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Exciting Food Trends to Explore in 2021

In 2020, the foodservice industry was handed a tricky challenge and that challenge has been overcome with nothing short of genius and innovation. 

Food trends in 2021 have taken a definitive direction with a heavy emphasis on creativity, technology, experience, and health. As a result, serving the public through food has never been more personalized and experiential.

Preston’s and the other venues at The Inn at Virginia Tech have joined the fun by pushing the boundaries of foodservice to cater to the challenges by keeping customers happy and healthy. 

We’re excited to explore some of the food trends we’re looking forward to in the coming year. 

2021 Food Trends


In 2020 people got creative in the kitchen. We see the experiments continue well into 2021 and beyond. Boundaries are being obliterated and trends sometimes look more like genius experiments than the usual chef’s special.

Here are a few of the creative twists we’re seeing.

Spicing it up

Professional chefs and home cooks alike are packing more flavor into their dishes. Cooks are adding to their spice cabinets like never before. In fact, more than 20% of Americans recently polled by Real Simple Magazine, say they have been more adventurous by introducing exotic spices and flavors into their cooking this year.

2021 food trends inn at virginia tech

Taking it outdoors

Food has always tasted better when eaten in the fresh air and with the changes in infrastructure from many of our favorite establishments, more and more foodies are enjoying alfresco dining.

We’ve seen creative restaurateurs set up outdoor dining pods, take over parking lots, and discover ingenious ways to keep the air flowing. Patrons are loving fresh, new places to enjoy their meals. We expect more outdoor dining options as we head into warmer weather.

Exploring the world locally

With the limitations of traveling, global cuisine has grown in popularity. People are looking for adventure anywhere, and many are finding it through food. Home chefs are learning to whip up curry and enjoy Taco Tuesday while local restaurants are adding more international recipes to their menus. 

2021 food trends inn at virginia tech


Technology has made a splash in the food world this past year and we predict hybrid experiences are not going anywhere soon.

  • Online cooking classes have exploded. Programs like Preston’s “Cooking from the Cupboard” series have helped home cooks stretch their wings with innovative recipes to take their daily meals from boring to exciting.
  • Meal kits are a hit. The ability to order a kit online and have it delivered to your home is a massive bonus for people along with the ease and convenience. Choose from affordable family meals to gourmet fare. 
  • Ordering in isn’t going anywhere. Folks love the convenience of being able to order in from their favorite restaurants and enjoy it from the comfort of their home. 


People are craving more of an experience when they dine out as we head into 2021 and restaurants are up for the challenge. Think high-end ingredients, artful presentations, and specialty-crafted cocktails.

Restaurants are thinking outside the box when it comes to delivering an experience their patrons will not soon forget.


Finally, health matters more now than ever. Enjoying foods that nourish both the body and soul have become a priority. We predict 2021 will continue to trend toward comfort foods but with a twist. Think immunity-boosting, soul-serving concoctions which have been hand-crafted to make you feel good inside and out.

At Preston’s, we have taken healthy comfort food to a new level. Our chef salad is hearty, healthy, and perfectly flavored. The salmon tacos will satisfy your savory tooth while nourishing your gut and brain. If you’re looking for a vegan option, the cauliflower steak is so good, you won’t miss the beef. 

No doubt these 2021 food trends are exciting! Whether you’re looking to spice up your home kitchen, order in, or treat yourself and your family to a meal out. Make sure to add Preston’s at The Inn at Virginia Tech to your menu soon! 

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