Unsure where New Orleans'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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to discover which eateries have been on the tips of diners' tongues this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at New Orleans 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 are extra hot, right now.
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
Open since July, this chicken shop and Southern spot, which offers comfort food and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Southern" on Yelp.
Citywide, Southern spots saw a median 1.6% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken saw a 22% increase, maintaining a solid 4.5-star rating throughout.
Located at 308 S. Diamond St. in Lower Garden District, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken offers fresh, hormone-free chicken. From the menu, look for fried green tomatoes as an appetizer and fried chicken plates served with baked beans, slaw and bread. (View the full menu here.)
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Daisy Mae's Southern Fried Chicken & Breakfast
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Central Business District's Daisy Mae's Southern Fried Chicken & Breakfast, the popular breakfast and brunch spot, which offers comfort food and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp saw a median 1.6% increase in new reviews over the past month, Daisy Mae's Southern Fried Chicken & Breakfast bagged an 11.4% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a solid four-star rating.
Open at 920 Poydras St. since Fall 2018, Daisy Mae's Southern Fried Chicken & Breakfast offers Southern dishes such as chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits. Crab cakes Benedict is also on the menu. (See the full menu here.)
Daisy Mae's Southern Fried Chicken & Breakfast is open from 6 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday, 6 a.m.–3:59 a.m. on Thursday and 4 a.m.–3:59 a.m. on Friday-Sunday.
St. Roch's Domino's Pizza is also making waves. Open since June 2012 at 1120 Franklin Ave., the spot to score pizza, chicken wings and sandwiches has seen a 9.7% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.6% for all businesses tagged "Sandwiches" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, Domino's Pizza's review count increased by more than 150%. As for foot traffic, Domino's Pizza saw visits almost double over the past month, according to SafeGraph data.
There's more than one hot spot trending in New Orleans's sandwich category: Fat Boy Pantry has seen a 2.8% increase in reviews.
Domino's Pizza offers pizza, chicken, sandwiches and more. The eatery also offers chocolate lava crunch cake for dessert. (See the menu here.) Over the past month, it's maintained a 1.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Domino's Pizza is open from 10 a.m.–1 a.m. daily. According to SafeGraph, people tend to visit Domino's Pizza on Wednesdays and Fridays and it attracts a quarter of its total visitors over those two days, so go on Tuesdays if you want to avoid the rush.
St. Roch's Melba's is the city's buzziest Cajun/Creole spot by the numbers.
The popular Cajun/Creole spot, which offers chicken wings and sandwiches and opened at 1525 Elysian Fields Ave. in January 2013, increased its new review count by 1.9% over the past month. This is an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.3% for the Yelp category "Cajun/Creole." According to SafeGraph foot traffic data, Melba's saw visits almost double over the past month.
It's not the only trending outlier in the Cajun/Creole category: Eiffel Society has seen a 4.1% increase in reviews, and Voodoo BBQ & Grill and Gris-Gris have seen 2.7 and 6.5% increases, respectively.
Melba's offers home cooked plate dinners, such as shrimp and catfish platters and red beans and rice. Po-boys and chicken wings are also available.
Melba's is open 24 hours a day. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., and on Sundays and Saturdays, with a slowdown on Thursdays.
The French Quarter's well-established Tahyo Tavern is currently on the upswing in the cocktail bar category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp saw a median 2.2% increase in new reviews over the past month, this cocktail bar and Latin American spot, which offers comfort food and more, increased its new reviews by 8.4% — and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars. Review counts increased by more than 330% on a month-to-month basis.
Open for business at 1140 Decatur St. since February 2014, Tahyo Tavern offers goose fat french fries and smoked mac and cheese on the menu. Also look for meat pies, such as corn chili remoulade and a variety of sandwiches.
Tahyo Tavern is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (It's closed on Monday.)