The millennial generation is widely associated with transforming expectations for what we eat. As The Washington Post noted, people born between 1981 and 1996 have led the way in embracing new dishes and cuisines and looking for opportunities to customize their meals. They also demand greater eco-consciousness and transparency from producers. As these shifts have occurred, keeping track of millennial food trends and trying to anticipate the next big thing have become key tasks for chefs across the country.
No item sums up millennial food trends quite like avocado toast, a breakfast favorite that consists of toasted bread, creamy mashed avocado and a wide variety of seasonings and toppings. The fresh taste, simplicity and adaptability of this dish made it a symbol of the changing food culture. Now, chefs everywhere are in search of the next must-have food to become a nationwide phenomenon.
No one knows what will be the next avocado toast, but here are some strong contenders:
More ways to top toast
“There’s no end to the creative toppings you can pair with quality bread.”
If you’re striving to create the successor to avocado toast’s breakfast crown, the most obvious route is more toast. There’s no end to the creative toppings you can pair with a quality bread for an easy, yet delicious, morning treat. Prevention pointed to several possibilities that could help toast-lovers start their day off on the right foot.
One approach is to spread hummus onto wheat bread and then sprinkle on hemp and sunflower seeds for satisfyingly crunchy combination. If you’d prefer something sweeter, try vanilla yogurt with chia seeds, lemon zest and a fruit like strawberries or blueberries. Another delightfully creamy possibility is goat cheese, which you can top with dill, parsley, radish and microgreens.
Porridge doesn’t have to be boring
Porridge has a long history as a humble but nourishing meal that comes in many varieties, none of which are very exciting. However, some chefs have discovered great potential in those unassuming bowls. Zagat spotlighted several New York City restaurants offering variations on classic porridge flavors that delivered a surprising amount of personality in every spoonful.
At The Good Sort, you can select from several types of congee, the rice porridge that’s a common part of Asian cuisines. The breakfast congee features both fresh and poached strawberries, blueberries, housemade granola and a maple-cassia syrup. Meanwhile, the coconut grits at Lalito are made with chimichurri, pickled red onion, watercress, hot sauce and your choice of braised pork or vegetables.
Internationally inspired breakfast bowls
One sure way to make a delicious meal is to mix a bunch of fresh, tasty ingredients in a single bowl. And you can step that dish up to the next level by bringing together an intriguing combination of culinary influences from around the globe. That’s why Camille Styles declared international breakfast bowls a top contender for the next big thing in millennial eating.
Austin culinary arts enthusiasts can find inspiration by stopping in at Elizabeth Street Cafe to enjoy a dish of sticky rice topped by ginger sausage, sriracha, hoisin sauce, herb salad and a poached egg. Prepare your own eclectic bowl by mixing ingredients like beets, carrots, sprouts and avocado with additions like chickpeas and miso.
Spectacular smoked salmon
Smoked salmon has long been a familiar sight at Sunday brunch, but chefs are taking this standby in exciting new directions. At Two Hands in New York, the fish is cured with beets and served with zucchini noodles, avocado and fennel yogurt. If you visit June’s All Day in Austin for brunch, you’ll find a nicoise salad that features pastrami-smoked salmon and dill creme fraiche.