Tracking Toronto food trends, courtesy of Yelp

Tracking Toronto food trends, courtesy of Yelp


Earlier this month, Yelp celebrated its tenth anniversary by doing something mildly useful with its massive accumulation of user-generated data. The result is Yelp Trends, a standalone site that generates pretty colour-coded graphs tracking the relative incidence of different keywords in Yelp reviews over time. The tool can be used to track trends in 98 cities around the world, including Toronto. Users just pick the city and enter the keywords; the site does the rest.

So, what do multiple years’ worth of reports from disgruntled diners tell us about Toronto food trends? Quite a bit, actually, although the results aren’t enormously surprising. The word “taco,” for instance, really began to take off in late 2011—right around the time Grand Electric opened for business—and it’s been consistently popular ever since. So has “ramen,” which predictably peaked when Momofuku came to town in 2012. Read on for seven more Toronto trend reports.


After a huge popularity spike earlier this year, craft beer’s heyday appears to be ending. Could a cider comeback be on the horizon? (Some sources would say yes: according to this recent report, LCBO cider sales are booming.)


The gluten obsession feels sort of new, but Yelpers have apparently been yammering about it since ’09. Maybe they’re just getting louder?


The reign of the stiff brown cocktail has come to a close. So far, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious successor.

pork chicken beef

Despite everything, pork is still the other white meat.


It would seem that cauliflower is not, in fact, the new kale.


And then there’s burgers and pizza, which seem destined to remain locked in a dead heat for all time.