Blue Bottle got served, American Apparel-style; micropatisseries bloomed; Asian sandwiches busted out; and the hand sprouting from the long arm of policy makers slapped down the Happy Meal. In the end, what made the list were the trends we think changed the terms for 2011, radically remaking the local food landscape in ways we're even now taking for granted.Deciding on the top 10 food story threads of any year is tricky (did the things we ate in the past two month somehow obliterate all memory of those from the prior 10?) but this year the task was especially arduous. It was a year packed with material:
10. The Return of the Iconoclast
"For every cooking-school grad who wants to see her name on an embroidered chef's jacket and a Food Network show," writes SFoodie's Jonathan Kauffman, "there's another who just wants to do something unique, no matter what the size of his business. In the social media era, you don't need a four-star review to succeed ― you need a distinctive point of view, a loyal following, and perhaps a little street cred." Read the full entry.
9. Street Food Gets Serious
In a matter of months, the city's pavement cuisine made the leap from card table to truck. Read the full entry.
8. Coffee Seeps Farther
Kauffman: "In San Francisco, it's still all too easy to get a crappy cup of coffee. But the walking distance between the average San Franciscan and a good cup shortened noticeably this year." Read the full entry.
7. DIY Revolution
Sean Timberlake describes how urban homesteading played out on blogs, in backyard chicken coops, and in a proliferation of pop-up markets packed with DIY food crafters. Read the full entry.
6. Cocktails Get More Respect
"To call 2010 a revolutionary year in cocktails would be an overstatement," writes Jonathan Kauffman. "But it was certainly a year in which cocktail-making became an even more serious pursuit." Read the full entry.
5. Vegan Goes Mainstream
"No longer satisfied with the kids' table, vegans burst onto the mainstream with a mission," writes Laura Beck. "Namely: To eat as much delicious vegan food as humanly possible. And it wasn't just vegans loving vegan food in 2010. Whether for health, the environment, or animals, lots of folks sought to consume fewer animal products. Luckily, there was no better time." Read the full entry.
4. Pizza Pizza Pizza Pizza
Say it with us: Una Pizza Napoletana, Zero Zero, Boot and Shoe Service, Delarosa, Paisan, Pi Bar, Locanda da Eva, Patxi's, Ragazza, Tony's Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House, Addie's Pizza Pie... Read the full entry.
3. Big-Ticket Dining Surges
Just when the San Francisco restaurant scene was declared to be flickering out, eclipsed by sandwiches, street food, and Oakland, fine-dining restaurants came roaring back. Read the full entry.
2. Local Media Explodes
'Something happened in 2010," observes John Birdsall, "a rolling tsunami of professional food media washing over San Francisco and the Bay Area that ― unlike an actual tsunami ― doesn't show any signs of receding." Read the full entry.
1. Filipino Finds Its Voice
Strengthened by mobile vendors and broad public discussions, a cuisine that's been largely silent finally made itself heard. Read the full entry.