American food, brunch and more: What's trending on Phoenix's food scene?

American food, brunch and more: What's trending on Phoenix's food scene?
Cocina Madrigal. | Photo: Pepper T./Yelp
By Hoodline - Published on December 06, 2018.

Want the inside word on Phoenix's most happening local hotspots?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which local businesses have been most discussed this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Phoenix businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month, and tracked businesses that consistently increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are extra hot this winter.

Cocina Madrigal

Photo: pepper t./Yelp

First up, Mexican spot Cocina Madrigal, open since July, is trending compared to other Mexican restaurants on Yelp.

Citywide, Mexican places saw review counts increase by a median of 2.9 percent over the past month, but Cocina Madrigal saw a striking 122.5 percent increase, maintaining a stellar five-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 350 percent.

It's not the only trending outlier in the Mexican category: Casa Corazon Restaurant has seen a 13.8 percent increase in reviews.

Located at 4044 S. 16th St. in South Mountain, Cocina Madrigal offers upscale Mexican food. Try the achiote braised chicken tacos with red bean pico, avocado and menonita cheese; or the slow-braised beef birria enchilada with jack cheese, avocado cream and rice and beans. (See the full menu.)

Farm & Craft

Photo: sean f./Yelp

Next, whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Alhambra's Farm & Craft, the cocktail bar and New American breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.4 percent over the past month, Farm & Craft bagged a 21.5 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a healthy four-star rating.

There's more that's trending on Phoenix's New American scene: Native Grill & Wings has seen an 8.4 percent increase in reviews, and EarlyBaker and Pita Jungle have seen 5.5 and 6.4 percent increases, respectively.

Open at 5538 N. Seventh St., Suite 100 since April, Farm & Craft offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. In the morning, there are sandwiches, pancakes and protein toast. During lunch and dinner, customers can opt to either order a custom-made bowl or build their own, which includes choosing a protein like steak, salmon or tofu, plus sides of veggies or pasta. 

Wink 24

Photo: doug h./Yelp

Camelback East's Wink 24 is also making waves. Open since May of 2016 at 2502 E. Camelback Road, Suite 148 A and B, the Italian restaurant and bar has seen an 11.5 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.1 percent for all businesses tagged "Pizza" on Yelp.

There's more than one hotspot trending in Phoenix's pizza category: My Slice of the Pie Pizzeria has seen a 6.9 percent increase in reviews.

Wink 24 offers paninis, crostinis, wood-fired pizza, pasta, and cheese and cold-cuts boards. Over the past month, it's maintained a sound 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.


Photo: susan t. a. /Yelp

Last but not least, Paradise Valley's NPX  is the city's buzziest traditional American spot by the numbers.

The sports bar and traditional American spot, which opened at 4717 E. Bell Road this summer, increased its review count by 19.2 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 2.9 percent for the Yelp category "American (Traditional)."

It's not the only trending outlier in the traditional American category: Twin Peaks has seen a 10.6 percent increase in reviews.

NPX makes all of its food from scratch, with a menu that puts a creative spin on hearty American fare. It offers everything from ribs to nachos to waffle-battered fried chicken.