Wondering where Charlotte's in-the-know crowd is eating and drinking? It's easy to spot lines out the door, but some underlying trends are harder to see.
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which restaurants have been in the limelight this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at Charlotte 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 have the momentum heading into springtime.
The national fast food chain's outpost in Ballantyne is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (Traditional)" on Yelp.
Citywide, traditional American spots saw new reviews increase by a median of 3.5 percent over the past month, but Shake Shack saw a 28.9 percent increase, maintaining a mixed three-star rating throughout.
Located at 9824 Rea Road, Suite A, Shake Shack offers burgers, fries, shakes and more. (Here's the full menu).
The Waterman Fish Bar
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Sedgefield's The Waterman Fish Bar, the seafood spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp increased their review counts by a median of 3.8 percent over the past month, The Waterman Fish Bar bagged a 37.3 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a sound four-star rating.
Open at 2729 South Blvd., Suite D, since 2018, The Waterman Fish Bar offers seafood dishes like chargrilled oysters, fried fish sandwiches, lobster rolls and fish boils. (Check out the full menu.)
Elizabeth's The Stanley is also making waves. Situated at 1961 E. Seventh St., the New American spot has seen a 17.9 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.9 percent for all businesses tagged "American (New)" on Yelp.
The Stanley offers small plates infusing Asian flavors and dinners featuring American classics. Expect options like steamed buns filled with fried chicken, watermelon, red onion and jalapeño; a NY strip steak served with confit potatoes and a mix of root vegetables; and a NC trout with eggplant accompanied by broiled tomato, zucchini, tomato sauce and pesto. (View the rest of the menu here.)
Over the past month, it's maintained a solid four-star rating among Yelpers.