Want the intel on San Jose's most happening local spots?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which local businesses have been on the tips of diners' tongues this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at San Jose 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 on a hot streak, right now.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Open since November, this coffee and tea spot, an outpost of the famous chain, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp.
Citywide, coffee and tea spots saw a median 2% increase in new reviews over the past month. Blue Bottle Coffee only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses get reviews slowly, it has seen a surge.
"In our cafes, we fanatically taste each coffee to determine the precise days on which it will achieve peak flavor. Hayes Valley Espresso, for instance, really sings on days 4-7. We're now applying this precision to our whole beans, so you can experience our coffee at the absolute summit of deliciousness." — that's courtesy of its page on Yelp.
Located at 368 Santana Row, Suite 1020 in Winchester North, Blue Bottle Coffee offers everything from espresso, drip coffee, iced coffee, tea, sparkling water and season drinks. Check out the Hayes Valley espresso and the Ugandan brew.
Blue Bottle Coffee is open from 7 a.m.–9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 7 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about North Valley's Toby's Cafe, the breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp saw a median 1.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, Toby's Cafe bagged a 61.1% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a convincing four-star rating.
Regarding specialities, "We are a new breakfast/brunch cafe, and are family-owned and operated. We enjoy serving our community with delicious dishes to get their day started!" — that's courtesy of its Yelp page.
There's more that's trending on San Jose's breakfast and brunch scene: Sabores of The Valley has seen a 39.4% increase in reviews, and Tostadas and Voyager Craft Coffee have seen 12 and 9.5% increases, respectively.
Open at 1820 Alum Rock Ave. since October, Toby's Cafe serves pancakes, egg dishes and skillet plates, like the Toby's skillet with country potatoes, green and red peppers, pepper jack cheese and eggs any style for breakfast. Look for burgers, sandwiches and salad for lunch. Click here for the menu.
Toby's Cafe is open from 6:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. daily.
Downtown San Jose's Hapa Musubi is also making waves. Open since November at 200 S. First St., Unit 50, the Hawaiian and Japanese spot has seen a 45.5% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1% for all businesses tagged "Japanese" on Yelp.
Want more about the business's specialties in the words of the people behind it? "We serve a simple Hawaiian and Japanese influenced meal simply made of a type of protein, a block of rice and wrapped with seaweed. love note: We are a family owned business and take a lot of pride in our food. All these musubis are hand wrapped individually, which takes a lot of prep time and work." — that's from its its Yelp page.
There's more than one hot spot trending in San Jose's Japanese category: Sizzling Lunch has seen a 17.8% increase in reviews, and Koja Kitchen and Miyabitei Japanese Restaurant have seen 3.6 and 1.5% increases, respectively.
The menu at Hapa Musubi includes musubis, which are sushi rice wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with fruit, vegetables, eggs, bacon, chicken teriyaki and more. Over the past month, it's maintained a superior 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Hapa Musubi is open from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on Monday-Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)
East San Jose's Denny's, a member of the popular chain, is the city's buzziest traditional American spot by the numbers.
The well-established diner and traditional American and breakfast and brunch spot, which opened at 2401 Lanai Ave. in 2008, saw a 1.1% increase in new reviews over the last month — matching that of all businesses for the Yelp business category "American (Traditional)" — but experienced a 9% increase in visits over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
Interested in more about this business? We found this in its Yelp history section: "Denny's is America's Diner where guests have come for over 60 years to relax and enjoy good, hearty meals at reasonable prices. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Denny's restaurants serve classic breakfast around the clock as well as craveable salads, hand-pressed burgers and homestyle dinners."
It's not the only trending outlier in the traditional American category: Chili's has seen a 3.5% increase in reviews.
At Denny's, grab the Lumberjack Slam, which comes with buttermilk pancakes, grilled ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns and toast, and the slow-cooked pot roast, which contains sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions and pork covered in gravy. Wash it all down with a vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cake batter or peanut butter banana milkshake. Click here to view the menu.
Denny's is open 24 hours a day.