Wondering where Chicago’s in-the-know crowd is eating and drinking? It’s easy to spot lines out the door, but some underlying trends are harder to see.
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to discover which eateries have been in the limelight 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 closing the year out strong.
Cracked On Milwaukee
Open since October, this breakfast and brunch spot, which offers coffee and tea, burgers and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “Breakfast & Brunch” on Yelp.
Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Cracked on Milwaukee saw a substantial 260% increase, with a slight downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to 4.5 stars today.
Located at 1359 N. Milwaukee Ave. (between Wood Street and Wolcott Avenue) in Wicker Park, Cracked on Milwaukee offers grilled cheese, breakfast sandwiches and tomato soup.
Cracked on Milwaukee is open from 8 a.m.–3 a.m. on Tuesday-Sunday. (It’s closed on Monday.)
Farm Bar Edgewater
Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about Edgewater Beach’s Farm Bar Edgewater, the bar and New American spot, which offers burgers and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as “American (New)” on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, Farm Bar Edgewater bagged a 43.5% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.5 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 1133 W. Granville Ave. (between Broadway Street) since June, Farm Bar Edgewater offers salads, flatbread and cheese curds.
Farm Bar Edgewater is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.
Pinched on the River
Streeterville’s Pinched on the River is also making waves. Open since August at 443 E. Illinois St., the bar and Mediterranean spot has seen a 56.7% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.5% for all businesses tagged “Bars” on Yelp.
Pinched on the River offers chicken shawarma, beignets and frozen drinks. Over the past month, it’s maintained a healthy 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Pinched on the River is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.
D Cuisine is the city’s buzziest seafood spot by the numbers.
The well-established Cantonese spot, which offers dim sum and seafood and opened at 2723 N. Clark St. (between Broadway Street and Schubert Avenue) in June, increased its new review count by 16.9% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.5% for the Yelp category “Seafood.”
It’s not the only trending outlier in the seafood category: Grandee Cuisine has seen an 8.1% increase in reviews.
D Cuisine offers shrimp rolls, shrimp dumplings and deep-fried sesame balls.
D Cuisine is open from 8 a.m.–11 p.m. daily.
West Town’s Kinton Ramen is currently on the upswing in the ramen category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as “Ramen” on Yelp saw a median 2.4% increase in new reviews over the past month, this ramen spot increased its new reviews by 16.2% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars.
There’s more abuzz in the world of Chicago ramen: Furious Spoon Lakeview has seen a 5% increase in reviews.
Open for business at 163 N. Sangamon St. (between Randolph and Adams streets) since May, Kinton Ramen offers noodles, tapas and desserts.
Kinton Ramen is open from 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily.