Want the inside word on San Antonio's most happening local spots?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which local businesses have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at San Antonio 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 this winter.
Open since November, this cocktail bar and Mexican spot, which offers seafood and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, seafood spots saw review counts increase by a median of 2.8 percent over the past month, but Hacienda Camila saw a 30.6 percent increase, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating throughout.
Located at 14814 Jones Maltsberger Road, Hacienda Camila offers soups and salads, fajitas, tacos and enchiladas, plus house specials, like the Carne Guisada plate, a slow-simmered beef stew in a savory brown gravy. This spot has an outdoor patio with a bar. Complement your meal with a margarita, Bloody Mary, cocktail punch and more. (See the full menu of cocktails, with recipes, here.)
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about The Sandbox, the sports bar, cocktail bar and traditional American spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "American (Traditional)" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 3.7 percent over the past month, The Sandbox bagged a 30.3 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.0 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 7280 UTSA Blvd., Suite 110, since October, The Sandbox offers appetizers like wings, soft pretzels, nachos, deviled eggs and more, as well as salads, pizzas, hot dogs, wraps and burgers. Try the New York's Finest dog with sauerkraut, mustard and relish, served on a pretzel bun with house-made chips or fries. Order one of 34 brews on tap or a specialty cocktail, like The Study Buddy, made with Devil's River bourbon or the Lavender Lemonade, made with Calamity gin, lavender bitters and lemon juice. You can also play a wide variety of arcade games to up the fun factor. (Check it out here.)
Aspen Creek Grill
Aspen Creek Grill is also making waves. Open since 2016 at 11719 Bandera Road, the steakhouse and traditional American spot, which offers seafood and more, has seen a 7.7 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.4 percent for all businesses tagged "Steakhouses" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 400 percent.
Aspen Creek Grill has several locations in Texas, Indiana and Kentucky, and offers soups, salads, appetizers, steaks and seafood. Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed 3.5-star rating among Yelpers. Try the fried cheesecake for dessert. (See the full menu here.)
Lavaca's Maverick is the city's buzziest New American spot by the numbers.
The brasserie and New American spot, which offers comfort food and more and opened at 710 S. St. Mary's St. last February, increased its review count by 9.1 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 2.7 percent for the Yelp category "American (New)."
Maverick offers shared plates, such as beef tartare, grilled calamari and octopus, escargot pot pie and mussels in spicy Thai coconut sauce. Sandwiches, specials of the day and entrees, such as half a duck or chicken, are also on the menu. There are also specialty cocktails like the Hysterical Literature, made with bourbon, lemon, local honey, averna and pineapple liquor. (See the full menu here.)
Shearer Hills - Ridgeview's First Watch is currently on the upswing in the breakfast and brunch category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 2.7 percent over the past month, this cafe and breakfast and brunch and traditional American spot increased its by 8.8 percent—and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 330 percent on a month-to-month basis.
Open for business at 830 N.W. Loop 410 since August, the business offers omelettes, frittatas, pancakes, eggs, power bowls and more, and sandwiches, such as the BLTE, the classic BLT topped with a fried, cage-free egg, served with a side of mixed greens or hot soup. "The Healthier Side" part of the menu includes avocado toast on wholegrain bread. (Check it out here.)