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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to discover which local businesses have been most discussed this month.
To find out who made the list, we first looked at Houston 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 riding a trend, right now.
Open since Septmember, this New American and Mediterranean spot, which offers pizza and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as 'American (New)' on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw a median 1.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Savoir saw a notable 228.6% increase, maintaining a solid four-star rating throughout.
It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: B.B. Lemon has seen a 37% increase in reviews, and Squable and Liberty Kitchen at The Treehouse have seen 15.8 and 1% increases, respectively.
Located at 1344 Yale St. in the Heights, Savoir offers pasta, seafood, beef and duck. Yelpers recommend ordering the artichoke & sunchoke appetizer (artichoke hummus, fried artichokes, roasted sunchokes, black garlic glaze), along with the scallops (house cornbread, squash succotash, corn fondue) as the main course.
Check out the full menu here.
Savoir is open from 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Spring Branch West's BORI, the steakhouse and Korean spot, which offers barbecue and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as 'Steakhouses' on Yelp saw a median 1.6% increase in new reviews over the past month, BORI bagged a 93.1% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a solid 4.5-star rating.
Open at 1453 Witte Road since July, the restaurant offers authentic South Korean-inspired steak and pork that diners can cook on the grill integrated into their table. The spot also serves up stew, rice and noodle dishes. Look for the combo on the menu, which includes three or four types of meat, with enough food for two.
BORI is open from 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 4 p.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)
Ike's Love & Sandwiches
The Heights' Ike's Love & Sandwiches is also making waves. Open since August at 1051 Heights Blvd., Suite 180, the sandwich spot has seen a 73.2% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.5% for all businesses tagged 'Sandwiches' on Yelp.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Houston's sandwich category: Mendocino Farms has seen a 17.4% increase in reviews.
Ike's Love & Sandwiches has more than 50 locations between Houston and San Francisco. The fast-casual eatery offers a large menu of meat-filled and vegetarian sandwiches with names like the Handsome Owl and Hollywood's Houston cheesesteak. Each sandwich also has “Ike’s dirty secret sauce” on top or baked into the bread. Over the past month, it's maintained a superior four-star rating among Yelpers.
Ike's Love & Sandwiches is open from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily.
Mico’s Hot Chicken
Greater Uptown's Mico’s Hot Chicken is the city's buzziest Southern spot by the numbers.
The popular chicken shop, food truck and Southern spot, which opened at 2829 Chimney Rock Road in June, increased its new review count by 23.1% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.6% for the Yelp category 'Southern.'
The eatery offers just three items: Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and animal fries. It's open from noon–8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday-Wednesday.)
The popular Dandelion Cafe has seen a major increase in foot traffic recently.
While Dandelion Cafe stayed in line with the median 1.9% increase in new reviews for businesses categorized as 'Breakfast & Brunch' on Yelp over the past month, visits to the business increased by more than 50%, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.
Open for business at 5405 Bellaire Blvd. since 2016, the eatery offers breakfast staples, along with sandwiches, paninis and coffee. On the lunch menu, look for the egg salad sandwich and the roasted mushroom panini (mushroom, spinach, red onion, caramelized apples, red onion marmalade and crushed red pepper and brie).
Explore the entire menu here.
Dandelion Cafe is open from 7 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m.–3 p.m. on Sunday. According to SafeGraph, it usually gets busy at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., and on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you’re planning your visit, you may want to try its slower periods on Sundays.