As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending at this very moment?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which eateries have been getting outsized notice this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at San Diego 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 worth exploring, right now.
Gaslamp Breakfast Company
Open since mid-December, this breakfast and brunch spot is trending compared to other businesses in the same category on Yelp.
Citywide, such eateries saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month. Gaslamp Breakfast Company only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.
Located in the Gaslamp at 551 J St. (between 5th and 6th avenues), Gaslamp Breakfast Company offers such items as a brioche breakfast sandwiches, French toast, breakfast burritos and fried rice Benedict. It also offers a variety of specialty lattes, including matcha green tea and the velvet beet latte, a blend of beet juice, ginger, cinnamon, honey and oat milk.
Gaslamp Breakfast Company is open from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. daily.
The Yasai by Rakiraki
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Kearny Mesa's The Yasai by Rakiraki, the sushi bar and vegan spot, which offers ramen and more, is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Vegan" on Yelp saw a median 1.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, The Yasai by Rakiraki bagged a striking 103.6% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a healthy four-star rating.
Open at 4646 Convoy St. (between Opportunity Road and Dagget Street) since mid-November, The Yasai by Rakiraki offers such dishes as housemade tofu chawanmushi, steamed edamame and jumbo crispy vegan gyoza. There is also a selection of nigiri sushi, ramen and salads on the menu.
The restaurant is open from 5 p.m.–11 p.m. on weekdays and noon–11 p.m. on weekends.
Simsim Outstanding Shawarma
Carmel Mountain's Simsim Outstanding Shawarma is also making waves. Open since mid-November at 11640 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 124, the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and halal spot has seen a staggering 132.1% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.2% for all businesses tagged "Mediterranean" on Yelp.
Here's more about the business from Yelp: "The heart of our business is to provide our guests with authentic Middle-Eastern cuisine in a modern and upbeat atmosphere by focusing on fresh, high-quality, chef-inspired food made from scratch." The restaurant serves up shawarma wraps, kebabs, specialty bowls, fresh salads and falafel made from scratch.
Over the past month, it's maintained a sound 4.5-star rating among Yelpers. It's open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Rancho Bernardo's Tacos Asadero is the city's buzziest Mexican spot by the numbers.
The eatery, which opened in late October at 15721 Bernardo Heights Parkway (between Avenida Villaha and Calle Pueblito), increased its new review count by 65.8% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.4% for the Yelp category "Mexican."
In addition to tacos, the restaurant offers burritos, mulitas, tostados and vampiros, along with adobada and asada fries.
Interested? Stop by and give it a try. Tacos Asadero is open from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.–8 p.m. on Sunday.
Carmel Valley's Pacific Social is currently on the upswing in the New American category on Yelp.
While businesses in that sector saw a median 0.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, this New American breakfast and brunch spot saw that stat grow to 27% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars.
Open for business at 6025 Village Way since mid-November, Pacific Social's popular menu items include its overstuffed cheeseburger, chicken pot pie and shrimp and lobster roll. And, if possible, save room for dessert — the eatery's pies are also in high demand; look for the triple berry, s'mores and toasted coconut cream pies.
Pacific Social is open from 3 p.m.–9 p.m. on Monday, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.