Matcha and more: what's trending in San Francisco's food scene?

Matcha and more: what's trending in San Francisco's food scene?

July 10, 2018

As fans of cronuts, cake pops and baked potato bars can attest, food trends come and go. But how can you tell which tastes are trending right now?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which restaurants are on the tips of diners' tongues 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. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month.

Read on to see what spots are extra hot this summer.


Sakesan Sushi & Robata

Open since April, this sushi spot, a spin-off of Clement Street's Sakesan Sushi & Bistro, is trending compared to other restaurants categorized as "Japanese" on Yelp.

Citywide, Japanese restaurants saw review counts increase by a median of 2.8 percent over the past month, but Sakesan Sushi & Robata saw a whopping 103.1 percent increase, with a slight downward trend from a 4.5-star rating a month ago to four stars today.

Located at 1400 Ocean Ave. in Westwood Park, Sakesan offers a wide range of dishes, from chicken karaage to chirashi don, beef curry and an array of sushi options—plus $1 oysters and a happy hour menu.

Bake Cheese Tart

If you haven't seen the lines at the Westfield Centre for yourself, there's data to show that Bake Cheese Tart is indeed offering the trendiest treat in town.

Open since May 4, the Japanese import has gotten plenty of buzz, and its review count is no exception.

While businesses categorized as "dessert" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.3 percent over the past month, Bake Cheese Tart bagged a 85.3 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating throughout.

Che Fico

Divisadero restaurant Che Fico is making waves in San Francisco's crowded Italian food landscape. 

Open since March 28 at 838 Divisadero St. (between Mcallister and Fulton), the eatery has seen positive reviews from the likes of Eater SF and the Chronicle, along with celebrity guests like Anderson Cooper and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Compared to a median review increase of 1.8 percent for "Italian" restaurants on Yelp over the last month, Che Fico has seen a 45.2 percent bump in reviews and maintained a four-star rating among Yelpers.


Cow Hollow's Toasty is the city's buzziest "breakfast and brunch" spot by the numbers. 

The cafe, which opened at 2760 Octavia St. (between Union and Green streets) in October 2017, increased its review count by 28.3 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.7 percent for the Yelp category "breakfast and brunch."

It's unclear what's driving the trend, but outdoor seating and summery, healthful menu options may be behind Toasty's buzz.

Stonemill Matcha

Japanese-inflected flavors continue to rule the roost when it comes to local food trends, with the Mission's Stonemill Matcha carrying the cafe category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "cafe" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 1.5 percent over the past month, Stonemill Matcha increased its by an impressive 153 percent—and kept its rating consistent at four stars.

Open for business at 561 Valencia St. since May 12, Stonemill leans into the trendy, vibrantly hued green tea powder with matcha lattes, matcha affogatos, matcha cream puffs and more. A selection of savory options like pork katsu sandwiches and matchazuke salmon rice bowls round out the menu.

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