As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending today?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to discover which restaurants have been getting extra attention this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at Houston 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 sizzling hot this spring.
Crawfish & Beignets
Open since March, this Cajun/Creole and Vietnamese spot, which offers seafood and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Vietnamese" on Yelp.
Citywide, Vietnamese spots saw a median 3.8 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Crawfish & Beignets saw a dramatic 223.1 percent increase, with a slight downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to 4.5 stars today.
Located at 9600 Bellaire Blvd., Suite 102, in Sharpstown, Crawfish & Beignets offers dishes such as spicy crawfish etouffee, made of seafood smothered in vegetables with a tomato-based sauce, or a fried soft shell crab platter, consisting of two soft shell crabs that’s served with French fries and toast.
Cajun Town Cafe
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Second Ward's Cajun Town Cafe, the Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Cajun/Creole" on Yelp saw a median 4.5 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, Cajun Town Cafe bagged a 100 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, with a slight upward trend from a 3.5-star rating a month ago to its current four stars. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.9 times more reviews than expected, based on its past performance.
There's more that's trending on Houston's Cajun/Creole scene: Crazy Alan's Swamp Shack-Baybrook has seen a 36.8 percent increase in reviews.
Open at 2240 Navigation Blvd., Suite 100, since December 2018, Cajun Town Cafe offers popcorn shrimp, fried oysters, frog legs, alligator, Bayou gumbo and Black’n mahi.
Sharpstown's Dragon Bar is also making waves. Open since February at 9889 Bellaire Blvd., Suite 314, the bar and Asian fusion spot, which offers barbecue and more, has seen a 73.3 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 3.5 percent for all businesses tagged "Bars" on Yelp.
There's more than one hotspot trending in Houston's bar category: La Lucha has seen a 25.5 percent increase in reviews.
Dragon Bar offers a variety of Asian barbecue, seafood and more. Expect a selection like squid skewers, spicy clams, garlic scallops, barbecue pork belly skewers, barbecue quail and beef rice noodle pot. Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating tick down from four stars to 3.5 stars.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
Neartown - Montrose's Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille in River Oaks is the city's buzziest steakhouse by the numbers.
The steakhouse, which opened at 1997 W. Gray St. on February, increased its new review count by 76.9 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2.4 percent for the Yelp category "Steakhouses."
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille offers dishes such as filet mignon, double-cut lamb chops, steak tartare and prime Hawaiian ribeye, served with whipped potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Open since January, this Ethiopian and African spot, which offers seafood and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, businesses tagged "Seafood" saw a median 4.1 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Blue Nile saw a 19.2 percent increase, with a slight downward trend from a 4.5-star rating a month ago to four stars today. It gained 1.9 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.
Located at 3030 Audley St. in Greenway / Upper Kirby Area, Blue Nile offers authentic Ethiopian food. Look for the Blue Nile Special Tibs, made of lamb cubes sauteed with onions, jalapeño peppers, tomatoes and special sauce. The Yebeg Alicha Wot is another standout with lamb cubes cooked with special herbs and spices.
There are also many vegetarian dishes such as Timatim Fitfit, consisting of fresh tomato, olive oil, jalapeño, bell pepper, special herbs and spices that are mixed with pieces of Injera.