Hashtags like #foodporn, #foodie, #foodstagram, and #foodgasm can often be found next to a well lit, beautifully photographed plate of food. Even the saying, “Instagram eats first” has become a pre-meal routine for many. Food photography is becoming a new art form, and we wanted to explore the art form for ourselves. We used BuzzFeed’s top ten list of “must-try” restaurants in measuring social media success of the restaurant. Keep reading to find out who’s the king of the food scene in New York City.

Three Food Giants

Buzzfeed’s top ten list included Emily, Smorgasburg, Via Carota, Grimaldi’s, Wo Hop, Hagi Sake Bar, Xochimilco Family Restaurant, Pastrami Queen, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Joe’s Pizza. Using our social listening tool for measuring social media success, we analyzed online conversations about these ten restaurants. Although Buzzfeed’s list of restaurants is top-rated, our real-time data showed varying results from Buzzfeed’s.


Buzzfeed’s list may have been comprised of food lovers of New York City, but our list is based on real-time results, which are more accurate. The top three restaurants, according to Buzzfeed, were Emily, Smorgasburg, and Via Carota. However, our real-time results showed that Smorgasburg, Joe’s Pizza, and Momofuku Noodle bar were the top three in terms of conversation volume.

The Top Dogs of Food in NYC

Smorgasburg, Joe’s Pizza and Momofuku were in the top 3. Smorgasburg is a weekend food festival that happens every year at the World Trade Center, Prospect Park, and Williamsburg. With over 100 vendors to choose from, who is your pick? 

Joe’s Pizza, on the other hand, is known for its pizza by the slice. Started by Joe Pozzuoli in 1975, the restaurant is a must for many, and has even received much recognition for having the best pizza in town.

Meanwhile, Momofuku noodle bar is known for its changing dishes and lack of reservations. With a different menu every time you visit Momofuku, it’s no wonder so many people talk about Momofuku on social media. 

Loved or Overhyped?

Measuring social media success for restaurants can be difficult, as foodies may rave and post about restaurants, but it isn’t always positive. So, we explored whether the comments said about these restaurants were positive or negative. 


With our sentiment word cloud, we were able to determine the most-used words in online conversation. It proved to be an excellent overview as it confirmed how much people loved talking about food. And how Smorgasburg, Momofuku, and pizza stole their hearts. 

We decided to dive deeper and see which restaurants had the most negative buzz.


By measuring social media success with our social listening tool, we discovered that while Smorgasburg has the largest share of the social media conversation, they also received a fair amount of negative comments as well. On the other hand, Joe’s Pizza, Via Carota, Emily, and Pastrami Queen, they did not receive any negative feedback.

Meanwhile, Momofuku and Wo-hop had the largest share of negative consumer voices. This tells us that, although the restaurants are popular, there were a fair amount of negative comments. Not all publicity is good publicity. 

The Best Social Reputation Score goes to….

While we know the value of having an excellent social reputation, we also know it can be hard to track. Measuring social media success with a social listening tool automatically calculated the social reputation score (SRS) for all the different restaurants. Synthesio’s social reputation score measures overall consumer sentiment around your brand on the social web. Our social listening tool placed Emily’s as having the highest SRS score. Not only does Emily not have any negative reviews or comments, but it also seems they have kept a great social platform as well. They’ve attracted over 74.6k followers on Instagram and even opening up several new locations throughout the nation. This tells us that social media success is often reflective of actual success for the varying restaurants. 


Via Carota comes in a close second with a total SRS of 80 and racking up over 450 reviews on Yelp and 600 photos as well. And Pastrami Queen coming in third. With over 481 reviews on Yelp and many claiming it to be the best pastrami in town. 

Measuring Social Media Success in the World of Trendy Food

By measuring social media success, we found that Smorgasburg takes the title of the most mentioned restaurant across social media. While Emily comes in at the very top for having the best SRS score. So, was Buzzfeed’s list accurate? We’d say so! Without the aid of our tools, it would be unimaginable to dig through thousands of social media postings to find a top New York City restaurant. Request a demo today!