Want the scoop on San Diego’s buzziest local spots?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to uncover which restaurants have been getting extra attention this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at San Diego 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 increased their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.
Read on to see which spots are closing the summer out strong.
Sign Of The Whale
Open since early June, this bar and New American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “Bars” on Yelp.
Citywide, bars saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Sign of the Whale saw a substantial 375% increase, with a slight downward trend from a 4.5-star rating a month ago to four stars today.
Located at 672 Fifth Ave. in the Gaslamp, the new eatery offers a twist on American comfort food, serving dishes like the whale burger, which includes applewood smoked bacon, gruyere, fried egg and truffle spread on an English muffin, and peppercorn-crusted New York strip steak. And be sure to go downstairs to check out The Brig, a former jail that’s now a nightclub.
Sign of the Whale is open from 11:00 a.m.–2 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.–2 a.m. on weekends.
International Smoke Del Mar
Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about Carmel Valley’s International Smoke Del Mar, the cocktail bar and New American spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as “American (New)” on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, International Smoke Del Mar bagged a massive 227.6% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating.
Open at 3387 Del Mar Heights Road, Bldg. 1, since June, International Smoke Del Mar offers appetizers like Thai crab and coconut soup, cornbread with Thai red curry butter and bacon bao buns. The menu also features wood-fired steak, seafood and ribs.
International Smoke Del Mar is open from 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.
Swami’s Cafe Del Sur
Black Mountain Ranch’s Swami’s Cafe Del Sur is the city’s buzziest cafe by the numbers.
The cafe, which opened at 16475 Paseo Del Sur, Suite 105 on July 21, increased its new review count by an impressive 466.7% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.9% for the Yelp category “Cafes.”
Swami’s Cafe Del Sur serves breakfast staples like pancakes, waffles and omelets, as well as lunch and dinner entrees, including black bean burritos, fish tacos and braised beef short ribs. Mexican mochas and hot chocolate are also on offer.
Swami’s Cafe Del Sur is open from 7 a.m.–9 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 7 a.m.–3 p.m. on Sunday.
Finally, Mira Mesa’s SomiSomi is on the upswing in the ice cream category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as “Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt” on Yelp saw a median 2.5% increase in new reviews over the past month, this ice cream spot increased its new reviews by a notable 308.3% — and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars.
Open for business at 9168 Mira Mesa Blvd. (between Rickert and Black Mountain roads) since July, SomiSomi features Korean-inspired soft serve served in bowls and topped with fish-shaped cakes. Flavors include matcha, coffee and black sesame.
SomiSomi is open from noon–11 p.m. daily.