We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to uncover which eateries have been most discussed 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 on a hot streak this spring.
PHOTO: THE S./YELP
Open since November, this New American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw a median 2.2 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Onward saw a 61.3 percent increase, maintaining a strong 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Onward's review count increased by more than 210 percent.
It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Virtue Restaurant has seen a 34.3 percent increase in reviews.
Located at 6580 N. Sheridan Road (between Albion and Loyola avenues) in Rogers Park, Onward offers small plates like the blackened scallops with sweet potato, corn nuts and citrus and large plates like the Onward burger with smoked cheddar, bacon, onion and a sesame seed bun.
The Slab Bar-B-Que
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Jackson Park Highlands' The Slab Bar-B-Que, the spot to score barbecue and burgers is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Burgers" on Yelp saw a median 1.8 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, The Slab Bar-B-Que bagged a 34.3 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, with a slight upward trend from a 3.5-star rating a month ago to its current four stars. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 6.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
There's more that's trending on Chicago's burger scene: McDonald's Global Menu Restaurant has seen a 20.8 percent increase in reviews.
Open at 1918 E. 71st St. (between Euclid and Bennett avenues) since June, The Slab Bar-B-Que offers ribs, tips, hot links and chicken as well as homemade sides, including mac and cheese, potato salad and smoky baked beans.
Old Grounds Social
Photo: OLD GROUNDS SOCIAL/Yelp
Wrightwood Neighbors's Old Grounds Social is also making waves. Open since March of 2018 at 950 W. Wrightwood Ave. (between Sheffield and Lincoln avenues), the sports bar and traditional American spot has seen an 11.9 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.9 percent for all businesses tagged "American (Traditional)" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Old Grounds Social's review count increased by more than 330 percent.
Old Grounds Social offers comfort foods such as fried chicken nachos with Chihuahua cheese and Mexican crema; the El Carne pizza for meat lovers; and a grilled cheese made with truffles, Gruyere and arugula. Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed 3.5-star rating among Yelpers.
PHOTO: CLARE J./YELP
Streeterville's Carson's is the city's buzziest steakhouse by the numbers.
The steakhouse and traditional American spot, which offers barbecue and more and opened at 465 E. Illinois St. (between McClurg and Peshtigo courts) in 2017, increased its new review count by 12.2 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.4 percent for the Yelp category "Steakhouses."
Carson's offers favorites such as roasted Greek chicken, barbecue baby back ribs and chopped spare rib ends, all served with coleslaw and a choice of sides like roasted Greek potatoes, fries or fresh vegetables.
Photo: SIMON L./Yelp
Open since September, this brasserie and Mediterranean and French spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Mediterranean" on Yelp.
Citywide, businesses tagged "Mediterranean" saw a median 1.9 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Le Sud saw a 21.5 percent increase, maintaining a convincing 4.5-star rating throughout. It gained 6.0 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.
There's more than one place trending in Chicago's Mediterranean category: Sultan Kebab & Bakery has seen a 5.4 percent increase in reviews.
Located at 2301 W. Roscoe St. (between Claremont and Oakley avenues) in Roscoe Village, Le Sud's notable menu items include tuna tartare with mussel cream and radish served with bread; rabbit leg a la Provencal with nicoise olives and tomatoes; and fettuccini with mussels.
This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.