Want the scoop on San Francisco’s buzziest local spots?
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 eateries have been in the limelight this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at San Francisco 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 getting plenty of attention this winter.
Open since November, this cocktail bar and Indian spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “Cocktail Bars” on Yelp.
Citywide, cocktail bars saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month. Bhoga only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.
It’s not the only trending outlier in the cocktail bar category: Wildseed has seen a 33.3% increase in reviews.
Located at 468 Castro Sreet in the Castro, Bhoga offers plates like tandoori paneer, which includes cottage cheese, Brussels sprouts, squash and cilantro chutney; palak paneer with cumin chili spinach and cottage cheese; and coconut prawns, which come with jumbo prawns, curry leaves and cumin coconut sauce. Make sure to add a side of naan.
Bhoga is open from 4 p.m.–10:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 4 p.m.–11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (It’s closed on Tuesday.)
Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about the Western Addition’s YH-Beijing, the Chinese spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as “Chinese” on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, YH-Beijing appeared on Yelp relatively recently. Many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, but it has seen a surge of interest.
Open at 500 Haight St. (between Steiner and Fillmore streets) since December, YH-Beijing features a menu of dim sum and noodle and rice plates. Check out the West Lake beef soup, the sweet and sour pork, the honey walnut prawns and the seafood combo with sizzling rice.
YH-Beijing is open from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on weekends
The Financial District’s Sunshine Cafe is also making waves. Open since November at 100 Bush St., Suite 110 (between Battery and Sansome streets), the spot to score doughnuts and coffee and tea is relatively new to Yelp, but has seen a surge of new reviews, while all businesses tagged “Coffee & Tea” on Yelp saw an increase of 1.6% for new reviews in the past month.
The menu at Sunshine Cafe includes hand-crafted specialty doughnuts. Look for the peanut butter and peanut-brittle filled doughnut; the maple, bacon and bourbon doughnut; and the mochi mini doughnuts. When it comes to coffee, there is drip, cafe au lait, cold brew and cold fashioned options.
Over the past month, it’s maintained an outstanding five-star rating among Yelpers.
Sunshine Cafe is open from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. on weekdays. (It’s closed on weekends.)
Lower Nob Hill’s The Thonglor is currently on the upswing in the Thai category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as “Thai” on Yelp saw a median 1.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, this Thai spot increased its new reviews by 30.6% — with its Yelp rating declining slightly from 4.5 stars to four stars. Review counts increased by more than 280% on a month-to-month basis, and visits to The Thonglor increased by 46% over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph’s foot traffic data.
Open for business at 420 Geary St. (between Mason Street) since the fall of 2018, The Thonglor provides stir-fried noodles, fried rice, curries, salads, noodle soups and entrees such as pad gra-tiam, which contains a choice of chicken, beef or pork sauteed with garlic and black pepper.
The Thonglor is open from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 4 p.m.–11 p.m. on Monday and Friday and 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 4 p.m.–10:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays, so go on Mondays if you want to avoid the rush.