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Our five local food predictions for Ontario in 2018

We spend a lot of time reading, thinking and talking about food, especially local food. After a decade of connecting farmers to chefs to you, you might say we know a thing or two on the subject.

We think 2018 is going to be a big, BIG year for food in Ontario. Lots of things are going to change, but change can be good. Many things will stay the same too, strengthening our food identity and enriching our province’s many traditions.

Now that’s a mighty fine looking sandwich — and some mighty fine beer swag in the background! That sweet beer shirt is from Side Launch Brewing in Collingwood, Ontario.

Here are a few of our team’s predictions* for the world of food in Ontario this year. 

1. Say hello to the super savoury breakfast. Say goodbye to doughnuts, pancakes things slathered in syrup. We’re seeing loads of grain bowls with veggies and herbs, savoury french toasts and of course, eggs, on menus right now.

2. Sustainable lake food, everywhere. With the launch of the Ocean Wise Lakefish Guide (and another Ontario shrimp opening it’s doors!), we’re predicting loads more restauranteurs seeing the value of our local lakefish supply.

3. Return of the really big sandwich. Gone are the days of tiny things meant for ‘sharing’, we’re seeing loads of high-stacked sammies and burgers hitting restaurant menus across the province, with small-herd, pasture-raised beef to boot!

4. So long, shmancy. Tied to the return of the sandwich, we’re also seeing a rise in slow-casual restaurants. With the rising costs of running restaurants in this province, and the growing demand for fair prices for farmers (yay!), many businesses are leaving fine dining behind. Less linens, more libations. That’s something we can definitely get behind!

5. Even more beer.  If you thought the rise of Ontario craft beer was slowing down, you’re mistaken. With a new microbrewery opening every month in every part of the province, and tap lists shifting to smaller batch craft products, this trend isn’t slowing down. We’re pretty good with that though.

Other things we see being a big deal?

  • Small-batch, hand-crafted spirits (and bitters!)
  • Re-imagined waste products (think juicer scraps and off cuts)
  • More vegetables, all around
  • Fermented things, of all kinds
  • Heritage meats, vegetables, seeds — we’re bringing things back
  • Game meats

What are your predictions for food trends in Ontario this year? Let us know! We love talking all things food on Twitter.