Anyone who has ever been to a Porto’s Bakery in Southern California can attest to the long lines snaking around the Cuban eatery as people gather to order potato balls, hearty sandwiches, and colorful pastries from the dessert case.
Decades and three locations later, the family-owned and operated bakery’s popularity doesn’t seem to have diminished and isn't exclusive to Southern California—Porto’s Burbank just placed number 1 on Yelp’s 2016 top 100 list of places to eat in the U.S.
Unlike Yelp’s 2015 list based on ratings and reviews solely from 2014, Yelp’s 2016 list released Wednesday is based on ratings and reviews over Yelp’s entire history—since 2004.
“Yelp’s list of Top 100 Places to Eat in the US for 2016 honors businesses that rank so highly in the Yelp community’s opinion that they have earned the status of ‘must try within this lifetime,’” Yelp said of the list.
The Downey and original Glendale Porto’s locations also made the 2016 top 100 list but Yelp’s methodology counts only the highest rated location for restaurants with multiple locations on the list.
Yelp also considered only reviews from Yelpers that live in the U.S.—separate lists exist for Canada, Spain and other countries.
Here is further explanation of Yelp’s 2016 list methodology:
To determine Yelp’s Best Places to Eat in 2016, we analyzed which places were the all-time most popular and well reviewed on Yelp. Businesses from across the country were compared using a ranking that looks at both the ratings and the number of reviews while accounting for quality, popularity, and statistical fluctuations. … Businesses must be primarily a restaurant or place to eat a meal to be included on the list and must abide by Yelp’s Terms of Service and Content guidelines.
Porto’s Burbank has 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp, based on 5,197 reviews.
Some Yelpers had these positive things to say about Porto’s Burbank:
I drive down from Orange County just to eat their cake slices, cheese rolls and potato balls. Definitely a must and worth it. -Kiara B. of Irvine
It is one of those places that is always packed but for good reason. The food is good and prices are quite cheap and reasonable. I've had just about every sandwich and desserts this place makes along with the occasional cakes here and there. -Nathan S. of Los Angeles
If you want your co-workers to worship you like a Baked Goods God...bring a Porto's Cake to the office. -Julian M. of Studio City
But out of over 5,000 reviews, there were bound to be disappointed customers who took their frustration to Yelp:
Sorry Porto's, but you are a falling star. You've become too big for your own good and you've forgotten who got you there in the first place. -Maricela L. of Lake Balboa said in 2011, complaining of Porto’s cake quality
Look. I like pastries and tarts. This place is good...or WAS good. I don’t know what happened but consistency is key for business. -Cynthia T. of Los Angeles
I give the credit to the bakers. Unfortunately that's all the credit I'm giving them. This is my second time picking up dinner here after standing in their crazy lines and getting poor quality food. -Itsmeb’s M. of Burbank said in November
Several Southern California restaurants made Yelp’s top 100 list for 2016 including LA eateries The Morrison at number 7; Langer’s at number 39; and Providence at number 65.
What do you think of the Burbank Porto’s rating as the number one spot to eat in the U.S.? What restaurants would you put on this list?