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#Trending: What's heating up Washington's food scene this month

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

As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, 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 discover which eateries have been most discussed this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Washington 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 sizzling hot, right now.


Open since July, this Italian spot, which offers tapas and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as 'Italian' on Yelp.

Citywide, Italian spots saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Retrobottega saw a substantial 188.9% increase, maintaining an outstanding five-star rating throughout.

It's not the only trending outlier in the Italian category: Cafe Romeo's has seen a 1.1% increase in reviews.

Located at 2435 18th St. NW in Adams Morgan, Retrobottega offers menu items such as gnocchi mushrooms, pappardelle broccoli and sausage and chicken parmigiana.

Retrobottega is open from 5–11 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday, 5 p.m.–midnight on Thursday-Saturday and 5–10 p.m. on Sunday.

Lucky Buns

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Adams Morgan's Lucky Buns, the popular bar and New American spot, which offers burgers and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as 'American (New)' on Yelp saw a median 1.4% increase in new reviews over the past month, Lucky Buns bagged a 7.5% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a convincing four-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 4.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

There's more that's trending on Washington's New American scene: St. Anselm has seen an 8.4% increase in reviews, and Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse and CIRCA at Chinatown have seen 3.2 and 6.8% increases, respectively.

Open at 2000 18th St. NW since 2017, Lucky Buns offers menu items such as burgers, tandoori chicken sandwiches and Thai cucumber salad.

Lucky Buns is open from 5 p.m.–1 a.m. on Monday, 5 p.m.–1:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 p.m.–2 a.m. on Thursday, 5 p.m.–3 a.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.–3 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.–1 a.m. on Sunday.


Brookland's Primrose is also making waves. Open since 2017 at 3000 12th St. NE, the bar and French spot, which offers comfort food and more, has seen an 8.8% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.2% for all businesses tagged 'Bars' on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Primrose's review count increased by more than 200%.

Primrose offers menu items such as vegetable tartine, moules frites and pork tenderloin. Over the past month, it's maintained a strong four-star rating among Yelpers.

Primrose is open from 5:30–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 5:30–11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Rare Steakhouse

Downtown Washington's Rare Steakhouse is the city's buzziest traditional American spot by the numbers.

The popular steakhouse and traditional American spot, which offers seafood and more and opened at 1595 I St. NW in 2017, increased its new review count by 6.6% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.3% for the Yelp category 'American (Traditional).' It outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.8 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

Rare Steakhouse specializes in dry-aged steaks. 

Rare Steakhouse is open from 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on weekdays, 5–10:30 p.m. on Saturday and 5–9 p.m. on Sunday.

The Smith

The U Street Corridor's well-established The Smith is currently on the upswing in the breakfast and brunch category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as 'Breakfast & Brunch' on Yelp saw a median 1.7% increase in new reviews over the past month, this cocktail bar and New American breakfast and brunch spot increased its new reviews by 6.4% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars.

Open for business at 1314 U St. NW since 2018, The Smith offers menu items such as mussels, vegetable bibimbap and shrimp and grits.

The Smith is open from noon–10 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday, noon–11 p.m. on Thursday, noon–midnight on Friday, 11 a.m.–midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.