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From Modern Italian To Mexican Brunch: Trends In San Francisco's Food Scene

By Hoodline

SAN FRANCISCO -- Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending right now? In San Francisco, two of fall's most successful new restaurants are on our radar, along with two well-established veterans.

We took a data-driven look at the question of buzz, using Yelp to uncover which eateries have been most discussed this month. To find out who made the list, we looked at San Francisco businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received as a percentage increase over the past month.

We 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 getting plenty of attention, right now.


Open just since October in the former space of Hog & Rocks, this upscale Italian establishment is trending compared to other Italian restaurants on Yelp. Citywide, such spots saw review counts increase by a median of 1.2 percent over the past month, but Prairie saw a 47.2 percent increase, maintaining a convincing four-star rating throughout.

Located at 3431 19th St. (between San Carlos and Mission streets) in the Mission, Prairie offers Modern Italian cuisine like gulf shrimp and burrata tortellini with Calabrian chili and celery soffritto; or buttered tagliatelle with cutting board sugo and red cow parmigiano.

Chef Anthony Strong's buzzy first solo outing has received favorable writeups in the San Francisco Chronicle, Eater SF and elsewhere. It's also not the only trending outlier in the Italian category: Doppio Zero has seen a 29.9 percent increase in reviews.


Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Lakeside's Mexican-inflected breakfast and brunch spot Lucho's, the new restaurant has been a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While other places serving breakfast and brunch increased their review counts by a median of 1.4 percent over the past month, Lucho's bagged a 40 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating.

Open at 2675 Ocean Ave. (between 19th Avenue and Lagunitas Drive) since October, Lucho's offers a popular version of eggs Benedict topped with Hollandaise and cochinita pibil — the house signature pulled pork, which also makes appearances in its eponymous breakfast platter.


Lower Pac Heights's Limoncello is the city's buzziest sandwich spot by the numbers. It's retained a stellar five-star rating even as review counts have climbed by 41.7 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 2.2 percent for the Yelp category "Sandwiches."

The well-established deli, which has offered its classic Italian sandwiches, cheese and wine at 1400 Sutter St. since December 2016, also has a selection of imported Italian groceries like olive oil, truffle butter and duck mousse

Nara Restaurant & Sake Bar

Is the Lower Haight's well-established Nara Restaurant & Sake Bar on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the Haight Street sushi bar is getting plenty of attention — perhaps for a deal offering a free hot sake with a Yelp check-in.

While businesses categorized as "Sushi Bars" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2 percent over the past month, Nara Restaurant & Sake Bar nabbed a 27.9 percent increase in month-over-month reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a solid 4.5-star rating.

Located at 518 Haight St. (between Steiner and Fillmore streets), Nara offers a popular omakase sashimi platter as well as fusion choices like the hamachi truffle: seared yellowtail topped with jalapeño, cilantro and crunch in a truffle oil ponzu sauce. It's been in operation at the Haight Street location since February 2015, and also has a previous Polk Street location.

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