The 15 Food Trends You NEED To Eat This Summer

Photo: Courtesy of Cauldron Ice Cream.
This story was originally published on July 8, 2016.

Summer and trendy food go hand-in-hand. When the weather warms up all we really want to do is eat, drink, and Instagram. But with limited summer days and seemingly infinite options for trendy eats, where are we to begin? If you're feeling overwhelmed by the endless social media stream of ice cream cookie sandwiches, galaxy-colored popsicles, rainbow cakes, and more — we're here to help.

Say hello to your very own curated hit list of this season's must-eats. From the famed ramen burger to puffle cones, sushi burritos, and many more, this is the ultimate bucket list for the best in food fads. Don't let summer slip away before crossing off a few of these popular dishes. Foodie friends, we hope you're hungry. It's go time.
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Photo: Via @christinaslaton.
Poke Bowl
This Hawaiian-born raw fish dish has taken the U.S. by storm. What is essentially a raw bar in salad form, the poke bowl combines cubed fish with various veggies and often a soy sauce marinade. It's bright, light, fresh, and perfect for warm weather.
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Photo: Via @devourpower.
Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich
The ice cream sandwich has undergone quite a few trendy transformations lately — but we have to argue that the best by far gets awarded to the doughnut combo. And nothing makes a dessert staple better than sandwiching it together with another favorite.
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Photo: Via @infatuation.
Ramen Burger
If you haven't yet heard of the Ramen Burger, it's time to get yourself out from under that rock and to your nearest food festival. Ramen burgers were originally conceived of by Keizo Shimamoto as a representation of his dual heritage: He was born in Tokyo and raised in California. They were originally only available in NYC, but thanks to the viral nature of this bucket list item, ramen burgers are now cropping up all over the country.
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Photo: Via @bysaber.
Smoothie Bowl
A bowl filled with blended fruity bliss and artfully garnished with sprinklings of seeds and sweet toppings — it's satisfying to eat AND Instagram. You can make one at home thanks to a never-ending supply of recipes on Pinterest or pick one up at any of your local smoothie shops. We're guessing they've probably gotten in on the trend.
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Photo: Via @victoria_marano.
Rainbow Bagel
You haven't lived until you've purchased and photographed an infamous rainbow bagel. Bakeries around the globe have been adding the technicolor breakfast food to their menus after the swirly dough went viral earlier this year. How about that cookie cream cheese, though?
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Photo: Via @blacktapnyc.
Over-The-Top Milkshake
Milkshakes are back — and we aren't talking about the drive-through window, paper-cup kind. The new trend in milkshakes is bigger and better than your wildest milkshake dreams: think layers of syrup and cream topped with stacks of cookies and marshmallows, all finished off with hot fudge, a slice of cake, and even lit sparklers.
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Nitro Cold Brew
Iced coffee is nothing new — but nitro cold brew is another story. The trend first made waves last summer in artisanal coffee shops and is now more widely available. Even Starbucks is getting in on the fun. This coffee drink utilizes nitrogen gas for a high pressure brewing process, resulting in a creamy and intense cup of Joe.
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Photo: Via @cauldronicecream.
Puffle Cone
What sounds like the name of a cute Pokémon character is actually one of the most explosive food trends of the summer season. Puffle cones are puffed egg-style waffles that originated in Hong Kong. These delicious cones are lovingly wrapped in paper, for easy handling, and then filled to the brim with your choice of ice cream scoops and toppings.
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Photo: Via @cy_eats.
Sushi Burrito
The sushi burrito is a brilliant trendy food creation, made for sushi-lovers who are willing to break from tradition. Not only does one order make for a full meal, but you can enjoy it on the go (sans chopsticks). It's sushi, summer-style.
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Photo: Via @dcfoodporn.
Crazy Bloody Mary
Bloody Marys are a brunching staple that have gained some serious food-trend traction over the past few years. The drink has gone from a classic breakfast cocktail to a wildly accouterment-filled alcoholic meal. From slabs of bacon, to burgers, and even whole fried chickens — the crazy Bloody Mary trend is prime for summer brunches.
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Photo: Via @bysaber.
Summer Roll
This new take on summer rolls are as lovely to look at as they are to munch, and our Instagram feeds can definitely back that up. With translucent rice paper wrapped tenderly around sliced fruit and veggies, these refreshing rolls are the picture perfect bite for a picnic or cookout.
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Photo: Via @supaflyshimmy.
Secret Sauce Burger
Nothing says summer more than a juicy burger slathered in some trendy secret sauce. What is secret sauce? Oh, you know, that creamy-salty-kinda-spicy sauce that melts in lovingly with the cheese. And whatever the restaurant, they just won't tell you how the hell to make it.
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Trendy Toast
Not that we're over avocado, but there's some new trendy toast in town. Whether you're slathering your sprouted wheat bread with sliced berries or sprinkling pomegranate seeds and edible pansies overtop, the toast takeover is going seriously strong this season. Extra points for making several different varieties, lining them up, and instagramming with abandon.
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Photo: Via @daniaustin.
Wine Slushie
What could be more refreshing than an ice-cold glass of rosé in the summer? A frosé, that's what. Frozen wine is popping up everywhere so don't be surprised if you spot it at your local watering hole. It's cool, sweet, portable, and incognito in a plastic cup with a straw. Cheers.
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Photo: Via @indulgenteats.
Something Lobster That Isn't A Lobster Roll
Lobsters are the crustacean mascots of summer and lobster rolls are pretty much always our go-to vessel. But there are plenty of other options to indulge in, like lobster grilled cheese, mac and cheese, and more. We'll still probably have a few lobster rolls, but this year is all about trying something new.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
We leave you here, with your very own checklist for printing. Go forth into the heat and get to grubbing.
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