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 uncover which eateries have been getting extra attention 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 on a hot streak this winter.
Thai Gulf Restaurant
Open since mid-December, this Thai spot is trending compared to other restaurants in that category on Yelp.
Citywide, Thai spots saw a median 1.1% increase in new reviews over the past month. Thai Gulf Restaurant only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.
Located at 1271 Prospect St. (between Ivanhoe Avenue and Roslyn Lane) in La Jolla, the eatery's house specialties include roasted duck curry, salmon choo chee and Thai Gulf barbecue with a choice of chicken or pork ribs. The restaurant also serves up a variety of soups, salads and wok dishes, as well as mango sweet rice, fried bananas and ice cream.
Thai Gulf Restaurant is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Carmel Valley's Tocaya Organica, the Mexican spot, which offers desserts and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses in that category on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, Tocaya Organica appeared on Yelp relatively recently. Many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, but it has seen a surge of interest.
Open at 3725 Paseo Place, Suite 1070, since mid-December, Tocaya Organica is part of a fast-growing regional chain that offers vegan salads, bowls, tacos, burritos, quesadillas and soups. When it comes to side dishes, look for street corn, Spanish cauliflower rice and black beans with vegan mozzarella.
Tocaya Organica is open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Boba Boy Pacific Beach
Boba Boy Pacific Beach is also making waves. Open since late June at 1001 Garnet Ave., Suite 105 (between Cass and Dawes streets), the bubble tea and desserts spot has seen a 31.2% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.8% for all businesses tagged "Desserts" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, Boba Boy Pacific Beach's review count increased by more than 500%.
What's the business known for? Here's what its Yelp profile has to say: "Boba Boy is a Canada-based franchise offering boba tea with freshly made tapioca balls. Boba Boy's milk tea is a sweet, filling beverage and provides a unique alternative to traditional desserts." On the menu, look for signature milk teas, fruit smoothies, fruit teas and a variety of mousse lattes.
Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating tick down from four stars to 3.5 stars.
Boba Boy Pacific Beach is open from 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, noon–8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Roseville/Fleet Ridge's Goodbar is on the upswing in the sports bar category on Yelp.
While businesses of that type on Yelp saw a median 0.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, this sports bar, comedy club and music venue increased its new reviews by 21.7% — and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars. Review counts increased by more than 250% on a month-to-month basis.
What's the business known for? "We're an entertainment-focused neighborhood bar with craft beer and quality cocktails to supplement sports, comedy, trivia and live music. We're your home for every NFL game and our Comedy Nights are legendary." — that's from its page on Yelp.
The bar serves up a slew of IPAs, pale ales and ciders, as well as an extensive wine list.
Open for business at 1872 Rosecrans (between Quimby and Poe streets), Goodbar is open from 3 p.m.–1 a.m. on Monday-Thursday, 3 p.m.–2 a.m. on Friday, 9:30 a.m.–2 a.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m.–1 a.m. on Sunday.