10 years on: the changing local food scene

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As CBC-KW celebrates its 10-year anniversary, here are some of my observations on how the food scene in the area has changed during my on the air, part one …

In 2013, cauliflower was a big food trend and the snacks featured at the Canadian National Exhibition included taco fixings stuffed into a Doritos chip bag, spice cream cones and a cronut burger that packed a wallop of 7,500 calories.

Megan Dron, owner of Red Eye Cafe and Donuts (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

That was then; this is now — the bloom is off cauliflower and while the CNE still offers a host of quirky snack foods, a lot of serious stuff has changed in the food landscape in those 10 years, across the country and in and around Waterloo region.

Here’s just an overview.

While it might seem that there are a lot of fast-food joints in the region, independent restaurants have continued to open — many representing foods of the world, from Middle Eastern shawarma to Portuguese bifana.

Today it’s rare to find a 120-seat restaurants. Instead, independent food operators have started to focus on smaller venues that, while they provide unique food options like Portuguese barbecue or sushi, are take-out and delivery only. They might have a small three or four-table patio in summer, but that’s it. The business model reduces cost overhead from rent, labour and restaurant chattels …

For more, visit CBC-KW.

[Banner photo: Outhoumphonh Vongkhamchanh of Champa Kitchen Waterloo/andrewcoppolino.com]

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