In 2018, the food gods have blessed us with a plethora of incredible eats. While we drooled at all the Instagram photos and coveted all of the feasts on display, some of them truly got the internet buzzing. Whether it be for the shock of cutting into a piece of “meat” that was actually fruit or the thought of being able to craft your own bowl of mac, these videos elicited tons of reactions and took the world by storm.
While all of these videos took off on the internet, this list of the top ones we shared in 2018 isn’t ranked solely on views. It’s also based on how popular these eats became afterward, who else shared it, and if they’re still as buzzworthy today as they were when first talked about.
These viral food videos are the ones that touched us the most this year:
La Michoacana Premium was the Mexican sweet treats paradise everyone on the internet was dreaming of this year. Folks went nuts for the 40-plus flavors of paletas, refreshing tall glasses of mangonadas and agua frescas, and the fresh fruit and natural ingredients that went into every flavor-packed bite. Definitely going to need one of those gaspachos before my next Disneyland trip.
The sweetness and taste of horchata is unparalleled in the world of beverages, and this shrine to the Mexican favorite was one that everyone wanted to be a part of. Horchateria puts their signature beverage into everything: Iced coffees, concha ice cream sandwiches, churro sundaes, and a whole lot more. Plus, the space itself is a fun place to hang out in, especially if you’re looking for a refreshing break from the day while in the Downey, CA area. Pro tip: Go for the double scoop on that concha ice cream sandwich.
MAC’D has absolutely taken off over the past year as a concept. With multiple locations in San Francisco and a delivery service in Portland, these build-your-own mac bar pushes the envelope on creativity when it comes to the childhood favorite. Make it however you like (including vegan AND gluten-free) at this place, and if you’re in Portland, give the Ramen Mac a shot next time you’re looking to get a delivery order.
Okay, okay, so it’s not actually called the Dole Whip Donut, but the name has stuck. Based on the popular Disneyland treat, the tart pineapple filling marries with the marshmallow meringue on top for a sticky and sweet flavor bomb. While it was originally a limited-time offer, demand has been so high that you can still occasionally spot them on the Disneyland donut cart if you get there early enough.
One of Taco Bell’s biggest product launches of all time, everyone was ecstatic over finally having a fries option from the chain. The fact that you could drench them in nacho cheese sauce or add them into literally anything you wanted was also big. Unfortunately, there’s no clear timetable yet for when these popular fries could return, but hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.
2018’s biggest trend without question was gold-topped foods, and this 24-Karat ice cream cone was the epitome of that fad. With gold both inside and outside of the ice cream, this $15 cone proved just how extra one could get with the Midas touch.
Whoever first described this as a “BBQ Birthday cake” hit the nail on the head. Ember Barbecue’s creation is filled with ALL the barbecue favorites, including brisket, ribs, pulled pork, mac and cheese, chicharron, and sausage. You’re gonna have to bring the squad to take this one down, as this BBQ corn bread bowl easily weighs about 5 pounds.
Whole BBQ alligators are more common in the American south, but to find a place cranking them out on the regular in Los Angeles is extraordinary. I mean, who expects to find gators being eaten in a city more known for its progressive veganism? Still, the curious come in droves to LA street food festival Smorgasburg when Black Sugar does have them available, all eager to get a piece and experience trying alligator for themselves.
Foodbeast Evan Lancaster got it spot-on when he said this was the “craziest thing I’ve ever seen.” Millions felt the same way as they expected to watch the carving of a juicy ham, but found a vibrant watermelon on the inside. This item from Ducks Eatery in New York City was so profound and unheard of that we had to make it for ourselves, just to see what it was like. The aromas from brining and smoking give it a ham-like flavor, so the watermelon texture takes you for a loop as a result.
2018’s biggest burger was also the food world’s most viral item. Everyone fell for the pile of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, runny eggs, stacks of cheese, and heaping patties of beef that made up this 15-pound monstrosity. Truffles n Bacon has a smaller version of this if you’re going solo, but for burger lovers, this makes for a pretty epic treat.