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2023 brought the heat to the culinary landscape, shaking off the comfort-food craze of the previous year. Diners embraced the unconventional with a newfound zest for culinary experimentation, embracing new flavor combinations and lots and lots of spice.

Dig into Grubhub’s ordering trends and take a look at why 2023 is deemed the year of ‘doing it for the vibes.’

2023 was all about embracing the unconventional

While last year’s biggest trend was diners seeking comfort wrapped in a warm burrito, in 2023 ‘doing it for the vibes’ was a way of life as diners found joy in stepping out of their comfort zones and breaking conventions, such as embracing pineapple on pizza and ordering salads with a side of fries.

In fact, more than 600,000 customers chose to pair their favorite side dish, french fries, with a crunchy salad. And diners across the country can agree that pineapple does belong on pizza, leading to a 33% increase in orders for this tropical Italian delight.

The top 5 french fry styles ordered on Grubhub in 2023:

  1. Classic Cut
  2. Waffle Fries
  3. Cheese Fries
  4. Sweet Potato Fries
  5. Curly Fries

This year, cows had a surprise comeback as dairy orders in coffee beverages increased by 20%. In fact, plant-based milk is no longer considered the cream of the crop as dairy milk regained popularity in 2023.

The top 3 dairy orders on Grubhub in 2023:

  1. Whole Milk
  2. 2% Milk
  3. Chocolate Milk

Delivering what’s #trending

2023 was all about embracing what was #trending on social media. Items that gained viral momentum on TikTok seamlessly transitioned into popular choices within the realm of dining. From aesthetically pleasing food hacks to unique flavor combinations, the app’s viral content became a catalyst for culinary experimentation. 

Restaurants across the country capitalized on these social trends, incorporating TikTok-inspired dishes onto their menus to meet the demands of a trend-savvy audience. The latest Gen Z craze around pickles led to an 89% increase in pickle orders on Grubhub. That’s 6.9 million pickles ordered on sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, or fresh on the side.

51 million TikTok users were slurping up the #DietCokeBreak online, leading to a 17% increase in in-office Diet Coke orders on Grubhub. No matter how they post about it online, Gen Z and Millennial diners alike can agree that this is the best way to quench their thirst.

The top 5 sodas ordered on Grubhub in 2023:

  1. Diet Coke
  2. Coke
  3. Sprite
  4. Dr Pepper
  5. Ginger Ale

The fusion of social media trends and the growing food delivery scene showcased how what’s trending influences diners’ cravings and ordering habits.

Grubhub diners have a thing for spice

2023 proved that diners can handle the heat with requests of extra spice added to a staggering 53 million items ordered. Beloved classics such as Sriracha found their way into orders over 91,000 times, while buffalo chicken wings claimed the top spot as the most sought-after wing flavor. Following closely behind were lemon pepper, BBQ, Teriyaki, and Garlic Parmesan. 

Here’s a tasty tidbit about chicken wings: Flats are the most popular wing type ordered on Grubhub, requested a whopping 10 times more frequently than drums.

The top ordered spicy items on Grubhub in 2023:

  1. Spicy potato soft tacos
  2. Spicy chicken sandwich
  3. Spicy tuna roll
  4. Hot and sour soup
  5. Drunken noodles

What came out on top in 2023 Grubhub ordering?

What’s the average Grubhub diner’s favorite meal to get delivered? A burrito bowl and an iced coffee. The most popular time for diners to order their favorite grub is 6pm, and Grubhub diners order from the platform eight times a month on average. That’s hundreds of miles of dinner delivery!

Top trending cuisines

Grubhub diners have stayed consistent with their top favorite cuisines in 2023. American, Mexican, and Chinese food remain the most popular culinary category to order from for the third year in a row.

  1. American
  2. Mexican
  3. Chinese
  4. Tex-Mex
  5. Italian
  6. Japanese
  7. Thai
  8. Southern
  9. Indian
  10. Mediterranean

Top trending food item

Diners opted to skip the wrap in 2023 as the burrito bowl toppled the traditional burrito as the most popular food item to order on Grubhub.

  1. Burrito Bowl
  2. Hash Browns
  3. Cheeseburger
  4. Burrito
  5. Cheese Pizza
  6. Mozzarella Sticks
  7. Pad Thai
  8. Mac & Cheese
  9. Double Cheeseburger
  10. Onion Rings

Top late night orders

When the late night cravings kick in, gooey cheese is Grubhub diners’ favorite way to fill their stomachs for the second year in a row.

  1. Chicken Quesadilla
  2. Cheeseburger
  3. Mozzarella Sticks
  4. Burrito Bowl
  5. Chicken Nuggets
  6. Cheese Pizza
  7. Soft Taco
  8. Bean Burrito
  9. Burrito
  10. Boneless Wings

Top convenience orders

Convenience delivery took 2023 by storm as diners enjoyed the ease of getting their favorite snacks delivered by Grubhub right to their home.

