Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending right this minute?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to discover which eateries have been on the tips of diners' tongues 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 worth exploring, right now.
Muse & Market
Open since August, this New American breakfast and brunch spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp.
Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw review counts increase by a median of 2.5 percent over the past month, but Muse & Market saw a 32.3 percent increase, maintaining a convincing four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 500 percent.
Located at 4602 E. Thomas Road, Suite 110, in Camelback East, Muse & Market offers house-made bowls, sandwiches, small plates and an all-day breakfast with items like its brisket hash, a concoction of 16-hour brisket, sunny-side eggs, truffle aioli and herb potatoes. Coffee drinks and pastries, like its salted chocolate chip cookie, are also up for grabs. (View the menu here.)
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about South Mountain's Cocina Madrigal, the popular Mexican spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Mexican" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.7 percent over the past month, Cocina Madrigal bagged a 28.7 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining an impressive five-star rating.
Open at 4044 S. 16th St. since June, Cocina Madrigal offers Southwestern Mexican cuisine like its barbacoa green chili enchiladas, taco spreads and American-inspired eats like the Madrigal Burger, which comes with jalapeño bacon, jack cheese, red onion, tomato, red chili aioli and fries. (Take a look at the full menu.)
Rott n' Grapes
Central City's Rott n' Grape is also making waves. Open since September at 1001 N. Third Ave., Suite 1, the Italian wine bar, breakfast and dinner spot has seen a 22.6 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.7 percent for all businesses tagged "Italian" on Yelp.
Rott n' Grapes offers weekend brunch options like the garden scramble, which consists of eggs, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red bell peppers, sweet onions, fontina and herbs. The restaurant also has an extensive drink menu that offers cocktails, beer and wine. (Check it out here.)
Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating tick down from five stars to 4.5 stars.
The Hatter and Hare
Camelback East's The Hatter and Hare is the city's buzziest bar by the numbers.
The bar and New American spot, which opened at 6101 N. Seventh St. in July, increased its review count by 11.2 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 3.1 percent for the Yelp category "Bars." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.5 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
It's not the only trending outlier in the bar category: Pubblico Italian Eatery has seen an 8.6 percent increase in reviews.
The Hatter and Hare offers creative cocktails and eats in its eclectic lounge of checkered walls and whimsical seating. Its menu includes Alice in Wonderland-inspired cocktails like the Queen of Hearts (Barsol Pisco, Campari, raspberry powder, blood orange shrub, cinnamon and pineapple gel); the Cheshire Cat (champagne, orange bitters, butterfly pea extract and lemon juice); and the Mad Hatter (green spot Irish whisky, apricot brandy, English tea, passion fruit, lemon juice and tiki bitters). (Take a gander at the full menu.)