Get these trending Houston restaurants on your radar today

Photo: Napoli's Wine Cafe/Yelp (Photo: Napoli's Wine Cafe/Yelp)

Wondering 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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to discover which restaurants have been seeing especially high review volumes 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 getting plenty of attention, right now.


Photo: hando/Yelp

Open since December, this sushi bar and Japanese spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Japanese" on Yelp.

Citywide, Japanese spots saw a median 1.4% increase in new reviews over the past month. Hando only recently appeared on Yelp, but while many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, it has seen strong initial popularity.

It's not the only trending outlier in the Japanese category: Shabu Squared has seen a 31.4% increase in reviews.

Located at 518 W. 11th St., Suite 500, in the Heights, Hando offers 12 hand rolls along with appetizers like Brussels sprouts and edamame. Look for the shrimp katsu cut roll and the spicy tuna cut roll. (Explore the entire menu here.)

Hando is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Napoli's Wine Cafe

Photo: Napoli's Wine Cafe/Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Washington Avenue Coalition / Memorial Park's Napoli's Wine Cafe, the wine bar and Italian and breakfast and brunch spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp saw a median 1.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, Napoli's Wine Cafe appeared on Yelp relatively recently. Many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, but it has seen a surge of interest.

What does this business focus on? "We specialize in Italian favorites, bruschetta, cheese boards, wine and traditional Italian lunch, dinner and brunch." — that's courtesy of its page on Yelp.

Open at 4601 Washington Ave. since November, Napoli's Wine Cafe offers  antipasta, soup, salad, signature steaks, grilled seafood, burgers and sandwiches, along with classic Italian dishes like lasagna, fettuccine alfredo and pizza. (Find the entire menu here.)

Napoli's Wine Cafe is open from 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–midnight on Friday, 9 a.m.–midnight on Saturday and 9 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.

Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery

Photo: Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery/Yelp

Westchase's Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery is also making waves. Open since November at 10001 Westheimer Road, Suite 2520, the bakery and breakfast and brunch and traditional American spot has seen a 67.7% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2% for all businesses tagged "American (Traditional)" on Yelp.

There's more than one hot spot trending in Houston's traditional American category: Sixty Vines has seen a 44.1% increase in reviews.

Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery offers breakfast favorites like sirloin steak & eggs, huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict, omelettes, pancakes, waffles and crepes. (See the full menu here.)

Over the past month, Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery maintained a convincing 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.

Tom N Toms Coffee

Photo: michael s./Yelp

Sharpstown's Tom N Toms Coffee is currently on the upswing in the coffee and tea category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp saw a median 2.2% increase in new reviews over the past month, this cafe, which offers coffee and tea and more, increased its new reviews by 67.6% — and kept its rating consistent at 4.5 stars.

The Korea-based franchise has more than 500 locations worldwide. Open for business at 9393 Bellaire Blvd., Suite A5, since November, Tom N Toms Coffee offers brewed coffee, espresso, tea, cappuccino and smoothies. Food options include pretzels and a pretzel dog with dipping sauces. (Check out the rest of the menu here.)

Tom N Toms Coffee is open from 8 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on 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.