Foodie Trends in NJ
Considering this area is so close to New York City, one would think more of the food trends over there would find there way over here. Sadly that doesn’t always seem to be the case. It is oft cited by people as less populated, less informed and less interested then their city brethren.
No scene has exploded more than food trucks all around the city. These gourmet ktichens on wheels are killing it all around (usually in densely populated work areas ie Midtown) and we’ve yet to see or hear of one gourmet truck taking up residence anywhere in the area. There are plenty of hot dog carts and the like in various spots, but we think some enterprising person needs to launch a gourmet waffle/burger/grilled cheese truck and start parking near a large office building complex weekdays (Fort Lee, Englewood Cliffs anyone?).
Two to three years ago, it seemed like Banh Mi (or their Cambodian cousin) places were opening up every other day. While this trend has certainly subsided, has one place even opened in Bergen catering to this trend? We know that Saigon Simply Vietnamese in Tenafly has one on their menu for lunch as does Mekong Grill in Ridgewood, but we are hard pressed to find one anywhere else or a place that caters to these sandwiches or variations thereof.
Food Flea Markets
We’ve seen events/spaces like Brooklyn Flea (with their food-only offshoot Smorgasburg), the Fulton Stall Market, Hester Street Fair, launch artisanal/homemade cooking into the forefront. Local and artisanal sodas, pies, kombucha, bacon sweets, ice cream and anchovies(?!) have sprung out of these like crazy. In Northeast NJ, not so much. In fact, most flea markets, street fairs or “farmer’s markets” we see are either attempts to recreate the Union Square Market (poorly) or the same exact craft fair that pops up in each town from May through September.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to say none of these trends have hopped the river and made the Westward bound trek. If the current burger trend launched in 2004 with Shake Shack, the last 8 years has certainly seen lots of imitators in NJ (some even with LaFrieda meat to boot). Craft beer is rapidly making it’s way to many more taps in the area. And who can forget cupcakes (is that trend even still alive or interesting?)!!! There certainly has been many attempts over the last decade to give women in the area a feeling that they can be like Carrie and her friends, living it up with miniature-sized cakes. Many of those places are still making a go at it… though does anyone even remember La Dolce Divas Bakery in Englewood? or thinks Mr. Cupcakes in Oradell can actually make it long term?
What food trend would you like to see? Anything going on in the big city that you think would do great here? Let us know in the comments!