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For most of us, travelling since last year has been a lot less about jading jet-lags, pool-side proseccos or must-do museums and a lot more about travelling with our tastebuds. 
 
After a full year of lockdown, we’ve explored the world – quite literally - via word of mouth, following our palate rather than our hunger for new travel adventures. The result? We’ve seen new food trends and experiences emerge, that will likely shape how we explore the world in the future. In short, lockdown has made us hungry for food travel, and we can’t wait to see where your bellies will lead you on your next holiday.

Quarantine food trends around the world

Curious to discover what food experiences the world searched for last year? Simply click on the icon to virtually travel through the globe's most popular dishes and cuisines.
Lockdown Food Trends

With so many of us embracing the stay-at-home message, even the most novice of cooks attempted baking, proofing or cultivating their own yeast starters. Ever wondered why your local supermarket’s flour and yeast stocks were always depleted? Now you know: pizza. With a 26% increase in pizza searches worldwide, many of us attempted (and perhaps just a few succeeded) to make one of Italy’s most popular food dishes. 

When it came down to food trends however, the world looked to Latin America for inspiration. The proof? Searches for Mexican enchiladas and Latin American street food, like churros, were both up by 42%.

Food experiences

How we searched for food experiences
When we weren’t kneading dough or looking for food travel inspiration, we also gave our best shot at recreating our favourite take-away dishes. One of the most popular cuisines in the world is Chinese food, and last year proved that not even a pandemic could stop our global desire for dim sum, chop suey or chow mien.
   
Yet while we all love a good Chinese takeaway, in 2020 we also looked to new exciting food experiences and explored previously overlooked foods of the world, too. Our interest in new flavours inspired one of the biggest food trends of the year: Eastern European food. And with searches for Belarussian local restaurants up by 1,600% and interest in Romanian food tours up by 85%, we're predicting that food travel to Eastern European countries will boom. 

Keen to try the delights of Eastern European food for yourself? On our Highlights of Eastern Europe food tour, you can look forward to sampling the best of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and more.

Foodie nations

Lockdown might have changed our habits, but it definitely hasn't changed our love for food experiences, or our desire to explore the world through our taste buds. These were the most popular dishes from some of our favourite foodie nations:
 
Sweet and sour chicken move over, it's all about the dim sum! These small but delectable dumplings topped the list of most popular Chinese dishes followed by the ever-popular chop suey and chow mein. 
 
Whether you’ve made your Italian mamma proud by cooking your own lasagne or discovered a new talent for making homemade pizza, over lockdown we couldn’t get enough of masterning the Italian culinary experience from home.
 
Did someone say taco Tuesday? We might not have been able to take up this tradition at a restaurant (or better yet, on the Yucatan's sandy beaches), but we definitely loved recreating the Mexican at home food experience.
 
Those little rolled up bundles of gastronomic delight commonly known as sushi rolls have been all-time favourites for a while now. But any foodie will tell you there's way more to Japanese national cuisine than sushi, so we've rightfully been getting stuck into ramen and takoyaki, too.
 
If you can't get enough of a good biryani, you're not alone - biryani is one of the most popular dishes in the world. But there was also a global appetite for butter chicken and naan, too. 
 
And as for new food trends that made their way onto the trendy food list? Well, while travelling to paradisiac Pacific places was off-limits, that didn't stop us from searching about exotic cuisines like Tuvalu and French Polynesian food.
Most Popular Foods
Whilst we all know and love pizza, how familiar are you with Andorran cuisine? This small landlocked microstate perched amidst the high peaks of the Pyrenees was the talk of the world this year. With 80% more searches about Andorra’s national cuisine than the previous year, we predict there will be a global appetite for exploring the 16th smallest country in the world once food travel resumes!

Top 10 cuisines

Food tours

In 2020 we roamed the world from our kitchen tables, but what were we searching for? Well, warth and spice evidently, based on the fact that food tours to the Caribbean island of Jamaica grew by 1,451%. But it wasn't just warmth we were after, as the next most searched destination was chilly Nepal, with many of you keen to explore its national cuisine.

