Reader: Don't make Yelp's mistake of confusing "popular" with "best"

Categories: Cafe Society

Lori Midson
Biker Jim is a winner for his weiners.
We've been fans of Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs since Jim Pittenger's cart first popped up on the 16th Street Mall. And we're not the only ones: Yelper love recently landed Biker Jim's on Yelp's list of the 100 "best" restaurants in the country -- right alongside a tiki snack bar at Disneyland. So how good is this "best" list, anyway?

See also: Yelp names Biker Jim's and Pho 95 two of the best restaurants in the country

Says Denver Dave:

Do not confuse the difference between "popular" and "best" when referring to Yelp trends. It has been my experience that those two terms are far from synonymous. It's kind of like Best of Westword vs. Readers' Choice. Just because a restaurant has the most reviews on Yelp does not mean it is the "best," and while I have respect for both Biker Jim's and Pho 95, I would not put either on a list of one of the "best" restaurants in the USA. You just can't infer "best" from a popularity contest.
Thanks, Denver Dave, for understanding the difference between the Best of Denver editorial picks and our Readers' Choice winners. And for the record, Biker Jim's has won plenty of both in the Best of Denver.

Want to help decide this year's winners? You can vote for the finalists in our Best of Denver 2014 Readers' Poll here.

Location Info

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs

Denver Metro Area, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

Well, that's not exactly right either, is it? 

These aren't the places with the most reviews, they have the best reviews. 

And that's mostly a function of never underwhelming anyone. These places always exceed expectations, and the reviews show it. That's why so many places where you might have low expectations (hot dog carts, food trucks) get such high reviews.  When we visit fancier, professionally well-reviewed places, our expectations can be sky high, and thus it's easier for the place to fail, as shown in the Yelp reviews.

I doubt whether anyone giving a hotdog stand 5 stars is actually placing it ahead of French Laundry for cuisine.

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