Are these trending Washington restaurants on your radar?

Photo: Circa/Yelp

Wondering where Washington'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 deduce which restaurants have been on the tips of diners' tongues this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Washington 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 hot, right now.

Firehook Bakery

Photo: Angel L./Yelp

Capitol Hill's Firehook Bakery is making waves. Established in 1992, the bakery and breakfast and brunch spot at 215 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (between South Independence Avenue and South Second Street), has seen a 7.7% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2% for all businesses tagged "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, Firehook Bakery's review count increased by more than 1,000%.

Another spot trending in Washington's breakfast and brunch category is Toastique, which has seen an 8.6% increase in reviews.

Firehook Bakery offers spinach and feta croissants, quiche of the day, lentil and walnut salad, a variety of sandwiches and baked goods that include muffins, cupcakes, danish, scones and artisan breads. Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating improve from 3.5 stars to four stars.


Photo: Steven P./Yelp

Sfoglina is the city's buzziest Italian spot by the numbers.

The Italian restaurant, which opened in 2018 at 1099 New York Ave. NW (between North 10th and North I streets), increased its new review count by 12.5% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.9% for the Yelp category "Italian." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.8 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

Sfoglina  features pasta made in the traditional hand-rolled method, with classic dishes and regional specialties, such as Roman buscatini noodles with sheep's milk pecorino cheese and tagliatelle with heirloom tomatoes, as well as veal cutlet and octopus. 



Chinatown's well-established &pizza is currently on the upswing in the pizza category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp saw a median 1.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, this pizza spot increased its new reviews by 8.3% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 280% on a month-to-month basis.

The restaurant chain opened in 2016 at 705 H St. NW (between North Seventh and North Eighth streets). It offers make-your-own pizzas. Or choose from favorites, such as tomato and mozzarella cheese with salami and pineapple and garlic ricotta with basil pesto.

Finn McCool's

Photo: alaura E./Yelp

Open since 2016, this sports bar, beer bar and traditional American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (Traditional)" on Yelp.

Citywide, businesses tagged "American (Traditional)" saw a median 1.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Finn McCool's saw a 4.5% increase, maintaining a mixed three-star rating throughout. It gained 3.3 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.

Located at 713 Eighth St. SE (between South I and South G streets) in Capitol Hill, Finn McCool's offers grilled steak sandwiches, fried chicken, burgers, salads and more.


Photo: circa/Yelp

Is Circa in Chinatown on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the New American spot is getting plenty of attention.

While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp increased their median new review count by 2.1% over the past month, the eatery nabbed a 5.3% increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a healthy 4.5-star rating.

Located at 781 Seventh St. NW (between North H and North G streets), the bistro offers lobster ravioli, tuna poke nachos, braised short ribs, jambalaya, salads, flatbreads and more.

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.