The Best of 2013 Food Trends

Another year has come and gone, and so will this year’s share of food trends. 2013 food trends just as in other years is filled with both oddly unexpected current food trends, as well as some that were quite predictable. Remember Bacon? Food trucks? Cupcakes? These were all food trends common to 2012. Top food trends 2013 are quite different from these as you will soon see. Some of these fads are fortunately a bunch healthier foods, comprising safer food trends 2013 will be leaving us with. A lot of them appeared on restaurant menus as well as on market shelves. It’s hard to believe that the year is winding down, so here goes our list for not necessarily the best, but new food trends 2013 had to offer.

1. The Cronut

2013 was unquestionably the year of the Cronut. The donut-croissant lovechild produced a food craze so crazy it might be altogether be described as extraordinary. Not in a long time has a single pastry created so much hype, and the mad rush to get your hands on one is still very intense. For example, the cue for a line for a maximum of two cronuts at a popular bakery starts at dawn or at least two hours before the bakery opens for business. Copycats are turning a profit on the phenomenal cronuts, and imitations are popping up everywhere.

2. Restaurants in Retail

There seems to be a notable trend of retail stores developing their own brand-themed restaurants. For instance, the café in Urban Outfitters’ Terrain home-and-garden shop serves up scallops with lemon, as well as duck with bruleed strawberries. The restaurant in Tommy Bahama’s New York branch offers hamachi crudo, coffee-crusted ribeye with marrow butter in addition to fish tacos accompanied by Asian slaw. In the windy city, Saks is starting its first Sophie’s global-American restaurant and Brooks Brothers will construct a huge steakhouse in New York to be named Makers and Merchants. Studies have shown that giving shoppers the option to eat and drink increases the time that they spend in the store. Ofcourse, more time around equals more sales.

3. Slushies

In 2013, frozen machine-churned drinks enjoyed an uncommon resurgence. Last summer a slew of faddish restaurants and bars took to serving all sorts of slushies laced with alcohol. One city’s hot bar came up with and served a beer slushy, produced in an aparatus that freezes and shakes entire bottles. Another bar, The Tippler, serves a ‘Lushie of the Day,” typically made with vodka, absinthe, lemon juice, simple syrup and basil. Another joint came-up with a daily slushy that was essentially a frozen mojito, and the definitive classic alcoholic slushy, the ice-covered margarita was made available too.

4. Fried Chicken

Fried chicken enjoyed a renaissance of sorts this year. No longer just a humble chicken finger, gourmet versions of the bird were popping-up everywhere. Notable chefs were spicing up chicken on all ends of the food market spectrum. Fried chicken is a classic that never goes out of style and many found some new venues this 2013. For New Yorkers, for example, who have a thing for fried chicken, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken opened recently in the East Village. The Butterfly in Tribeca, which opened in mid-year, is serving sumptuous buttermilk-fried chicken and biscuits, while the Hybrid at Chelsea Market, Questlove and Stephen Starr’s new team-up, makes available chicken like Love’s Drumsticks, in addition to other gourmet fast food.

5. South East Asian Food

South East Asian food dominated 2013 with a host of newly opened restaurants. A Vietnamese restaurant, the Nightingale 9, from the operators of Seersucker and Smith Canteen, opened at the beginning of spring and started serving lunch. The novel and well-liked Uncle Boons, came-up with home-style Thai food, and had everyone’s attention last summer. Khe-Yo, a Laotion restaurant, opened in Tribeca in July and was a big hit as well. Last but certainly not the least, Filipino food is getting some much deserved attention, with East Village enjoying Jeepney and Maharlika place, in addition to the Lower East Side’s Pig and Khao restaurant.

6. Gelato

Last summer, especially on blistering summer days, ice cream was an understandable choice to eat, and this 2013 summer saw many reminded of ice cream’s European cousin, gelato. Having three new gelato stores opening in New York, namely: L’albero dei Gelati opening in mid July in Park Slope, Dolce Gelateria opening at the end of July in the West Village, and A.B. Biagi opening in June on Elizabeth Street in Nolita, the 2013 trend was pretty established.

7. Elimination Diets

As far as healthy food trends 2013 go, it’s not just eating that was on the rise as far as food trends were concerned. How we unload or avoid our excesses was also a trend that enjoyed much popularity during the year. Many fads gave way to a new trend of “elimination diets” whereby individuals were avoiding whatever ingredients they felt may be doing no good to their bodies. An elimination diet is a technique of identifying foods that an individual cannot consume without unfavorable effects. Adverse effects may be owing to food intolerance, allergies, other physiological mechanisms or a mixture of these. Elimination diets characteristically involve completely removing a suspected food from the diet for a period of time from two weeks to two months, and waiting to conclude whether symptoms resolve during that time period. At least people in 2013 were thinking of healthy trends too when it came to food.

Some of these trends are quite surprising, some are classic dishes that were given a modern kick. Nonetheless, it is always exciting to try emerging food trends every year. Let’s see what 2014 has in store for us!