Top 10 Restaurant and Food Trends

On the annual Seat 1A Food Trend List, these are just two of the top 10 new food and restaurant trends. The list is delivered in time for you to discuss at your holiday dinner table and perhaps even serve from it.

The trend list for this year began with 22 concepts drawn from suggestions and observations made by eateries across the country, and it was narrowed down to 10 with the assistance of a prestigious panel of culinary experts:

Executive chef, culinary iridologist, and culinary executive Christine Couvelier. She runs her consulting business, Food Concierge, out of British Columbia and has had various leadership positions in business and the culinary industry.

Jason Kessler is the founder of FlyandDine and a contributor to publications such as American Way, Sunset, and Los Angeles Magazine, among others.

In addition to being a board member of the International Caterers Association and managing partner and head chef of Connecticut-based Marcia Selden Catering, Robin Selden was nominated for Chef of the Year in 2015. Each year, the company produces around 2,000 events. Robin is also my second cousin (full disclosure:

One of the most well-known food events in the nation, Feast Portland, was founded and co-owned by Mike Thelin, a specialist in the food sector.

This year’s list includes updated versions of American favorites like fried chicken and ice cream sandwiches, fresh, approachable dishes from the Mediterranean and Hawaii, and modifications to Indian cuisine. Additionally, restaurants can now enter markets unimaginable even five years ago, when this list first began, thanks to new technologies.

About that, it’s usually instructive to see which trends from previous Food Trend List iterations have endured. Kale, Brussels sprouts, beer-based drinks, copper mug cocktails, fast food that can be customized, avocado toast, elegant vegan cuisine, lobster rolls, deviled eggs, Korean flavors, Mexican tortas, mini-desserts, and establishments that filter and bottle their water are a few of them. Check out the 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011 lists.

One thing to remember is that fads are trends; some last, some don’t, and specific classics are timeless.

1. All-day breakfast

It made enormous news when McDonald’s said many of its outlets would serve breakfast all day this year. According to Bret Thorn of Nation’s Restaurant News, “the traditional meal times have been progressively eroding over the past decade as fewer people eat breakfast, lunch, and supper and more people graze as their whims and schedules permit.” He describes eating at odd hours of the day as “simultaneously subversive and soothing.”

2. Rice Bowls

According to Jason Kessler of, “Rice bowls have been a mainstay in Asia for decades and they fit into the way Americans eat nicely.” “Many flavours combined in a practical format.”

According to Bret Thorn, “I don’t know why, but people seem to think food is healthier for you if you put it in a bowl.” It does restrict how much food you can consume at once. Dinner in a bowl is reassuring and might be a remedy for all those shared plates.

3. Fried chicken and sandwiches with it

The humble fried chicken has emerged as everyone’s new favorite thing. Culinary Concierge Christine Couvelier exclaims, “Fried chicken is the new pork belly.”

According to Bret Thorn of Nation’s Restaurant News, “Americans enjoy fried chicken, especially boneless fried chicken served as fried breast in a sandwich or fake wings.” Apart from flavor, “Beef costs are at or near record highs,” making chicken a more appealing product in the restaurant business.

4. Poke

This Hawaiian specialty could start a lengthy tradition of raw fish trend-setting (think sushi, ceviche, and fish tartare). Poke, which can also be written “poki,” is a dish made of diced raw fish and seafood frequently seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. It can also include sea salt, chopped jalapenos, seaweed, green onions, and sesame seeds.

5. Services for Chef-Driven Food Delivery

According to Jason Kessler, “We’re a lazy country.” We need a chef who can prepare meals for us without making us put on pants.

However, the conventional ordering-in of food (for example, pizza, Chinese, Thai, etc.) and the present craze are very different. High-end eateries and chefs are participating more and more. They are what Christine Couvelier refers to as “chef preneurs,” chefs who define themselves as brands and products for retail. Keep an eye out for a tonne more.

6. Shakshuka

This meal of North African provenance, which consists of poached eggs over a compote of stewed bell pepper and tomato with cumin, parsley, and other herbs and spices, is still in its early but developing stages. It has mostly traveled to the United States from its native Libya and Tunisia via Israel, where it is often consumed for breakfast and lunch.

7. Modified Ice Cream Sandwiches

Bret Thorn screams, “All over the freakin’ place,” attributing the trend of unusual ice cream with unique ingredients to the L.A. food truck to a brick-and-mortar store (and now retail supplier), Coolhaus.

Jason Kessler claims that doughnuts and churros are superior to cookies, which are fantastic in their own right.

8. Quick Service Restaurants Run by Well-Known Chefs

More and more chefs specializing in fine dining are opening quick-service restaurants with multiple locations. This is referred to as “the future of food” by Mike Thelin.

Although it appears to have started in the past year or two, this trend has been around for a while. When Tom Colicchio [of Craft] created ‘witchcraft, a sandwich chain using the same products he was acquiring for his fine dining restaurant, that is when Bret Thorn says it all started. Others list Bobby Flay’s Bobby’s Burger Palace, Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, and Wolfgang Puck Express, all launched in 1991. (2008).

9. Tipping to End?

The most excellent news for the restaurant business this season, if not the entire year, was the announcement by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group in New York that it would stop accepting tips and increase menu pricing to make up for the lost revenue for waitstaff. Tom Colicchio and other chefs are following suit.

10. Upcoming: Indian Cuisine

According to Jason Kessler, chefs should be itching to add India’s rich and diverse flavors to their repertoire. At Sambar in Culver City, California, “Akasha Richmond is doing fantastic things with traditional Indian ingredients used in new ways.”

Christine Collier, “I do believe that more regionally specific Indian cuisine is emerging as customers get more familiar with Indian spices and cuisine.”