What's trending on Seattle's food scene?

Samara | Photo: Nicole K./Yelp

Wondering 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 analyze which eateries have been getting a noteworthy increase in attention 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 worth exploring, right now.

Lady Jaye

photo: nelson l./yelp

Open since September, this smokehouse, cocktail 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% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Lady Jaye saw a 44.4% increase, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Lady Jaye's review count increased by more than 170%.

It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Eight Row has seen a 21.2% increase in reviews, and Le Coin and SWeL Restaurant have seen 6.9 and 4.8% increases, respectively.

Located at 4523 California Ave. SW (between Alaska and Oregon streets) in West Seattle, Lady Jaye offers burgers, mac and cheese, fried chicken wings, pork and beans, cocktails, draft beer and more. 

Lady Jaye is open from 3 p.m.–midnight on weekdays and 10 a.m.–midnight on weekends.

Samara

photo: l a./yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Ballard's Samara, the New American spot, which offers seafood and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp saw a median 0.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, Samara bagged a 4.5% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a convincing four-star rating. As for foot traffic, visits to Samara increased by more than 50% in the past month, according to SafeGraph data.

There's more that's trending on Seattle's seafood scene: Old Stove Brewing has seen a 4.2% increase in reviews, and Mr Lu's Burgers & Seafood and Taylor Shellfish Farms - Seattle have seen 0.9 and 0.5% increases, respectively.

Open at 6414 32nd Ave. NW (between 64th Street) since February 2019, Samara offers seafood dishes like oysters, almond-crusted halibut, oven-roasted cod and more. The menu also features desserts like the dark chocolate torte with burnt marshmallow and cinnamon honey crunch and the artisan cheese, served with local honey, nuts and fruit.

Samara is open from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. on Wednesday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday and Tuesday.) According to SafeGraph, it usually gets busy at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and on Saturdays and Fridays, with a slowdown on Wednesdays.

Menya Musashi Tsukemen & Ramen

Photo: Menya Musashi Tsukemen & Ramen/Yelp

Capitol Hill's Menya Musashi Tsukemen & Ramen is also making waves. Open since November 2018 at 1510 Belmont Ave. (between Pike and Pine streets), the popular spot to score ramen and noodles has seen a 5.4% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.3% for all businesses tagged "Noodles" on Yelp.

There's more than one hot spot trending in Seattle's noodle category: Ping's Dumpling House has seen a 3% increase in reviews, and Qin Xi'an Noodles and New Leaf Bistro have seen 4.9 and 1.2% increases, respectively.

Menya Musashi Tsukemen & Ramen offers a variety of ramen dishes, as well as pork katsu, edamame and veggie gyoza. Over the past month, it's maintained a solid four-star rating among Yelpers.

Menya Musashi Tsukemen & Ramen is open from 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.

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.