Italian cuisine and more: What's trending on Chicago's food scene?

Want the inside word on Chicago's buzziest local spots?

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

Read on to see which spots are riding a trend, right now.

Fairgrounds Coffee And Tea

Photo: Alicia L./Yelp

Open since 2017, this breakfast and brunch spot, which offers coffee, tea, sandwiches and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp.

Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw a median 2.3 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea saw a 12.9 percent increase, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea's review count increased by more than 370 percent.

It's not the only trending outlier in the breakfast and brunch category: etta has seen a 11.1 percent increase in reviews, and Funkenhausen has seen an 8 percent bump.

Located at 12 S. Michigan Ave., Floor 1 (between Madison and Monroe streets) in the Loop, Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea offers breakfast sandwiches, turkey and brie, salads and more.

Nella Pizza e Pasta

Photo: Mimi L./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Hyde Park's Nella Pizza e Pasta, the bar and Italian spot, which offers pizza and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Italian" on Yelp saw a median 1.6 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, Nella Pizza e Pasta bagged an 8.1 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a convincing four-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.5 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

Open at 1125 E. 55th St. (between University Avenue and Service Road) since 2017, Nella Pizza e Pasta offers pizza, pasta, salads and more.

Old Grounds Social

Photo: Tavi J./Yelp

Lincoln Park's Old Grounds Social is also making waves. Open since 2018 at 950 W. Wrightwood Ave. (between Sheffield and Lincoln avenues), the sports bar and traditional American spot has seen a 9.8 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.7 percent for all businesses tagged "American (Traditional)" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Old Grounds Social's review count increased by more than 200 percent.

Old Grounds Social offers burgers, salads, smoked wings and more. Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed 3.5-star rating among Yelpers.

Fisk & Co.

Photo: Ivy M./Yelp

The Loop's Fisk & Co. is the city's buzziest seafood spot by the numbers.

The beer bar, which offers seafood and more and opened at 225 N. Wabash Ave. in 2018, increased its new review count by 11.9 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2.5 percent for the Yelp category "Seafood." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.8 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

Fisk & Co. offers mussels, shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque and more.

Hampton Social

Photo: Magnus H./Yelp

Streeterville's Hampton Social is currently on the upswing in the New American category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp saw a median 1.8 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this New American spot, which offers seafood and more, increased its new reviews by 11.7 percent—and kept its rating consistent at four stars.

There's more abuzz in the world of Chicago New American: The Madison Bar and Kitchen has seen a 5.7 percent increase in reviews.

Open for business at 164 E. Grand Ave. (between Michigan Avenue and St. Clair Street) since 2018, the Hampton Social offers shrimp tacos, risotto with scallops, pizza, mashed potatoes and more.

Canton Regio

Photo: Danielle M./Yelp

Established in 1962, this steakhouse and Mexican spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Steakhouses" on Yelp.

Citywide, businesses tagged "Steakhouses" saw a median 1.3 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Canton Regio saw a 3.9 percent increase, maintaining a sound four-star rating throughout. It gained 2.5 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.

There's more than one place trending in Chicago's steakhouse category: Remington's has seen a 3 percent increase in reviews, and Gibsons Italia has seen a 3.7 percent bump.

Located at 1510 W. 18th St. (between Ashland Avenue and Laflin Street) in Pilsen, Canton Regio specializes in ribeye steak grilled over mesquite coals.

Jibarito's on Harlem

Photo: Samantha G./Yelp

Is Schorsch Village's Jibarito's on Harlem on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the Puerto Rican spot, which offers comfort food and sandwiches, is seeing plenty of action.

While businesses categorized as "Sandwiches" on Yelp increased their media new review count by 1.7 percent over the past month, Jibarito's on Harlem nabbed a 6.9 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a 3.5-star rating.

Located at 3317 N. Harlem Ave., Jibarito's on Harlem offers fried pork chops, tamales, stuffed plantains and more.


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.