Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending right now?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which local businesses have been in the limelight 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.
Spicy Fingers Seafood Kitchen
Open since August, this Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, seafood spots saw a median 1.5% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Spicy Fingers Seafood Kitchen saw a massive 142.9% increase, maintaining a sound 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, Spicy Fingers Seafood Kitchen's review count increased by more than 200%.
Located at 1549 W. Chicago Ave. in West Town, Spicy Fingers Seafood Kitchen offers fried calamari, soup and beignets.
Spicy Fingers Seafood Kitchen is open from 4–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 4–10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 4–9 p.m. on Sunday.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Scottsdale's Dunkin', the spot to score doughnuts and coffee and tea is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp saw a median 3% increase in new reviews over the past month, Dunkin' bagged a formidable 150% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a 2.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 15.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 7905 S. Cicero since April 2011, Dunkin' offers lattes, breakfast sandwiches and chocolate doughnuts.
Lake View East's Roebuck Pizza is also making waves. Open since September at 3155 N. Broadway (between Belmont Avenue and Briar Place), the cocktail bar, which offers pizza, salads and more, has seen an impressive 141.7% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.6% for all businesses tagged "Pizza" on Yelp.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Chicago's pizza category: Pizzeria Portofino has seen a 32.3% increase in reviews.
Roebuck Pizza offers pizza with mushrooms, garlic slices and onions. Over the past month, it's maintained a healthy four-star rating among Yelpers.
Roebuck Pizza is open from 5 p.m.–11 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, noon–11 p.m. on Friday, noon–midnight on Saturday and noon–9 p.m. on Sunday.
Logan Square's Superkhana International is the city's buzziest New American spot by the numbers.
The Indian and New American spot, which opened at 3059 W. Diversey Ave. (between Whipple Street and Albany Avenue) in July, increased its new review count by 56.5% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.3% for the Yelp category "American (New)." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.4 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
Superkhana International offers sandwiches, salads and chicken.
Superkhana International is open from 5–11 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday. (It's closed on Monday and Sunday.)
The Loop's Taureaux Tavern is currently on the upswing in the breakfast and brunch category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp saw a median 1.4% increase in new reviews over the past month, this French and breakfast and brunch spot increased its new reviews by 16.7% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 250% on a month-to-month basis.
Open for business at 155 W. Van Buren St. (between Financial Place and Wells Street) since October 2018, Taureaux Tavern offers sandwiches, Brussels sprouts and fries.
Taureaux Tavern is open from 7 a.m.–10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)