With the hood

Want to get the info on the liveliest places in San Francisco?

We used Yelp and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial attractions and visitor patterns, to research the question to see which restaurants were in the spotlight this month.

To find out who made the list, we first looked at the San Francisco businesses by category on Yelp and counted how many reviews they received. Instead of just comparing them based on the number of reviews, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month and tracked companies that have continuously increased their review volume to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance. We then analyzed SafeGraph’s pedestrian traffic data to validate the trends.

Read on to see which spots are getting a lot of attention this winter.


This November cocktail bar and Indian spot are trending compared to other companies listed as “Cocktail Bars” on Yelp.

The city’s cocktail bars saw their new ratings rise an average of 1.3% over the past month. Bhoga only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses are struggling to get reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.

It’s not the only outlier in the cocktail bar category: Wildseed saw ratings jump 33.3%.

Located at 468 Castro Sreet in the Castro, Bhoga offers dishes such as tandoori paneer, including cottage cheese, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, and coriander chutney. Palak paneer with cumin-chilli-spinach and cottage cheese; and coconut prawns, which come with king prawns, curry leaves and cumin-coconut sauce. Make sure you add a side of naan.

Bhoga is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (It’s closed on Tuesday.)


Whether or not you’ve heard of Western Addition’s YH-Beijing, the Chinese spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While companies rated “Chinese” on Yelp saw their new reviews rise an average of 1.3% last month, YH-Beijing appeared on Yelp relatively recently. Many new businesses are struggling to get reviews, but interest has increased.

The YH-Beijing has been open at 500 Haight St. (between Steiner and Fillmore Streets) since December and offers a menu of dim sum as well as noodle and rice platters. Check out the West Lake beef soup, sweet and sour pork, honey and walnut prawns, and the seafood combo with sizzling rice.

YH-Beijing is open on weekdays from 11am to 3pm and from 4.30pm to 9.30pm and on weekends from 11am to 9.30pm

Sunshine Cafe

The financial district’s Sunshine Cafe is also making waves. Yelp has been open at 100 Bush St., Suite 110 (between Battery and Sansome Streets) since November. The place to sell donuts and coffee and tea is relatively new to Yelp, but it has received numerous new reviews, while the Coffee & Tea tag on Yelp all saw a 1.6% increase for the past month new reviews.

The menu at the Sunshine Cafe includes handcrafted donut specialties. Look for the peanut butter and the peanut filled donut. the maple, bacon, and bourbon donut; and the Mochi Mini Donuts. When it comes to coffee there are drip, cafe au lait, cold brew, and cold fashion options.

Last month, Yelpers received an excellent five-star rating.

The Sunshine Cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. (It’s closed on weekends.)

The Thonglor

The Thonglor by Lower Nob Hill is currently on the upswing category on Yelp Thai.

While companies rated “Thai” on Yelp saw their new reviews increase an average of 1.1% last month, this Thai spot increased its new reviews by 30.6% – with the Yelp rating slightly up from 4 , 5 went back to four stars. The number of reviews increased by more than 280% month over month, and visits to The Thonglor increased 46% over the same period, according to SafeGraph pedestrian traffic data.

The Thonglor has been open for business at 420 Geary St. (between Mason Street) since the fall of 2018 and offers fried noodles, fried rice, curries, salads, noodle soups and entrees such as Pad Gra-Tiam, which includes a selection of chicken, Fry beef or pork with garlic and black pepper.

The Thonglor is open Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. as well as Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. According to SafeGraph, pedestrian traffic is strongest at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., as well as Fridays and Saturdays. So go on Mondays if you want to avoid the rush.