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

Curious where San Diego's insiders are 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 local businesses have been on the tips of diners' tongues this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at San Diego 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 on a hot streak, right now.


Photo: judy g./Yelp

Open since January, this spot to score pizza, kombucha and juice and smoothies is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp.

Citywide, pizza spots saw a median 1.9 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Powerhaus saw a 62.5 percent increase, maintaining a convincing 4.5-star rating throughout.

Located at 1550 Garnet Ave. (between Haines and Ingraham streets) in Pacific Beach, Powerhaus offers healthy pizza made with high-protein, gluten-free or cauliflower crusts. The meat toppings are nitrate free and naturally raised. The menu also has vegan cheese and protein options. Wash all the goodness down with a superfood smoothie, kombucha or all-natural soda. 

The Dubliner

Photo: the dubliner/Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about the Marina district's The Dubliner, the veteran Irish-New American pub is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp saw a median 1.6 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, The Dubliner bagged a 24.5 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a solid four-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.4 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

Open at 554 Fourth Ave. since 2001, The Dubliner offers chicken, beef, sandwiches, soups and salads. On the menu, look for Irish staples like shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage, and fish and chips. The spot has a daily happy hour menu and shows live sports from open to close on seven TVs in the bar area. 

Pizza Pronto

Photo: pizza pronto/Yelp

The La Jolla's well-established Pizza Pronto is also making waves. Open since 1999 at 7556 Fay Ave., Suite F (between Pearl and Kline streets), the pizzeria has seen a 20.3 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.7 percent for all businesses tagged "Italian" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Pizza Pronto's review count increased by more than 300 percent.

There's more than one hotspot trending in San Diego's Italian category: North Italia has seen a 19.1 percent increase in reviews.

Pizza Pronto offers Mediterranean favorites like pizza, calzones, pasta, soups, salads and kabobs. Feeding a crowd? Order the special with two extra-large two-topping pizzas and a 2-liter bottle of soda. Over the past month, it's maintained a sound 4.5-star rating among Yelpers. Here's the rest of the menu. 

Panini Kabob Grill

Photo: panini kabob grill/Yelp

Carmel Valley's Panini Kabob Grill is the city's buzziest breakfast and brunch spot by the numbers.

The Mediterranean, Persian/Iranian and breakfast and brunch spot, which opened at 12955 El Camino Real, Suite G4 (between Elijah Court and High Bluff Drive) in 2018, increased its new review count by 22.2 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.6 percent for the Yelp category "Breakfast & Brunch."

Panini Kabob Grill has numerous locations throughout Southern California. The eatery serves up healthy Mediterranean options like soups, salads, grilled panini sandwiches, wraps, entrees and dessert.

It also offers a full breakfast menu, with options that include banana bread pudding French toast, open-faced smoked salmon, avocado toast with two organic eggs, and steak and eggs.

Made In Kitchen

Photo: made in kitchen/Yelp

The East Village's Made In Kitchen is currently on the upswing in the cocktail bar category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp saw a median 2.6 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this beer bar, cocktail bar and Asian fusion spot increased its by 45.5 percent—and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars.

Open for business at 1460 J St. (between 15th and 14th streets) since 2018, the business offers Asian style-cuisine and cocktails.

Stop in from 2-6 p.m. for happy hour, when you can order from the extensive drink menu. Try a classic Old-Fashioned, or a specialty cocktail like the Golden State Rush (Elijah Craig bourbon, lemon and honey) or the Blue Hawaiian (Bacardi superior rum, Ciroc pineapple, blue curaçao, pineapple juice and soda)

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.