Wondering where Houston's insiders are 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 in the spotlight 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 the number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month and tracked businesses that consistently increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.
Read on to see which spots poised to start summer off strong.
Taste Bar + Kitchen
Open since March, this Southern breakfast and brunch spot and cocktail bar is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Southern" on Yelp.
Citywide, Southern spots saw a median 2.4 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, but Taste Bar + Kitchen saw a dramatic 558.3 percent increase, with a downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to four stars today.
It's not the only trending outlier in the Southern category: Sam's Fried Chicken & Donuts has seen a 29.4 percent increase in reviews.
Located at 3015 Bagby St. in Midtown, Taste Bar + Kitchen offers a variety of comfort foods and signature cocktails. Visit the business' website for more information.
7 Leaves Cafe
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Sharpstown's 7 Leaves Cafe, the coffee and tea spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp saw a median 3.4 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, 7 Leaves Cafe bagged a considerable 226.8 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a superior 4.5-star rating.
There's more that's trending on Houston's coffee and tea scene: Slowpokes has seen an 88.2 percent increase in reviews.
Open at 9798 Bellaire Blvd., Suite B since March, 7 Leaves Cafe offers a variety of caffeinated coffee and tea beverages and light snacks, such as macarons. Popular menu options include Japanese matcha tea, Thai tea, sea cream black coffee and more. Here's the menu.
Greater Uptown's Pokeworks is also making waves. Open since February at 1609 S. Post Oak Lane, the sushi bar, which offers poke, salads and more, has seen a 66.7 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.8 percent for all businesses tagged "Sushi Bars" on Yelp.
Pokeworks offers customizable poke bowls, signature offerings, soups and sides. Over the past month, it's maintained a healthy 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
The Union Kitchen
Washington Avenue Coalition/Memorial Park's The Union Kitchen is the city's buzziest New American spot by the numbers.
The New American breakfast and brunch spot, which opened at 6011 Washington Ave. in November of 2017, increased its new review count by 9.8 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2.6 percent for the Yelp category "American (New)." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 3.4 times more reviews than expected based on past performance and has maintained a solid four-star rating.
The Union Kitchen offers small plates like crab stuffed avocado; signature pizzas; lunch and dinner specialties, such as the Union Burger with Swiss cheese, bacon and barbecue aioli; as well as weekend brunch from 10 a.m.-2p.m. Check out the website here.
The Toasted Yolk Cafe
Mid West's popular The Toasted Yolk Cafe is currently on the upswing in the sandwich category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Sandwiches" on Yelp saw a median 1.9 percent increase in new reviews over the past month, this breakfast and brunch spot, which offers sandwiches and salads, increased by 10.6 percent—and kept its rating consistent at four stars.
Open for business at 2711 Fountain View Drive, Suite A since October 2018, the business offers both breakfast and lunch fare. Look out for notable menu options like the Big Ben four-egg omelet with ham, onions, peppers, mushrooms and cheese or churro-style donuts for breakfast. In the afternoon, lunch favorites include the chicken quesadilla, French dip sandwich and homemade tuna salad. Check out the website here for more information.