Tasting menus and small plates have followed a similar path until recent years.
Review site Yelp has launched a data tool which graphs the popularity of trends — like the ramen burger and the Cronut — over time. According to the company's blog, the feature is called Yelp Trends, and it "searches through words used in Yelp reviews" to show users "what's hot and reveals the trend-setting cities that kicked it all off." It's based on data and reviews gathered since 2004 when Yelp was founded.
The tool is somewhat addictive in that users can search for any term in cities across the country. Users can compare things like when the Cronut became popular in New York City in relation to when the doughnut and cupcake reigned supreme. Users can compare data by city: The feature reveals that the the term "gluten-free" has been popular in Austin, Texas for years, while it only became a buzzword in Los Angeles in 2011.
Yelp Trends is capable of searching through data from 98 cities in 20 countries around the globe.
Some cities will never change.
Artisanal trumps farm-to-table.
Yelp accurately tracked the ban on foie gras in California.
Searches on Yelp for the terms "vegan" and "vegetarian" increased dramatically in Paris over the last couple of years, while the same searches in Sydney have remained level.
America's biggest trends eventually hit Paris.
The site also correlates lifestyle terms.
The popularity of food trucks has followed a similar path on both coasts, and after peaking in 2011 "roach coaches" appear to be on the upswing.
Searches for "burritos" and "tacos" vary between Los Angeles and San Francisco; burritos have always been more popular in San Francisco.
Craft beer continues to grow in popularity in every major U.S. city, while the once favored Pabst Blue Ribbon is beginning to fall out of favor.
The site may prove popular with regional brands seeking a stronger foothold among consumers. Though In-N-Out has always been popular in Los Angeles, Umami Burger found a niche there in recent years.