Unsure where Chicago'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 uncover which eateries have been getting outsized notice this month.
To find out who made the list, we first 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. Then we analyzed foot traffic data from SafeGraph to validate the trends.
Read on to see which spots are worth exploring, right now.
Dip and Sip Donuts
Open since July, this spot to score doughnuts, coffee and tea and custom cakes is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp.
Citywide, coffee and tea spots saw a median 3.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Dip and Sip Donuts saw a 47.6% increase, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Dip and Sip Donuts's review count increased by more than 200%.
Located at 2256 W. Roscoe (between Oakley and Bell avenues) in Roscoe Village, Dip and Sip Donuts offers chocolate glaze doughnuts, maple glazed doughnuts, gluten free doughnuts and more.
Dip and Sip Donuts is open from 7 a.m.–2 p.m. on Tuesday-Friday and 8 a.m.–1 p.m. on weekends. (It's closed on Monday.)
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about the Near North's Flora Fauna, the cocktail bar and Caribbean and New American spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp saw a median 1.4% increase in new reviews over the past month, Flora Fauna bagged a 14.7% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a healthy four-star rating.
Open at 11 W. Illinois since June, Flora Fauna offers fried mushrooms, fried rice and lettuce wraps.
Flora Fauna is open from 4–11 p.m. on Monday-Thursday and Sunday and 4 p.m.–midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Bacon and Jam
Mount Greenwood's Bacon and Jam is also making waves. Open since June 2017 at 3335 W. 111st St. (between Homan and Christiana avenues), the popular breakfast and brunch spot has seen a 9.5% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.3% for all businesses tagged "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Bacon and Jam's review count increased by more than 200%.
Bacon and Jam offers omelets, skillets and Benedicts. Over the past month, it's maintained a strong 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Bacon and Jam is open from 6:30 a.m.–3 p.m. daily.
The Near North's Wahlburgers is the city's buzziest traditional American spot by the numbers.
The popular traditional American spot, which offers burgers and more and opened at 2 E. Ontario St. (between Wabash Avenue and State Street) in April 2019, increased its new review count by 8.8% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.2% for the Yelp category "American (Traditional)."
Wahlburgers also offers onion rings, sandwiches and housemade chili.
Wahlburgers is open from 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Monday-Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Wrightwood Neighbors's popular Pita Pit has seen a major increase in foot traffic recently.
While Pita Pit stayed in line with the median 2% increase in new reviews for businesses categorized as "Sandwiches" on Yelp over the past month, visits to Pita Pit increased by more than 50%, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
Open for business at 2404 N. Lincoln Ave. (between Montana Street and Fullerton Avenue) since January 2006, Pita Pit offers pita toppings like green peppers, mushrooms and pineapple.
Pita Pit is open from 11 a.m.–midnight on Monday-Wednesday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–3 a.m. on Thursday and 11 a.m.–3:59 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 12 a.m., 1 a.m. and 8 p.m., and on Saturdays and Fridays. If you’re planning your visit, you may want to try its slower periods on Tuesdays.