Curious where Austin'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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to analyze which local businesses have been getting extra notice this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at Austin 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. Then we analyzed foot traffic data from SafeGraph to validate the trends.
Read on to see which spots have the momentum heading into back-to-school season.
Heaven's Bistro Bakery
Open since July, this bakery, which offers coffee and tea, custom cakes and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp.
Citywide, coffee and tea spots saw a median 2.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Heaven's Bistro Bakery saw a staggering 312.5% increase, with a slight downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to 4.5 stars today.
Located at 2205 W. Parmer Lane, Heaven's Bistro Bakery offers handcrafted cakes, custom pies, doughnuts, cookies, croissants and other pastries.
Heaven's Bistro Bakery is open from 8 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Allandale's District Kitchen, the cocktail bar and New American and breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp saw a median 1.6% increase in new reviews over the past month, District Kitchen - Anderson Lane bagged a 34.2% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a convincing 4.5-star rating.
Open at 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd., Bldg B, since May, District Kitchen features a menu of craft beer, cocktails and wine to pair with steak, seafood and chicken entrees.
District Kitchen - Anderson Lane is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday, 10:30 a.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Moonshine Comfort & Cocktails
Moonshine Comfort & Cocktails is also making waves. Open since last December at 10525 W. Parmer Lane, the popular bar and traditional American and breakfast and brunch spot has seen a 10.6% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.7% for all businesses tagged "American (Traditional)" on Yelp.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Austin's traditional American category: TLC Austin has seen an 8% increase in reviews.
On the menu at Moonshine Comfort & Cocktails, expect comfort food such as chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and the ranger cattle Texas Wagyu meatloaf platters as well as the Backyard Chicken sandwich, with pepper jack cheese, avocado, poblano, onion, apple barbecue sauce, mayo and red leaf lettuce. Over the past month, it's maintained a healthy four-star rating among Yelpers.
Moonshine Comfort & Cocktails is open from 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 4:30–9 p.m. on Sunday.
Zilker's Soto is the city's buzziest bar by the numbers.
The well-established sushi bar, bar and Japanese spot, which opened at 1100 S. Lamar, Suite 2115, in 2017, increased its new review count by 9.1% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.6% for the Yelp category "Bars." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.1 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
Soto specializes in traditional Japanese cuisine and puts its own twist on signature menu items. Try one of the makimono rolls, like the real California maki with snow crab, cucumber, tobiko, avocado and kewpie; hot dishes like the lobster tempura and grilled Chilean sea bass; or the smoked tuna tataki, with smoked shoyu, negi oil, fried shallots and truffle.
Soto is open from 5–10 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–11 p.m. on Friday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)
Gourmands Neighborhood Pub
Central East Austin's popular Gourmands Neighborhood Pub is trending based on local foot traffic data.
While Gourmands Neighborhood Pub stayed in line with the median 1.9% increase in new reviews for businesses categorized as "Sandwiches" on Yelp over the past month, visits to Gourmands Neighborhood Pub increased by more than 50%, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
Open for business at 2316 Webberville Road since 2011, Gourmands Neighborhood Pub serves a breakfast and lunch menu. In the morning, consider the meat breakfast bowl, with layers of spinach and artichoke dip in a sourdough bread bowl, ham, bacon, sauteed onion, tomato, cheddar cheese and two egg yolks. For lunch, look for sandwiches like the Hannibal, with ham, turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese and a house spicy mustard and The Last Supper, with roast beef, bacon, queso, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce and shaved onion on a hoagie roll.
Gourmands Neighborhood Pub is open from 7 a.m.–midnight on Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.–2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.–midnight on Sunday. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., and on Saturdays and Tuesdays, so go on Wednesdays if you want to avoid the rush.
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.