2019 Food Trends: Gaming Cafés, Hummus Cookies, Cheese Tea

Carbonated coffee is also on af&co.'s highly anticipated annual predictions list.


Anneli Star Josselin Rufus

One of the nation's most-watched lists of food-and-drink trend predictions for the new year has been released — and of course the East Bay is already way ahead of the game.

In its eleventh annual roundup, San Francisco-based consulting firm af&co. envisions a 2019 brightened by blue drinks and stem-cell seafood. 

This year's Cuisine of the Year, according to af&co., will be that of Georgia — the Eurasian nation, not the state. And Pittsburgh — not El Sobrante! — is set to be the Food City of 2019. 

Artisanal donuts are the allegedly forthcoming Dessert of the Year — sadly too late for Donut Dolly, whose three shops in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco closed in 2017.

Expect to see more plant-based (vegan) and cell-cultured (slaughter-free flesh) meats and "meats" — such as those produced by Oakland's Impossible Foods, Emeryville's Finless Foods, and Berkeley's Memphis Meats.

Hummus will leap out as a major ingredient, sleeking its garbanzo-beany way into cookies, fries, guacamole, and milkshakes, according to af@co. 

Ultra-clear cocktails, made with the use of a culinary centrifuge that removes cloudiness from liquids, are also looming (transparently) on this year's bar-tops.

Speaking of drinks, keep an eye out for carbonated coffee, foamy cheese tea, high-alcohol kombucha, aloe liqueur, and beverages rendered bright blue by butterfly-pea flowers, such as certain cocktails served at the Bear's Lair Tavern in Berkeley. 

As for trends in eating-and-drinking establishments, af&co. predicts that we'll see a lot more gaming cafes — as well as roaming musicians and fortune-tellers wandering through restaurants and bars. 

Allegedly, we'll also see more cocktails served in milk cartons, breakfasts served on shovels, and appetizers served atop rocks.

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