We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which local businesses have been on the tips of diners' tongues 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 riding a trend this spring.
Open since December of 2018, this Japanese spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Japanese" on Yelp.
Citywide, Japanese spots saw new reviews increase by a median of 2.5 percent over the past month, but RAMEN-SAN saw a 64.5 percent increase, maintaining a solid four-star rating throughout.
It's not the only trending outlier in the Japanese category: TOMI has seen a 28.2 percent increase in reviews.
Located at 165 E. Huron (between Michigan Avenue and St. Clair Street) in Streeterville, RAMEN-SAN offers an array of spicy Japanese noodle dishes, dumplings, chicken wings, Asahi beer and more. (Check out the menu here.)
Figo Wine Bar
PHOTO: PACO D./YELP
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Lakeview's Figo Wine Bar, the wine bar and Italian spot, which offers tapas and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Italian" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.5 percent over the past month, Figo Wine Bar bagged a 29.4 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a strong 4.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 5.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 3207 N. Sheffield Ave. (between School Street and Belmont Avenue) since January 2018, Figo Wine Bar offers hot dishes like grilled octopus and lamb chops; cold plates like charred beets and chicken liver mousse; and Italian pasta entrees such as tortellini, rigatoni and fettuccini. (Check out the full menu here.)
Photo: SARAH S./Yelp
Humboldt Park's Lucy's is also making waves. Open since April 2018 at 1043 N. California Ave. (between Thomas and Cortez streets), the traditional American spot has seen a 23.3 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 review counts increased by more than 500 percent.
Lucy's menu offers comfort food made from scratch, including burgers and sandwiches, french fries, milkshakes and ice cream. (View the full menu here.) Over the past month, it's maintained a solid four-star rating among Yelpers.
Photo: BRENT G./Yelp
Logan Square's Landbirds is the city's buzziest Asian fusion spot by the numbers.
The Asian fusion spot opened at 2532 N. California Ave. (between Logan Boulevard and Altgeld Street) since January, increased its review count by 28.8 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 2 percent for the Yelp category "Asian Fusion."
Landbirds offers Asianchicken wings, which can be ordered in a batch of six, by the dozen or a tray of 72, and come with topped with a homemade sauce and a side of white rice.
Bacon and Jam
Photo: SUSAN H./Yelp
Open since October 2017, this breakfast spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp.
Citywide, businesses tagged "Breakfast & Brunch" saw a median 1.9 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Bacon and Jam saw a 13.6 percent increase, maintaining a sound 4.5-star rating throughout. It gained 5.0 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.
Located at 3335 W. 111th St. (between Homan and Christiana avenues) in Mount Greenwood, Bacon and Jam offers French toast, egg dishes with waffles, made-to-order omelets, pancakes and crepes. (Check out the menu here.)
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.