Food Trends: What Will Your 2014 Restaurant Menus Bring?

2014 Restaurant TrendsThe National Restaurant Association just released its annual What’s Hot Culinary Forecast. The future looks bright, and it makes me hungry. The results of the food trend survey (compiled from the responses of nearly 1,300 professional chefs)  had a lot in common with last year’s outcomes. Read on for my favorite bits…

First, The Top 10 Restaurant Food Trends For 2014

For those of us hoping to “Eat Drink Better” at a restaurant, the top trends look mighty fine. Local meat, seafood, and produce again made the top 10 cut as did hyper-local sourcing and environmental sustainability. Providing healthy foods for our little ones continues to bear importance for our food purveyors. Here’s the top 10. What do you think?

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Environmental sustainability
  4. Healthful kids’ meals
  5. Gluten-free cuisine
  6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
  7. Children’s nutrition
  8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  9. Sustainable seafood
  10. Farm/estate branded items

Interesting Outcomes In The Top 11 to 20

Finally, Some Intriguing Category Outcomes

  • In the dessert category, we’ll be seeing them served savory versus sweet in 2014. I’m trying to process that unsuccessfully. Any idea what this might look like? Ditto edible cocktails (which is number 4 in the cocktail trend category).
  • Unusual herbs, like lovage, chervil, and lemon balm, hit the top 5 in the produce category. So obviously this is my year to start the herb farm!
  • Pickling, fermenting, and smoking are the top three trending preparation methods.

Good trends? Bad trends? In-between trends? What do you think of the restaurant industry’s crystal ball?

Image Credit: Food Trends via Shutterstock

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About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !