San Francisco

In the know: What's heating up San Francisco's food scene this month

Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending right now?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which eateries have been getting a significant uptick in 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 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 sizzling hot, right now.


Photo: Cherylynn N./Yelp

Open since September, this new restaurant on the Embarcadero is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Steakhouses" on Yelp.

Citywide, steakhouses saw review counts increase by a median of 0.9 percent over the past month, but Angler saw an 81.1 percent increase, maintaining a superior four-star rating throughout. This is no doubt a result of its placement atop Esquire magazine's 2018 list of the best new restaurants in America.

Located at 132 The Embarcadero (between Sacramento and Clay streets) in SoMa, Angler offers a carefully prepared and seasonal menu of meat, seafood and cocktails from Saison chef Joshua Skenes, with many items cooked on a wood-burning hearth. It also offers views of San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge. 

Luke's Lobster

Photo: Luke's Lobster/Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about SoMa's Luke's Lobster, the seafood spot is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.1 percent over the past month, Luke's Lobster bagged a 59.2 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a solid four-star rating.

There's more that's trending on San Francisco's seafood scene: poke-bowl eatery Pokihub has seen a 14.6 percent increase in reviews.

Open at 92 Second St. (between Jessie and Mission streets) since October, Luke's Lobster is the first West Coast outlet of a New York-based mini-chain. It offers lobster, crab and shrimp rolls topped with lemon, melted butter, mayonnaise and seasoning, as well as fries, clam chowder and other sides.

Osteria Bella

Photo: Jonathan H./Yelp

The Inner Richmond's Osteria Bella is also making waves. Open since 2017 at 3848 Geary Blvd. (between Fourth and Second avenues) as a spin-off of next door's Bella Trattoria, the gastropub and vermouth bar has seen a 33.3 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.1 percent for all businesses tagged "Italian" on Yelp.

Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, its review counts increased by more than 550 percent.

The casual Osteria Bella offers antipasti, pastas and even a few burgers, plus inventive, vermouth-focused cocktails. Over the past month, it's maintained a sound 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.

There's more than one Italian hotspot trending in San Francisco: Doppio Zero in Hayes Valley has seen a 30.6 percent increase in reviews.

Platform 248

Photo: Dino H./Yelp

SoMa's Platform 248 is the city's buzziest coffee and tea spot by the numbers.

The gaming-themed cafe, which opened at 248 Ninth St. (between Tehama and Folsom streets) in September, increased its review count by 88.9 percent over the past month. That makes it an outlier compared to the median review increase of 2.7 percent for the Yelp category "Coffee & Tea."

Platform 248 offers bubble tea, coffee, Asian-fusion snacks and more, plus a selection of rentable video and board games.

Diane's Bloody Mary

Photo: Chris S./Yelp

Finally, the Marina's Diane's Bloody Mary is on the upswing in the breakfast and brunch category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 1.6 percent over the past month, Diane's increased by 48.6 percent—and kept its rating consistent at five stars.

Open for business at 2120 Greenwich St. (between Webster and Fillmore streets) since June, the pop-up at chef Michael Mina's Test Kitchen is named for his wife, Diane. It offers brunch favorites like French toast, egg sandwiches and burgers, as well as a full cocktail menu highlighting the signature Bloody Mary.

There's more abuzz in the world of San Francisco breakfast and brunch: Market Street's Scandinavian brunch spot Kantine has seen a 21 percent increase in reviews.

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