We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to discover which local businesses have been getting a notable increase in attention 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 increased their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.
Read on to see which spots are riding a trend, right now.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
Photo: GYU-KAKU JAPANESE BBQ/Yelp
Lakeview's Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ has been making waves. At 2813 N. Broadway, the Japanese spot has seen a 34.2 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.4 percent for all businesses tagged "Barbeque" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 220 percent.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ offers your choice of meat to be cooked in front of you (chicken breast, garlic shrimp, spicy pork, angus beef ribs and more) as well as sides such as miso soup, green salad and edamame. Over the past month, it's maintained a strong four-star rating among Yelpers.
Photo: JOSEFINA M./Yelp
Edgewater Tacos is the city's buzziest Mexican eatery by the numbers.
The Mexican spot, which is located at 5624 N. Broadway, increased its review count by 47.9 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 2.5 percent for the Yelp category "Mexican." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.6 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
It's not the only trending outlier in the Mexican category: Vista Hermosa Restaurant has seen a 27 percent increase in reviews.
Yelpers recommend the chicken tacos with green salsa and the poblano chicken soup. (View the menu here.)
Park & Field
Photo: kyle d./Yelp
This popular sports bar and New American spot, which offers tapas and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp.
Citywide, businesses tagged "American (New)" saw review counts increase by a median of 2.4 percent over the past month, but Park & Field saw a 26.6 percent increase, with a slight upward trend from a 3.5-star rating a month ago to four stars today. It gained 2.7 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.
Located at 3509 Fullerton (between St. Louis and Drake avenues) in Logan Square, Park & Field offers a fried chicken sandwich with Southern slaw and bread and butter pickles, as well as a seafood bucatini with shrimp, octopus and mussels. (View the menu here.)