From plant-based meats and fusion cuisine to milk alternatives and boba-mania, 2021 had a number of food trends that will most likely carry on into the new year. This past year was one that saw the rise of take out and meal delivery subscriptions and the overwhelming popularity of Tik Tok recipes and airfryer cooking. So what’s in store for 2022? We asked some of the biggest food influencers in the Bay Area and beyond to hear what they think.

Here’s what’s going to go viral in food next year.

camel milk

Adrienne, Will Wander for Food
IG Handle: @willwanderforfood

As far as actual food goes, I think there will be more focus on fusion foods and eclectic, unlikely combinations and I’m here for the experience and unique amalgamation of flavors!

Elevated Asian menus. Vietnamese and Filipino fine dining in particular are gaining new momentum. Korean fine dining is also still going strong.

Cannabis infused foods and craft cocktails. As the stigma around cannabis continues to decrease, thanks in part to lockdown boredom, expect to see more chefs experimenting with cannabis.

TikTok viral hits. It’s a toss up what will go viral, but the chances of more viral food trends in 2022 is almost certain.

Sylvia, Belly the Beast
IG Handle: @bellythebeast

Wellness and sustainability will continue to be a big theme for 2022. This means we will see an acceleration in the development of plant-based products. I think reishi mushroom powder will start to take center stage as the new superfood because it is known as an immunity booster and mushrooms in general are considered a sustainable food source.

On the dessert front we will start a lot more intricate pastries with unique flavor combinations and super aesthetically eye-catching; what you would expect to be showcased at a Parisian or Japanese cafe. In the past few years, we saw big things coming out of Korea – BTS, Black Pink, Korean dramas like Squid Games, and Korean skincare. Therefore, it makes sense that next year we will see a lot of Korean-inspired and Korean-fusion foods.

Allie Tong, Allie Eats
IG Handle: @allie.eats

  1. Plant based fish and seafood
  2. Camel milk (lol I’m not kidding)
  3. Communal tables will make a comeback (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking that covid will be gone)
  4. Virtual food halls (aka ghost kitchens)

Kelly, A Side of Sweet
IG Handle: @asideofsweet

I’d say elevating the outdoor dining experience as parklets become more permanent and people continue to expect comfortable and aesthetic options for safe dining during the pandemic!

Kimia Kalbasi, Kimi as Kravings
IG Handle: @kimiaskravings

I think that with priorities and life decisions shifting during the pandemic, it parallels with people’s choices in a dining setting as well. With that said, I think restaurants will capitalize on menus with a few select choices over extensive ones with an overwhelming number of options. Decision fatigue is real and less is more after all. I think that’s where it will be when it comes to choosing your next entree.

Much With Momo
IG Handle: @munch.with.momo

I believe nostalgic flavors and dishes will continue to rise in 2022. They really give us a sense of comfort and remind us of good times. I think really cool and cute cafes are making a rise too. Things that are out of the ordinary and create a really cool experience for guests. For example, @matteblackcoffee is something I haven’t seen anywhere else in the US. I feel like easy-to-make Asian food and dishes will also trend big in 2022. I also feel like Thai food is going to have a moment.

Sarah Chorey, Eat This
IG Handle: @eatthissf

People will continue to fulfill an increasing desire for mid-to-fancy tier dining. In that vein, there will be more creative tasting menus at affordable prices that stretch the definition and idea of how we’ve previously defined “tasting menus.” Meals will get more playful and experiential.

IG Handle: @teresa_

Personal foraging and foraged or hyper-local ingredients showing up at restaurants. I’ve seen a surge in creators dedicated to foraging. It can be a fun activity to do and comes with people trying to learn more survival skills.

Functional beverages and low abv beverages. After two years of increased alcohol consumption during quarantine, people are looking for beverages that provide wellness benefits. There’s even a non-alcoholic bottle shop, Soft Spirits, that recently opened up in Los Angeles.

Edmund, Fremont Foodies
IG Handle: @fremontfoodies

I think the trend will be bento box art! I also think black sesame flavor will take the world by storm the same way ube and matcha did.

Kristine, Bay Eats
IG Handle: @Bayeatss

So some trends I see happening in 2022 are plant-based foods, especially plant-based milk. Healthier foods in general. Especially since we’ll most likely still be in a pandemic next year.

I also see home gardens becoming popular because people are still working from home. A boujee food trend that I could see happening is avocado toast with lobster. Everyone likes avocado toast, so I can see people wanting to try this. I haven’t tried this yet, but a coworker told me that he’ll treat himself to it a few times a month because it’s really good.

Mike, Dude Where’s My Tacos
IG Handle: @dudewheresmytacos

I really hope birria tacos nachos take a break lol. Think the next trending thing are fast casual concept where you get your food and keep it moving. I’m hoping to see more over the top burgers.

Kat, Eats With Katheerina
IG Handle: @eatswithkatheerinna

I remember trying a food truck called Bobcha in the Spark Social and I feel like some Korean Mexican fusion could be popular and the Momo noodles too. Some spicy noodles and dumplings.

Lynette Chen, Lynnie the Foodie
IG Handle: @lynniethefoodie

  1. Hash brown waffles
  2. Chili crisp on everything
  3. Stuffed cookies
  4. Mochi croffles

Nikki and Resse, Two Tummies
IG Handle: @two.tummies

We think there will be even more plant-based options and upcycled food products

Liz, Lizzz Eats
IG Handle: @lizzzeats

Perhaps plant-based meat alternatives like @blacksheepfoods_ and things like vegan sushi.

Bryan, Definitely Bay Area
IG Handle: @definitelybayarea

Cheese katsu and cheese covered meat.