Want the intel on Houston's buzziest local spots?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which local businesses 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 riding a trend this summer.
Open since 2018, this diner and breakfast and brunch and traditional American spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Breakfast & Brunch" on Yelp.
Citywide, breakfast and brunch spots saw a median 1.4% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Nate's Diner saw a 62.5% increase, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Nate's Diner's review count increased by more than 500%.
What's the business known for? "Breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. We are passionate about what we do and we take pride in every plate that we prepare for you to enjoy till the last bite." — that's from its page on Yelp.
Located at 11509 Veterans Memorial Drive, Suite 100, Nate's Diner offers breakfast favorites like pancakes, waffles and egg dishes. For lunch, look for burgers, burritos, grilled pork chops, meatloaf and fish tacos.
Nate's Diner is open from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. daily.
Twisted Grilled Cheese
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Greater Uptown's Twisted Grilled Cheese, the food truck, which offers sandwiches, desserts and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Sandwiches" on Yelp saw a median 1.8% increase in new reviews over the past month, Twisted Grilled Cheese bagged a 43.6% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.6 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Fascinated so far? Here's more about the business from its Yelp history section: "Our food truck first open its windows Oct. 20, 2019. We’re excited to bring our gourmet grilled cheese menu items to the Houston market!"
In terms of specialties, "Twisted Grilled Cheese is a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich food truck dedicated to serving high-quality specialty grilled cheese sandwiches with a southern twist." — that's courtesy of its Yelp page.
There's more that's trending on Houston's sandwich scene: The Burger Joint has seen a 24.5% increase in reviews.
Open at 2829 Chimney Rock Road since October, Twisted Grilled Cheese offers seven types of grilled cheese sandwiches, including the five-cheese pepperoni pizza, the halal Philly grilled cheesesteak and the smokehouse brisket. Side options include waffle fries and soup. (Check out the full menu here.)
Twisted Grilled Cheese is open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Wednesday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday and Tuesday.)
Olive + Twist
Greenway's Olive + Twist is also making waves. Open since last summer at 2712 Richmond Ave., the cocktail bar and New American spot has seen a 13.5% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1% for all businesses tagged "American (New)" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis Olive + Twist's review count increased by more than 500%.
There's more than one hot spot trending in Houston's New American category: Traveler's Table has seen a 5.6% increase in reviews.
Olive + Twist offers starters like twisted calamari and crawfish truffle mac & cheese. Entrees include lavash pizzas, Mykonos salmon and Fettucine lastrada. Over the past month, Olive + Twist has seen its Yelp rating tick down from four stars to 3.5 stars. (Explore the entire menu here.)
Olive + Twist is open from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)
The Heights's Flying Fish is the city's buzziest Southern spot by the numbers.
The well-established Cajun/Creole and Southern spot, which offers seafood and more and opened at 1815 N. Durham Drive on 2018, increased its new review count by 6.1% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.5% for the Yelp category "Southern." It outperformed the previous month by gaining six times more reviews than expected based on past performance.
Flying Fish has locations across Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee. The restaurant offers boiled shrimp, fried baskets, boiled snow crabs, fish tacos and sandwiches, along with grilled fish platters. (Find the full menu here.)
Flying Fish is open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.