Whether you want to dine like you’re in space, eat a virtual-reality meal, or enjoy some Italian-Japanese (a.k.a. Itameshi) cuisine, this year’s food and drink trends clearly say to shoot for the moon (and then some). Even if you stay on Earth, ube is about to become even more ube-quitous (not sorry). And you’re sure to catch Laksa-mania and you might just find yourself on a taco-themed vacation before the year is over. One of the most popular ingredients of the year? Nostalgia. Between all the vintage recipes, Baked Alaskas being torched, and Blockbuster speak-easies, we think 2023 will be the coziest eating year on record.
A lot of us here at Delish are unabashed “beverage girlies,” and will go far out of our way for a fun, new-to-us drink. Is that also you? Well, between all the new mocktail bars, amaro cocktails, and coffee trends (spoiler: get ready for salted egg yolks, avocados, and durian in your morning iced latte), 2023’s drink trends will surely keep you hydrated. Not gonna lie, we’re pretty pumped pickle cocktails are a thing…Say it with us: Pickle SPRITZES.
Feeling a bit peckish? It’s always snack time as far as we’re concerned. And 2023 is bringing some serious snack-spiration. How about some red seaweed bacon? Or maybe you’re more in the mood for crispy chicken skins? Perhaps those aren’t for you, but we can all agree that a new Cronut has entered the chat: The Suprême.
If you’re in the mood to try some of these trends in your own kitchen, be sure to check out the 50 things you need to cook this year next!
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Between all the “caviar bumps” of 2022 and emergent seafood cocktails of 2023, it will likely be hard for you to avoid caviar being, well, everywhere this year. And why would you? Especially when you can get the eponymous Saltie Girl cocktail (topped with a skewer of Castelvetrano olives, pickled onion, and little gems of caviar) at Saltie Girl, in Boston, LA, and London, even happy hours are about to get a whole lot fancier.
Maitake Mushrooms (aka Hen of the Woods)
Also know as “Hen of the Woods,” maitake mushrooms are the fan-favorite fungi of the year according to the 2023 Trend Report conducted by af+co and Carbonate. Uniquely rich with feathery ripples that make them ideal for roasting or frying, maitake mushrooms add a perfect punch of savory umami to anything from risotto to a fried chicken-style sandwich. And that’s absolutely the case for the Hen of the Woods toast (pictured) made at Burlington, Vermont’s aptly-named Hen of the Woods restaurant.
Fun fact: Maitake in Japanese means “dancing mushroom,” because apparently those who stumbled upon it in the woods would dance upon spotting it. We can definitely see why!
Alert: A new fusion cuisine is here. Meet Itameshi, which is where Italian meets Japanese cuisine, and we think you’ll absolutely want to go to there. Take for instance Kimika NYC‘s take on Itameshi (pictured): Cavatelli pasta with a pork ragu, studded with edamame and a dollop of burrata. Or maybe some Japanese curry arancini are more your speed? This year, you can find us trying out new Itameshi spots faster than you can say “mochi bomboloncini.”
The valiant reign of mezcal continues on, and we’re so glad to see it, especially now that there are a host of bars all across the country (a.k.a. mezcalerias) that are dedicated to showing off all the best ways to serve the classic and complex agave spirit.
Ghost Donkey (pictured) is a NYC standby, with drinks like the Ay Papi and the Mole Negroni being our tried-and-true favorites. If you’re not in the neighborhood, don’t fret; here is a handy list of the U.S.’s best mezcalerias so you can try them all.
Strap yourself in, because 2023 is going to be the year of salted egg yolk flavor. Stay with us here. A flavor popular in many Asian countries, custardy, salty egg yolks are making their way stateside, flavoring anything from iced coffees (like the pictured one from Da Vien in Westminster, CA) to stir-fries. Torani (makers of popular coffee syrups) even called it their flavor of 2022. Salted egg yolks toe the line between sweet and savory, so don’t be surprised if you see the buttery flavor on toast, chips, and milkshakes very soon.
Team Delish is fully on the Amaro train, and it looks like the rest of the country is, too. Amaro is an umbrella term for a host of bitter liqueurs, one of which is Campari, the popular component of the, well, stunning cocktail: The Negroni. Don’t be surprised if you find a lot of Amaro cocktails in 2023 (and even Amaro-dedicated bars like Amor Y Margo). If you want to try the trend at home, our two favorite Amaro-based cocktails are also some of the easiest: The Americano and the Aperol Spritz.
Kuih (pronounced koo-uh) are bite-sized Malaysian cakes that come in a wide array of fun shapes (like these red, tortoise-shaped angku kuih from NYC’s Lady Wong). Made with smooth coconut milk, rice flour, and mung bean paste, these jelly-esque, bouncy treats are steamed into fun shapes and flavored with anything from coconut and pandan to palm sugar. Some of them are almost too beautiful to eat, but don’t let that stop you.
Pistachio Milk & Potato Milk
A new year pretty much always means a new alternative milk hits the shelves (and the coffee shops). This year, it’s solidly the age of Pistachio Milk and Potato Milk (yes, potato milk!). And even some of the most obstinate whole-milk-drinkers of Team Delish (ahem, me) have to admit to being a pretty big fan of Táche’s rich, creamy pistachio milk. Their vanilla blend solidly passes the iced latte test, milk frothing test, and just the overall cereal test with flying colors. And while DUG’s potato milk is still only available in Europe at the moment, it’s probably not too long until you can order a potato milk latte at your local Starbucks.
Did you know that Laksa was crowned the dish of the year by these trend forecasters? The spicy and aromatic coconut curry noodle soup that hails from Malaysia is up a whopping 180 percent on menus across the country, and even Team Delish has experienced Laksa-mania.
If you want to catch it too, we highly recommend checking out Damansara, a San Francisco-based outpost that serves the savory soup with a host of other classic Malaysian drinking foods and small plates.
Dishes With a Chance of Clouds
Is it just us or has food gotten a whole lot…cloudier? Whether you’re into whipped fetas, oozy burratas, or fluffy meringues, drippy, cloudy foods will be all over restaurants, dinner parties, and coffee shops in 2023. And we can see why; These surreal cloudy creations are visually stunning and eminently Instagrammable, and not to mention, pretty fun to eat. Case in point: Maru Coffee’s cream top coffee that’s all over TikTok that we’d gladly float on.
In this next installment of “Stay with us here…” we present you with pickle cocktails. 2023 is apparently all about briny things, and that absolutely includes pickles. And honestly, we’re severely into it. Especially the fact that Manhattan’s Zou Zou’s has created a pickle spritz (pictured). Those pickle-backs of your youth will be a faraway memory now that you can sip on pickle martinis and pickle margs all throughout the year.
According to Vogue, we are now living in the golden age of pandan. A fragrant green leaf native to Southeast Asia, Pandan is a popular flavoring and coloring agent for a wide variety of treats (we’re especially fond of it in ice pops, tres leches ice cream and chiffon cakes).
Author Samuel Anderson likens its rise in part to pandan’s ability to “impart smooth, nutty, slightly herbal notes to everything from Malaysia’s national dish nasi lemak (a colorful breakfast centered on pandan-infused rice) to Singapore’s McFlurries.” Okay, looks like we need to book a trip to Singapore now.
It’s not just tech billionaires going to space. Drinks are getting ready for blast off, too. And we mean that pretty literally with MUMM’s Cordon Rouge Stellar, which was created so it could be tasted in space and has a foam that coats the mouth.
Trendwatcher Mintel reports that “as Earth endures more chaos, space will become a source of optimism, innovation and connection” in the food and drink space. Coke has even jumped on the trend as well, with their Starlight-inspired flavored products that came out in 2022.
There’s no denying the effect of global warming on various industries, and the food industry is no stranger either. Over the last few years this has brought a whole other lifestyle to the forefront that should see big growth in 2023: Climatarianism.
What are Climatarians? Well, instead of counting calories, they count carbon emissions and avoid products and foods that bear unnecessary carbon outputs or even excessive packaging. According to a report conducted by Datassential, the trend has even lead to some restaurants making Climatarian menus available, like Just Salad (who have measures and labels the carbon footprint of every menu item) to Burger King (which has even tested a Reduced Methane Emissions Whopper at select U.S. locations).
Nostalgia really never goes out of style. But one thing we didn’t anticipate feeling nostalgia for? The reinvention of super kitschy (and often strange) vintage recipes. (Believe it or not, the #vintagerecipes hashtag already has 31.3 million views on TikTok.)
While we’ve yet to see a restaurant recreated this Weight Watchers Crown Roast of Frankfurters, you’ll likely spot a whole lot of shrimp cocktails, chicken Diane, and Ambrosia salads while dining out this year.
It’s just not enough to eat seafood; we’ll be drinking it, too. Well, sort of (at least you can with Saltie Girl Boston’s oyster-topped Bloody Mary). 2023 will likely make you feel like every time you turn a corner and there’s likely an oyster being shucked, and it’s not just you. The Cut even called out the prevalence of oysters and martinis on Instagram, calling it the ultimate “Hot Girl Meal” of the summer. Actor Dan Levy was once a Clamato influencer, and we now blame him single-handedly for this delicious trend (thank you, Dan!).
Okay, we’re all bound to become very seafood obsessed this year and it shows in the wave (sorry, again) of popularity of tinned fish. Case in point: Kippered, a Los Angeles bar that focuses on tinned fish and bubbly recently opened, and you can even browse a tinned fish menu at Haley Henry in Boston.
Want to bring the trend home? In April 2023, you can grab a cookbook devoted to the delightfully briny world of tinned fish to help you go beyond just your usual canned tuna routine.
We’re no stranger to loving fermented beverages (there’s kombucha, kefir, and wine, now that we think of it), and tepache is bound to be our new favorite drink.
What is tepache? It’s a bubbly Mexican beverage made from fermented pineapple rinds and spices. Traditionally it’s home brewed, but now tepache-maker De La Calle has canned all that goodness (with flavors like prickly pear, watermelon jalapeño, and mango chili) so you can imbibe this ancient drink anywhere. Tepache is naturally low in alcohol and great on its own, but we also like it spiked with beer, white wine, or even rum.
We don’t know about you, but we’ve kind of missed having a buzz-worthy baked good (à la The Cronut) to obsess over. Thankfully, The Suprême is making its way stateside, namely at New York’s Lafayette Bakery, where it takes three whole days to make the pastry.
A Suprême, according to USA Today, a “is made with croissant dough that is molded to get its round shape. After it’s baked and cooled, each pastry is filled with a pastry cream, depending on its flavor.”
Ummmm, say less. We’ll take two.
What if your next meal took place in virtual reality? Well, it’s already become a reality for some diners, reports Rene Brinkley of CNBC. According to Brinkley, a virtual reality dinner recently hosted by The James Beard Foundation went as follows: “Over the course of an hour, seven small courses were served in what the organizers describe as a ‘virtual and augmented reality art and dining experience’—at a price of $125.”
We know you’re wondering: “Did they actually eat?” Well, yes. Brinkley says that,”After a glass of champagne and a brief lesson on how to eat from the ‘food vessel’ — throw the food back like a shot without spilling it all over the place — the diners were seated and strapped into a Facebook Oculus headset.” Music and narration are also involved, of course, with whimsical visuals (meat floating through the air, tumbling blueberries, technicolor pink pineapples) created to augment the dining experience.
Coffee is, after all, made from a fruit’s seeds, but have you thought about putting fruit directly into your morning cup? 2023 could be the year you replace your drip order with a dragonfruit iced latte (pictured), according to San Francisco coffee shop Not Latte.
Inspired by the ultra-popular trend of fruity coffees in China (where you might see pineapple, coconut, and avocado coffees), Not Latte’s owners think it’s the next thing you can expect in your coffee mug. And you might want to jump on this trend fast. Case in point: Sometimes Not Latte sells out of their durian latte before noon.
Thought your days of scorpion bowls were over thanks to Covid? Think again! According to 2023 Hospitality Trends, “Hip and happening cocktail bars are introducing new, aesthetically pleasing and interactive ways for people to share a spirited drink.”
One of our favorites? Hazie’s in San Francisco serve up the large format cocktail, “Go Ask Her” (pictured), which has tequila, orgeat, strawberry syrup, lime, and agave, and serves 4-5 of your closest pals, depending on how thirsty you are.
As we’ve covered before, your coffee is not safe from avocado-frenzy—and now, neither are your happy hour margs. According to Bar & Restaurant, avocado is the next big ingredient you’ll be able to find in your post-work tipples (which also include martinis and gimlets).
Curra’s Grill in Austin started serving their avocado margaritas (pictured) at first as a dare, but now they sell about a thousand avocado margaritas a week. You don’t need to dare us to try one of these, TBH.
No, that’s not bacon you see on your screen. It’s red seaweed bacon. And believe it or not, Umaro’s seaweed bacon (pictured) could be your new favorite way to make your morning BEC sandwich this year. Because it just wasn’t enough to go beyond meat with, well, Beyond Meat, seaweed is becoming one of the most popular ways to get your meaty, smoky bacon fix but in a much more environmentally friendly way.
Nostalgia is pretty tasty. And you can expect more than a few comfy-cozy, nostalgic comebacks to warm your heart this year. Probably the most iconic one of all involves none other than the culinary playground that is Blockbuster. The recent Blockbuster Pop-Up Bar (which is heading to NYC at some point in 2023) is an immersive experience that, yes, is Blockbuster-themed, because why not?
According to the event hosts, “Instead of genres, aisles will be sectioned off by different kinds of cocktails and beers. And instead of grainy VHS tapes, you can choose from themed cocktails inspired by popular 90s and 2000s movies.” Get this, they even serve Yoo-Hoos. We’ll be absolutely making many nights of 2023 into Blockbuster Nights, thanks.
According to NPR, crispity-crunchity chicken skins are in for 2023 and we don’t just mean on your latest batch of fried chicken. With rising food costs an ever-present issue, we’re very much about using what we’ve got. And what we’ve got are delicious options for this versatile ingredient: Chicken skin nachos! Chicken skin deviled eggs (Okay, Turkey and the Wolf already has this in spades). And just straight-up chicken chips! We’re really not picky.
The secret ingredient of 2023 is clearly nostalgia, which explains why we can’t resist a Baked Alaska. When you think about it, Baked Alaskas are kind of the ultimate dessert: Creamy, melty, gravity-defying, and involving a bit of fire. We’re into it, and we’re especially into Gage & Tollner’s take on the classic.
First brewed nearly 2,000 years ago by Indigenous Americans, sustainable, lightly-caffeinated yaupon tea is about to be your literal cup of tea in 2023. While not necessarily a newcomer to the tea community, Yaupon is finally making its way to the mainstream in your favorite bottled kombuchas, cocktails, even matcha powders.
Best of all, if you’re not a fan of tannic teas, good news. Yaupon tea is ultra-smooth and not at all astringent. Quite literally steeped in history, Yaupon is delicious hot or iced and Suerte (pictured) in Austin will even make you a Yaupon Spritz if you like.
Alert: We’re living in a Sandwich Renaissance. It’s basically impossible to contain all of the new international sandwiches hitting restaurants between two slices of bread. I mean, we’re still pretty obsessed with Japanese convenience store sandwiches, namely Katsu Sando‘s konbi sandwich (pictured). When you think about it, sandwiches are the ulitmate canvas, capable of being turned into a choripán or a bánh mì. And we’re definitely bound to become serious sandwich artists in 2023.
In 2023, Nigerian cuisine (and West African food in general) is literally popping up. Namely, former pop-up-now-brick-and-mortar Dept. of Culture in Brooklyn, with their communal tables stacked with classics like jollof rice (pictured) and red snapper fish pepper soup. With wide acclaim for their dinner party-style tasting menu, Dept. of Culture was recently named one of Bon Appetit’s top 50 restaurants of the year, and The New Yorker has even claimed that every night at the restaurant is a veritable party in itself.
Building a Spice Tolerance
With the rising popularity of the show Hot Ones, it’s really no surprise that building a spice tolerance has become a popular New Years’ resolution. Thankfully (regretfully?), you can now recreate the full Hot Ones experience at home (with a gallon of milk nearby, hopefully), so you too can earn your crown just like Lizzo.
