Thirteen food trends Sofia Levin predicts we’ll see in 2022

For New Years Eve, 3AW Breakfast food critic Sofia Levin takes a look at what she thinks we’ll see more of in restaurants, cafes and bars in 2022.

  1. Heritage on a plate

Unless you are First Nations, everyone in Australia is from elsewhere. It is one of the greatest culinary assets of our country. Young chefs who are the children and grandchildren of migrants will open places that revisit their roots in a modern Australian context using local ingredients.

  1. Lesser-known Southeast Asia

Trending cuisines for 2022 will go beyond Southeast Asian cuisine that many Australians already know and love, such as Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, and will highlight cuisines such as Filipino and Singaporean cuisines. The first could be the kitchen of the year. John Rivera will kick off by opening Kariton Sorbetes at Footscray in January, followed by Ross Magnaye’s Filipino CBD restaurant, Serai, in February.

  1. Experiential dinner

With borders likely to open and close throughout 2022, people will view dining out as an opportunity for an experience, not just a meal. Expect more unique and personal pop-ups and dining experiences like Chae’s new location in Cockatoo following the success of his six-seat Korean restaurant in his Brunswick apartment.

  1. Chefs without restaurants

Despite the promises and enthusiasm, there remains an incredibly harsh and uncertain climate of hospitality. As a result, many chefs will turn to venue alternatives. Think of product line launches (Tom Sarafian-style hummus and toum) and covers (Mischa Tropp taking over from Jerry Mai at Tuck’s Ridge Winery, and Harry Mangat taking over from Mischa at Avani Winery).

  1. The rise and rise of technology

Staff shortages are perhaps the hospitality industry’s biggest challenge. Until it’s affordable and easy for international students and workers to return to Australia, the technology will fill in the gaps – and maybe even cut some jobs. Expect more QR codes for menus and controls, as well as treadmills and robots replacing staff (you can already see them in action at Kata Kita and Yoi in the CBD). Some restaurants will also cease their brick-and-mortar storefronts and turn to ghost kitchens after the challenges of 2020 and 2021, while others will open for the first time, online only.

  1. The death of brunch and reduced opening hours

Cafes and restaurants that previously offered brunch open later and jump in the morning. The numbers don’t add up to personnel costs, and punters are increasingly bored with avocados and poached eggs. You can also expect restaurants to operate fewer days of the week.

  1. Durability up front

We’ve been talking about sustainability for some time now, but 2022 will see more attention to it. Driven by reliance on take-out and delivery during Australian shutdowns, operators are more aware than ever of food waste and storage. Sustainable packaging is also a big deal for many consumers who shop locally and avoid large supermarkets, while we can also expect an increase in edible tableware, such as coffee mugs from Good Edi, Melbourne based oats and grains.

  1. Culinary trends TikTok

Restaurants can expect more people to “discover” them through TikTok recommendations. TikTok thrived during the pandemic and had more traffic than Google this year, according to a Cloudflare ranking. This extends to cooking, food, and recipe trends from TikTok. Some of the most important for 2021 include feta pasta, pesto eggs, foufou, nature’s cereals, and birria tacos.

  1. Trending Ingredients: Native Australia, Plant-Based Mushrooms and Chicken

In 2022, expect Australian ingredients to become commonplace on menus. Accessible Australian ingredients such as savory, pepper, lemon myrtle and acacia seeds will appear everywhere, from brunch to cocktails. People will learn about different varieties of mushrooms by watching documentaries such as Fantastic mushrooms on Netflix stay closer to home and browse for food and access different colors of oyster mushrooms and experiment with others like lion head. And while plant-based burger patties, including America’s recently introduced Impossible Burger, have cemented their popularity in Australia, in 2022, plant-based chicken will begin to appear.

  1. Comfort food and nostalgia

Retro food, whether it’s 50s aspic dishes or 80s-inspired fairy bread-inspired desserts, will merge with modernity in 2022 as people cling to simpler times in the world. the middle of the pandemic. The same goes for comfort food: we’re not done with sandwiches, lasagna and pies yet.

  1. Beverage trends: alcohol-free, seltzer-free and Australian ingredients

Non-alcoholic drinks will gain popularity again, leading to a much wider selection beyond beer, wine, and non-alcoholic spirits. Expect the trends of the past two years to merge into one – non-alcoholic drinks and pre-bottled cocktails. Seltzers will continue to thrive, leading to a wider range of flavor options. Along with lime, watermelon, and the like, you’ll likely notice aromatics like lime makrut and native Australian ingredients like kakadu plum. On that note, expect more native Australian ingredients distilled into gins and spirits: think green ants, quandong and more.

  1. Gastronomy and luxury ingredients

Anticipate an increase in the number of gourmet restaurants opening in 2022, as well as a boom in luxury ingredients, such as caviar and fine wines. Those who can afford it will be eager to spend big in restaurants; the same way people did after past crises such as 9/11 and the GFC.

  1. Trolley service

In order to increase spending, more restaurants will introduce a cart service to complement their menus. This can include cocktails, dumplings and late night snacks, dessert spreads, or caviar bumps – each designed for people to order and enjoy spontaneously.


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