San Francisco

Oysters, boba tea and more: What's trending on San Francisco's food scene?

As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending today?

We took a data-driven approach to answering that question, using Yelp to discover which eateries have been receiving outsized attention this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at San Francisco businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than comparing them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month.

Read on to see which spots have the momentum heading into back-to-school season.


Photo: Pearl/Yelp

Open since May, this high-end cafe and Mediterranean spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.

Citywide, seafood spots saw review counts increase by a median of 1.6 percent over the past month, but Pearl saw a 57.6 percent increase, maintaining a strong four-star rating throughout.

Located at 6101 California St. (between 24th and 23rd avenues) in the Outer Richmond, Pearl offers wood-fired bagels with coffee by morning, and oysters, raw halibut, mussels and prawns paired with handcrafted cocktails by night. The newcomer is overseen by the folks from its highly reviewed neighbor, Pizzetta 211, and together the pair is enlivening a sometimes sleepy neighborhood. 

Lapisara Eatery

Photo: Lapisara Eatery/Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Lower Nob Hill's Lapisara Eatery, the brunch and Thai 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 1.4 percent over the past month, Lapisara Eatery bagged a 65 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a strong 4.5-star rating.

Open at 698 Post St. (between Jones Street and Ophir Alley) since March, Lapisara Eatery offers an American-style brunch of omelettes, French toast, chicken and waffles, benedicts and more, before branching into Thai fare for dinner.

But it's not the only spot trending on San Francisco's breakfast and brunch scene: Wooden Spoon has seen a 61.5 percent increase in reviews, and Lokma has seen a 27.3 percent bump.

Urban Ritual

Photo: Lindy P./Yelp

Hayes Valley's Urban Ritual is currently on the upswing in the bubble tea category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Bubble Tea" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 2.9 percent over the past month, this cafe increased its count by 51.1 percent — and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars.

Open for business at 488 Fell St. (between Octavia and Laguna streets) since May, the business offers unique boba tea flavors, like matcha toffee and creme brûlée, and the chance to design your own drink. The welcoming interior and aromas might be contributing to the upswing in this spot's fortunes.


Photo: Chad S./Yelp

Is SoMa's Birdsong on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the New American spot, led by chef Christopher Bleidorn (Atelier Crenn, Saison), is getting plenty of attention.

While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp increased their review counts by a median of 1.7 percent over the past month, Birdsong nabbed a 31.8 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, with a modest downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to its current 4.5 stars.

Located at 1085 Mission St. (between Seventh and Sixth streets), Birdsong offers cuisine inspired by Pacific Northwest ingredients and cooking techniques. The 13-course tasting menu has included a giant clam with buttermilk whey and pork fat on a Parker house roll, and Shikoku oyster, persimmon vinegar and dill.

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