Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending today?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which local businesses 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 closing the summer out strong.
Open since 2004, this popular Hawaiian spot, which offers barbecue and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Barbecue" on Yelp.
Citywide, barbecue spots saw a median 1.2 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Aloha Eats saw a 1.1 percent increase, maintaining a strong four-star rating throughout.
Located at 2534 N. Clark St. (between Wrightwood Avenue and Deming Place), Aloha Eats offers curry, fried rice, seafood, Hawaiian barbecue and more.
Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Wicker Park's Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, the beverage store and Southern and breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp saw a median 1.8 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods bagged a 9.4 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, with a slight downward trend from a four-star rating a month ago to its current 3.5 stars.
Open at 1415 N. Wood St. (between Julian Street and Milwaukee Avenue) since 2018, Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods offers seafood, soups, chicken dishes and more.
Don Juan Restaurante
Edison Park's Don Juan Restaurante is also making waves. Open since 1983 at 6730 N. Northwest Highway (between Oliphant and Oshkosh avenues), the well-established Mexican spot has seen a 4 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.1 percent for all businesses tagged "Mexican" on Yelp. However, on a month-to-month basis Don Juan Restaurante's review count increased by more than 500 percent.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Chicago's Mexican category: Lonesome Rose has seen a 6.6% increase in reviews.
Don Juan Restaurante offers shrimp nachos, burritos, tacos and more. Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed three-star rating among Yelpers.
The Loop's LH Rooftop is the city's buzziest New American spot by the numbers.
The cocktail bar and New American spot, which opened at 85 E. Wacker Drive (between Lower Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue) in 2016, increased its new review count by 12.6 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2.4 percent for the Yelp category "American (New)."
LH Rooftop offers sandwiches, oysters, truffle fries and more.
Bottled Blonde Chicago
River North's popular Bottled Blonde Chicago is currently on the upswing in the pizza category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp saw a median 2.5 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this beer garden and cocktail bar, which offers pizza and more, increased its new reviews by 3.8 percent—and kept its rating consistent at 2.5 stars.
Open for business at 504 N. Wells St. since 2015, the business offers pizzas, pastas, burgers, paninis and more.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
Open since 2017, this Italian spot, which offers pizza and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Italian" on Yelp.
Citywide, businesses tagged "Italian" saw a median 1.8 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Lou Malnati's Pizzeria saw a 6.6 percent increase, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating throughout.
Located at 6456 S. Cicero Ave., Lou Malnati's Pizzeria offers deep dish pizza, thin crust pizza, sandwiches, desserts and more.
Is Roscoe Village's popular Le Sud on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the brasserie and Mediterranean and French spot is seeing plenty of action.
While businesses categorized as "Mediterranean" on Yelp increased their media new review count by 1.8 percent over the past month, Le Sud nabbed a 14.7 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a sound four-star rating.
Located at 2301 W. Roscoe St. (between Claremont and Oakley avenues.), Le Sud offers escargot, pan-roasted duck breast, scallops with oyster mushrooms and more.