Want the intel on Miami's most talked-about local spots?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which local businesses have been getting a significant uptick in attention this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at Miami 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 extra hot this winter.
El Santo Restaurant
Open since September 2019, this well-established bar and Mexican and Asian fusion spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Asian Fusion" on Yelp.
Citywide, Asian fusion spots saw a median 1.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, but El Santo Restaurant saw a 22.2% increase, maintaining a mixed three-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis El Santo Restaurant's review count increased by more than 250%.
Located at 1618 S.W. Eighth St. in Little Havana, El Santo Restaurant offers churrasco with white rice, ceviche, salmon gyoza and wagyu lomo saltado.
El Santo Restaurant is open from 5 p.m.–3 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and 7 p.m.–3 a.m. on Thursday-Saturday. (It's closed on Monday and Sunday.)
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about the Little Haiti's Ember Miami, the smokehouse and New American spot—courtesy of James Beard nominee Brad Kilgore—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, Ember Miami bagged an 11.3% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a solid four-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.2 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 151 N.E. 41st St., Unit 117, Paradise Plaza since May 2019, Ember Miami offers fire-roasted lasagna with maitake Bolognese and Gruyere fondue, roasted cornbread custard with bone marrow butter, lamb osso bucco and Nashville hot fried chicken. Also, look for desserts like the chocolate chess pie, a brownie topped with fried bananas and dulce de leche ice cream. (Check out the menu here.)
Ember Miami is open from 6 p.m.–10:30 p.m. on Tuesday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)
Downtown Miami's Melinda's is also making waves. Open since January 2018 at 1306 N. Miami Ave., the well-established cocktail bar and Mexican and traditional American spot has seen a 13.9% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.9% for all businesses tagged "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Melinda's's review count increased by more than 1,000%.
What's the business known for? "Melinda's is a casual neighborhood brasserie and agave centric full bar Featuring a curated menu with wood fire specialities and a raw bar" — that's courtesy of its page on Yelp.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Miami's cocktail bar category: Esotico Miami has seen a 28.9% increase in reviews.
Melinda's menu highlights include mezcal cocktails, chorizo butter oysters, greenhouse nachos and a lobster pizza (topped with celery, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes and truffle parmesan). Over the past month, it's maintained a healthy 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Melinda's is open from 5 p.m.–midnight on Thursday-Saturday. (It's closed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday.)