In the City That Never Sleeps, one thing you definitely don’t want to get caught snoozing on is developing trends— particularly those in the food category. And why would you want to? With over 26,000 restaurants (not including the myriad of spontaneous pop-ups and irresistible food trucks) keeping hot on the tail of New York City’s various taste-makers (both Michelin Star chefs and Instagram influencers alike) can prove to be a pretty delectable journey. While some dishes and ingredients eventually faze out as nothing more than over-hyped social media fodder, for every flop, there’s also the next truffle salt or avocado toast. Forget combing through 26,000 Yelp reviews, and instead, check out the list below for a head start on NYC’s must-try munchies of 2020:

Purple yam

Purple yam, or ube, has been gifting its enchanting violet-indigo hues to Filipino cuisine for years. With the recent meteoric success of superfood ingredients like açaí and spirulina (sought after by Instagram foodies for its vibrant turquoise addition to smoothie bowls), plus a newfound interest in Filipino cuisine on search engines, ube might just be the new kale. From more American offerings like ube-infused macarons and doughnuts, to classic Filipino staples like halo-halo, ube halaya, and ginatan, expect to find this mellow-flavored technicolor root popping up on menus everywhere. For now, say goodbye to the matcha and charcoal soft-serves of yesteryear and get your ube ice-cream cone on at Ube Kitchen in Smorgasburg.

Vegan food

With more and more individuals looking to become conscious of how their diet interacts with the planet, veganism is on the rise and plant-based chefs are constantly seeking new ways to make the lifestyle more inviting to the typical consumer. What better way to do so than with the oh-so-satisfying flavors of southern comfort food? Think cashew cheese mac with shitake bacon from Urban Vegan, or the BBQ “crawfish” from Seasoned Vegan.


When it comes to Tajin, if you know, you know. And if you don’t know, well, you better learn! This zingy Mexican seasoning mix comprised of sea salt, chili, and dehydrated lime juice has long enjoyed a cult following here in the States. 2020 is the year it takes off towards the mainstream spotlight. Find it sprinkled atop its most classic form of mangonada at La Newyorkina or try sipping it in a margarita with a Tajin-dusted rim at Calabrije’s Margaritas and Tacos.