6 Trending Foods of 2016
Plus, where to enjoy each and every morsel.
Each year there are a handful of foods that make it to the top of the must-eat list. New dishes are created annually, to meet the demand in kitchens across America and the rest of the world. From spicy fried chicken to sushi rice bowls, the common theme for 2016 is quick, easy and down-right delicious! Here are 6 trending dishes of 2016 and where to find them.
Nashville Hot Chicken
Nashville Hot Chicken has been around for over a decade but this most-wanted “heat wave” across America has caused restauranteurs to recreate this Nashville favorite. Get your bib – I mean, napkin – ready because here are four essential cities to get the hottest thing in fried chicken. Order the original “hot” at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack or at Hattie B's in Nashville. When traveling to the East Coast, check out Due South located in The Yards Park right off of the Potomac River in Washington, DC, and Boston’s State Park restaurant located in Cambridge. Don’t miss St. Louis’ Southern restaurant and L.A.’s Howlin’ Rays Food Truck.
Restaurants are starting to adapt their menus to accommodate vegetarians and now vegans. It’s still important for vegans to double check with the chef on their ingredients, however. Vegetarian is meatless, yes, but not dairy-free. If you need dairy-free, then go with the vegan option folks. Quick side note there. Even our carnivore friends have noticed that vegetarian/vegan isn’t all bad. That it actually packs some major flavor!
Vegetables never looked so sexy on a plate than they do at Philadelphia’s Vedge restaurant. A brief menu but one that packs a flavorful punch. Choose from the wood roasted carrot with kimchee “Reuben,” on pumpernickel with sauerkraut puree. Or Brussels sprouts shaved and grilled with smoked mustard. In the NYC area, the charm-packed Greenwich Village resto, By Chloe will expand your mind about the flavor potential of vegan. Avocado toast and killer vegan cupcakes may make you give up on meat and dairy altogether.
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You Say Baked Breads, I Say Flatbreads
When baked to perfection and garnished with the right toppings, flat bread (coca in Spain) can be down-right astounding. No cheese, just unspoiled ingredients, such as sautéed spinach, and sardines or honey thyme and sea salt, placed upon an olive oil base. The Catalonian (northeastern Spain) inspired restaurant Contigo, located in San Francisco, offers a flatbread that packs rich flavors of txistorra (chistorra in English) sausage, green garlic, sheep ricotta, Manchego and pickled chilies. When in Spain, most if not all tapas bars, which come to life at night, will offer a little something on a wonderful morsel of "coca."
Poké bowls have made their grand entrance on menus across America, from L.A. to Charleston, S.C. Hawaii’s classic dish – not to be confused in anyway with Spam – is a hot commodity right now. A simple and easy entrée for “on-the-go” folks, poké is a combination of raw fish, served on top of brown or white rice, with a variety of fresh vegetables plus or minus seaweed, kale, avocado, nuts and more. Find poké bowls at Hawaii’s Da Poke Shack or at the newly opened Wisefish in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood.
More chefs are tapping into their heritage and bringing real authentic flavors from Asia, the Middle East and Africa to tables across the world. Chef Dale Talde (Top Chef: Chicago) brings his Asian-American inspired cuisine to his newly opened restaurant Talde at The Thompson Miami Beach. A not-to-miss is the Kung Pao chicken wings and the whole roasted branzino, some of the best fish you’ll ever have! We’re traveling back up to Philly for the second choice – Abe Fisher’s – serving dishes “inspired by the cuisine of the Jewish diaspora." Don’t miss out on the Hungarian duck for 2: it's one of the most popular dishes on the menu.
The ramen craze continues in 2016. A far cry from your college dorm room staple, real ramen has been elevated to new heights in the past 3 years. Chef Shigetoshi Nakamura of Ramen Lab in NYC, recently opened his newest creation after his namesake, Nakamura. Located in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, Nakamura serves 4 different dishes of ramen, 1 out of the 4 being a vegetarian option.