We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which local businesses have been getting a significant increase in attention this month. From customizable frites to literary-inspired cocktails and wood-fired pizzas with unusual names.
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 winter.
Open since July, this traditional American and Belgian spot, which offers fast food 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 1.8 percent over the past month, but Friistyle saw a 16.7 percent increase, maintaining a superior four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 180 percent.
Located at 5059 S. Prairie (between 51st and 50th streets) in the Bronzeville, Friistyle offers offers customizable frites with a variety of toppings, including lamb, brisket and salmon.
Photo: Booth One/Yelp
The Gold Coast's Booth One is also making waves. Open since 2017 at 1301 N. State Parkway (between Banks and Goethe streets), the bar, steakhouse and New American spot has seen an 11.1 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.6 percent for all businesses tagged "Steakhouses" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 250 percent.
There's more than one hotspot trending in Chicago's steakhouse category: Mable's Table has seen a 6.2 percent increase in reviews.
Booth One's robust dinner options include the Maine lobster risotto, the prime cheeseburger twins and the Painted Hills filet mignon. Desserts range from Ms. Hsing's Wonderful Lemon Meringue Napoleon to the Original Cheesecake Circa 1954. Over the past month, it's maintained a sound four-star rating among Yelpers.
Coda Di Volpe
Photo: BRYN V./Yelp
Lakeview's Coda Di Volpe is the city's buzziest Italian spot by the numbers.
The Italian spot, which offers pizza and more and opened at 3335 N. Southport Ave. (between Roscoe and Henderson streets) in 2016, increased its review count by 6.2 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.4 percent for the Yelp category "Italian." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.2 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
It's not the only trending outlier in the Italian category: Pasta Bowl - Wicker Park has seen a 5.6 percent increase in reviews, and Gibsons Italia has seen a 4.4 percent bump.
Coda Di Volpe specializes in Southern Italian cuisine and offers small plates, antipasti, nine kinds of pizza, a chicory and persimmon salad with candied hazelnuts and main dishes like chicken diavola and roasted Branzino.
PHOTO: TAVI J./YELP
East Hyde Park's Bibliophile is currently on the upswing in the cocktail bar category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 3.2 percent over the past month, this cocktail bar, which offers desserts and more, increased its by 27 percent--and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 170 percent on a month-to-month basis.
There's more abuzz in the world of Chicago cocktail bars: Bounce Chicago has seen a 15.9 percent increase in reviews.
Open for business at 1644 E. 53rd St. (between Cornell Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard) since October, this gastropub specializes in alcohol-infused desserts like red wine cake, old fashioned cheesecake and boozy bread pudding. Literary-inspired cocktails run the gamut from Alice in Wonderland (Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Chai spice syrup, blood orange and lemon and thyme) to War and Peace (vodka, Tattersail Pommeau, cardamon shrub, ginger and lemon and cardamon bitters).
Paulie Gee's Logan Square
Photo: Tim M./Yelp
Is Logan Square's popular Paulie Gee's Logan Square on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the bar and vegan spot, which offers pizza and more, is getting plenty of attention.
While businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.3 percent over the past month, Paulie Gee's Logan Square nabbed a 4.2 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a sound four-star rating.
Located at 2451 N. Milwaukee Ave. (between Richmond Street and Sacramento Avenue), Paulie Gee's Logan Square offers wood-fired pizzas with unusual names, pizzas with vegan ingredients and gluten-free crusts and vegan desserts. Favorites include the Monte Cristo (mild gouda, sliced Canadian bacon and pure maple syrup drizzle) and the Prosciutto of Happiness (fig Jam, mozzarella, Gorgonzola, prosciutto and caramelized onions).