We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which eateries have been most discussed this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at San Jose 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 increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.
Read on to see which spots are riding a trend this winter.
Photo: Amy Y./Yelp
Open since November 2017, this popular sushi bar is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Sushi Bars" on Yelp.
Citywide, sushi bars saw review counts increase by a median of 1.4 percent over the past month, but Sushi Arashi saw a 9.4 percent increase, with a slight upward trend from a four-star rating a month ago to 4.5 stars today. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 240 percent.
Located at 1181 Lincoln Ave. in North Willow Glen, Sushi Arashi offers the full range of Japanese cuisine, from noodle soups like ramen and udon to entrees like salmon teriyaki, but the main focus is sushi, with both nigiri and rolls available.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Blossom Valley's Sharetea, the outlet of the large Taiwan-based bubble tea chain is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 4.3 percent over the past month, Sharetea bagged an 11.8 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 11.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 5627 Cottle Road since July 2017, Sharetea offers an array of milk, brewed and fruit teas, along with blended ice drinks and a handful of custard-based desserts.
Mesquite and Oak
Photo: John D./Yelp
Northside's Mesquite and Oak is also making waves. Open since January 2018 at 856 N. 13th St., the traditional American spot, which offers barbecue and sandwiches, has seen a 9 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.5 percent for all businesses tagged "American (Traditional)" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 170 percent.
There's more than one hotspot trending in San Jose's traditional American category: Bill's Cafe has seen a 7 percent increase in reviews.
Mesquite and Oak offers house-smoked Texas-style barbecue, served straight up, as part of a sandwich, or with eggs for breakfast. Over the past month, it's maintained a strong 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Photo: Thuy N./Yelp
Finally, East San Jose's SJ Crawfish is the city's buzziest seafood spot by the numbers. It offers boiled crawfish and other seafood by the pound, in seasonings that range from the garlic butter-based house specialty to tamarind or pineapple flavors.
The Cajun spot opened at 393 N. Capitol Ave. in 2016, increased its review count by 9.6 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.6 percent for the Yelp category "Seafood."
It's not the only trending outlier in the seafood category: Pho Viet has seen a 3.6 percent increase in reviews.