5 Food and Restaurant Trends in 2018

This year, seek out Indian street food, dishes with seaweed and restaurants with local artwork.
 

Photo courtesy of Cinnamon Bazaar


Our food writers share their picks for the hottest dining trends right now and in the months ahead.

1. Modern Latin

 “Chilies, ancient grains, fragrant spices, tart citrus and sweet tropical fruits—with its bright and satisfying flavours, Latin American cuisine is having a moment well beyond its borders. We’re not just talking tacos, but ceviches, arepas, empanadas and the kind of inventive cuisine served at Mexico City’s Pujol or Vancouver’s Cacao restaurant, where chef-owner Jefferson Alvarez translates the sun-soaked cuisine of the south for the hungry north.” —Joanne Sasvari, @josasvari

 

2. Shaved ice

“For several summers, small-batch ice cream ruled the frozen dessert scene, but kakigori has recently jumped into the spotlight. Shaved ice has been a staple in Japan for centuries and it’s now making a mark in New York City, where mounds of feathery snow and delicate syrups are the hottest new treat—try it at The Little One on East Broadway.” —Patty Lee, @bypattylee

 

3. Seaweed

 “Seaweed is cropping up in surprising places and I’m happy about it because it’s such a nutrient-dense and sustainable food. The first Canadian incarnation of the Dessert Kitchen—a Hong Kong chain that makes exquisite, Asian-inspired desserts—recently opened in Toronto, and incorporates exotic fruit-flavoured seaweed balls into several menu items. And the Newfoundland Distillery Co. makes a herbaceous and savoury seaweed gin that uses dulse from Grand Banks, N.L.”—Valerie Howes, @valhowes

 

4. Local Design

 “Whether I’m having dinner at The Progress in San Francisco, Montreal’s Caribbean hotspot, Agrikol, or at the Drake Mini Bar in Toronto, seeing eateries take the time to incorporate local artists’ work into the overall interior design is amazing. It’s a rising trend well-worth celebrating and encouraging.” —Dan Clapson, @dansgoodside

#tiagrikol photos by Maria Jose Govea

A post shared by Agrikol 1844 Rue Amherst MTL (@agrikol_mtl) on

 

5. Indian street food

 “Indian street food is having its moment, especially in London. A nod to the Bombay Café, the menu at Dishoom features some of Mumbai’s most authentic street food, such as pav bhaji—a bowl of mashed vegetables with a hot, buttered homemade bun. In Covent Garden, Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Bazaar serves small plates of chaat (a savoury snack served at roadside stalls in India) with a colourful and unique twist.” —Jaime Tung, @angloyankophile

 

[This story appears in the August 2018 issue of WestJet Magazine]