In the know: What's heating up Houston's food scene this month

Photo: The Toasted Yolk Cafe/Yelp
Photo: The Toasted Yolk Cafe/Yelp (Photo: The Toasted Yolk Cafe/Yelp)

Unsure where Houston'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 to deduce which restaurants have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.

To find out who made the list, we 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.

Read on to see which spots are extra hot, right now.

Handies Douzo

Photo: elva d./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about the Heights's Handies Douzo, the sushi bar and Japanese spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Japanese" on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, Handies Douzo bagged a 92% increase in new reviews within that time frame, with a slight downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to its current 4.5 stars.

There's more that's trending on Houston's Japanese scene: Shabu Squared has seen a 63% increase in reviews.

Handies Douzo has been open at 3510 White Oak Drive since November. According to the business' website, the menu is "focused on chef-driven hand rolls and sashimi" On the menu, look for hand roll sets, as well as six sashimi options and crudo. 

Handies Douzo is open from 5–10 p.m. daily.

The Rouxpour

Photo: The Rouxpour/Yelp

Memorial's The Rouxpour is also making waves. Open since December at 303 Memorial City Mall, Suite 604, the Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, is relatively new to Yelp, but has seen a surge of new reviews, while all businesses tagged "Seafood" on Yelp saw an increase of 1.6% for new reviews in the past month.

Want to know more about this business? We found this in its Yelp history section: "The Rouxpour is a New Orleans-inspired restaurant with four locations in Houston's surrounding areas. Known for our delicious variety of chargrilled oysters, fresh seafood and inviting atmosphere you are sure to love being our guest."

The Rouxpour offers chargrilled oysters, gumbo, po'boys, Zydeco chicken,  seafood and pasta. There is also a special "walk through New Orleans" menu for two with gumbo, crawfish etouffee, steak, shrimp and bread pudding. (Find all the menu details here.) Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating stay strong at 4.5 stars.

The Rouxpour is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–midnight on Friday, 10 a.m.–midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.

The Toasted Yolk Cafe

Photo: The Toasted Yolk Cafe/Yelp

West Oaks's The Toasted Yolk Cafe is the city's buzziest breakfast and brunch spot by the numbers.

The breakfast and brunch and traditional American spot, which opened at 12151 Westheimer Road in September, increased its new review count by 78.6% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.7% for the Yelp category "Breakfast & Brunch." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 5.5 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

The Toasted Yolk Cafe has 12 locations in the greater Houston area. The restaurant offers omelettes, pastries, pancakes, waffles and breakfast platters with eggs, hash browns and biscuits. (Check out the full menu here.)

The Toasted Yolk Cafe is open from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. daily.


Photo: ali k./Yelp

Downtown Houston's Koffeteria is currently on the upswing in the coffee and tea category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp saw a median 2.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, this bakery, which offers desserts, coffee and tea and more, saw a surge in new reviews despite being relatively new to Yelp.

There's more abuzz in the world of Houston coffee and tea: Tom N Toms Coffee has seen an 86.2% increase in reviews.

Open for business at 1110 Hutchins St. since December, Koffeteria offers coffee and tea along with a large menu of pastries made in house. Look for the pistachio baklava croissant, the hot Cheeto croissant and the beef pho kolache. 

Koffeteria is open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. on Wednesday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday and Tuesday.)

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.