Wondering where Philadelphia'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 discover which local businesses have been most discussed this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at Philadelphia 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 have the momentum heading into springtime.
Open since November 2019, this breakfast and brunch spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp.
Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw a median 1.8% increase in new reviews over the past month. Cicala only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.
It's not the only trending outlier in the breakfast and brunch category: Fiore Fine Foods has seen a 23.3% increase in reviews, and Mt. Airy Deli and Oxford Restaurant Breakfast and Lunch have seen 3 and 11.8% increases, respectively.
Located at 699 N. Broad St. in West Poplar, Cicala offers dishes like coal-grilled Spanish mackerel, lamb and lentil and chestnut soup.
The restaurant is open from 5–10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5–10 p.m. on Sunday.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Fairmount's Bad Brother, the beer bar and traditional American spot is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "American (Traditional)" on Yelp saw a median 1.7% increase in new reviews over the past month, Bad Brother appeared on Yelp relatively recently. Many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, but it has seen a surge of interest.
Open at 726 N. 24th St. since fall 2019, Bad Brother offers plates like charred octopus, buffalo wings and roasted chicken breast. There's also an extensive beer menu.
The business is open from 5 p.m.–midnight on Monday, 11:30 a.m.–midnight on Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m. on Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.–midnight on Sunday. (It's closed on Tuesday.)
Taste Queen Chinese Restaurant
Bustleton's Taste Queen Chinese Restaurant is also making waves. Open since 2010 at 9347 Krewstown Road, the Chinese spot has seen a 3.6% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.6% for all businesses tagged "Chinese" on Yelp. As for foot traffic, Taste Queen Chinese Restaurant saw visits more than triple over the past month, according to SafeGraph data.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Philadelphia's Chinese category: Andorra Ping Pong has seen a 2.1% increase in reviews.
Taste Queen Chinese Restaurant offers build-your-own plates with your choice of protein and veggies, along with dumplings and boneless spare ribs. Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed 3.5-star rating among Yelpers.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon–10 p.m. on Sunday. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Saturdays. If you’re planning your visit, you may want to try its slower periods on Thursdays.
East Coast Wings + Grill
Richmond's East Coast Wings + Grill, a franchise of the famous chain, is the city's buzziest bar by the numbers.
The popular bar, which offers burgers, chicken wings and more and opened at 2539 Castor Ave. in 2015, saw a 1.1% increase in new reviews over the last month — matching that of all businesses for the Yelp business category "Bars" — but saw visits more than triple over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
East Coast Wings + Grill offers bites like wings, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, tacos and more.
The eatery is open from 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Mondays, with a slowdown on Wednesdays.