If you remember anything about 2017, it’s that cold-brew coffee showed up like crazy at the office. And 2018? The year showed off bottled kombucha tea, and shakshuka, a poached egg dish perfumed with spices, became a menu staple. What will Instagrammers be snapping pictures of now that Unicorn Frappucinos are out? Here are the top food trends we’re looking forward to in 2019.
1. Eastern European Cuisines
Eastern Europeans understand hearty rustic fare better than most. Just look at the way Georgians treat their roasted lamb, rubbed with an herb paste and cooked with fresh sour plums. While Eastern European cuisine varies widely, its culinary traditions are rooted in dark breads, warming stews, noodles, dumplings, and rich meat and fruit combinations. You’ll fall hard for dumplings stuffed with tender herbs. They’ll have you exhaling tarragon and dill. While braised meats may look humble, their unique saltiness will have you soaking up the broth with crusty bread.
2. “New” Chinese Cuisines
By now you know sesame chicken well. But get ready to branch outside Cantonese flavors. Regional Chinese cuisines have exploded in the states, and the food trend will continue through 2019. In the coming year look out for silky Yunnan noodles and flaky “chun bing” flatbreads. The Szechuan “dry-pot”—a stir-fry made with flavorful spiced oil—is sure to become a craze, too. We’re also psyched for the chewy hand-pulled noodles and rich ruddy broths of Muslim Chinese food. The cuisine also features steamed bread, fried turnovers, and honey-drizzled cakes.
3. Korean Cuisine
While sizzling Korean barbecue meats are common these days, we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of the vast cuisine. In 2019 chefs will continue to create new interpretations of Korean food, as they have in recent years, with French, Italian, American, and fine-dining spins. Creative takes will stand out, like using fried quinoa in place of rice for bibimbap, traditionally a rice bowl mixed with flavorful sauces and toppings. Funky kimchi cabbage will spice up burgers, tacos, and sandwiches.
4. Beyond Traditional Meat
According to some sources, 2019 is the year we move beyond traditional meat. Want proof? Even White Castle has rolled out a meatless burger. These plant-based options aren’t just for vegans and vegetarians, either. They’re so packed with savory and umami flavors that you and your colleagues would never know it. Some meatless patties even replicate the crunchy crust that you get from searing a beef patty.
5. Hawaiian Cuisine
Last year poke, Hawaiian fish salad, was making waves not just in Hawaii but across the country. Hawaiians were so right about this dish that the food world is basking in the glory of Hawaiian cuisine a little longer. In 2019 get ready to try more multicultural food and new Hawaiian takes on American classics. If you see “kalua” on a menu, order it. At Seattle’s Happy Grillmore, fries are smothered in smoky kalua pulled pork. Their Longsilog burger starts with flavorful Filipino breakfast sausage punched up with garlic and vinegar.
6. Taste New Sour Notes
Maybe you didn’t see this one coming. But sour is a taste you’ll want this year. Lucky for you, sour notes are everywhere these days. Order up your favorite cuisines and you’ll find them. Rich Persian stews braised with tart ingredients like rhubarb or pomegranate juice. Pickled kimchi cabbage sprinkled onto hot dogs and tacos to punctuate salty bites of meat. If you think crisp juicy pork belly is good, wait till you try it with a few drops of chili vinegar on the crackling skin; the Filipino dish is downright fantas
Ready to try the food trends taking over your neighborhood?