Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, Acai Bowls Among Top Foods Of 2020

The year 2020 has been a year unlike any in recent memory. Through quarantine and through protests, people in the U.S. have had to come about their food in new ways. And these days, food-ordering services like Grubhub have taken on a new level of relevancy. 

To find the trendiest foods of the year so far, Grubhub compared the top-ordered items on its platform from January to June 2020 to the same time frame in 2019. Results are listed here by season and mealtime, then capped off by the top overall foods of the year thus far.

Top winter 2020 food trends

Journey back with us to winter 2020. Think lots of snow and lots of layers. During the early months of 2020, these five foods saw the highest increase in popularity compared to last winter.

Winter trend #5: Tan tan ramen

No doubt better for you than those packaged noodles in your college dorm that put your blood pressure through the roof, tan tan ramen orders were up 96% during winter 2020.

Winter trend #4: Sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches

Sticking a scrambled egg between a sausage patty, a slice of cheese and biscuit halves is just one of 101 ways you can cook an egg. Funny enough, orders for this dish were up 101% this year. 

Winter trend #3: Barbecue burgers

Burger, meet barbecue. For some of America's best burgers, no introduction is required. Compared to last year, the popularity of barbecue burgers was up 132% on Grubhub in the winter.

Winter trend #2: New England clam chowder bowls

A New England Christmas classic, clam chowder saw a 195% increase in popularity as America stayed out of the cold and under the covers.

Winter trend #1: Chicken sandwiches

At 238%, chicken sandwiches took the top prize for the highest popularity increase this winter. Whether you are a Popeyes ride-or-die or Chick-fil-A champ is beside the point, all are winners when eating a chicken sandwich.

Top spring 2020 food trends

Spring brought more than blooming flowers this year. As states instituted varying degrees of coronavirus precautions, people found themselves going out less and ordering out more. These were the season's top trending foods from lowest percentage increase to highest.

Spring trend #5: Plant-based sausage breakfast sandwiches

During the spring, orders for plant-based sausage breakfast sandwiches were up 150% on Grubhub. Maybe the popularity had something to do with Dunkin', which in 2019 became the first quick-service restaurant in the U.S. to offer Beyond Meat Sausage.

Spring trend #4: Chicken sandwiches

The chicken sandwich war raged on in the spring. Chicken sandwiches, 2019's cult-favorite fast food item, were 153% more popular this spring compared to last.

Spring trend #3: Sausage burritos

Sausage burritos saw a 163% increase in orders this spring. Just be sure to order from your local chain restaurant before breakfast hours are over.

Spring trend #2: Bacon, egg and cheese biscuits

Bacon, egg and cheese biscuits beat out sausage burritos for the second-highest spot on the list of top spring food trends, 169% to 163%. Try your hand at making this drive-thru classic at home using an easy fast food copycat recipe.

Spring trend #1: Doughnuts

Do not underestimate the doughnut. These holey treats were 214% more popular this spring than last, the highest percentage increase of the season. To satisfy your craving, find the best doughnut in your state or make your own homemade cinnamon sugar doughnut.

Top breakfast orders

Breakfast likely cost less and certainly looked different the year you were born. During the first six months of 2020, breakfast looked like these trendy foods.

Breakfast trend #5: Vegetable wraps

Forget fruit salad, it's all about the veggie wrap. This healthy breakfast alternative was 112% more popular on Grubhub this year compared to last. Fill it up with your state's most popular vegetables.

Breakfast trend #4: Shrimp and grits

A Southern breakfast table must-have, shrimp and grits has seen a 179% increase in Grubhub breakfast orders this year. So order some to-go or cook your own at home.

Breakfast trend #3: Potato pancakes

Potato pancakes, or latkes, increased 259% in breakfast order popularity this year. To make some at home, all you need are potatoes, eggs and an onion combined with a little bit of flour, salt and garlic pepper.

Breakfast trend #2: Chorizo burritos

Burritos, like many other Mexican dishes, have a complex history. Still, the sort filled with chorizo made for 2020's second-most popular breakfast item on Grubhub. Compared to 2019, chorizo burrito orders were up 270% this year.

Breakfast trend #1: Acai bowls

This so-called healthy food saw the largest leap in popularity out of all Grubhub breakfast orders. The popularity of Acai bowls increased 359% this January to June compared to last.

Top lunch orders

After breakfast comes lunch. And with work from home effectively canceling the lowkey office desk lunch, these were among American's go-to lunchtime meals.

Lunch trend #5: Avocado toast

As much as America tried to leave the avocado toast trend in the 2010s, this brunch item stuck around. On Grubhub, lunchtime avocado toast orders have so far been 164% more popular this year compared to last. Why not make your own at home and combine it with grilled cheese while you're at it?

Lunch trend #4: Kale Caesar salads

Kale may not be counted among the best foods for weight loss but hey, it is sure better for you than candy. Compared to 2019, mid-day kale Caesar salads have so far been 165% more popular in 2020.

Lunch trend #3: Chicken avocado melts

Did you think avocado was meant just for toast? Chicken avocado melts, a fresh and easy summer chicken dish, saw a 188% climb in lunchtime popularity on Grubhub this year compared to last. 

