Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
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Published on February 11, 2019
From Hainan chicken rice to Dungeness crab, these new SF eateries are getting great buzzGai Chicken Rice. | Photo: Jiann M./Yelp

Want the intel on San Francisco's most talked-about local eateries and dishes?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to discover which restaurants have been in the limelight 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 have the momentum heading into springtime.

Gai Chicken Rice

Photo: Cherylynn N./Yelp

Open since December, this eatery specializes in braised chicken over rice, served with a choice of Vietnamese, Thai or Singaporean sauces. That's drawing a lot of attention: Gai Chicken Rice is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Vietnamese" on Yelp.

Citywide, Vietnamese spots saw review counts increase by a median of 1.2 percent over the past month, but Gai saw a 65.7 percent increase, maintaining a solid 4.5-star rating throughout.

Located at 3463 16th St. (between Sharon and Dehon streets) in the Castro, Gai offers several variations of its signature dish, like the Original Gai with a boneless leg and thigh, the Lean with chicken breast, or a vegetarian tofu option. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Gusto Pinsa Romana

Photo: Cherylynn N./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Nob Hill's Gusto Pinsa Romana, this spot to score Roman-style pizza, salads and more is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.5 percent over the past month, Gusto Pinsa Romana bagged a striking 102.9 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, all while maintaining its perfect five-star rating.

Open at 1000 Bush St. (between Jones Street) since November, Gusto offers more than a dozen variations of Roman-style pinsa, a healthier version of pizza, according to the business. Look for variations like a vegan margherita; the Napoli, with anchovies and oregano; or the Triple P, with potato, pesto and pancetta. (You can check out the full lineup here.)

For more trending pizza, head to the Design District, where newcomer Pizza Squared has seen a 28.9 percent increase in reviews.

Underdogs Too

Photo: Andrew D./Yelp

Parkside's Underdogs Too is making waves for its Mexican eats. Open since November at 3600 Taraval St. (between 46th and 47th avenues), the casual restaurant and bar has seen a 40 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1 percent for all businesses tagged "Mexican" on Yelp.

Underdogs Too offers an assortment of Mexican-inspired pub fare: tacos, quesadillas, burritos, breakfast and brunch dishes and more. Over the past month, it's maintained a superior four-star rating among Yelpers.

Cracked & Battered

Photo: Ashley H./Yelp

Craving chicken and waffles? Head to Potrero Hill's Cracked & Battered, the city's buzziest traditional American spot by the numbers.

The breakfast and brunch eatery, which opened at 1434 18th St. (between Connecticut and Missouri streets) in July, increased its review count by 25.9 percent over the past month, an outlier compared to the median review increase of 1 percent for the Yelp category "American (Traditional)." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.8 times more reviews than expected, based on past performance.

In addition to its fried yardbird with a Belgian waffle, Cracked & Battered offers global dishes like nasi goreng (Indonesian-style fried rice) with two fried eggs and a piece of fried chicken; or shakshouka (Israeli-style baked eggs in tomato sauce) with house seasoning and pita.

Harborview Restaurant & Bar

Photo: K L./Yelp

The Financial District's Harborview Restaurant & Bar is currently on the upswing in the seafood category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 1 percent over the past month, this upscale dim sum and Cantonese establishment, increased its count by 35.2 percent — and kept its rating consistent at 3.5 stars.

Open for business at 100 Drumm St. (between Sacramento and Commercial streets) since November, the menu features an assortment of dim sum offerings, like black truffle and Kurobuta pork dumplings, steamed barbecue pork buns and deep-fried sesame dumplings with sweet potato filling.

Bigger appetites can opt for a la carte items like the salt-and-pepper Dungeness crab(You can check out the full selection of dishes here.)

There's more abuzz in the world of San Francisco seafood: Golden Crab House has seen a 22.4 percent increase in reviews, and Luke's Lobster SoMa has seen a 22.1 percent bump.