Unsure where Baltimore'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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to analyze which restaurants have been most discussed this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at Baltimore 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. Then we analyzed foot traffic data from SafeGraph to validate the trends.
Read on to see which spots are extra hot, right now.
Open just a few months, this cocktail bar, which offers seafood and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, seafood spots saw a median 2.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Raw Bar saw a 40% increase, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating throughout.
It's not the only trending outlier in the seafood category: Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls has seen a 28.1% increase in reviews, and Captain James Crab House and Bo Brooks restaurant have seen 4.1% and 1.8% increases, respectively.
Located at 2809 Boston St. in Canton, Raw Bar offers raw oysters, clams, crab and shrimp, as well as pan-roasted scallops, crab cakes and grilled lobster tail skewers.
Raw Bar is open from 11 a.m.–midnight on Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.–2 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.–midnight on Sunday.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Papi's Tacos in Hampden, the bar and restaurant is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Bars" on Yelp saw a median 2.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, Papi's Tacos - Hampden bagged a 48.4% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a strong four-star rating.
Open since 2013 at 3820 Falls Road, Papi's Tacos features a host of margaritas, as well as a Dos Equis lager topped with a house-made frozen margarita. Craft cocktails include a fig Collins and a cilantro mojito. Domestic and Mexican beers are also available.
Papi's Tacos is open from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-midnight on Saturday and Sunday.
Blue Moon Cafe
Fells Point's Blue Moon Cafe is also making waves. Open since 1996 at 1621 Aliceanna St., the well-established breakfast, brunch and traditional American spot has seen a 2.9% increase in new reviews over the last month — matching that of all businesses tagged "American (Traditional)" on Yelp — but visits to Blue Moon Cafe increased by more than 50% over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
Chorizo and eggs, vegetarian potato pancakes, French toast with fruit and cream and a variety of pancakes, including chocolate chip and bacon and apple, are among the many options. Over the past month, it's maintained a superior four-star rating among Yelpers.
Blue Moon Cafe is open from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. According to SafeGraph, it's usually busiest at 1 a.m., 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., and people visit Blue Moon Cafe most on Sundays and Saturdays, with a slowdown on Mondays.