As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending right this minute?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to discover which eateries have been most discussed this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at Chicago 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 this winter.
Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Open since November, this wine tasting room, wine bar and New American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month. Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.
Located at 58 E. Oak St. (between United States Highway 41 and Rush streets) in the Gold Coast, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant offers burgers, soup and desserts.
Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant is open from 11 a.m.–midnight on Monday- Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Loop's Furious Spoon is also making waves. Open since January at 205 W. Wacker Drive (between Post Place and Adams Street), the ramen spot has seen a 43.5% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.6% for all businesses tagged "Ramen" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Furious Spoon's review count increased by more than 330%.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Chicago's ramen category: Furious Spoon has seen a 7.7% increase in reviews.
Furious Spoon offers dumplings and vegan ramen. Over the past month, it's maintained a convincing four-star rating among Yelpers.
Furious Spoon is open from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on weekdays. (It's closed on weekends.)
The Near North's popular Vapiano is currently on the upswing in the Italian category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Italian" on Yelp saw a median 1.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, this cafeteria and Italian spot increased its new reviews by 7.2% — with its Yelp rating declining slightly from four stars to 3.5 stars. Review counts increased by more than 200% on a month-to-month basis.
Want more about the business's specialties in the words of the people behind it? "We make our pasta and pizza dough in house, every day. All our drawings and sauces are homemade and even our Dolci are made daily fresh in house. We shop local and do not use any preservatives." — that's from its Yelp page.
Open for business at 58 E. Ontario St. (between Fairbanks and Mc Clurg courts) since October 2019, Vapiano offers bruschetta, scampi and chicken alfredo.
Vapiano is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily.