7 Food Trends You’ve Gotta Try: Welcome, 2021!


We’re actually getting tired of writing “due to the pandemic” — but, at this writing, it’s all still very real and the vaccine is just starting to be distributed. So it’s no surprise that some of these food trends reflect tasty outcomes of the current reality, while others are a breath of hopeful air and a mouthful of new goodness. Either way, they made our spirits perk up, and we trust they’ll do the same for you!

More good news: You don’t have to be a food aficionado to explore and enjoy what we see on the horizon. So sit back, relax and start making your culinary experience to-do list for 2021.

Trending in 2021, in No Particular Order!

1. Restaurant-style in-home experiences will gain popularity. And, we don’t mean just for holidays and special occasions: We mean for the family’s meal, too. We see creative takes on takeout/carryout such as multiple-course meals (yes, dessert!), more customization to satisfy consumer preferences (hold the pickles, extra bacon) and disposable (often eco-friendly) serving containers and utensils to expedite cleanup. Look for a pop in vegetarian, gluten-free and healthy in this space, too.

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2. Everything coffee will be huge! The old cuppa Joe will be a diner mainstay, but look for coffee and its infusions in everything. Cold brewed, canned and whipped coffee offerings are trending as is canned coffee; plus our favorite caffeine shot is turning up in jelly beans, vinegar, whiskey, beer, protein snacks, yogurt and more. Keep an eye on kicked up creamers and flavorings — M&M’s flavor in early 2021! — to go with all those brewed coffee options, too.

3. Wild and wacky condiments are on the rise. To some they’ll be fascinating and brave new taste experiences. It’s a strong indication that palate diversity is king and that we’re looking to elevate our kitchen skills whether we’re dressing up takeout or trying a new take on an old recipe. Think chimichurri, sauerkraut, harissa, masala, preserved lemons, chutneys and salsas atop foods from all ethnicities.

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4. Breakfast all day — make that next-level breakfast. Sous vide eggs, salmon many styles (poached, smoked, even hot), meatless sides, more takes on avocado and a plethora of gluten-free bakery delights take center stage. In Delco, a big diner breakfast and sweets will never go out of style, but watch for a strong and growing breakfast game from other takeout restaurants.

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5. When the weather is frightful (pretty much half the year, are we right?!), keep turning to soups and stews. And guess what? It’s OK to want your comfort food favorites as we continue to navigate the pandemic and turn to grab-and-go takeout options. Fill up on noodly chicken soup, hearty chowders, stick-to-your-ribs beef stews and any number of ethnic delights (we choose Shepherd’s Pie!). We may go all Delco on you if you go fancy (tofu bowl, anyone?), but we know you won’t care!

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6. Diversity will be further embraced by the industry, with a surge in interest in ethnic foods and cuisine. This welcome trend is due in part to customer curiosity as restaurants pivoted to takeout/curbside, making new tastes accessible to more consumers. Additionally, “heritage cooking” from first-generation Americans will showcase family recipes and traditions in restaurant and home kitchens alike. Heritage cooking is about sharing traditional family foods, both the original recipe and fresh takes on Nonna’s Sunday supper.

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7. The trend we can’t wait to cover: Once we can dine in again like we did in “before times” then dining out for special occasions will shoot to the top of the trend list. And, we’ll want those special moments “with the works:” Elaborate tasting menus, wine pairings, private rooms, concierge-type service … did we mention “the works”?

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From all of us here at Visit Delco, PA, especially our food-obsessed staffers, we wish you and yours a healthy, delicious and happy 2021!


Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for Delco From Home Experiences and where to get takeout and support local businesses in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered during the coronavirus crisis (and beyond). Contact us at (610) 565-3679, by email or online.

Nina Malone

Featured photo: Bigstock