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Our Writers Predict Hits & Misses for 2019: Part 3

Our Writers Predict Hits & Misses for 2019: Part 3

Photo: Philadelphia’s Vedge restaurant specializes in plant-based, fine-dining cuisine such as this inventive mushroom “carpaccio” of deviled kohlrabi, caper puree, pistachio and nigella. (Photo by: Vedge)


Briana Rupel’s Top 10 trends range from spirit-free imbibing to next-level, plant-based feasting.

Freelance writer/bartender Briana Rupel boasts 15 years of well-rounded experience in the food and beverage industry. She has created craft cocktails for a Four Diamond hotel, but when she’s off the clock, she prefers a hoppy local tap at her neighborhood dive. Here are her favorite food and drink trends to look for in 2019.

Third-party meal delivery services step up their game.

Oh, pizza. We’ve had a good run. I never thought it could get any better, lounging in my sweatpants awaiting your arrival, but it’s time to explore other options. Businesses like EatStreet and DoorDash are rapidly popping up nationwide, partnering with more upscale eateries to bring favorite dishes right to guests’ doors. Prime rib with mashed potatoes? They’ve got you. Lyonnaise salad and charcuterie? Yes, you can! Netflix and sweatpants just got a whole lot sweeter.

Plant-based dining is still at top of mind.

Plant-based eating was already lauded years ago as “the new organic,” but it remains on the list because its popularity is only growing. For example, @veganfoodspot on Instagram has 1.4 million followers. Also, with grocery delivery services, vegan-friendlier menus, and better-quality dairy and meat substitutes, it’s easier than ever to choose the fork over the knife.

Fermentables go haute cuisine—and cocktail culture.

We all know by now that probiotics are good for the gut. But taking them in capsule form is simply not as fun as the fizziness left on your tongue after a bite of a kimchi-topped sausage; and please don’t ever pass up a kombucha-based cocktail. Food that’s fun and good for your belly? I’m all in.

It’s time for aquafaba to shine.

Have you heard of the wonder that exists in the leftover liquid you drain from a can of chickpeas? Aquafaba has reached popularity in the bar biz as an incredibly legit substitute for the still-kinda-iffy-no-matter-how-you-justify-it raw egg white that creates silky froth in the classic cocktails we love. From meringues and mousse to ice cream and buttercream, watch aquafaba become a standard in kitchens, vegan or not

Spirit-free cocktails will finally be taken seriously.

Gone are the days of limiting guests to tonic with a splash of cranberry and a lime. Bartenders are using infused simple syrups and locally grown herbs to create non-spirited sippers that are as complex and delicious as their boozy counterparts. It’s a beautiful, symbiotic relationship that makes guests feel welcome while at the same time boosting your ticket averages. No one loses.

A little Turkish delight adds warmth to menus.

Palettes are warming up to the spices of the Middle East, especially sumac, which is an essential sprinkle to many varieties of meze that is placed upon a Turkish table. Picture an array of colorful salads, dips and accompaniments to lamb and fish, all served up family-style for meals meant to be lingered over.

These exotic mushrooms offer health benefits.

Fungi like reishi and chaga have been revered for centuries for their interminable list of health benefits, from fighting depression to cancer. Don’t be surprised to see an increasing abundance of these “superfoods” in tea and coffee, spore blends for sprinkling and even infusions for cocktails.

Gimme a Beet!

Pickled beets have been a salad bar staple since the creation of supper clubs, but in 2019 we’re talking fresh beet juice—even in powder form—to add to whatever your heart desires for that extra antioxidant boost. With bartenders leaning their creations more toward the savory side, we’ll see more crimson-hued cocktails, too.

Zero-waste, more sustainable

If 2018 was nothing else, it was the year of the plastic straw’s downfall. This trend will only heighten in 2019, as consumers look to support establishments in line with their environmental ethics. We’ll see disposable plastic phased out, and businesses offering incentives for guests bringing their own to-go containers. To combat food waste, watch more restaurants take on the responsibility of composting. It will be a good year for Mother Earth.

Foraged Greens

Farm to table? Think forest to table for 2019, as more chefs forage the local woods for gourmet greens to replace boring old kale (Yeah, I said it!) and spinach. Look for chickweed, lamb’s quarter, and there’s nothing better than picking a bouquet of watercress out of a cold spring to stuff in your post-hike sandwich.


  • Author: Briana Rupel
  • Posted: December 04, 2018
  • Categories: Trending Now
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