Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Katie Ayoub
September 6, 2019

Avocado toast is moving into hallowed ground in menu development, where items like sandwiches, burgers and tacos reside. It’s becoming a platform for innovation, rather than a trending dish. It makes sense—avocado toast has a simple enough premise: satisfying, comforting toast plus creamy, nutrient-rich avocado. But, the culinary creativity within that premise is astounding, and just keeps getting better. Here are six on-trend takes on the now-beloved avocado toast.

1. Egg-Topped

The egg is one of avocado toast’s favorite dancing partners. Chefs are turning to soft-poached, scrambled or boiled to help boost protein and strengthen the positioning of avocado toast as a breakfast/brunch player. They’re also adding menu interest with fried duck or quail eggs.

Avocado Toast with pickled Fresno chiles, toasted pistachios and a sunny-side duck egg
Rose Café, Los Angeles

Bravacado: Avocado toast with sun-dried tomato pesto, sliced hard-boiled egg and red pepper flakes
Frutta Bowls, Madison, Wis.

2. Eastern Med

Flavors and ingredients from this incredibly diverse and exciting region fit in beautifully with avocado toast, from high-impact finishes like dukkah and sumac to toast spreads like hummus and tahini.

Sweet Halloumi Tartine with smashed avocado, grilled halloumi, pistachio dukkah, lemon and raw wildflower honey
Bondi Harvest, Los Angeles

Mediterranean Toast with avocado, hummus, tomatoes, greens, radish, queso fresco, hemp seeds, hemp oil
Sazon Kitchen, Seattle

3. Mashed Up

It’s not revolutionary, but moving the avocado from sliced to mashed yields a different textural experience while opening up opportunity for flavor infusions—rather than finishes—from lemon and salt to curry powder and togarashi.

Curried Avocado Mash Toast with radish, cabbage and cilantro
London Plane, Seattle

Avo Blast Toast: Spicy avocado mash, corn, pickled red onion, cilantro, smoky poblano ranch
Just Salad, based in New York

4. Eclectic American

Perhaps there’s no better platform than avocado toast for eclectic flavor building, a natural progression from global mash-ups that uniquely defines modern American cuisine.

Avocado Toast: Market Avocado, hot pickled carrots, garlic crème fraîche, house za’atar
Sqirl, Los Angeles

Avocado Toast: Multigrain toast topped with avocado, queso requeson, cherry tomatoes, red onion, Fresno vinaigrette and dill
Dove’s Luncheonette, Chicago

5. Veg-Centric Carrier

As plant-forward innovation carries on at a dizzying pace, chefs are looking to avocado toast as a fitting platform. The sky’s the limit, where the build out can simply star a bevy of fresh produce or can star complex and intriguing flavors and textures—all pulled from the veg-centric universe.

Avo Toast with guac-verde, grilled summer squash, charred peppers and Parmesan
G-Love, Portland, Ore.

Avocado Toast: Whole avocado sliced and set atop toasted H&F multigrain bread, then topped with fresh vegetables and a secret seasoning blend
Jim Adams Farm & Table, Atlanta

6. Keeping It Simple

With such a straightforward formula, sometimes, the best avocado toast is the simplest. The distinction here comes from attention to flavor detail and quality of ingredients.

Avo Amour: Scratch-made bread, organic avocado, black lava salt, fresh ground pepper
Cafe 1948, Tyler, Texas

Avocado Toast with shallot butter and eggs (any style) on multigrain bread
Joseph Leonard, New York

About The Author

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Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.