Filofet. | Photo: Angel W./Yelp

Curious where Chicago’s insiders are eating and drinking? It’s easy to spot lines out the door, but some underlying trends are harder to see.

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which local businesses have been most discussed this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Chicago businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month, and tracked businesses that consistently increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are extra cool, right now.

Free Rein

Photo: FREE REIN/Yelp

This New American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “American (New)” on Yelp.

Citywide, New American spots saw new reviews increase by a median of 2.1 percent over the past month, but Free Rein saw a 16.1 percent increase, maintaining a strong four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 250 percent.

It’s not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Pacific Standard Time has seen a 12.5 percent increase in reviews, and City Mouse and Barrio have seen 6.2 and 4.3 percent increases, respectively.

Located at 224 N. Michigan Ave. (between Wacker Place and Lake Street) in the Loop, Free Rein can take you from breakfast through dinner with offerings like egg and sausage sandwiches, buttermilk pancakes, burgers, oysters and duck breast garnished with barley, plums and chanterelle mushrooms. Take a look at the menu here.

Etta

PHOTO: YUKI Y./YELP

Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about Bucktown’s etta, the New American and breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as “Breakfast & Brunch” on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.7 percent over the past month, etta bagged an 11.6 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a strong 4.5-star rating.

Open at 1840 W. North Ave. (between Honore Street and Elk Grove Avenue) since mid-July, Etta offers weekend brunch, dinner and late-night libations. Favorite items include the buttermilk pancakes, cinnamon buns, fire-roasted eggs and country fried chicken with biscuits and gravy, beef short rib fried rice with coffee and fresh juices also available. (Check out the menu.)

Lowcountry South Loop

PHOTO: DANIEL Y./YELP

Lowcountry South Loop is also making waves. Open since January 2018 at 1132 S. Wabash Ave. (between 11th Street and Roosevelt Road), the bar and Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, has seen a 9.4 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.9 percent for all businesses tagged “Seafood” on Yelp.

Lowcountry South Loop offers a picnic-style dining experience with combos with fresh fish, shrimp, mussels, King Crab and more. Add items like honey butter jalapeño cornbread, alligator bites and fried green tomatoes as well as desserts like garlic beignets or fried Oreos. Over the past month, it’s maintained a superior four-star rating among Yelpers.

Fatpour Tap Works

Photo: FATPOUR Tap WORKS/Yelp

Ukrainian Village’s Fatpour Tap Works is the city’s buzziest pizza spot by the numbers.

The well-established sports bar and New American spot, which offers pizza and more and opened at 2005 W. Division St. (between Damen and Hoyne avenues) on December 2018, increased its review count by 2.1 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.2 percent for the Yelp category “Pizza.” It outperformed the previous month by gaining 3.7 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw a median 1.2 percent increase in new reviews over the past month*, while Meet the Moon saw a 3.1 percent increase. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, Meet the Moon’s review count increased by more than 370 percent.

Fatpour Tap Works offers the Trainwreck grilled cheese, maple bacon burger, bacon meatballs and chicken & waffle bites. Enjoy your entree with one of its 200 beer options. (See this spot’s offerings here.)

Fifolet

PHOTO: PHIL P./YELP

Wicker Park’s popular Fifolet is currently on the upswing in the traditional American category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as “American (Traditional)” on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 1.7 percent over the past month, this beer bar and Cajun/Creole and traditional American spot increased its by 6.7 percent—and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 320 percent on a month-to-month basis.

Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw a median 1.2 percent increase in new reviews over the past month*, while Meet the Moon saw a 3.1 percent increase. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, Meet the Moon’s review count increased by more than 370 percent.

Open for business at 1942 W. Division St. (between Damen and Winchester avenues) since November 2016, the business offers Cajun and Creole dishes, ranging from starters like honey-custard cornbread and banana fritters to the Monte Cristo sandwich filled with duck breast and alligator etoufee. Also try this spot’s New Orleans-style craft cocktails like the Hurricane, which is made with fresh passion fruit juice and two kinds of rum.

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we’re doing. Got thoughts?Go here to share your feedback.