  1. Italian Sandwich
  2. Dr Pepper
  3. Oven Roasted Turkey Sandwich
  4. Mac & Cheese
  5. Pepperoni Pizza
  6. Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  7. Coke
  8. Chicken Noodle Soup
  9. Made to Order Hot Dog
  10. Sprite

Top coffee beverages

Diners enjoy their coffee brewed after sunset, according to Grubhub delivery data. A staggering 10 million cups of java were ordered after 5 pm in 2023.

  1. Iced Coffee
  2. Caramel Frappe
  3. Mocha Frappe
  4. Cappuccino
  5. Hot Coffee

Top pizza orders

Diners are embracing the unconventional as Hawaiian pizza made the top-five list this year. Who says pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza?

  1. Cheese Pizza
  2. Margherita Pizza
  3. Pepperoni Pizza
  4. Buffalo Chicken Pizza
  5. Hawaiian Pizza

What was trending in your city in 2023?

From coast to coast diners are using Grubhub to order their next meal. Over 2 million pizzas were ordered in New York City, cementing itself as the unofficial pizza capital of the country. But that’s not all – the city that never sleeps also had a hankering for burrito bowls, sharing their top order with Chicagoans. Say goodbye to what pizza style is best, now these two cities can argue over how they like their burrito bowls prepared.

Dig into the favorite Grubhub meals diners indulged in across the country: 

Top orders in New York City

  1. Burrito Bowl
  2. Cheeseburger
  3. Hash Browns
  4. Cheese Pizza
  5. Mozzarella Sticks
  6. Burrito
  7. Iced Tea
  8. Pad Thai
  9. Edamame
  10. California Roll

Top orders in Boston

  1. Cheese Pizza
  2. Burrito Bowl
  3. Cheeseburger
  4. Burrito
  5. Hash Browns
  6. Mozzarella Sticks
  7. Chicken Tikka Masala
  8. Pad Thai
  9. Crab Rangoon
  10. Chicken Fingers

Top orders in Chicago

  1. Burrito Bowl
  2. Cheeseburger
  3. Hash Browns
  4. Burrito
  5. Italian Beef Sandwich
  6. Pad Thai
  7. Onion Rings
  8. Hot Dog
  9. Crab Rangoon
  10. Double Cheeseburger

Top orders in Philadelphia

  1. Pizza
  2. Hash Browns
  3. Mozzarella Sticks
  4. Burrito Bowl
  5. Cheeseburger
  6. Onion Rings
  7. Chicken Fingers
  8. Burrito
  9. Bacon Cheeseburger
  10. Caesar Salad

Top urban restaurants on Grubhub

Restaurants across the country prepared thousands of orders for hungry diners all year long. From dumplings to bolognese to falafel, every restaurant has their own unique way of building an irresistible menu. There were a handful of restaurants that Grubhub diners couldn’t get enough of in 2023, landing them a spot on Grubhub’s list of top urban eateries.

From trendy restaurants to hidden gems, this compilation showcases establishments that have earned their place as the go-to spots for food enthusiasts.

Top Boston restaurants

American: Crazy Good Kitchen

Chinese: Dumpling Kitchen

Tex-Mex: Beantown Taqueria

Italian: Pauli’s

Japanese: Fin’s Japanese Sushi & Grill

Thai: Pho Basil

Southern: Farmer Chicken

Indian: India Quality Restaurant

Mediterranean: Anoush’ella

Top Chicago restaurants

American: Red Hot Ranch

Mexican: Burrito House

Chinese: House of Hunan

Tex-Mex: La Mexicana Grill (Wrigleyville)

Italian: Calo Ristorante

Japanese: Shinju Sushi

Thai: Thai Lagoon

Southern: Roost Chicken & Biscuits

Indian: Mild 2 Spicy

Mediterranean: Hub’s

Top New York City restaurants

American: Broadway Bagels

Mexican: Taco Mix

Chinese: Ollie’s To Go

Tex-Mex: Calexico

Italian: Parm

Japanese: Tenzan 89

Thai: Up Thai

Southern: Harlem Biscuit Company

Indian: Mughlai Indian Cuisine

Mediterranean: Yia Yia’s Homemade Greek Food

Grow your restaurant in 2024 with Grubhub

As we reflect on the culinary trends of 2023, it’s evident that the restaurant industry is in the midst of an exciting transformation. The embrace of unconventional flavors, culinary experiments, and the influence of social media trends have set the stage for opportunity and growth in 2024. 

The National Restaurant Association predicts that the off-premise market will be where the majority of industry growth will come from over the next 10 years. This means you need the right partner to help you navigate this changing environment and build your online ordering strategy. 

That’s where Grubhub comes in. Grubhub can help you reach new and hungry customers eager to order from local restaurants (just like yours)! Start 2024 off on a good note by getting started with Grubhub today.