Beyond Cupcakes: The Next Big Food Trends

Tmeatballshe next time you see a line out the door at that shop on the corner, don't assume patrons are waiting for cupcakes. Tons of unique and hip foods are making their way onto the restaurant - and dessert - scene, from wacky donuts to chili pies. Here's our list (in no particular order) of the next big foods to stand in line for.

10 delicious foods you may want to try in the future

Meatballs: The Meatball Shop - Whether you're craving a meatball slider or a meatball hero, this place has it! With two New York City locations and one in Brooklyn, NY, this cool meatball shop offers diners beef, pork, chicken and even veggie meatballs, which is why it makes our list of next big foods to stand in line for.

Sandwiches: Ike's Place - Located in trendy downtown San Francisco, the more than 80 gourmet sandwiches on Ike's menu include dozens of vegan and vegetarian options - from the vegan strawberry girl (cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, Asian sesame dressing, soy cheese) to the Love Triangle (vegan breaded chicken, real honey, honey mustard, BBQ, pepper jack, Swiss, cheddar). But meat lovers, don't distress! There's tons on the menu for you too.

Soda Fountains: The Ice Cream Bar - You'll feel like you've stepped back into the 30s when you enter this cool San Francisco soda fountain that uses local organic dairy and produce for its homemade ice cream, soda and classic lunch-counter items. The Ice Cream Bar's menu boasts sundaes, malts, milkshakes and more - like homemade ice cream sandwiches in oatmeal, chocolate chip, sugar cookie and brownie or the classic root beer float, but with a twist ("our cold-brewed sassafras based elixir made with 11 herbs and spices").

Meat Pies: Dub Pies - This Brooklyn, NY joint takes the phrase "pie shop" to a whole new level. These "authentic Australian/New Zealand-style gourmet meat pies" can be purchased in the shop or bought online and then shipped to your home. If you're in the market for a 5-inch round dinner pie or a party pack of mini-pies, whether you're craving a steak pie, chili cheese pie or Tex-Mex vegetarian pie, you'll find it at Dub Pies - and chances are it'll be worth it.


Donuts
: Voodoo Doughnut - Talk about a unique twist on donuts! Voodoo Doughnuts' two locations in Portland and one in Eugene, Ore. are serving up unusual breakfast - and anytime - treats like the Bacon Maple Bar (raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top), Captain My Captain (topped with vanilla frosting and Captain Crunch cereal), and, of course, the Voodoo Doll (made in the shape of, you guessed it, a voodoo doll). Can you say, "yum!"


Cake Pops
: Natalie's Cake Pops - If you can dream it up, it's probably already on the menu of Natalie's Cake Pops. From watermelon pops - complete with chocolate chip "pits" - to funky frogs for kids to decorative pops fancy enough for a wedding, these delectable cake lollipops are shipped from Littleton, Colo., directly to your home (though no shipping May - August because of the heat).


Shawarma: Shawarma Spot - The unique concept of serving Middle Eastern cuisine quickly and efficiently for take-out or delivery puts this Washington, D.C. restaurant on our 'next big foods' list. Besides shawarma, the Shawarma Spot is serving up hummus, kabobs, gyros and more from D.C.'s trendy Adams Morgan neighborhood.


Pies: Chile Pies (& Ice Cream) - Whether it's sweet or savory you're craving, you can find it at this San Francisco, CA pie shop. The house specialty is a signature green chile apple pie (sweet apple & green chile filling, cheddar cheese crust and walnut streusel). Now that's a piece of pie worth waiting for!


Hot Dogs: The Gourmet Hotdog Company - This restaurant's healthy twist on hot dogs earned it a spot on our 'next big foods' list. Using top quality meats for their dogs (and even biodegradable packages to serve them in), this London eatery has everything from the classic frank to the chicken dog to the Chicago-style hot dog.


Peruvian Sandwiches
: Sanguchon - Unique delights abound at this Peruvian sandwich truck in San Francisco's Potrero Hill. Founded by Chef Carlos Altamirano, who owns three Peruvian restaurants in California, the truck offers sandwiches with classic and contemporary Peruvian fillings, as well as traditional side dishes and homemade blended fruit drinks.

Culinary ideas worth trying

Whether this list of 10 unique foods has made your stomach growl or given you ideas for foods you want to try or recreate, it's hardly the end -- you can probably find more ideas online or even in your region -- - sometimes, but not always, it helps to have a city close-by.

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