Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending right this minute?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which local businesses have been in the limelight 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 increased their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.
Read on to see which spots are extra cool this summer.
Open since May, this New American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “American (New)” on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw a median 2.2 % increase in new reviews over the past month, but The Smith saw an 85.7% increase, maintaining a healthy four-star rating throughout.
It’s not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Jeong has seen a 26.8% increase in reviews, and Hampton Social and Machine: Engineered Dining & Drink have seen 21.3 and 24.7% increases, respectively.
Located at 400 N. Clark St. in River North, The Smith offers craft cocktails, burgers and more.
Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about Lincoln Square’s Pasta Passion, the pasta, Italian and comfort food spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as “Italian” on Yelp saw a median 1.6 % increase in new reviews over the past month, Pasta Passion bagged a 32.3% increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a sound 4.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.4 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 4647 N. Lincoln Ave. (between Eastwood Avenue) since September 2018 Pasta Passion offers bruschetta, chicken alfredo and crab cakes.
The Heart Of Chicago’s Bob’s Pizza is also making waves. Open since March at 1659 W. 21st St. (between Ashland Avenue and Paulina Street), the pizza spot has seen a 34% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.2% for all businesses tagged “Pizza” on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Bob’s Pizza’s review count increased by more than 130%.
Bob’s Pizza offers both vegetarian and meaty pizza options. Over the past month, it’s maintained a terrific five-star rating among Yelpers.
Mystic Blue Cruises
Streeterville’s Mystic Blue Cruises is the city’s buzziest traditional American spot by the numbers.
The well-established venues and event space and traditional American and boat tour spot, which opened at 600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier (between Illinois Street) in 2005, increased its new review count by 12.7% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2% for the Yelp category “American (Traditional).” It outperformed the previous month by gaining 9 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
Mystic Blue Cruises offers group events and wedding cruises, according to the website.
Fulton River District’s Gibsons Italia is currently on the upswing in the steakhouse category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as “Steakhouses” on Yelp saw a median 1.5% increase in new reviews over the past month, this steakhouse and Italian and seafood spot increased its new reviews by 7.1% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 150% on a month-to-month basis.
Open for business at 233 N. Canal St. (between Jackson Boulevard and Adams Street) since October 2017, the business offers crab bisque, meatballs and risotto.