San Diego

Rolled tacos, Belgian beer: What's trending on San Diego's restaurant scene

Want the scoop on San Diego's buzziest food and beverage spots?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which businesses have been getting a notable uptick in attention this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at San Diego establishments 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 extra hot right now.

Los Panchos Tacos & Cantina

Photo: tawana s./Yelp

Open since mid October, this spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Mexican" on Yelp.

Citywide, such eateries saw a median 1.4% increase in new reviews over the past month. Los Panchos Tacos & Cantina only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.

What does this business focus on? "We are a local family-owned taco shop serving since 1974. Los Panchos Taco Shop is a sit-down restaurant that you can visit for different situations, whether you are just looking for some take-away food, or you can also bring your family and stay for lunch in one of our locations. Visit us today!" — that's according to its Yelp page.

Located at 441 Washington St. (between Dove and Brant streets) in Hillcrest, Los Panchos Tacos & Cantina offerings include burritos, rolled tacos, quesadillas and more. 

Intrigued? Stop by and see for yourself. The restaurant is open 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

Patxi's Pizza

Photo: patzi's pizza/Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Hillcrest's Patxi's Pizza, a member of the well-known chain, the Italian spot is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Italian" on Yelp saw a median 1.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, Patxi's Pizza bagged a staggering 200% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a sound four-star rating.

For an overview of the business, we looked to the history section of its Yelp page. Here's what we found: "We opened our first restaurant in the summer of 2004 in Palo Alto, California! Over a decade and multiple locations later, we has turned our passion for fresh, high-quality deep dish and thin-crust pizza and genuine hospitality into a signature experience that can only be summed up as 'Patxi's.'"

Its latest spot opened at 3888 Fourth Ave. in late October. Beyond its pies, Patxi's Pizza offers flatbread Italian and traditional sandwiches, as well as soups and salads.

The eatery is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Ice Box

Photo: caylene p./Yelp

Rolando's Ice Box is the city's buzziest Asian fusion spot by the numbers.

The fast-food eatery, which opened at 4649 College Ave. in early September, increased its new review count by 57.6% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.3% for the Yelp category "Asian Fusion."

What does this business focus on? "San Diego's first self-serve boba!" — that's according to its Yelp page. Beyond that, Ice Box offers a variety of dishes with fries as a base and topped with such items as garlic chicken, lobster or tuna.

Ice Box is open from noon–10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and noon–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Belgian Beer & Waffle

photo: Julie M./yelp

North Park's Belgian Beer & Waffle is currently on the upswing in the beer bar category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Beer Bar" on Yelp saw a median 1.4% increase in new reviews over the past month, this beer bar, which also offers waffles, ice cream, frozen yogurt and more, increased its new reviews by 29.1% — and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars.

What's the business known for? In addition to a wide beer selection (lagers, pale ales, IPAs and more), "European-inspired cafe will offer three types of waffles, a rectangular-shaped Brussels waffle, a gluten-free and vegan version, and a Liege waffle made with a brioche-style dough and studded with pearls of sugar. The all-day, counter-service menu ranges from savory waffle sandwiches, chicken and waffles, and a waffle riff on avocado toast to waffles topped with ice cream, fruits and sweet sauces. Other bites include salads and traditional Belgian frites fried in beef tallow" — that's courtesy of its Yelp page.

Open at 2899 University Ave. (between Kansas and 29th streets) since early October, Belgian Beer & Waffle is open from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.