food trends 2019

The top 10 food trends in Toronto from 2018

Food trends in Toronto this year were aplenty, ranging from jiggly Japanese pancakes to burgers covered in real gold. Now that 2019 is around the corner, we can spot some of the hottest food fads that had people lining up in 2018.

Here are my picks for the top food trends in Toronto this year.

Japanese soufflé pancakes

Fluffy Japanese-style pancakes were a-jiggling all around town in 2018 with the arrival of a handful of restaurants specializing in soufflé stacks. Those who bothered to brave the lineups at Fuwa Fuwa and Hanabusa made sure to Instagram their visit too.

Gold-covered food

From cheesecake to ice cream to the CNE's ridiculously expensive gilded burger, the over-the-top trend of covering things in 24K leaf sheets was the hottest gimmick this summer. The crazy part is that gold doesn't even taste like anything—but it sure is shiny. 

Taiyaki ice cream

There was a time few people really knew what taiyaki was. Now that the year is over, it's pretty likely you've seen these fish-shaped, soft serve-stuffed waffle cones more than once on IG, with location tags at stores like Sukoi and Taiyaki NYC

Nashville hot chicken

Spicy, crunchy birds fried Nashville style made its way into the spotlight this year with the arrival of Chica's Nashville Hot Chicken and the counter Five Points for a hot, fry-heavy, white bread affair. 

Cotton candy

From the gargantuan cotton candy at Mr. Chu to the pillowy soft clouds topping the ice cream at Milkcow, businesses found all sorts of ways to make spun sugar fetch again. The people behind YOSH! even served up ice cream cotton candy burritos to combat the heat wave this summer.

Artisanal bubble tea

Boba has never been fancier than it is now. Cafes like Tika and Yang Teashop go all out with refined brewing processes, brown sugar is huge at Incha, and Hey Sugar makes its own healthy tapioca. And of course Labothery lets you customize everything to a T (pun intended).

Breakable desserts

A few new spots in the city are making you work for your sweets with desserts that can be cracked open with a spoon. The epic Huevo Malo had people running to Mira, but the strawberry pavlova from Byblos Uptown and the Bannoffee Jewel from DaanGo are just as pretty.

Sour beers

Move over pilsners and IPAs: fruity sour beer has steadily become the preferred brew of beer-makers across the city. It's reached an all time high, and new craft breweries like Black Lab and People's Pint hit the ground running with some solid sours right off the bat. 

Colour-changing drinks

Ethereal beverages that changed colours had people mystified all summer. The secret ingredient: butterfly pea, a flower from Southeast Asia that changes colour with a splash of lemon. It showed up at Jimmy's Coffee and food markets courtesy of vendors like NAM WAN

Vegan stuff

From Vegandale's attempted (read: unsuccessful) takeover of Parkdale to A&W's Beyond Meat burger (a surprising hit), animal product-free dining has been the hottest topic this year. At this point, there's no shortage of new vegan restaurants to try in Toronto.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Hanabusa Cafe

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