Found yourself craving warming flavours and exotic spices, and ready to explore beyond the kitchen table? Why not follow the trend by embarking on a Morocco food tour? Sample the country's national flavours like mint tea, tajine and couscous while exploring on our Best of Morocco tour. As well as diving into Morocco's colourful history and way of life, you'll be immersed in the nation's famous foodie scene through rich cultural experiences like our exclusive 'Be My Guest' dinner experience, hosted in a traditional Riad in Fes.

Top Trending Food Tours

 

Fast-forward to 2021 and despite the travel restrictions, our appetite for globalfood travelis just as ravenous as ever. In fact, demand for food tours globally increased by 24% in the first 3 months of 2021 alone. So where do we have our sights set on? Trendy food destinations include Vietnam, where searches for Hue food tours have boomed by an incredible 253%. In a country famed for crispy spring rolls, steaming bowls of pho and fresh salt and pepper squid, it's not so hard to see the foodie appeal. Discover it for yourself on our Vietnam and Cambodia Uncovered vacation. 

Regional food tours have also proved popular so far this year, with 86% more searches for US food tours, making it one of the most trendy food destinations. Travel to New Orleans has been particularly trendy, with searches for the 'big easy's' food tours up by 123%. 

Trending regions 2021

Do you believe that food and travel go hand in hand? Our Be My Guest dining experiences are exclusive to Trafalgar and designed to connect you with locals in the places you visit. These experiences will see you breaking bread and sharing stories with fascinating individuals from all across the world as families welcome you into their home to share recipes passed down from generation to generation. Whether sampling rich bodied Chianti in a Tuscan vineyard, tasting Japanese delicacies in a traditional ryokan or enjoying the farm to table dining experience at an organic farm in Hawaii, Be My Guest is the ultimate celebration of food travel.

Trendy Foods

Trendy foods

Curious to discover last years top quarantine food trends? Our number one trendiest food was the newly launched Mexican mango tajin popsicle with a 7,923% increase in searches. But Mexican food was also trending on social media with dishes like birrieria and quesabirria tacos featuring in all our favourite foodie's blogs.

If Mexico's national cuisine was on everyone's lips in 2020, fast-forward to 2021 and it's all about Bangladeshi food with searches for bhorta increasing by 511% making it one of our favourite trendy foods of the year. More finger-licking trends we'll sure hear more about in 2021 are Basque burnt cheesecake (174%) and juicy birria from Mexico (173%).+

 

Trendy Dishes in 2021

Australia food trends

What top trendy dishes and most popular foods stole the hearts of Australians in 2020?

Aussies definitely had a craving for Japan's national cuisine, making it one of the most popular food experiences this year. We predict travel to Japan's bustling cities and peaceful nature will be a big foodie hit in 2022.

Italian food also made into your top 5 most popular cuisine list, with pizza featuring as your most popular dish.

Australia most certainly loves a good Chinese takeaway, making China's national cuisine the most popular choice when it came to at-home food experiences. Want to learn how to cook like a local? Plan your next holiday to China with our Best of China with Yangtze Cruise food tour and get recipe tips from families in Beijing.

In terms of food trends, Australians discovered Cameroon's national cuisine and simply couldn't get enough of it with searches up by 234%.

But 2020 wasn't just about foreign food experiences, Australian national cuisine was also trending, with searches for Australian bacon up by 511%.

 

Australia Food Trends

In 2020 Japanese food topped the list of your most searched foods of the world. Since Japan's national cuisine has piqued your interest, why not book a guided tour through Japan's rich culture, history and most popular foods? With Trafalgar's Splendours of Japan you'll enjoy a traditional kaiseki food experience in one of Kyoto's characteristic ryokan homes and get sushi-making tips from one of the top sushi chefs in Tokyo.

When it came to trendy foods, one of the biggest quarantine food trends for 2020 was cooking at home. Aussies searched less for restaurants or takeaways, and many more of you searched for cooking inspiration with recipes for African dishes particularly popular.

