Trend alert: What's heating up Phoenix's food scene this month

Unsure where Phoenix's insiders are 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 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 on a hot streak this spring.

Tortas Paquime

Photo: carlos j./Yelp

Open since October, this Mexican spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Mexican" on Yelp.

Citywide, Mexican spots saw new reviews increase by a median of 2.7 percent over the past month, but Tortas Paquime saw an 83.3 percent increase, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 330 percent.

It's not the only trending outlier in the Mexican category: Los Taquitos Arcadia has seen a 55.6 percent increase in reviews.

Located at 7227 S. Central Ave. in South Mountain, Tortas Paquime specializes in its namesake, tortas, as well as tacos. There are 10 tortas options and nine different taco dishes, while the menu also includes tostadas, flautas and burritos. 


Photo: francis g./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Central City's Sazerac, the bar is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Bars" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 3.1 percent over the past month, Sazerac bagged a 66.7 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating.

Open at 821 N. Second St. since December, Sazerac offers a rotating selection of two dozen local, regional and national craft beers on tap and signature cocktails, such as the Double Down (bourbon, lemon, grapefruit juice and spiced honey). (Click here to see the full drink list.)

Look for food trucks to provide complementary bites. 

El Charro Hipster Bar & Cafe

Photo: phoenix o./Yelp

Central City's El Charro Hipster Bar & Cafe is also making waves. Open since November at 1325 Grand Ave., the beer bar and breakfast and brunch spot, which offers coffee and tea and more, has seen a 23.1 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.5 percent for all businesses tagged "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 240 percent.

El Charro Hipster Bar & Cafe offers food options such as egg dishes, salad, gluten-free breads, bruschetta and pastries. When it comes to drinks, the options are almost limitless. Try one of the many coffee (espresso, lattes and ice) flavors or something from the bar, including agave, liquor, beer, wine or cocktails. (Click here to view the full menu.)

Over the past month, it's maintained a terrific five-star rating among Yelpers.

Little Miss BBQ

Photo: gregg s./Yelp

North Mountain's Little Miss BBQ is the city's buzziest barbecue spot by the numbers.

The barbecue spot, which opened at 8901 N. Seventh St. in November, increased its review count by 32.6 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 2.7 percent for the Yelp category "Barbeque."

The menu at Little Miss BBQ is dominated by brisket, pulled pork, turkey, sausage and beef ribs cooked on Camelback Smokers. Order your meat as a platter, with sides or in a sandwich. Diners can choose the brisket with potato salad and coleslaw, or opt for the pulled pork sandwich and add ranch-style beans and jalapeño cheddar grits.  

La Stalla Cucina Rustica

Photo: jessica h./Yelp

Ahwatukee Foothills's La Stalla Cucina Rustica is currently on the upswing in the pizza category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 1.8 percent over the past month, this Italian spot, which offers pizza and more, increased its by 4.6 percent—with its Yelp rating declining slightly from four stars to 3.5 stars. Review counts increased by more than 600 percent on a month-to-month basis.

Open for business at 4855 E. Warner Road, the business offers wood oven pizza, traditional pasta fare and entrees, such as Saltinbocca Roman Style (veal medallions topped with mozzarella and prosciutto), lemon chicken and lamb chops. (Click here to view the full menu.)

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.