Grubhub released findings from its annual Year in Food report on December 4. The Chicago-headquartered food ordering and delivery service that connects consumers by mobile phone and online to menus offered by over 140,000 takeout restaurants in over 2,700 US cities and London, analyzed tens of millions of orders placed by more than 21 million diners on its platform to uncover the flavors and tastes rising up the ranks among today’s consumers.
One thing is clear: plant-based foods are here to stay, with a majority of 2019’s top foods categorized as vegetarian- or vegan-friendly options. Cauliflower pizza claimed the top spot, rising 650% in popularity throughout the year. Rankings of the Top 10 food orders of the year follow.
- Cauliflower Pizza: +650%
- Spicy Brussels Sprouts: +622%
- Portobello Empanada: +601%
- Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taco: +513%
- Miso Pork Ramen: +413%
- Chicken Burger: +318%
- Bone Broth: +298%
- Brown Sugar Milk (Bubble) Tea: +281%
- Vegan Pad Thai: +280%
- Impossible Burger: +203%
While cauliflower dishes took home the #7 and #10 spots in 2018, this year cauliflower leads the charge. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly dishes took over seven of the top 10 spots, as opposed to only three in 2018.
Bacon, Egg & Cheese is a staple combo across breakfast that’s risen to the #1 spot from last year.
- BEC (Bacon, Egg & Cheese) Biscuit: 442% more popular
- Mixed Berry Acai Bowl: 209% more popular
- Chicken & Waffles: 167% more popular
- Strawberry Banana French Toast: 155% more popular
- Dutch Pancake: 149% more popular
A balanced mix of fan favorites, a few classics with a trendy spin, and a vegan dessert in the Top Five.
- Butter Cake: 641% more popular
- Chocolate Shake: 530% more popular
- Fruit Crepe: 223% more popular
- Caramel Churro: 206% more popular
- Vegan Carrot Cake: 144% more popular
Carbs come in handy for those snacking on late-night treats with yet another appearance from the vegan family.
- Buffalo Chicken Empanada : 277% more popular
- Brisket Quesadilla: 200% more popular
- Truffle Parmesan Fries: 157% more popular
- Garlic & Parmesan Bread Sticks: 132% more popular
- Vegan Burger: 128% more popular
Rise of Plant-based Options
Vegan and vegetarian trends are still growing, with vegan orders rising 27% in popularity overall in 2019 as compared to 2018. Specifically, the Impossible Burger saw a more than 200% rise in popularity this year!
The top meat-alternative options of 2019 are ranked as follows:
- Impossible Burger
- Black bean Burger
- Mushroom Burger
New York ranked as the most vegan-friendly state, followed by California, Nevada, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The least vegan-friendly states were Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Missouri and Idaho.
Trends of Years Past
Burgers, pizza and tacos will likely always be a delivery go-to. However, trends come and go. Whether it’s cauliflower-everything or 2017’s top food of poke bowls, with more than 450,000 orders per day on average, Grubhub has its finger on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not.
It’s all about detox and milk alternatives this year when it comes to rising trends, with the Top Three orders being celery juice, oat milk and street corn. Celery juice and oat milk rose 302% and 285% in popularity, respectively.
While not rising in the popularity ranks of popularity, very much remaining go-to dishes are poke, avocado toast and kale.
“Best of Grubhub”
While 2019 was a year for new trends, Grubhub also took a look at some of the top delivery go-to dishes and the restaurants that took home the “Best of Grubhub” title for each dish.
- Burgers: Calibur in San Francisco is a local favorite known for its classic burger and homemade Calibur sauce – and thee Tallow Fries are not to be missed.
- Pizza: a New York City staple, Joe’s Pizza (Greenwich Village Institution) takes it home for this delivery favorite.
- Chicken wings: KyoChon in Los Angeles has been said to “more than compensate in addictive flavor” with a top dish being the restaurant’s honey wings.
- Tacos: E Bar Tex Mex in Dallas is well known for tacos, especially “Jorge’s Tacos” featuring a set of four.
- Poke: a dish known for its customization, SeaSweets Poke in Portland, Oregon, is the top spot with the Ahi Shoyu Poke Bowl being a favorite.
- Pad Thai: Circles Thai in Philadelphia comes in as the number one spot for this delivery essential.
- Meatballs: diners love the Homemade Meatballs from DiPasquale’s Italian Marketplace in Baltimore, with the restaurant’s menu warning diners to “be prepared” for how large the meatball sub is!