Are these trending Chicago restaurants on your radar?

Wondering 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 to uncover which local businesses have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.

To find out who made the list, we 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 increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are extra cool this winter.


Photo: kota o./Yelp

This Streeterville location of the restaurant opened in last March, after the original location was open for 41 years in River North. The steakhouse and traditional American spot, which offers barbecue and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (Traditional)" on Yelp.

Citywide, traditional American spots saw review counts increase by a median of 1.9 percent over the past month, but Carson's saw a 12 percent increase, maintaining a superior four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 250 percent.

Located at 465 E. Illinois St. (between McClurg and Peshtigo courts) in Streeterville, Carson's offers barbecue chicken, ribs and pork chops, as well as ribeyes, filet mignon and N.Y. strip steaks. (View the full menu here.)

Edgewater Tacos

Photo: josefina m./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Edgewater Tacos, the Mexican spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Mexican" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.7 percent over the past month, Edgewater Tacos bagged a 10.5 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining an excellent five-star rating.

There's more that's trending on Chicago's Mexican scene: La Catedral Cafe & Restaurant has seen a 3.6 percent increase in reviews, and La Bodega has seen a 7.5 percent bump.

Open at 5624 N. Broadway since last February, Edgewater Tacos offers burritos, chimichangas, tostadas, tortas and more. (Check out the menu here.)

Pizzeria Bebu

Photo: tim m./Yelp

Lincoln Park's Pizzeria Bebu is also making waves. Open since 2017 at 1521 N. Fremont St., the pizza spot has seen a 6.2 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.2 percent for all businesses tagged "Pizza" on Yelp.

Pizzeria Bebu offers a variety of thin crust pizzas, including a meatball pizza with giardiniera, ricotta and Parmesan, and a carbonara pizza with panna, caramelized onion, pancetta and egg. (View the menu here.)

Over the past month, it's maintained a superior 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.