By Shelley Boettcher

Trends come and go in the culinary world. One year, we’re all jonesing for kale chips, quinoa, kombucha and charcoal. The next year, we’re searching for something new to tantalize our tastebuds – and, let’s be honest, our social media followers, too.

As a new decade dawns, what will we be eating? Here, in  alphabetical order, are 10 trends we’re seeing as we head into 2020.

Ten Foot Henry

Ten Foot Henry


Your favourite chef may not list their marijuana-laden treats on the menu, but they may well be experimenting with cannabis in the kitchen. Chef John Macneil, formerly at Teatro and on Chopped Canada, is now the Corporate Red Seal Cannabis Chef at Zenabis and Namaste Recreational cannabis brands.

Then there’s Paracanna founder Andrea Butterworth. She offers a DIY kit so you can make your own cannabis gummies at home. She’s had interest from Canadian restaurants and Blush Lane has ordered kits too. Buy them at


More than one billion people are on Instagram and more than 364 million Insta’ pics are hashtagged food. The more colourful (or odd) the dish, the more likes you’ll get: blue and red pics do better than, say, beige, according to every Instagram marketer. That’s free marketing for restaurants, so expect the trend to continue. That said, a plain brown egg is the most-liked pic in Instagram history. Yes, an egg.


As belts continue to tighten in Calgary in 2020, we’ll see happy hour’s popularity grow. A few fine examples: Bridgette Bar, Calcutta Cricket Club, Hawthorn (in the Fairmont Palliser) and Modern Ocean.

Now Israeli food is weaving its way into our culinary fabric with the opening of Sidewalk Citizen’s first full-fledged restaurant.

What is it about Middle Eastern food we love so much? “it’s very fresh, with clean flavours,” and lots of fresh herbs, says co-owner Michal Lavi. “And cooking methods are relatively simple, involving charring, blanching and grilling.”

Waalflower's Roasted grapefruit mojito mocktail

Waalflower’s Roasted grapefruit mojito mocktail


Health-conscious millennial’s don’t want booze, but they do want cocktails. Ingredients are creative (muddled herbs, fresh juices) and innovative. Seedlip leads the way, with its intensely flavoured non-alcoholic distillations, but look for competitors in the market soon. And these days, most cocktail bar offer creative concoctions for those who want their drinks to be buzz-free.


Plant-based diets are growing in popularity, as documentaries such as Forks over Knives and The Game Changers find audiences around the world. That’s part of the reason why Bryan Kinney founded Gift a Green.

With the help of a chef friend at Joey’s Canada, Kinney and his wife, nutritionist Tanya Bayda, developed greeting cards embedded with organic micro-green seeds blends. Simply water each package and in a couple weeks, you’ll have fresh greens at home – not restaurant or garden required.

“They’re trendy and they’re super-good for you,” Kinney says. “We try to eat healthy and organic as much as we can, and this really fits in with our lifestyle.” Want more plant-based food? The Coup and Ten Foot Henry offer some of the best in Canada.


Gone are the days when every children’s menu featured chicken fingers, French fries and hot dogs. Via Cibo children’s menu, for instance, lists pollo parmigiana (parmesan chicken) with pasta, salad or fries. Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue scales down its famous rodizio skewers for its kids’ menu. And at Saigon Pearl, the children’s menu includes a kid-sized vermicelli bowl with spring rolls.

Baharat braised bison at Sidewalk Citizen

Baharat braised bison at Sidewalk Citizen


Local chefs may draw culinary inspiration from faraway cultures, but the best also rely on regionally grown ingredients. That doesn’t just mean tomatoes and potatoes. It means grains and legumes; lentils, millet, you name it. At Sidewalk Citizen, you’ll find chickpeas from Saskatchewan and organic heritage wheats from Alberta; Highwood Crossings‘  myriad offerings and Heritage Wheat’s Red Fife are favourites.

“From our first loaf of bread, we were committed to using local wheat,” says baker and restaurateur Aviv Fried. “Our relationship with Mark from Heritage Wheat, a farmer and an artist, goes back to our first loaf and his first crop. Mark used to deliver it to us in Ziploc bags. It’s stone-milled to our specifications.” Why does it matter? Because it tastes better, Fried says. “It’s the taste of Alberta-the prairies, the soil and warm summer winds.”

Herbologie's single-origin, traceable spices

Herbologie’s single-origin, traceable spices


A year ago, Aga Wajda-Plytta, founder of Herbologie, a began importing fresh spices from Zanzibar. The farmers grow everything – peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg – bio-dynamically, on the same land. “The peppercorns grow next to the cloves, which grow next to the cinnamon,” she says. “It’s akin to the trend we’ve been seeing for a few years with coffee an cacao. Now we’re bringing that attention to spices.”

Edmonton eateries Rge Rd, Kind Ice Cream and Central Social Hall are customers, and so are Toronto caterers Chef & Somm.


From an environmental perspective, the world needs all the help it can get, and restaurants are doing their part. We’re talking more than reusable coffee cups, however. Compostable takeout containers are becoming commonplace and, soon, we’ll see more opportunities to take our own containers for leftovers.

Savour Calgary Invites you to make eating local your food trend for 2020. Try one of the great restaurants or products in this issue, or venture out on your own and discover something new.