As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending at this very moment?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which local businesses have been getting a noteworthy uptick in attention 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, right now.
Open since 2015, this Mexican spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Mexican" on Yelp.
Citywide, Mexican spots saw review counts increase by a median of 2.7 percent over the past month, but Paz Cantina saw a 21.4 percent increase, maintaining a solid four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 180 percent.
Located at 330 E. Roosevelt St. in Central City, Paz Cantina offers modern interpretations of traditional Mexican cuisine, with taqueria-styled dishes like its queso fresco torta with beans, tomato, cabbage, avocado and sauteed onions and jalapeños on a telera roll. Customers may also visit the restaurant's Tequila Room or enjoy live music at its concert venue. (Check out the menu here.)
Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Deer Valley's Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza, the well-established spot to score salads, fast food and pizza is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.5 percent over the past month, Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza bagged a 7.2 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.5 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 950 E. Bell Road, Suite 190, since 2017, Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza offers artisanal pizzas made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Its menu features signature selections like the Art Lover pizza, which comes topped with artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, chopped garlic and red sauce dollops. For dessert, the pizza spot serves up sea salt cookies, olive oil brownies and s'more pies.
The Cheesecake Factory
Paradise Valley's The Cheesecake Factory is also making waves. Open since 2006 at 15230 N. Scottsdale Road, the popular New American spot, which offers desserts and more, has seen a 3.4 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.7 percent for all businesses tagged "American (New)" on Yelp. However, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 400 percent.
The Cheesecake Factory offers an assortment of cheesecakes flavors from chocolate hazelnut crunch to mango key lime. For lunch and dinner, the spot serves an extensive menu of salads, pastas and meat dishes like the Steak Diane, which comes topped with black peppercorns and mushroom wine sauce. (Explore the full menu here.)
Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed 3.5-star rating among Yelpers.