Want the scoop on Boston's most happening local spots?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to discover which restaurants have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at Boston 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. Then we analyzed foot traffic data from SafeGraph to validate the trends.
Read on to see which spots are riding a trend this winter.
Open since 2018, this New American and Colombian spot, which offers tapas and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw a median 0.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, but JPizle Kitchen saw a 50% increase, with a slight upward trend from a 3.5-star rating a month ago to four stars today. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis JPizle Kitchen's review count increased by more than 1,000%.
What's the business known for? According to its Yelp page: "Our menu has something to satisfy your cravings any time of day, from hearty breakfast classics to mouthwatering burgers and much more. We're committed to using fresh, quality ingredients for each dish."
Located at 536 Centre St. (between Goldsmith Place and Beaufort Road) in Jamaica Plain, JPizle Kitchen offers fish tacos, coleslaw burgers, dulce de leche waffles and more.
JPizle Kitchen is open from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m. daily.
Legal Sea Foods
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about downtown Boston's Legal Sea Foods, this outpost of the famous chain has been getting a lot more foot traffic lately.
While Legal Sea Foods stayed on par with the median 0.9% increase in new reviews businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp over the past month, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating, the number of visitors to Legal Sea Foods more than tripled over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
Open at 255 State St. (between Atlantic Ave and Long Wharf) since 2006, Legal Sea Foods serves up baked stuffed shrimp, seafood casserole and steamed lobsters. Clam chowder, crab cakes and calamari are also on offer.
Legal Sea Foods is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. According to SafeGraph, it usually gets busy at 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., and on Saturdays and Fridays, with a slowdown on Thursdays.
And finally, Chinatown's Stillwater is also making waves. Open since 2019 at 120 Kingston St. (between Avenue De Lafayette and Edinboro Street), the cocktail bar and comfort food spot has seen a 30.3% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.9% for all businesses tagged "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Boston's cocktail bar category: FiRE + iCE Grill + Bar has seen a 3% increase in reviews.
In terms of cocktails, try the 405, made with Aperol, vermouth and grapefruit, or the Thank U, Next, made with tequila, lime, orange and cucumber. For food, Stillwater offers light bites like charcuterie boards, deviled eggs and and everything bagel popcorn, as well as pulled pork sandwiches and spaghetti pomodoro. Over the past month, it's maintained a superior 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Stillwater is open from 11 a.m.–midnight on Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.