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11 Food Trends To Try At Boca Raton And Delray Beach Restaurants

In early December 2017, the National Restaurant Association released its What’s Hot Culinary Forecast predicting which food and concept trends would be popular in 2018. It also weighed in on which trends were heating up and cooling down. From plant-based burgers to Thai-rolled ice cream, these 11 restaurants are leading the “what’s trending” charge.


Trend: Authentic Ethnic Cuisine

Shoyu Ramen, Ramen Lab Eatery

Ramen Lab Eatery’s Instagram account has a way of making visitors feel hungry, even when they’re not. The only info owner Louis Grayson would confide is that dishes like his popular shoyu ramen bowl were inspired by his international travels and his noodles are sourced locally. The broth, the eatery’s claim to fame, boils for nearly five hours before it’s ladled into a bowl with bamboo, wood ear mushrooms, chashu pork, scallions and a boiled egg marinated in sake and soy sauce.

100 NE Second St., Boca Raton;

561.750.4448; ramenlabeatery.com


Trend: Unusual Cuts of Meat

Miso-Marinated Boston-Cut Steak, Dada

Named after an anti-establishment movement, Dada’s success comes from transforming unconventionality into something that tastes good. Chef and owner Bruce Feingold uses a Boston-Cut (a New York Strip cut in half across the width) to give this steak a higher profile off the plate. The miso-mustard marinade also ups the steak’s intense flavor and depth before it’s grilled to ideal doneness.

52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach;

561.330.3232; sub-culture.org/dada



Trend: Ethnic-inspired breakfast items

Vegan Chorizo Burrito, True Food Kitchen

Based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s adroit dietary principles, True Food Kitchen merges nutrient-rich ingredients with flavor-forward fare. At its new Boca Raton outpost, patrons can indulge in a range of organic, gluten-free and vegetarian offerings like the Vegan Chorizo Burrito. Chorizo-spiced soy sausage, turmeric, quinoa tabbouleh, Anasazi beans, avocado slices and ground tofu are wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla and served with pico de gallo.

6000 Glades Road, Unit 1015A, Boca Raton;

561.419.8105; truefoodkitchen.com


Trend: Black/Forbidden Rice

Black Rice, Bolay

In ancient China, commoners were forbidden from eating black rice, a delicacy regulated only to the Chinese Emperor and nobility. Today, the popular rice variant is widely consumed and packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Owner Chris Gannon and his culinary team showcase the nutritious carb, seasoned with ginger and coconut, as a base option customers add to their “bol” that’s then topped with vegetables, lean proteins and other flavorful options.

5030 Champion Blvd., Ste. G1D, Boca Raton;

561.609.1781; eatbolay.com


Trend: Peruvian Food

Lomo Saltado, 3rd and 3rd

Easy to identify by its teal stucco exterior, this artsy Pineapple Grove eatery and bar serves addictive tipples and adventurous riffs on traditional standards like lomo saltado—a popular, Peruvian-Chinese stir-fry dish made with beef, vegetables, garlic, ginger and other complex flavors all served over a bed of rice and French fries. Instead of steamed rice, chef Jaime Jaramillo uses congee, Chinese-style porridge, topped with his secret sauce and chilies from the restaurant’s garden.

301 NE Third Ave., Delray Beach;

561.303.1939; 3rdand3rd.com


Trend: Heritage-Breed Meats

“Kraken and Cola” Brined Venison Rack, Twenty Twenty Grille

Seasonal and sustainable ingredients shine through every dish at Twenty Twenty Grille. For his venison rack, chef Ron Weisheit uses Axis deer meat, reputed to be the finest venison in the world, from Bush Brothers. After the meat’s brined in rum and coke, grilled and demi-glazed with spiced rum, it’s garnished with crispy sweet potato spaghetti and served with grilled broccoli rabe and white chocolate potato dauphinoise.

141 Via Naranjas, Ste. 45, Boca Raton;

561.990.7969; twentytwentygrille.com


Trend: Street Food-Inspired Dishes

Asian Street Corn, Kapow! Noodle Bar

Many restaurateurs feature Mexican street corn on their menus but few can propagate Asia’s divergent flavors like Kapow! Noodle Bar. Corporate executive chef Tim Nickey sources his corn from Duda Farms in Belle Glade and grills it until it’s lightly charred. The corn is then sliced into smaller pieces, tossed in miso-lime butter, Parmesan cheese and shichimi togarashi, and garnished with micro shiso from Loxahatchee’s Pontano Farms.

431 Plaza Real, Boca Raton;

561.347.7322; kapownoodlebar.com


Trend: Unusual Doughnut Fillings/Toppings

Green Tea/Panden Doughnuts, Doughboy

Doughboy follows a simple mantra: mini means more. At his Mizner Park bake shop, owner Homer Price and his staff make diminutive doghnuts almost too adorable to eat. Each doughy confection is made to order. Currently, there are 22 flavors to choose from including a few secret ones like green tea and pandan, a tropical, Southeast Asian plant with coconut notes.

126 NE Second St., Boca Raton;

561.617.1887; godoughboy.com


Trend: Thai-Rolled Ice Cream

Thai-Rolled Ice Cream, Eathai

Say “goodbye” to bubble tea—that funky Taiwanese beverage made with tapioca balls—because Thai-rolled ice cream is taking over as the next Asian-influenced trend. The addictive treat is made from chilling a sweetened mix of milk and sugar on a pan, “chopping in” toppings and then scraping the mixture into creamy rolls. At Eathai, create a custom concoction from seven bases, 18 mix-ins and 27 toppings ranging from cheesecake to graham crackers.

1832 S. Federal Highway, Delray Beach;

561.270.3156; eathaiflorida.com


Trend: Ancient Grains

Super Grain Salad, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar

Philadelphia restaurateur Dave Magrogan follows a “know your farmer, know your food” philosophy. At his Delray Beach eatery and wine bar, most dishes are less than 500 calories and options abound even for customers with allergies or dietary restrictions. Weighing in over 500 calories is the Super Grain Salad. This summery, bucolic salad is loaded with farm-sourced ingredients like kale and Moroccan carrots, and features a trio of ancient grains: quinoa, farro and freekeh, which we’ve learned Oprah Winfrey is a fan.

1841 S. Federal Highway, Ste. 402, Delray Beach;

561.266.3239; harvestseasonalgrill.com


Trend: Plant-Based Burgers

Grilled Vegetable Burger, Piñon Grill

Nothing beats a burger that looks like and has the texture of beef but is really made of vegetables. It’s no wonder plant-based burgers are one of this year’s hottest food trends, appealing to many palettes with no soy, gluten or GMOs. Nestled inside Town Center at Boca Raton, Piñon Grill crafts its patty from brown rice, mushrooms and beets (the secret ingredient that gives the burger its juicy consistency). Each one is grilled, layered with Havarti cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickle, and served on a perfectly toasted bun.

6000 Glades Road, Ste. 1390, Boca Raton;

561.391.7770; pinongrill.com