Australia popular food

Aussies love Asian food. They love it so much that in 2020 the most popular cuisines were Japanese, Chinese and Korean and the trendiest foods were Vietnamese and Surimese. With so many great dishes from sushi and dim-sum to pho, it's hard to pick which country to finally visit once travel resumes. If you want some food travel inspiration, then take a peek at our guide to the top Vietnamese street food dishes, who knows, our guide might pique your interest to visit Vietnam's budding food scene!

From Vietnam's banh mi to Russia's stroganoff and Marion Grasby's own Mongolian beef, 2020's most popular dishes most certainly took us on a whirlwind virtual food tour of the world. We might not have been able to travel, but we definitely recreated the world on our plate!

Aussie treats, most loved abroad

Travelling to Australia's remote outback or its sandy surfer beaches might have been off limits in 2020 but we soothed our cravings for all things Aussie by tucking into some of their most popular dishes instead.

Topping the list of most popular Australian food abroad was meat pie with a whopping 990,000 searches! But when it came down to food trends, you couldn't get enough of Australian fruit- shaped jellies. In fact, your sweet tooth for jellies caused a 13,700% increase in searches for these sugary snacks!

Popular Aussie foods

Australian food tours

People around the globe clearly cannot wait to return to Australia's shores with global demand for Australian food experiences, such as a Margaret River food tour, up by 17% worldwide. Singaporeans were particularly interested in exploring Sydney's booming local cuisine and in Ireland there was an appetite for Adelaide's food scene.

As travel restrictions ease, we're sure the global appetite for all things Aussie will make Australia one of 2022 top foodie destinations. So, wherever you are in the world, plan your next holiday in the land of luscious rainforests, sandy beaches and delicious barbies! With Trafalgar's Tastes of Southern Australia food tour, visit Australia's greatest bakery, explore the wine region of the Barossa Valley, sample the spirits at Kangaroo Islands boutique distillery and immerse yourself in Indigenous culture with some bush tucker at Warrnambool.

Many of our Be My Guest experiences touch upon these popular foodie destinations. Get a taste of the Outback with a classic Aussie BBQ around the campfire, or delight in the local farms and orchards of Tasmania as you roam the pristine wilderness of the island state.

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Foodies in the city

What food experiences were Australians after in 2020? Well, you definitely couldn't get enough of African cuisines with searches for African recipes up 46% in Sydney and 43% in Melbourne.

If you're curious about the top food trends for 2020, then Brisbane was all about tasty Caribbean food with searches for local Caribbean restaurants up by 322%.

But when it came down to the most popular dishes to order, you all agreed on one thing: Chinese takeaway! Searches for Chinese takeaways were up in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Australia Foodies in the city

Curious to know what food trends changed the Australian foodie scene in 2020?

The hottest food trend in Sydney was pasta wafu with a huge 15,200% surge in searches for this Japanese fusion dish.

Melbourne was all about Mexican food experiences with searches for birrieria tacos and Mexican poblanos up by 3,133% and 1,793% respectively. But when it came down to the most popular food, pizza still topped the charts!

Brisbane's trendy dishes most certainly included American pickles with searches for this pickled veg up by 2,177%. But when you weren't munching pickles, you were tucking into delicious Japanese food making sushi the most popular dish in Brisbane.

How we got our findings

Methodology

• We have created a database with 50,000+ English language keywords related to cuisines, local food specialities, food travel and national restaurants/takeaways.

• We have focused on new food trends and cravings users got during 2020 – the year of lockdowns. We have used Google Trends and Google News to correlate the top trending terms/cuisines to social and cultural events. • We have explored the industry reports to find out the emerging food trends of 2021.

• We used the data from Google Keyword Planner to identify the most popular and most quickly growing trends globally, based on search demand from January 2019 to March 2021.

• Most popular options are based on the highest 2020 search volumes, most trending – on the biggest demand growth rates, compared to the previous year.

• We also pulled country-level and city-level search volumes for the same period.

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