Grubhub Released Their 2021 Food Report, and the Top Takeout Trends Might Surprise You

published Dec 10, 2021
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Recipe: The Best Paloma Cocktail

Like most people, I’ve spent the last almost two years (!!!) of the pandemic cooking up a storm, but I’ve also ordered more takeout than ever. In an effort to stay isolated (not eat in restaurants) but still support my favorite local joints, I’ve placed order after order for pickup or delivery. I’m truly thankful my city made takeout cocktails legal.

As 2021 comes to a close, Grubhub — like Uber Eats, Yelp, and more — has compiled data from its 32 million customers for a year-end report on all things takeout. And the results of what was most popular amongst everyone just might shock you.

While their previous reports show 2019 seeing a jump for vegetarian food and comfort food ruling 2020 (I know I ate my feelings last year), this year’s top order was a mix of the two — with the Impossible cheeseburger snagging the top spot of 2021. Orders for the very beef-like vegetarian burger rose 442 percent over the previous year. Shredded pork tacos, apple pecan chicken salad, Detroit-style pizza, and margaritas round out the top five. I know I’ve ordered my fair share of pizza and margaritas, so at least part of this list rings true to me. The apple pecan chicken salad coming in at the third spot, however, is weirdly specific, but I guess the bistro classic is having a comeback!

The chips and pico de gallo combo was the top side order, followed by stuffed garlic knots in second place. I took a quick look at Grubhub and noticed that they offer a number of chain restaurants — including Pizza Hut, the home of the stuffed garlic knot, as well as Wendy’s, home of the apple pecan chicken salad — so I think it’s safe to say the mystery of their popularity is solved.

Grubhub also split up top menu items by city, really showcasing America’s cornucopia of cuisine. Those in New York frequently ordered pork and crab dumpling soup, while Philly went with the obvious: cheesesteak sandwiches. Atlanta opted for rib tips, while Washington, D.C. surprisingly got more orders for chicken nuggets. Who would have thought?

Additionally the report notes that California had the most pickup orders, while New York had the most orders overall. Rhode Island topped other states in late-night orders, and those in Washington, D.C. had the most alcohol orders. Everyone’s a winner.

On the dessert front, strawberry shortcake sundaes took the top spot (and are offered at a few different chain restaurants), but what really caught my eye was the number-four spot: cookie dough burritos. I didn’t even know this existed, and now I’ll have to get on Grubhub and order one.