Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending at this very moment? We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which Sacramento eateries have been getting outsized notice this month.
Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month compared to others in their same category.
Perhaps predictably, two out of three entries are new arrivals on the Sacramento food scene, still impressing (or failing to impress) a critical Yelp audience, but the last bistro enjoying a surge in popularity may just be tapping into its existing audience in a surprising way.
Read on to see which spots are are worth exploring this autumn.
The Other Side
With over a month of soft opening (as we reported) and a grand opening on August 25, this fast-casual beer bar and American eatery is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “American (Traditional)” on Yelp, which saw review counts increase by a median of 2.2 percent over the past four weeks.
By contrast, The Other Side saw a staggering 108.1 percent increase, maintaining a healthy four-star rating throughout. It far outpaced even the other outlier in the traditional American category: Orange Oven, which saw a 24.1 percent increase in reviews.
Located at 5090 Folsom Blvd. in East Sacramento, Track 7 Brewing Co.’s taphouse offers fare like its signature Panic IPA and Panic Fries with beer cheese, pork shoulder and pickled onions; rosemary-infused cheese curds; and the Double Take burger with a vegan patty and spicy remoulade.
With relatively little competition in the sparse Natomas brunch scene, the newly opened Huckleberry’s, a Southern-influenced breakfast and brunch spot, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While other businesses categorized as “Breakfast & Brunch” on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.5 percent over the past month, Huckleberry’s bagged a 59.6 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, although it wasn’t able to budge its mixed 3.5-star rating.
Open at 2580 Arena Blvd., Suite 100 since mid-July, Huckleberry’s offers New Orleans-style beignets — deep-fried dough fritters served with vanilla cream and huckleberry, peach and strawberry fruit toppings, as well as savory dishes like crab cakes Benedict or the Creole style catfish served over jambalaya rice.
Seafood House Quan Oc
Seafood House Quan Oc is also making waves. Open since January 2017, the Vietnamese eatery has seen a 25.4 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.8 percent for all seafood spots in town.
There’s more than one hotspot trending in Sacramento’s seafood category: dim sum destination Ming Dynasty, open since this spring, has seen a 14.1 percent increase in reviews.
Quan Oc, though it’s well-established and hasn’t received either positive or negative media coverage of note in this time frame, does have a secret weapon: a Yelp special which provides 10 percent off the total bill with a Yelp check-in.
The strategy seems to be working. The restaurant has seen its Yelp rating tick upward from four stars to 4.5 stars, presumably due to satisfied customers who might not have been motivated to leave a review otherwise.
If you want to see for yourself, you can find Quan Oc at 6471 Stockton Blvd., where it specializes in shellfish: from razor clams to oysters and obtuse horn shells (which are actually tiny snails), to whole crabs.