Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Katie Ayoub
February 10, 2021

Is it fair food? A ballpark snack? Dessert item? Yes to everything. Churros, those crispy, golden cylinders of deep-fried dough showered in sugar, are having a moment. Born in Spain and celebrated throughout the world, creative variations are popping up on menus here. Restaurant brands are leveraging the broad appeal of this craveable, dippable snack/dessert and creating memorable versions of their own.

Masia, a modern Spanish restaurant in Portland, Ore., offers diners a joyful abundance of choices on its all-day churros menu. Jose Chesa, executive chef, serves classic churros, dusted with cinnamon and sugar; stuffed churros with either dulce de leche or Nutella; ice cream sandwiched between churro buns; and a choice of either marshmallow dip or crema Catalana for any of the churro items on the menu. Masia also makes churros a part of its to-go bundles. A recent picnic box of charcuterie, Russian potato salad and house pickles included churros as the sweet treat.

Churros are the fastest-growing dessert option on menus today.
Datassential, 2020

Concepts like The Gringo, an eclectic Mexican restaurant in Chicago, and Churroholic, based in Anaheim, Calif., add a gloriously silly side to churros, attracting younger diners and any of us looking for a little candy-filled fun. Each takes advantage of the churro’s versatility which, at its core, is a simple choux pastry.

The Gringo’s menu includes Pop Rocks Churros with a candy glaze and Samoa Churros with a caramel-coconut frosting.

Churroholic is equally creative in its exploration of American candy culture, with offerings like the Matcha & Pebbles Churro, a giant churro loop coated with Fruity Pebbles cereal. Churro Breakfast Bites are also on the menu, moving churros into a mini size: Fresh-cut fruit paired with churro bites are topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar and drizzled with raspberry and chocolate sauces.

About The Author


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.