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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

Singapore food trends

What food trends and cuisines shaped the culinary experiences of Singaporeans in 2020?

Looking at the most popular food in Singapore, it's clear there was one flavoursome winner.Topping the list of most popular dishes was the toppings galore favourite: pizza!

The most popular cuisine in Singapore came courtesy of Korea. The home of kimchi saw a 92% rise in online popularity with searches for Korean BBQ jumping up by 103%.

Singaporeans might not have been able to travel in 2020 but that didn't stop them from travelling to places virtually. Searches for Surinamese cuisine saw the biggest jump putting this small South American country on the food trend map.

Wondering what recipes Singaporeans couldn't get enough of in 2020? Sushi rolls were the catch of the day making Japan's national cuisine the second most popular food choice. If you're keen to explore your passion for all things Japanese, take our Splendours of Japan tour which lets you sample sake while roaming the streets of Takayama's stunning Old Town.

When it came to dining out, what culinary experience reigned supreme? Well, Singaporeans couldn't get enough of dim sum, chow mein or Peking duck, making Chinese food their go-to cuisine when eating at local restaurants.

Singapore Food Trends

What culinary experiences did Singaporeans crave in 2020? One of the main quarantine food trends was home-cooked food with searches for recipes up by 95%.

But when you weren't preparing home-cooked delicacies, you loved searching for new food experiences sending searches for local restuarants and trendy new takeaways up by 6% and 107% respectively. But what were you ordering?

When you felt peckish for European cuisine, Portuguese restaurants were a top food trend with searches up 239%. Keen to sample more of Portugal's national cuisine? Take a peek at our Best of Portugal food tour to explore this Mediterranean country's rich history and renowned food scene. We'll take you on guided food tours through Lisbon's old town where you can tuck into some traditional sweet pastel de nata, and let you wind down after a full day of sightseeing by sampling some of the Duoro Valley's best port wine.

When ordering your favourite takeaway, you looked for food experiences both far and close to home. Korean takeaways reigned supreme making the land of kimchi and bulgogi the top takeaway food trend of 2020. But Singaporeans also liked to (virtually) travel further afield by indulging in delicious Spanish takeaways too. Your quest for paella, tapas and other Spanish delicacies drove searches for Spanish takeaways up 455% in 2020. We're sure travel to this Mediterranean peninsula will boom in 2022, so why not stay ahead of the game by booking our Best of Spain food tour?


Singapore popular food

What food trends left their mark on Singaporeans in 2020?

Korean food became a major food trend in 2020 thanks to the Oscar winning film Parasite. The film's starring dish, a mash up of two types of instant noodles called ram don sparked the interest of Singaporeans who searched for this dish a staggering 6,200% more times compared to 2019!

But food travel inspiration didn't just come from the silver screen. Singaporeans remained faithful to their own national cuisine too, with searches for chili crab mantou up by 967% making it one of the top trending dishes.

Singaporeans also liked taking food travel inspiration from their neighbouring Asian countries. More than a few of you enjoyed tucking into Taiwanese egg pancakes sending their online popularity up by 3,100%. If you've never tried this quick and simple breakfast, it can be served sweet or savoury and is a staple of street food stalls in Taiwan - look out for it on your next culinary tour to Taiwan.

One of the most fascinating food trends of 2020 saw Singaporeans search for Kazakh recipes. With searches for beshbarmak noodles, shashlik skewers and manti dumplings up by 300%, Kazakh food was the most searched for recipe food trend of 2020 which definitely puts Kazakhistan on the food travel map for 2022.

Singaporean treats, most loved abroad

2020 saw many of us halt our holiday plans including trips to popular food travel destinations like Singapore.

So, how did people abroad get their fix for all things Singaporean? Many of you poured over the internet in search for Singaporean noodles, in fact, a whopping 1 million of you did sending searches for this Singaporean national dish up by 34% globally.

Singaporean chili crab mantou was another foodie favourite. Global searches for this spicy dish were up by 1,080% making it the trendy dish of 2020!

Singaporean food remained a popular choice across many countries. The UK couldn't get enough of Singaporean vermicelli noodles, with searches up 236% and Canada loved swapping the maple syrup pancakes for traditional Singaporean kaya toast making it a trendy food for breakfast lovers.

Top Singaporean Food

Food tours in Asia

Singapore and many other Asian countries might have been locked down in 2020 but that hasn't stopped you searching for food tours in Asia. Here's some of your top picks:

Globally, searches for food experiences and tours in Nepal peaked in 2020 with a 550% increase in searches for the country with the highest peak! Why not visit this fascinating mountaineous region with our Nepal Adventure food tour? Nepal is packed with 10 different UNESCO World Heritage sites and on this tour you'll get to explore a few of them including the listed city of Bhaktapur and the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Enjoy the guided sightseeing and make the most of Nepal's stunning natural landscapes and local food experiences.

Other popular Asian food travel destinations included Japan, with Tokyo food tours trending in New Zealand and China, with searches for food tours in Xi'an especially popular in South Africa. Want to know more about Xian's food scene? Learn how to make Xian's traditional dumplings with ouBest of China with Yangtze Cruise tour where you'll also get the chance to explore Beijing's old town and make friends with Chengdu's giant pandas.

Many of our Be My Guest experiences touch upon these popular foodie destinations. Sample Singapore's culinary delights as you rub shoulders with locals at hawker markets, and sample traditional delicacies at a family-run shophouse committed to preserving Peranakan heritage through their culinary and handicraft skills..

Vietnamese Pho With Spicy Sriracha Sauce

Delicious Southeast Asian Dishes You Must Try

Drawing on centuries worth of outsider influences from sea-faring traders to neighbouring China and India, Southeast Asian cuisine is deliciously diverse.


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Singapore’s diverse heritage is just waiting to be explored, with old-world monuments, buzzing neighbourhoods and culinary adventures across the city.

Chinese Dumplings

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How we got our findings


• 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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