Unsure where Seattle'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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to deduce which local businesses have been on the tips of diners' tongues this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at Seattle 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 extra cool this winter.
Old Stove Brewing
Open since 2018, this well-established brew pub, which offers seafood, burgers and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, seafood spots saw a median 0.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Old Stove Brewing saw a 3% increase, maintaining a sound four-star rating throughout. According to SafeGraph foot traffic data, the number of visitors to Old Stove Brewing more than tripled over the past month.
Located at 1901 Western Ave., Suite A (between Pike Place and Virginia Street) in Pike Market, Old Stove Brewing offers fish and chips, salmon and crab BLT sandwiches, clam and bacon chowder and more.
Old Stove Brewing 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.–10 p.m. on Sunday. According to SafeGraph, it usually gets busy at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and on Saturdays and Fridays, with a slowdown on Tuesdays.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Belltown's Deep Dive, the well-established speakeasy and cocktail bar is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp saw a median 1.5% increase in new reviews over the past month, Deep Dive bagged a 5.5% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a healthy four-star rating. As for foot traffic, Deep Dive saw visits more than triple in the past month, according to SafeGraph data.
There's more that's trending on Seattle's cocktail bar scene: Zig Zag Cafe has seen a 0.4% increase in reviews, and Bathtub Gin & Co and Kin Len Thai Night Bites have seen 1.1 and 29.4% increases, respectively.
Open at 620 Lenora St. (between 7th Ave and Sixth Avenue) since 2018, Deep Dive offers cocktails, wine, beer and hard cider paired with small bites like baked oysters, cheese plates, smoked mussel toast and more.
Deep Dive is open from 4 p.m.–10 p.m. on Monday and Sunday and 4 p.m.–midnight on Tuesday-Saturday. According to SafeGraph, it's usually busiest on Fridays and Wednesdays, and it attracts a quarter of its total visitors over those two days, with a slowdown on Sundays.
Starbucks, a franchise of the famous chain, is also making waves. Open for more than a decade at 2401 Utah Ave. South (between Lander and Stacy streets), the well-established coffee and tea spot has seen a 1.8% increase in new reviews over the last month — matching that of all businesses tagged "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp — but the number of visitors to Starbucks more than tripled over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Seattle's coffee and tea category: The Admiral Bird has seen a 3.2% increase in reviews, and Yellow Dot Cafe and Celine Patisserie have seen 1.2 and 2.3% increases, respectively.
Starbucks offers espresso drinks and brewed coffee as well as seasonal offerings like gingerbread lattes and peppermint mochas. Over the past month, it's maintained a superior four-star rating among Yelpers.
Starbucks is open from 6 a.m.–9 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m.–7 p.m. on weekends. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Mondays, so go on Saturdays if you want to avoid the rush.
Ballard's Watson's Counter is the city's buzziest breakfast and brunch spot by the numbers.
The well-established Korean breakfast and brunch spot, which offers coffee, tea and more opened at 6201 15th Ave. NW (between 62nd and 63rd streets) in March; it increased its new review count by 9.8% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.1% for the Yelp category "Breakfast & Brunch."
Watson's Counter offers breakfast items like chicken and waffles, eggs Benedict with pork belly, cereal French toast, Korean poutine and more.
Watson's Counter is open from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. daily.
Fremont's well-established SWeL Restaurant is currently on the upswing in the New American category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp saw a median 1% increase in new reviews over the past month, this New American spot increased its new reviews by 3.8% — and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars. Review counts increased by more than 250% on a month-to-month basis.
There's more abuzz in the world of Seattle New American: Dahlia Lounge has seen a 0.2% increase in reviews.
Open for business at 3417 Evanston Ave. North, Suite 104 (between 35th and 34th streets) since 2017, SWeL Restaurant offers pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, cocktails, wine and more.
SWeL Restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.