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Four Toronto food trend predictions for 2022


Restrictions or not, the city’s food scene will continue to wow us in the new year


If the food industry wasn’t risky to delve into before the COVID-19 pandemic, it sure is now. The past two years have been anything but steady with lockdowns and other mandates being enforced and lifted.

Yet somehow the people who work in the food industry continue to deliver (literally speaking, too) quality dishes that are sure to stick around for years to come.

Filipino food will get even more popular

In 2022, we’ll be seeing more Filipino food getting the attention it deserves. Lamesa, which is now operating on St. Clair West, is leading the way in celebrating the cuisine as “restaurant food.” It’s known for its homestyle meals, like garlic rice, silog and lumpia. The beloved BB’s diner came back as a pop-up brunch and rotisserie spot at Sari Not Sari in Parkdale. Its previous chef, Julian Ochangco, is at the Wallace-Emerson snack counter Pepper’s Food and Drink, which focuses on staple Asian eats and comfort food. 

Bread, bread and more bread

Sourdough will make room in 2022 to allow all types of bread to have their moment. Online shop Ba Noi, known for their signature sourdough, also took the city by storm with their other breads this year, like their panettone with cranberries and raisins soaked in orange liqueur. Japanese milk bread, like the ones that Iki Shokupan and Katsupan make, will still be a popular breakfast, brunch or lunch item. Some high-esteemed bakeries, like OMG Baked Goodness, may have closed their physical doors this year, but are also promising to be back soon with breads and other goodies.

Plant-based everything

Plant-based dishes are becoming even more popular. A survey by Impossible Foods and Angus Reid recently reported 24 per cent of Canadians significantly reducing their meat consumption. Not only will we see more vegan options available at restaurants, but we’ll see more plant-based restaurants themselves, like Osteria Du at Queen and Bathurst and Eat Nabati, an Egyptian restaurant in Kensington Market. 

Pop-ups will be even more popular

Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can also see more online businesses transition to a pop-up or brick-and-mortar spot in the city. We’ve already seen so many open within the past year alone, like Little Sister Baking, SuLee Dosirak and Madras Kaapi. A lot of these owners started their online business as a means to support themselves during the pandemic. In January 2021 the Ontario government relaxed its rules around home food businesses, making it a lot easier for people to delve into the industry.

Indeed, 2021 ended with uncertainty for the food industry. It’s hard to predict whether that will be the same for 2022. But based on what we’ve seen this year, among other food trends, one thing is for certain: Toronto’s food community is resilient and will continue to wow us with whatever it have to offer. 

@ramonaleitao

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