In the know: What's heating up Boston's food scene this month

Wondering where Boston'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 discover which local businesses have been getting extra attention this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Boston 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 getting plenty of attention, right now.


Photo: andrea p./Yelp

Open since October 2018, this cocktail bar, wine bar and traditional American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Wine Bars" on Yelp.

Citywide, wine bars saw a median 1.2 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Alcove saw a 20.4 percent increase, maintaining a healthy four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Alcove's review count increased by more than 180 percent.

Located at 50 Lovejoy Wharf in North End, Alcove offers brunch, lunch and dinner. Try the Brussels sprouts, with fried shallots, Fresno peppers and balsamic vinegar to start. For entrees, there's the whole roasted branzino and the pan-seared sea bream and even a cheeseburger, with caramelized vidalia onions and pickles. 

The Industry

Photo: the industry/Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about South Dorchester's The Industry, the steakhouse, cocktail bar and New American spot is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp saw a median 1.9 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, The Industry bagged an eight 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 five times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

Open at 750 Adams St. (between Minot and Saranac streets) since June 2017, The Industry offers brunch, lunch, dinner, Sunday roasts and bar bites. If you're in the mood for casual fare, try the New England clam chowder, followed by the brie and mushroom pizza. Complement your meal with a Tito's Mule of the Week, made with Tito's vodka, ginger beer and whatever the bartender chooses to add.

Holly Crab

photo: holly crab/yelp

Allston's Holly Crab is also making waves. Open since Winter 2016 at 1098 Commonwealth Ave., the Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, has seen a 3.7 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.2 percent for all businesses tagged "Seafood" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Holly Crab's review count increased by more than 600 percent.

There's more than one hotspot trending in Boston's seafood category: Saltie Girl has seen a 3.8 percent increase in reviews.

Holly Crab offers fried seafood, like calamari, shrimp and oysters; soups, like shrimp and sausage gumbo and New England clam chowder; and sides, such as cheesy noodles and rice balls. Seafood boils are the star of the show, but the restaurant also offers chicken dinners and more. It also has bottled beer and wine on tap. Over the past month, it's maintained a sound four-star rating among Yelpers.

Nahita Cocktails and Cuisine

Photo: nahita cocktails and cuisine/Yelp

Bay Village's Nahita Cocktails and Cuisine is currently on the upswing in the cocktail bar category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp saw a median 2.6 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this cocktail bar and Asian fusion spot increased its reviews by 17.5 percent—and kept its rating consistent at 3.5 stars.

Open for business at 100 Arlington St. (between Columbus Avenue and Piedmont Street) since September 2018, the business offers Mexican fare, such as guacamole and house-made tortilla chips, tacos, ceviches and more. On the Japanese side, there's sashimi, featuring red snapper, blue fin tuna, Japanese striped jack, blue fin otoro, wild salmon or a mix. The cocktail menu includes the Papa Don't Preach, featuring a house-made rum blend, cane syrup and clarified lime.

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.