 

Wyoming: sandwich orders rose 110%.

The aromatic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich features pickled vegetables, salty meats, and aromatics. 


We’ve got other predictions about the food world. Like, did you know that robot chefs are shaping the future?

Read more here

Jenn Mar

Written by:

Jenn Mar

Jenn Mar is senior digital editor at ezCater. She's anchored by crusty donuts and tingly “biang biang” noodles.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: American, Asian, Breakfast, Dietary Restrictions, Eastern European, Food Trends, Healthy, Lunch, Snacks, Vegan