Want the inside word on Boston's buzziest local spots?
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 on the tips of diners' tongues this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at Boston 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 on a hot streak, right now.
Eddie V's Prime Seafood
Open since 2019, this steakhouse and lounge, which offers seafood and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, seafood spots saw a median 1.2% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Eddie V's Prime Seafood saw a 35.5% increase, maintaining a superior four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Eddie V's Prime Seafood's review count increased by more than 160%.
It's not the only trending outlier in the seafood category: Bootleg Special has seen a 9% increase in reviews.
Located at 122 Belvidere St. in Back Bay, Eddie V's Prime Seafood offers Royal Siberian caviar, The Shellfish Tower, Parmesan sole and more.
Eddie V's Prime Seafood is open from 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.
La Famiglia Spagnuolo's
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about North End's La Famiglia Spagnuolo's, the well-established 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 1.2% increase in new reviews over the past month, La Famiglia Spagnuolo's bagged a 6.1% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a two-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 6.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 240 Hanover St. (between Richmond Street and Board Alley) since 2007, La Famiglia Spagnuolo's offers sausage pizza, homemade ravioli, linguini with clams and more.
Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar Back Bay
Back Bay's Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar Back Bay is also making waves. Open since 2010 at 271 Dartmouth St. (between Boylston and Newbury streets), the popular lounge, cocktail bar and Mexican spot has seen a 1.4% increase in new reviews over the last month — matching that of all businesses tagged "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp — but the number of visitors to Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar Back Bay doubled over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Boston's cocktail bar category: Pastoral - Artisan Pizza, Kitchen & Bar has seen a 0.7% increase in reviews, and Scholars American Bistro and Cocktail Lounge has seen a 0.5% bump.
Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar Back Bay offers hot queso dip, steak sofrito quesadillas, jalapeno chicken flautas and more. Over the past month, it's maintained a strong four-star rating among Yelpers.
Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar Back Bay is open from 4 p.m.–2 a.m. on Monday-Saturday and noon–2 a.m. on Sunday. According to SafeGraph, it's usually busiest at 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., and people visit Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar Back Bay most on Saturdays and Fridays, so go on Sundays if you want to avoid the rush.