DoorDash digs into the top food trends emerging in 2020

A consumer survey reveals what Americans are cooking and ordering for takeout during the first six months of the year.
Top 20 Foods Rise
Photo courtesy of DoorDash

Third-party delivery company DoorDash surveyed 2,000 Americans to find out what and how they were eating during the first six months of 2020. The Deep Dish report reveals that as the pandemic took hold over the country and housebound consumers turned to home cooking and restaurant delivery, some overriding trends emerged.

While 70% of Americans have spent more time cooking over the past half year, 47% agree that they are tired of it. Chicken is getting to be the most boring; 41% are most tired of cooking the bird, followed by pasta.

But chicken is a winner when it comes to ordering food for delivery. A chicken sandwich with french fries was the top item ordered on DoorDash so far this year, and in New York City and Washington, D.C., several chicken dishes came out on top. Chicken quesadillas, chicken Parmigiana and buttermilk fried chicken were all favorites.

The data also reveals that comfort foods rule for takeout and delivery. Menu items that showed dramatic increases include queso blanco (up 1,735%), create-your-own pizza (up 1,501%), cheese nachos (up 1,130%) and cinnamon rolls (up 1,400%).

Single Order

Even though breakfast is quick and easy to make at home, breakfast foods saw a surprising surge in orders. Breakfast burritos were the seventh most-ordered item on DoorDash from January to June. Also on the rise was oatmeal (1,768%), iced caramel coffee (1,660%), blueberry muffins (779%) and those comforting cinnamon rolls.

Flavor preferences tended to skew regionally across the U.S. San Francisco customers are fans of Indian cuisine. The top items ordered in that city were chicken tikka masala, garlic naan, basmati rice, samosas, and saag paneer. Down the coast in Los Angeles, sushi is No. 1, with California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, rainbow rolls and salmon avocado rolls among the favorites.

On the rise

Traveling east to Chicago, sandwiches are the most popular, especially regional specialties such as Italian beef, hot dogs and chili dogs. Not surprisingly, Miami customers love Latin flavors. Sweet plantains, yuca, tostones and jerk chicken were top choices. And consumers in Austin gravitated towards Tex-Mex food, including chips and queso, burritos, shrimp tacos and chicken fajitas.

But consumers do miss eating in restaurants and when they return, the cuisine they crave the most is Mexican. Forty percent of respondents miss Mexican food, followed by seafood at 34%. Both of these are too difficult to prepare at home, they said.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Struggling I Heart Mac and Cheese franchisees push back against their franchisor

Operators say most of them aren't making money and want a break on their royalties. But they also complain about receiving expired cheese from closed stores. "Don't send us moldy product."


In California, jobs are up, but traffic is down

The Bottom Line: Limited-service restaurants have not cut jobs in California, despite the $20 fast-food wage. But that doesn't mean it hasn't had an impact.


First-party catering emerges as a new frontier for restaurant tech

Tech Check: As catering booms, more tech companies are offering restaurants the tools to do it themselves.


More from our partners