Brunch and more: What's trending on Philadelphia's food scene?

James Restaurant & Bar. | Photo: John K./Yelp

Curious where Philadelphia's in-the-know crowd is eating and drinking? It's easy to spot lines out the door, but some underlying trends are harder to see.

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to uncover which local businesses have been most discussed this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Philadelphia 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 extra cool this winter.

Giuseppe & Sons

photo: melissa p./yelp

Open since November, this bar and Italian spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Bars" on Yelp.

Citywide, bars saw review counts increase by a median of 2.3 percent over the past month, but Giuseppe & Sons saw a significant 105.3 percent increase, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating throughout.

It's not the only trending outlier in the bar category: Oloroso has seen a 19.7 percent increase in reviews.

Located at 1523 Sansom St. in Rittenhouse, Giuseppe & Sons offers salads, sandwiches and Italian classics like linguine and clams and chicken Parmesan. Try the Sunday Gravy with spaghetti, sausage and meatballs.

James Restaurant & Bar

Photo: john k./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Logan Square's James Restaurant & Bar, the bar and traditional American and breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.5 percent over the past month, James Restaurant & Bar bagged a 12.5 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 7.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

Open at 1835 Arch St., James Restaurant & Bar offers traditional brunch and American dishes like potato-crusted salmon, pot pies and meatloaf. Gluten-free options are also available.


Photo: taylor s./Yelp

Washington Square's Libertine is also making waves. Open at 261 S. 13th St., the cocktail bar and New American spot has seen a 23.3 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.9 percent for all businesses tagged "American (New)" on Yelp.

There's more than one hotspot trending in Philadelphia's New American category: Sandler's On 9th has seen a 11.8 percent increase in reviews, and Friday Saturday Sunday and Mad Rex have seen 7.9 and 5.1 percent increases, respectively.

Libertine offers a variety of Italian staples and brunch options like the frittata with bacon, sweet potato, roasted peppers, oven dried tomato, Fontina and a salad. Over the past month, it's maintained a convincing 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
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