Lunch trend #2: Tuna salad sandwiches

The timeless tuna salad sandwich saw the second-highest Grubhub lunchtime demand. With a 262% increase in popularity, tuna, a great heart healthy food, is getting its due.

Lunch trend #1: Thai chicken salad

Closing out the lunch category with a 399% increase in popularity this year so far, Thai chicken salad is the top trending Grubhub lunchtime meal. Flavored with peanut butter, green papaya and more Thai flavors, this treat will definitely wake you up from remote work-induced sleep deprivation.

Top dinner orders

These top trending dinner orders are for the days when an easy, one-hour dinner recipe is one hour too long.

Dinner trend #5: Salmon avocado rolls

As previously warned, avocados don't quit. Evening salmon avocado roll orders have so far been up 244% this year compared to 2019. Even at dinnertime, these sneaky fruits find their way into your blood pressure-lowering salmon roll.

Dinner trend #4: Moo shu pork

Take-out orders for moo shu pork have so far increased 266% in popularity this year. Asian food was one of the food categories dinners missed most during quarantine.  

Dinner trend #3: Vegetable korma

The third-trendiest dinner option according to Grubhub, creamy and hearty vegetable korma climbed 267% in dinner popularity this year compared to last.

Dinner trend #2: Lamb vindaloo

Not far after vegetable korma falls lamb vindaloo. Clocking in at 283% more popular this year than last, spicy lamb vindaloo will undoubtedly make a night in feel like a night out.

Dinner trend #1: Rigatoni bolognese

Rigatoni bolognese is the undisputed top dinner trend of 2020. With a 292% leap in popularity, rigatoni is here to replace your favorite spaghetti or penne. Just be sure to cook your newfound pasta pal in enough water and avoid other pasta cooking mistakes you may make along the way.

Top late-night orders

Call it dessert, second dinner or just a late-night bite, these evening orders make for tempting and trending treats.

Late-night trend #5: Pizza puffs

Why make your own pizza when you can order one of America's 101 best pizzas or from your favorite pizza chain? Late-night pizza orders have so far increased 182% this year on Grubhub.

Late-night trend #4: Jalapeno poppers

This retro snack food is primed for a comeback. Jalapeno poppers have so far been 216% more popular this year than last.

Late-night trend #3: Sliders

Sliders are an ideal late-night snack thanks to top marijuana pop culture moments like "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." Sliders have so far been 220% more popular this year than last.

Late-night trend #2: Strawberry cheesecake

Let them eat cheese and cake. The only true dessert on this short late-night bite list, strawberry cheesecakes places second with a 247% increase in popularity so far this year.

Late-night trend #1: Cheesy breadsticks

Coming in with a popularity increase over 150% higher than strawberry cheesecake is the classy cheesy breadstick. Bread recipes were among the most searched recipes during coronavirus quarantine, so it's no wonder Grubhub late-night orders for cheesy breadsticks have so far been up 412% this year.

Top foods of 2020 to date

Now for the main event. These are the overall top 10 foods of 2020 on Grubhub to date based on the highest percentage increase compared to 2019.

Overall trend #10: Taro milk tea

Taro root and classic milk tea combine to create this spunky and sweet purple drink. So far during 2020, taro milk tea has increased 168% in popularity on Grubhub.

Overall trend #9: Potato tacos

Potatoes make for some of the best traditional Mexican recipes. So far this year, potato tacos are 169% more popular than before.

Overall trend #8: Beef burritos

Chorizo burritos got a shoutout in the breakfast category. But, according to Grubhub customers, beef burritos are the best burritos. An 181% increase in popularity means beef reigns supreme.

Overall trend #7: Chimichanga

Falling in seventh place on this overall count is the deep-fried burrito, also known as a chimichanga. This iconic Tex-Mex dish has climbed 195% in popularity this year.

Overall trend #6: Cinnamon rolls

Get ready cinnamon roll fans, reopened malls means food court cinnamon rolls. Despite the odds, cinnamon roll orders on Grubhub are up 205% this year compared to 2019.

Overall trend #5: Chili

We could all use some comfort food these days. Chili, of all different regional styles, has so far increased 228% in popularity on Grubhub this year.

Overall trend #4: Iced lattes

Of all the types of coffee drinks available, iced lattes, with an 261% increase in popularity so far in 2020, appear to be this year's caffeine drink of choice.

Overall trend #3: Vanilla shakes

Vanilla shakes place third in Grubhub's observed top food trends. Orders are up 273% this year alone. You can make your own berry shake and other desserts at home using just five ingredients or fewer.

Overall trend #2: Plant-based burgers

Demand for plant-based burgers are up 291% on Grubhub in 2020, proving that the best burgers can be meatless burgers.

Overall trend #1: Spicy chicken sandwich

Surprised? You may have figured chicken sandwiches would rank high, but the spicy specification leaves more mild-minded folks in the dust. The top food trend of 2020 to date is the spicy chicken sandwich, having increased 299% in popularity so far in 2020. Now go ahead, select your delivery service of choice and order in one of America's best chicken sandwiches. 

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