We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to uncover 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 increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.
Read on to see which spots are sizzling hot, right now.
Photo: BAR RAMONE/Yelp
Open since August 2018, this wine bar, which offers tapas and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Wine Bars" on Yelp.
Citywide, wine bars saw review counts increase by a median of 1.9 percent over the past month, but Bar Ramone saw a 44.1 percent increase, maintaining a healthy 4.5-star rating throughout.
Located at 441 N. Clark St. in Near North, Bar Ramone offers Spanish tapas and a wide selection of European wines. The menu features Spanish-style tomato bread with a variety of toppings, ham and cheese boards, pintxos (skewered bar snacks) and more. Try the spicy clam ceviche, the salmon with rice cracker and spicy mayo, or the pina colada beets with pineapple and pistachio. (View the menu here.)
The Hampton Social
Photo: MAGNUS H./Yelp
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Streeterville's The Hampton Social, the New American spot, which offers seafood and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.2 percent over the past month, The Hampton Social bagged a 46.9 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a sound four-star rating.
Open at 164 E. Grand Ave. since the fall of 2017, The Hampton Social offers brunch, lunch and dinner. Try the mushroom lover brick oven pizza with caramelized onion, arugula and truffle oil. Or opt for the crab and avocado toast with a fried egg and roasted tomato. (Check out the full menu here.)
Photo: TIM M./Yelp
Logan Square's Bixi Beer is currently on the upswing in the Asian fusion category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Asian Fusion" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 2 percent over the past month, this brew pub and Asian fusion spot increased its review count by 17.3 percent -- and kept its rating consistent at four stars.
Open for business at 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. since this past July, the Asian fusion brewpub offers a wide selection of appetizers and entrees for lunch and dinner, as well as dim sum and full plates for weekend brunch. One standout so far, according to Yelpers: the belt noodle soup, which comes vegan-style or with chicken or duck. (View the full menu here.)
Open since August, this German and Southern spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp.
Citywide, businesses tagged "Breakfast & Brunch" saw review counts increase by a median of 2.1 percent over the past month, but Funkenhausen saw a 27.5 percent increase, maintaining a convincing 4.5-star rating throughout.
There's more than one place trending in Chicago's breakfast and brunch category: Shore Club has seen a 12.8 percent increase in reviews, and 7 Plates Cafe has seen a 25.9 percent bump.
Located at 1709 W. Chicago Ave. in Ukrainian Village, Funkenhausen combines Bavarian and Southern flavors to create inventive brunch and dinner fare.
At brunch, look for Swedish pancakes with roasted apples and whipped cream; schnitzel with grits; and Oma's Breakfast, offering two eggs with a bratwurst, bacon, an everything bagel and crispy potatoes. And at dinner, there's hearty meat and seafood dishes, as well as fruit- and veggie-packed salads. (View the full menus here.)