Unsure where Phoenix'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 deduce which restaurants have been seeing especially high review volumes 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 cool this spring.
Angry Crab Shack
Open since February, this Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood, barbecue and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, seafood spots saw a median two percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Angry Crab Shack saw a formidable 378.6 percent increase, with a slight upward trend from a three-star rating a month ago to 3.5 stars today.
Located at 2501 W. Happy Valley Road in Deer Valley, Angry Crab Shack offers its popular house-made Cajun seafood boil alongside other seafood fare like the breaded scallops, lobster crostini, clam chowder and more.
NPX - A Neighborhood Joint
Paradise Valley's NPX - A Neighborhood Joint is the city's buzziest traditional American spot by the numbers.
The sports bar and traditional American spot, which opened at 4717 E. Bell Road in August, increased its new review count by 14.3 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2.7 percent for the Yelp category "American (Traditional)." 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 traditional American category: Applebee's Grill + Bar has seen a 7.2 percent increase in reviews.
NPX - A Neighborhood Joint offers a variety of weekend brunch, lunch and dinner fare made from scratch including its cheesesteak eggrolls (stuffed with prime rib, green peppers, onions, pepper jack cheese and chipotle aioli), barbecue burger (topped with pastrami, bacon, swiss and coleslaw on a brioche bun) and Asian chicken salad (composed of mixed greens, mandarin oranges, shaved red onions and julienne peppers).
Check out the spot's full list of offerings here.
Central City's well-established Taco Chelo is currently on the upswing in the bar category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Bars" on Yelp saw a median 2.9 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this bar, which offers tacos and more, increased its by 8 percent—and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 480 percent on a month-to-month basis.
Open for business at 501 E. Roosevelt St. since May, the taqueria offers a variety of tacos with protein options like fish, carnitas, carne asada and a medley of vegetables. Complement your meal with a fruity sangria or a tres leches cake. (View the full menu here.)