San Francisco

From fried cheese sticks to avocado toast: get these trending SF restaurants on your radar

Want the inside word on San Francisco's most happening local spots?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which eateries have been getting outsized notice 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 increased their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are worth exploring this summer.


Photo: Mamo/Yelp

Open since February, MaMo, a New American eatery with Colombian and Venezuelan influences, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp.

Citywide, New American spots saw a median 1.3 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but MaMo saw a 48.4 percent increase, maintaining a stellar five-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, MaMo's review count increased by more than 210 percent.

Located at 3659 Buchanan St. (between North Point and Bay streets) in the Marina, MaMo's California-meets-South America cuisine includes sous-vide pork with arepas, bavette steak with chimichurri and yuca fries and a Niman Ranch beef burger with green plantain chips. Yelpers particularly love the tequeños — Venezuelan fried cheese sticks. 

It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Cow Hollow bistro Cow Marlowe has seen a 25 percent increase in reviews.

Mel's Kitchen

Photo: Sarah A./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about the Tenderloin's Mel's Kitchen, this traditional American diner is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "American (Traditional)" on Yelp saw a median 1 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, Mel's Kitchen bagged a 21.9 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month, gaining 1.4 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

Open at 1050 Van Ness Ave. since September, Mel's is the revamp of the former Mel's Diner. With a glammed-up interior, it now offers more upscale renderings of diner favorites, including gourmet burgers, portobello hash, poke salad and avocado toast. It also has a full bar.

There's more that's trending on San Francisco's traditional American scene: Potrero Hill brunch joint Cracked & Battered has seen a 13.5 percent increase in reviews.


Photo: Ramenwell/Yelp

The Mission's Ramenwell is making waves. Open since October at 3378 18th St. (between Capp and Mission streets), the ramen spot and izakaya has seen a 25.4 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 3.3 percent for all businesses tagged "Ramen" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Ramenwell's review count increased by more than 800 percent.

Ramenwell offers ramens at three spice levels, made with vegetarian, pork-based and poultry-based broths. Starters and snacks include fried chicken, steamed buns, dumplings and takoyaki (fried octopus balls). Over the past month, Ramenwell has maintained a solid four-star rating among Yelpers.

UpForDayz Coffee

Photo: Ke C./Yelp

The Mission's UpForDayz Coffee, which opened in March, is currently the city's buzziest breakfast and brunch spot by the numbers.

The new coffee shop and cafe, which is located at 1198 Valencia St., Unit 105 (between 22nd and 23rd streets), increased its new review count by 42.9 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.3 percent for the Yelp category "Breakfast & Brunch."

UpForDayz is designed for coffee lovers, giving them a chance to pick their favorite blend and one of seven brewing methods. Food items include oatmeal and yogurt breakfast bowls and three kinds of avocado sandwiches, including the "OMG" with avocado, hard-boiled eggs, pomegranate, sea salt and olive oil.

Supreme Crab

Photo: supreme crab/Yelp

North Beach's Supreme Crab is currently on the upswing in the seafood category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp saw a median 1.1 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this eatery specializing in Cajun/Creole-style seafood boils increased its new reviews by 12.9 percent — and kept its rating consistent at 3.5 stars.

Open for business at 245 Jefferson St. (between Jones and Taylor streets) since January, Supreme Crab offers choose-your-own seafood buckets, with Dungeness, king and snow crab; lobster; shrimp; mussels; clams; and crawfish —all cooked in diners' preferred sauce and spice level. There are also entrees, including shrimp, lobster and crab rolls; seafood noodles; and a fish platter.

There's more abuzz in the world of San Francisco seafood: Embarcadero dim sum eatery Harborview Restaurant & Bar has seen a 10.7 percent increase in reviews, and Luke's Lobster SoMa has seen a 10 percent bump for its lobster rolls.

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.


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