Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending at this very moment?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which eateries have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at San Diego 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 extra cool this winter.
Happy Lemon Del Mar
Open since early December, this spot to score bubble tea, juices, smoothies, coffee and tea is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp.
Citywide, such spots saw a median 2% increase in new reviews over the past month. Happy Lemon Del Mar only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.
Interested? Here's more about the business from its Yelp history section: "Happy Lemon, established in 2006 has dedicated itself to make the best boba drinks in the world. The franchise has overwhelming success across the global, with locations in mainland China, Australia, Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and of course, the United States. We use the best quality tea combined with fresh lemons to produce the perfect line of drinks for our customers. Enjoy!"
What does the business focus on? "In our largest store yet, we're serving up traditional bubble teas, citrus-packed lemon teas, and of course, our famously frothy rock salt cream toppings. Just one taste, and you'll understand why customers are sipping our drinks at over 1,000 locations worldwide — this tea is unique, healthy, and downright delicious." — that's according to its page on Yelp.
Located at 12925 El Camino Real, Suite AA2 (between Carmel Valley Road and Elijah Court) in Carmel Valley, Happy Lemon Del Mar is open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday-Saturday.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about University City's Head Lettuce, the spot to score salads and wraps is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Salad" on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, Head Lettuce appeared on Yelp relatively recently. Many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, but it has seen a surge of interest.
Open at 4150 Regents Park Row, Suite 175, since early December, Head Lettuce's eight centerpiece salads include crispy chicken Cobb, ramen crunch at Tijuana Caesar.
Head Lettuce is open from 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.
Hillcrest's Ramen Ryoma is the city's buzziest ramen spot by the numbers.
The tapas bar and izakaya, which offers hand-massaged ramen noodle dishes and more, opened at 815 University Ave. (between Falcon and Goldfinch streets) in early December. While it's still relatively new to Yelp, it has seen a surge of new reviews. Meanwhile, the median new review count for the Yelp category "Ramen" was up 1.8% over the past month.
Ramen Ryoma is open from 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.
Mikami Revolving Sushi & Bar
Kearny Mesa's Mikami Revolving Sushi & Bar is currently on the upswing in the sushi bar category on Yelp.
While businesses of that type saw a median 1.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, this sushi bar increased its new reviews by 53.1% — and kept its rating consistent at 3.5 stars.
Open for business at 7319 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. since early November, Mikami Revolving Sushi & Bar takes patron orders via touchpads at the tables and delivers them via a conveyor belt that runs throughout the dining area.
Mikami Revolving Sushi & Bar is open from 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.