#Trending: What's heating up Honolulu's food scene this month

#Trending: What's heating up Honolulu's food scene this monthRigo | Photo: Sharlene C./Yelp
Published on August 22, 2019

As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending right this minute?

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

To find out who made the list, we looked at Honolulu 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 closing out the summer strong.

Tex 808 BBQ + Brews

Photo: Des D./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Tex 808 BBQ + Brews, the bar and eatery, which offers barbecue and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Bars" on Yelp saw a median 1.2% increase in new reviews over the past month, Tex 808 BBQ + Brews bagged a 41.6% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a convincing four-star rating.

Open at 333D Keahole St. since late spring, Tex 808 BBQ + Brews offers meats cooked low and slow. On the menu, look for St. Louis-style barbecue ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. The bar features a wide selection of beer, signature cocktails and spirits to pair with your meal. 

Tex 808 BBQ + Brews is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.


Photo: Toan D./Yelp

Rigo is also making waves. Open since May at 885 Kapahulu Ave., the Spanish and Italian spot has seen a 57.5% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.6% for all businesses tagged "Italian" on Yelp.

Rigo offers Spanish-Italian dishes, featuring such choices as wood-fired pizza and seafood paella. Dessert lovers, be sure to try the Basque cheesecake, prepared with homemade orange jam. Over the past month, it's maintained a convincing four-star rating among Yelpers.

Rigo is open from 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and 5 p.m.–midnight on weekdays and 11:30 a.m.–midnight on weekends.

Kaku's Sushi & Seafood Buffet

Photo: Julie K./Yelp

Waikiki's Kaku's Sushi & Seafood Buffet is the city's buzziest seafood spot by the numbers.

The sushi bar and buffet spot opened at 2330 Kalakaua Ave., International Marketplace, in May. It's increased its new review count by 33.8% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.6% for the Yelp category "Seafood."

Founded by sushi chef Kaku Makino, the restaurant's menu includes a wide selection of fresh fish, jumbo shrimp and mussels. 

Kaku's Sushi & Seafood Buffet is open from 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. daily.

Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions

Photo: Tori K./Yelp

Downtown Honolulu's Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions is currently on the upswing in the Hawaiian category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Hawaiian" on Yelp saw a median 2.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, this seafood market and Hawaiian eatery increased its new reviews by 29.3% — and kept its rating consistent at five stars. Review counts increased by more than 300% on a month-to-month basis.

Open for business at 1164 Smith St. since 2017, Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions highlights locally sourced ingredients. Look for spicy ahi poke, a sashimi plate and smoked fish dip on the menu.

Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions is open from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Wednesday-Friday and 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday. (It's closed on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday.)

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.