5 food trends on the rise you’ll spot in 2018 in Vancouver

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What’s new, next, now when it comes to food trends in Vancouver? 2017 saw the city hit peak poké, our toasts piled with avocado, matcha mania, and our ice cream subjected to all kinds of dips and decor.

As Vancouver’s restaurateurs and food-makers get their new year rolling, many are watching global food trends for a cue to bring the next hot thing to our plates…and Instagram feeds.

Here are five trends you can expect to see on the rise in 2018 in Vancouver.

1. Middle Eastern food

Wild Thyme Lebanese New Westminster
Wild Thyme in New Westminster (Photo: Lindsay William-Ross)

Vancouver is expanding its Middle Eastern food scene these days, in a big and delicious way. Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Israeli, and Turkish food has become more prevalent around town; this year we welcomed Toronto-based Paramount, the Chickpea truck opened their permanent restaurant on Main, and Aleph Eatery is on its way–to name a few. Keep an eye out for these flavours and more new places to try in 2018.

2. Plant-based food and meat replacements

ahimi vegan tuna
Ocean Hugger Foods/Facebook

In 2017 we saw an all-plant-based gelato shop (Umaluma) open up across the street from the new brick-and-mortar location for a vegan grocery (Vegan Supply), a few blocks from a rapidly expanding vegan pizza empire (Virtuous Pie) and around the corner from a plant-based healthy eats restaurant (Kokomo). And we’ve only just begun. Expect to see “plant-based” options and entire eateries more, along with revolutionary meat replacements, like West Coast Poké bringing in ahimi–a plant-based “tuna”–and the Impossible burger.

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3. Multicultural comfort eats

Dosanko japanese vancouver
Photo: Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

We can rock the mac and cheese and chicken and waffles, but now it’s time to expand our palates and get to know dishes that are considered more “homey” and comforting in other parts of the world. Maybe we are nostalgic for a grandma’s cooking no matter where in the world that kitchen might be. Vancouver has been getting to know some cuisines better, too, in the past couple of years, and we’re getting past the cliches and basics of Mexican, Korean, and Filipino fare, for example. Then there’s a place like Dosanko, that opened this year, focused on “homestyle” Japanese food–a harbinger for more like it to come.

4. Sherry

sherry bottles wine
Dominic Lockyer/Flickr

Your great auntie taking a little nip to wind down at the end of the day is probably what comes to mind when you hear “sherry.” So why is it that around the globe these days the Spanish fortified wine is so cool there are entire bars devoted to it? Look for more bars to feature cocktails that include any of the many, many sherry varieties in the mix in 2018. And you can be a part of this global trend by getting to know sherry a bit more yourself, too.

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5. Food challenges

holy crab seafood monster roll challenge vancouver
Photo courtesy The Holy Crab

2017 was a big year for eating challenges in Vancouver. Restaurants drew attention for offering up the opportunity for patrons to eat big portions in little time. We’re talking about things like Holy Crab’s Monster Roll, or Yuu’s $5 Ramen. Sure, there are some ongoing classic food challenges Vancouver can attempt (hello, two-pound burger!), but in the age of social media, a food challenge can make for great fodder–and eats, too.