The Fix: Boston's 2018 Food Trends

1 / 8
Chefs over a cooking line
©Matthias Ripp/Flickr, Creative Commons
2 / 8
Tiger Mama
Courtesy Tiger Mama
Micro Restaurant

I think the next thing, for me anyway, is the micro restaurant. We're working on a 400 square foot space. Less staff, less hands. This would allow me to cook really personally, to invite people into the party to hang out. —Tiffani Faison, Sweet Cheeks and Tiger Mama, @tiffanifaison


3 / 8
Benedetto's tuna crudo with shaved bottarga
©Erik Jacobs, Jacobs Photographic
Fermentation, Pickling, Smoking, Curing

All done with a greater collaboration and support of growers, who have embraced the evolution of farm-to-table. A greater, deeper and more genuine exploration of how to live with the seasons and partner with farmers. This demands a solid foundation of classic cooking techniques. Old is new again. —Michael Pagliarini, Benedetto and Guilia, @EMPagliarini

4 / 8
Spaghetti dish
Courtesy Mida

Both in technique and 'eatability.' Whether it’s high-end prime rib, old-fashioned Italian classics, French fast casual—it’s about time!—or authentic Middle Eastern, simplicity is upon us. Let's embrace it. —Douglass Williams, MIDA, @midarestaurant

5 / 8
Chefs standing over a cooking line
©Matthias Ripp/Flickr, Creative Commons
Tip Sharing

In 2018, more restaurants will include tip sharing or an extra service charge for the back of the house. The pool of talented cooks is becoming smaller and the need to incentivize will be more important to find and retain good staff. The true cost of running a restaurant is only growing more expensive. —Phil Tang, Banyan, @banyanboston

6 / 8
Plated dish at Scampo restaurant
Courtesy Scampo
Engaged Meals

I’m hoping people will turn off all types of media for a moment or two, sit down at the table together and enjoy a simple, crispy, whole chicken (roasted upside down for ultimate moisture, as I do). Light a candle, just one candle. See the difference it makes.  —Lydia Shire, Scampo, @ScampoLiberty

7 / 8
Plated salad
Courtesy Nicole Russo Communications
Unusual Grains, Broccolini and Quick Service

I think chefs are going to find new and creative ways to serve unusual grains like millet, blueberry barley, wheat berries and rye berries. Broccolini will become a popular vegetable and, the trend toward healthy QSR—quick service restaurants, like sweetgreen—will continue. —Chris Coombs, Deuxave, Boston Chops, and dbar, @chefchriscoombs


8 / 8
Plated dish
Courtesy Myers and Chang
Mini Desserts, Mash-ups and Vegan

Mini desserts are always popular, and so are mash-ups. I'm dying to do a sticky bun croissant! And then, there’s vegan, vegan, vegan. Always. This is continuing to grow. —Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery & Café and Myers & Chang, @jbchang

By Mat Schaffer

Few things evolve more rapidly than the culinary landscape. With every bite we take, three meals a day, three hundred-sixty five days a year, tastes change, palates shift and new trends are born. Few people have a better read on these trends than the chefs who spend their days preparing food for hungry diners, so reached out to seven of Boston’s best chefs to give us their predictions for 2018’s next culinary trends.  

Mat Schaffer
About the author
James Beard-nominated Schaffer is known for discerning, honest reviews, and was the former dining critic for the Boston ...