We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which restaurants have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.
To find out who made the list, we examined San Francisco restaurants 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 sizzling hot right now.
Barbara Pinseria & Cocktail Bar
Photo: Lydia C./Yelp
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Russian Hill's Barbara Pinseria & Cocktail Bar (431 Columbus Ave., between Vallejo and Green streets), the Italian eatery is gaining steam, according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.2 percent over the past month, Barbara bagged a 35.1 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a solid four-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month, gaining 2.2 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
From the team behind popular North Beach pizzeria Il Casaro, Barbara, which opened last September, specializes in pinsa, the Roman precursor to pizza, with a lighter, chewier crust.
Pinsa options range from a classic proscuitto and arugula to a veal carpaccio pie with burrata, arugula, and truffle oil. Pair them with cocktails like the Barbarella (bourbon, prickly pear, lime and balsamic vinegar), or just grab a slice at next-door Barbara Express.
There's also more that's trending on San Francisco's pizza scene: the Design District's Pizza Squared has seen a 25 percent increase in reviews.
Photo: Cherylynn N./Yelp
The Inner Richmond's Breadbelly is also making waves. Open since last December at 1408 Clement St. (between 15th and 16th avenues), the Asian-inspired bakery has seen a 55 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.4 percent for all businesses tagged "Bakeries" on Yelp.
At Breadbelly, chefs Katherine Campecino, Clement Hsu, and James Wong are whipping up both sweet and savory treats with an Asian flair, from classic char siu pork buns to a "not ube!" tart with purple sweet potato. Singaporean-style kaya toast and brown butter mochi are other popular items. Over the past month, the bakery has maintained an excellent 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth? The Argentum Project in SoMa is also trending, with a 28.6 percent increase in reviews this month.
Photo: P. E./Yelp
Is Russian Hill's Berber on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the North African supper club is getting plenty of attention. The project of Borhen Hammami and partner Tony Garnicky, it's been planned since last summer, as we reported then, and opened this December.
While businesses categorized as "Mediterranean" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.8 percent over the past month, Berber nabbed a 40.6 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining an impressive 4.5-star rating.
Located at 1516 Broadway St. (between Polk St. and United States Highway 101st.), Berber offers both a la carte meals and a supper club experience that includes a five-course prix fixe menu and entertainment: aerialists, acrobats, dancers, and live music. You can find the current list of menu offerings at its website.
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.