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4 Detroit and Michigan Food Trends to Keep an Eye On in 2021

Growing up just north of Detroit, I took for granted some of our great iconic foods like Coney Island hot dogs, deep-dish Sicilian pizza, and the ethnic neighborhoods of Hamtramck, Greektown, Corktown, and Mexican village. Now the Food Network had finally found us, and we are considered a national treasure for the foodie culture. Wait until they drive up Van Dyke and hit Gibbys Fries at the Huron Community Fair. Southeast Michigan and Detroit have become home to some of the most innovative dining in the midwest.

We took a look at the top three emerging food trends in that are expected to go beyond 2020.

#1 Vegetarian and Plant-Based Meat

Burger King’s Impossible Burger’s success notes that plant-based meat-like products are here to stay and only grow in options and tastiness. The trend is som stong that McDonald’s is introducing its Mc-Plant burgers shortly. But beyond the fast-food chains, even Detroit neighborhood bistros are exploring plant-based ingredients.

Chili Mustard Onions

Even in these trying times during the COVID pandemic, new restaurants are giving it a go. Detroit’s Chili Mustard Onions (AKA CMO) is a new player in 2020 and is going all-in with a vegetarian menu.

Chef Pete LaCombe selected and renovated its location at 3411 Brush Street in Detroit, just south of Mack Ave and DMC. The little restaurant is currently offering curbside pickup. Their menu highlights are the Southwest Detroit Nachos, CMO Big-Mock, CMO Coney Dogs, and the inventive Beetball Sub. We expect plant-based entrees and restaurants to be a major innovative food trend in 2021.

#2 The Dominance of Detroit Style Pizza

Sicilian or Detroit style pizza is a cheesy deep-dish square pie that is light on top-loaded sauce and filled with Wisconsin brick cheeses. The dough is prepared and baked in steel pans formerly used in auto plants for carrying parts. It renders a thick crust but light and not chewy.

In the Detroit area, folks have their favorites places for their Detroiter. Of course, the dominant chain is Buddy’s Pizza followed by Loui’s Pizza in Hazel Park and the Green Lantern Pizza in Madison Heights. However, Jet’s Pizza makes an absolutely perfect Detroit Style located in 390 locations in 18 states. Detroit Style Pizza will be on the list as a national food trend in 2021.

#3 Rise of Great Lakes Whitefish – Sustainable Aquaculture

Folks are reading the labels and studying where their food comes from. We are starting to see people weary of farm raised shrimp and fish. Especially from areas where is little to no oversight on what is fed and how it is processed.

Whitefish Chowder in a White Bowl

Living in Michigan, we are fortunate to live in one of the world’s premier managed fisheries. With the delicious freshwater whitefish as the number one harvested fish in the Great Lakes. The remaining 13 fish companies operating in Michigan focus their efforts on sustainable practices for catching whitefish. The Bay Port Fish Company operates in Saginaw Bay and sells their catch in Detroit’s Eastern Market during the summer.

The variety of recipes and entrĂ©es that can be created with this fish is amazing. We found the Whitefish Chowder recipe as simple, savory, and rich in flavor. It’s expected that people will look to seafood sources that are close to home and sustainable. We expect whitefish to be on the list for one of the new food trends in 2021.

Detroit has been getting press as one of the best food cities in North America. National Geographic featured Detroit food trends as part of the 6 Unexpected Cities for the Food Lover. Detroit’s Corktown eateries were the only North American spot named globally. The late Anthony Bourdain loved some of Detroit’s hot spots and this visual tour of the food scene.



Detroit isn’t just a national treasure. It IS America. And wherever you may live, you wouldn’t be there — and wouldn’t be who you are in the same way — without Detroit.

Anthony Bourdain –

Outdoor Skillz

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