9 Cutting-Edge Foodie Trends
If your travel itineraries tend to include visiting more restaurants than actual sights, on your next vacation consider seeking out some of the hottest food trends on the culinary scene. From root-to-stem dining and no-tipping restaurants, to Nashville hot chicken and the rise of food halls, we've covered the 11 hottest food trends of 2016 and where savvy travelers can find them.
Meat-centric, nose-to-tail meals have fallen by the wayside. A recent trend is root-to-stem dining, a movement that promotes vegetables into main courses and pushes proteins into side dishes, or entirely off the plate.
Clean Eating Menus
"Clean eating" has been one of the past year's buzzier terms, used in heavy circulation among dieters and health food fanatics. This respect for foods that only use unprocessed, GMO-free, organic, natural ingredients has translated into a national movement to launch restaurants with "clean menus." One such establishment is Miami Beach's DIRT restaurant, which specializes in clean, sustainable, local and organic ingredients.
The focus on gluten-free foods has led to a drop in traditional pasta's popularity. In response, today's chefs are experimenting with vegetable spiralizers that slice veggies such as zucchini, beets and sweet potatoes into pasta-like ribbons. Travelers can find spiralized "pasta" perfection at restaurants like New York City's Rockin' Raw, a gluten-free hot spot which dishes up multiple zucchini noodle dishes, like the tallarines rojos, topped with a vegan bolognese-style sauce and fresh spinach.
When one of the world's top restaurateurs declares he's instating a no-tipping policy at his world-famous restaurants like Manhattan's Gramercy Tavern and Maialino, you know you're dealing with a monumental trend. Instead, Meyer and other restaurant and chain owners are raising wages for all staffers, from servers to cooks and bussers. This move translates into slightly higher menu prices.
Modern Jewish Cuisine
Call your bubbe, and let her know about the latest trends in Jewish cuisine as contemporary chefs reinvent classic dishes. A prime example is Atlanta's The General Muir, whose chef Todd Ginsberg is inspired by classic Jewish deli food and shows his respect for that old school comfort food with house-cured pastrami and handmade bagels.
Restaurants in Retailers
Between browsing sale racks and trying on clothes, shopaholics get hungry, which is why major retailers have begun incorporating restaurants into their stores. You'll find Islamorada Fish Co. restaurants in Outdoor World shops across the U.S., and restaurants from James Beard award-winning chefs Marc Vetri and Michael Symon popping up at Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie in the coming months.
Sprawling food halls flanked by aisles of local vendors have taken cities by storm, serving innovative fare in a chill, come-as-you-are environment. In the past year, dozens of food halls have opened, including Atlanta’s Ponce City Market, Charleston’s Cigar Factory, Chicago’s Marketplace at the National, and Denver’s Avanti.
Whip frozen acai pulp, soy milk, bananas, fruit and ice into a monster smoothie, top it with things like chia seeds and coconut flakes and you'll dig into one of 2016's latest trends: acai bowls. Find the bowls at Los Angeles's Earth Bar, which serves an organic and non-GMO bowl topped with gluten-free granola.
Bright orange turmeric has a fabulous reputation in health food circles, thanks to its powerful antioxidant properties. You'll find the spice popping up at restaurants like San Diego's Juniper & Ivy, which creatively incorporates the spice into a vinaigrette dressing.