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The Top 10 Food Trends To Look For in 2020

Millions of people use Yelp across the country to search for and share experiences at all kinds of restaurants — from food trucks to James Beard Award winners, and more. Not to mention nail salons, barber shops, phone repair technicians… but we’re here to talk about food. 

With the help of our Yelp community, who contributed more than 28 million new reviews over the course of the past year, we are thrilled to release Yelp’s first-ever trend forecast report. So, what will be on our plates next year? These trends are what we predict the world’s most passionate, food-smart people will be drooling over in the year ahead. 

In order to forecast a whole new year’s worth of photo-worthy dishes, Yelp’s data science team started by using our review data to find a list of words and phrases that were rising the fastest and most significantly between 2018 and 2019, in terms of percentage of users who were mentioning them. From the candidate trends, we narrowed the list down to those whose mention rate over the last three years was most indicative of further growth to help predict what Yelpers will be eating in 2020. Finally, we consulted with Yelp Trend Expert Tara Lewis and scoured the menus of our favorite restaurants to determine the hottest food trends for the year ahead. 

Souffle PancakesElevated Breakfast: Souffle Pancakes, a Japanese culinary trend, were first mentioned on Yelp in the US this past September and mentions of the dish have been skyrocketing on Yelp ever since. Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes are also expected to make waves next year. Reviews for dishes like souffle pancakes and cinnamon swirl pancakes have increased by 156.2% in the last year.(Photo by Tom G. via Yelp)

Mocktails, Non-Alcoholic Happy Hours: Non-alcoholic bars are popping up all across the country and zero-proof concoctions with delicious juice blends are landing on menus everywhere. 

Floral-Infused Drinks and Dishes: Chrysanthemum and Butterfly Pea Tea are just two of the extracts popping up in cocktails and dishes across the US. Check out the Madame Butterfly at L.A.’s Tom Tom, featuring Butterfly Pea Tea and champagne. Floral-infused food and drinks were highest in cities like Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA and Waco, TX. 

Nashville Hot Chicken: You don’t have to head to Nashville for this spicy chicken anymore. Recently added to the Ruby Tuesday’s menu, we expect to see this fried chicken dish everywhere in 2020. Mentions of Nashville Hot Chicken popped up everywhere from Louisville, KY to Birmingham, AL to Champaign-Urbana, IL.

Ube Funnel Cake Ice Cream SandwichUbe is the New Matcha: Ube, a purple yam that hails from the Philippines, has been a rising ice cream flavor and continues to take over the dessert scene. It’s popping up in everything from ice cream sandwiches to donuts to pie! When it comes to this Filipino flavor, Yelpers in Omaha, NE and Bellingham, WA couldn’t stop raving! (Photo by Birdi M. via Yelp)

Healthy-Swap Comfort Food: If 2019 was the year of zucchini noodles, 2020 is the year of cauliflower. People are increasingly searching for healthy-swaps for their favorite comfort foods — cauliflower mashed potatoes and cauliflower pizza are just two of the creative dishes we’re seeing added to menus and searches.

Boozy Kombucha: Boozy, bubbly and somewhat healthy, hard kombucha has been spotted on bar menus along the coasts and at sports stadiums this year. In fact, review mentions were up 377% in the last 12 months. San Diego Yelpers couldn’t stop talking about it on Yelp and we expect to see health-conscious consumers adding this to their list of favorite beverages in 2020.

Pineapple Bun: Yelpers are loving these popular sweet Cantonese pastries, which are often served as a dim sum snack, breakfast bun or dessert pastry. We’re seeing mentions of the sweet treat pop up in cities like San Francisco, CA; Jacksonville, FL and Los Angeles, CA. 

Next Level Desserts: Move over cheese pulls, stretchy ice cream will be making our mouths water in 2020. Taiyaki ice cream, a Japanese treat best known for its fish-shaped waffle cones, and brick toast are both ready for a comeback in 2020. (Photo by Everything L. via Yelp)

Korean Cuisine: Earlier this year, Yelp revealed that Korean cuisine and Korean BBQ were seeing a surge in popularity and we expect it to be a top cuisine of 2020. Dishes like tteokbooki (Korean fried rice cakes) will be on everyone’s table next year. 

Is there a dish you can’t get enough off? Tag @ Yelp on social media and tell us what trends you predict will be big in 2020.