Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Onion Dip Offers Opportunity This retro dish is poised for modern translation

The nostalgic pull of onion dip is opening up opportunities for iterations on the classic.

In this Golden Age of snacks and shareables, striking the right chord between familiar, intriguing and craveable can be a challenge. A number of operators have turned to the classic onion dip for salvation.

“In a retro resurgence à la pimento cheese, French onion dip has made a prominent return to new menus,” says Gerry Ludwig, corporate consulting chef with Gordon Food Service. On his 2018 street-level trends tour, Ludwig found thoroughly modern adaptations of this Super Bowl staple.

At New York’s Daily Provisions, it’s served as a sharing plate with housemade chips. Cannibal Liquor House, also in New York, pairs its onion dip with battered onion rings.

In Chicago, onion dip is served with roasted dill potato chunks at Clever Rabbit. At Slightly Toasted, the French Onion Dip is presented as a trio, along with Sunflower Seed Pesto and Pimento Cheese, served with hearth bread.

Some chefs are leveraging onion dip’s watching-the-game vibe and featuring it on happy hour menus. At Tavern on Rush in Chicago, guests can only order onion dip, served with housemade potato chips, at the bar between 4 and 7 p.m.

At Gotham Bar and Grill, the bar menu sees French onion dip served with Kennebec potato chips.

The emergence of onion dip as a hip shareable signals a big opportunity in foodservice—keying into established flavor systems and twisting them toward signature menu standouts.

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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.