Washington, D.C.

Caribbean-inspired cuisine and more: What's trending on Washington's food scene?

Want the scoop on Washington's most talked-about local spots?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to uncover which eateries have been getting outsized attention this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Washington 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 increased their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are sizzling hot, right now.

Tortuga Caribbean Bar & Grille

Photo: joseph r./Yelp

Open since April, this cocktail bar and Caribbean and breakfast and brunch restaurant is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp.

Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw a median 2.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Tortuga Caribbean Bar & Grille saw a 76% increase, maintaining a mixed three-star rating throughout.

It's not the only trending outlier in the breakfast and brunch category: Olive Bistro Cafe has seen an 18.8% increase in reviews.

Located at 514 Eighth St. SE (between South E and South G streets) in Capitol Hill, Tortuga Caribbean Bar & Grille offers ceviche, fish or shrimp tacos, conch fritters, jerk wings and tiki-inspired cocktails. Try the Mai-Time, made with Cruzan white and dark rums, Amaretto, OJ, pineapple juice and grenadine. Brunch features Creole eggs Benedict and mango papaya crepes.

The Bar @ Milk & Honey 

Photo: franshawn h./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Brightwood's The Bar @ Milk & Honey, an offshoot of Milk & Honey Cafe, the well-established seafood and breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic, according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp saw a median 2.7% increase in new reviews over the past month, The Bar @ Milk & Honey bagged an 18.3% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a strong four-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining two times more reviews than expected, based on its past performance.

There's more that's trending on Washington's seafood scene: Luke's Lobster in downtown has seen a 10.6% increase in reviews.

Open at 5832 Georgia Ave. NW (between North Military and North Rock Creek Ford roads) since 2018, the business offers a lobster, egg and cheese croissant, Caribbean-style whole red snapper, lobster and grits, crab hash and deep-fried crab legs and waffles.


Photo: mazi/Yelp

Downtown's Mazi is also making waves. Open since  January at 1518 K St. NW, the New American restaurant has seen a 17.9% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.3% for all businesses tagged "American (New)" on Yelp.

There's more than one hot spot trending in Washington's New American category: The Smith has seen a 7.8% increase in reviews.

Mazi offers pork souvlaki, seafood pasta, Chilean sea bass and grilled lamb chops, among other options on its dinner menu. Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating tick down from five stars to 4.5 stars.

Queen's English

Photo: Queen's English/Yelp

Columbia Heights' Queen's English is the city's buzziest cocktail bar by the numbers.

The Hong Kong-style cafe and cocktail bar, which opened in April at 3410 11th St. NW (between North Park Road and North Monroe Street), increased its new review count by 32.3% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 3.6% for the Yelp category "Cocktail Bars."

It's not the only trending outlier in the cocktail bar category: Punjab Grill has seen a 21% increase in reviews.

Cocktails include rye with sour plums, lemons and limes and mescal with damiana flower, pineapple and ashberry. The food menu offers sizzling asparagus wit crab and roe, twice-cooked lamb with Chinese five spices, and daikon fritters with garlic mayo and oyster sauce.

Bolt Burgers

Photo: Foodies w./Yelp

Mount Vernon Square's popular Bolt Burgers is currently on the upswing in the burger category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Burgers" on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, this burger spot increased its new reviews by 4.1% — and kept its rating consistent at 3.5 stars. Review counts increased by more than 300 percent on a month-to-month basis.

Open for business at 1010 Massachusetts Ave. NW since 2013, the restaurant offers a burger with blue cheese, toasted peppercorns and smoked bacon, and another with grilled mushrooms, Swiss cheese, roasted shallots and garlic sauce. It also offers build-your-own burger options.

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.