Curious where Chicago's in-the-know crowd is 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 discover which eateries have been getting a significant increase in attention 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.
Open since 2018, this bar and New American and Latin American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw a median 2.3 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Gigi's Kitchen saw a 28.3 percent increase, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Gigi's Kitchen's review count increased by more than 220 percent.
It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: The River Kitchen and Bar has seen a 29.4 percent increase in reviews, and Onward and the Albert have seen 19.6 and 7.3 percent increases, respectively.
Located at 1954 W. Armitage Ave. (between Damen and Winchester avenues) in Bucktown, Gigi's Kitchen offers Baked Ratatouille, Gigi's Burger, a Slow Roasted Chicken Club and more.
Tous Les Jours
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Tous Les Jours, the bakery, which offers coffee, tea, desserts and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Desserts" on Yelp saw a median 1.6 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, Tous Les Jours bagged a 14.1 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 3.3 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 2144 S. Archer Ave. (between Cermak Road and 21st Street) since 2004, Tous Les Jours offers cakes, pastries, sandwiches and more.
Wicker Park's The Delta is also making waves. Open since 2017 at 1745 W. North Ave. (between Wood Street and Hermitage Avenue), the cocktail bar and Southern and breakfast and brunch spot has seen a 6.6 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.9 percent for all businesses tagged "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis The Delta's review count increased by more than 280 percent.
There's more than one hotspot trending in Chicago's breakfast and brunch category: Limitless Coffee & Tea - Fulton Market has seen a 11.4 percent increase in reviews.
The Delta offers catfish, pork ribs and more. Over the past month, it's maintained a strong 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Logan Square's Bixi Beer is the city's buzziest Asian fusion spot by the numbers.
The well-established brew pub and Asian fusion spot, which opened at 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. (at Sacramento Avenue) in 2018, increased its new review count by 14.4 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2.4 percent for the Yelp category "Asian Fusion." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.2 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
Bixi Beer serves brunch, lunch and dinner. On the menu, look for the kimchi mandu, lamb wonton, panang curry and more.
The Taco Maya is currently on the upswing in the bar category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Bars" on Yelp saw a median 1.7 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this bar, which offers tacos and more, increased its by 9.9 percent—and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 190 percent on a month-to-month basis.
Open for business at 823 S. State St. (between Polk and Ninth streets) since 2018, the business offers tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and more.
Open since 2017, this popular wine bar and Mediterranean and New American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Wine Bars" on Yelp.
Citywide, businesses tagged "Wine Bars" saw a median 1.6 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Ella Elli saw a 6.3 percent increase, maintaining a strong 4.5-star rating throughout. It gained 3.3 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.
Located at 1349 W. Cornelia Ave. (between Southport and Lakewood avenues) in Lakeview, Ella Elli offers charcuterie and toasts, pizza, pasta, seafood and more.
Is the Loop's Pokeworks on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the sushi bar, which offers poke, salads and more, is seeing plenty of action.
While businesses categorized as "Salad" on Yelp increased their media new review count by 2 percent over the past month, Pokeworks nabbed a 7.6 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a convincing 4.5-star rating.
Located at 79 E. Madison St. (between Michigan Avenue and Garland Court), Pokeworks offers bowls, burritos and salads made your way.