Hydration is not the only think we’re looking for in our drinks in 2023. We’re looking for energy, a buzz, vitamins, and maybe even a little bit of help with digestion, too. Functional beverages are one of the fastest growing markets in the drink industry, and brands like fiber-packed Olipop (pictured) and electrolyte-packed alcoholic seltzer brand Masq are delicious proof of that.
2023 is likely to prove that it’s not enough to just go out to restaurants; we need to be immersed along with being well-fed. And with inflation being as rough as it is, why not get dinner with your show? Case in point: The 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea-themed dining experience you can now enjoy in Vegas (pictured). Can’t make it to Vegas? No worries, The Infatuation has a whole list of unique dining experiences you can try out all across the country.
Monthly Restaurant Subscriptions
Our keychains are a veritable museum of restaurant loyalty cards, but what if you want to take that love to the next level? It might be time to take the next step with a monthly subscription to your favorite restaurant.
The aptly-named “Take Care Of Me Club” from San Francisco restaurant El Lopo includes standing reservations, gifting powers (where you can send a free drink to a stranger), and monthly dining credits. They’ll even gather information about your tastes so they can customize what dishes they’ll bring to you each time you dine-in. Could this be heaven? We think so.
If you’re in love with mezcal and tequila, it’s time to get acquainted with another native Mexican spirit: Sotol, a grassy, funky, almost pine-y distillate made from a shrub also known as “desert spoon.”
More sustainably made than its agave-based cousins, Sotol is a great addition to Old Fashioneds (pictured, made with Desert Door Sotol), margaritas, and Ranch Waters. Even celebrities are getting in on the Sotol trend. According to The Spirits Business, Lenny Kravitz has even partnered with Mexican spirits group Casa Lumbre to launch Nocheluna Sotol.
Chicken Sandwich Renaissance
It’s clear that chicken sandwiches are going to dominate 2023, and we’re not just talking fast food restaurants, either. Gone are the days of just boring ol’ fried chicken sandwiches; we’re going to be ordering new classics like Night + Market‘s Thai fried chicken sandwich (topped with ranch and papaya salad).
Now that we’ve introduced you to durian coffee, we can present to you a much more mellow trend: White coffee. Not to be confused with flat whites, white coffee involves coffee beans that are roasted at a lower temperature and halting the roast just before caramelization (which leads to a white-looking bean).
The result? A brew that’s lower in acid, higher in antioxidants, with a flavor profile that’s nutty, smooth, and subtly sweet. This process actually originated in Yemen centuries ago, and you can find it brewed with a spice blend composed of cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, and clove.
For all the nostalgic, kitschy foods you’ll be eating this year, you need the cocktails to go along with them. Enter: The resurgence of Galliano Liqueur. You might be familiar with Galliano as a component of the ’70s throwback cocktail the Harvey Wallbanger. If you’ve yet to meet Harvey, Galliano is a brand of sweet, herbal liqueur that hails from Italy and is a common digestif (like our other fave, Amari).
With the “guilty pleasure” appeal of Dirty Shirleys and Espresso Martinis, Galliano-based cocktails (like Golden Cadillacs and Yellow Birds) are sure to be a favorite nightcap for 2023. Even Gage & Tollner have brought Harvey Wallbanger back to the menu!
Affordable Tasting Menus
The upcoming closing of Noma has made more than a few waves in the world of fine dining. But the one that benefits diners most of all? The trend of two-digit tasting menus. Our wallets and taste buds couldn’t be more grateful we can try out James Beard Award-winning Rabbit‘s raw vegan 12-course tasting menu for just $75(!) and Kinn LA‘s perilla sorbet (pictured, as part of their $50 5-course tasting menu) during these inflationary times.
We’re no stranger to a good homemade mocktail, but sometimes a night out yields slim pickings in the NA department. But no more! With a whole slew of mocktail bars (including Portland’s Suckerpunch, whose cocktails are pictured here) popping up all across the country, your dreams of a non-alcoholic paloma in hand are likely going to become a reality at some point in 2023.
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