Brain freeze in the a.m.

My breakfast hope and dream for 2017 is that restaurants start serving ice cream in the wee hours of the morning to normalize the darn thing—and make it trendy, because that’s what happens nowadays, right? Some studies say eating ice cream for breakfast is good for your brain (even though I highly doubt that), and there’s even a Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day celebrated on the first Saturday of February every year (which I find extremely silly). We shouldn’t be eating ice cream for breakfast just because “it makes you smarter” or some holiday says you should. We should all be eating ice cream for breakfast because it’s a much more delicious alternative to yogurt. —Teresa Sabga, Assistant Food & Drink Editor

Plant-based plates

Every couple of months, I decide it’s time for me to cut all animal products out of my diet to save myself and the environment. Then I remember that I love bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. But 2016 was the first year that I tasted a vegan bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich—inspired by a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, of all things—that actually rivaled the taste and texture of the animal-packed original. Chefs, and customers, are finally learning to embrace vegan and plant-based foods; just look at the lines out the door at Dirt Candy and the rapid expansion of By Chloe. Actually edible vegan breakfast is a pursuit made all the easier by investments from major companies like Tyson Foods in creating more meat alternatives. And the research and development is paying off. There’s a fake, vegan “meat” that bleeds on the menu at Momofuku Nishi, for goodness sake. So may 2017 be the year that vegan breakfast finally, finally doesn’t suck, and vegan “meat” doesn’t just mean tofu. —Maxine Builder, Associate Editor

Pancake pop-ups

Pancakes may be the most underappreciated breakfast food there is. Sure, they’re still regularly whipped up at home on weekend mornings, but I think they have potential. This year, a year in which comfort foods are sure to be more needed than ever, my prediction—nay, request—is that pancakes finally get their due. In New York, we’ve seen oatmeal, biscuits, potatoes, and even avocados get the single-dish concept shop treatment, so why not pancakes? I would especially like to see a pop-up featuring solely these fluffy Japanese pancakes stateside. We have a pancake emoji now, so I think there’s some legitimate hope. —Monica Burton, Assistant Strategist

Kinder, gentler breakfast

Despite all of the frustrating, saddening news that we seem to be stuck with for the foreseeable future, I don’t think we’re going to drown ourselves in unhealthy food in 2017. I think next year’s going to be a sobering one for many people. But I don’t think that’s going to yield more frankenfood mashups—to me, that’s more of a “time of splendor” kind of indulgence. We’re going to wake up with humble cups of yogurt, rather than bacon-infused, steroid-enhanced monster doughnuts. Next year, people are going to get smarter about the world around them. A big part of that means treating themselves better, too. After all, we’ve inflicted enough self-torture in 2016 to last for decades. —Brian O’Connor, Contributing Writer