11 Nov Get these trending Houston restaurants on your radar today
As fans of cronuts and cake pops can attest, food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending at this very moment?
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 deduce which eateries have been on the tips of diners’ tongues 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 have the momentum heading into the end of the year.
Open since September, this outpost of the New American chain is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “American (New)” on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw a median 1.6% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Mendocino Farms saw a notable 266.7% increase and maintained a terrific five-star rating throughout.
Located at 1111-05 Uptown Park Blvd. in Greater Uptown, Mendocino Farms offers gourmet salads, seasonal soups and creative sandwiches. Catering services are also available.
Mendocino Farms is open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.
Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about Monument Inn, the popular traditional American spot, which offers fresh Gulf Coast seafood and more, has seen a major increase in foot traffic recently.
While Monument Inn stayed on par with the median 1.4% increase in new reviews businesses categorized as “Seafood” on Yelp over the past month, maintaining a sound four-star rating throughout, the number of visitors to Monument Inn more than tripled over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph’s foot traffic data.
There’s more that’s trending on Houston’s seafood scene: La Marisquera Ostioneria has seen a 46.2% increase in reviews, and Hu’s Cooking and Calliope’s Seafood & PoBoys have seen 9.9% and 1.6% increases, respectively.
Open at 4406 Independence Parkway S since 2008, Monument Inn offers upscale Southern fare, such as fried alligator tail, crawfish bisque, broiled crab cakes, pan roasted chicken breast and steaks. There’s also an all-you-can-eat boiled seafood option. (You can check out the full menu here.)
Monument Inn is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Monday-Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at noon, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re planning your visit, you may want to try its slower periods on Mondays.
Montrose’s Penny Quarter is also making waves. Open at 1424 Westheimer Road since August, the cafe and wine bar, which offers coffee, tea and more, has seen an 85.7% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.8% for all businesses tagged “Coffee & Tea” on Yelp.
Penny Quarter offers an expansive wine list, as well as a coffee and food menu that features toasts with spreads, sandwiches and salads. The bar also served draft and bottled beers. Over the past month, it’s maintained a solid 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Penny Quarter is open from 7 a.m.–midnight on Monday-Wednesday and Sunday and 7 a.m.–2 a.m. on Thursday-Saturday.
Memorial Park’s Polanquito is the city’s buzziest Mexican spot by the numbers.
The popular Mexican restaurant, which opened at 404 Shepherd Drive in April, increased its new review count by 15.5% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.8% for the Yelp category “Mexican.”
Polanquito serves authentic Mexican fare, such as ceviche, huevos rancheros, tacos, quesadillas and mole entrees. For dessert, traditional tres leches cake, churros and rice pudding empanadas are on the menu.
Polanquito is open from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Sunday. (It’s closed on Monday and Tuesday.)
Flying Biscuit Café
Memorial’s outpost of the Flying Biscuit Café chain is currently on the upswing in the Southern category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as “Southern” on Yelp saw a median 1.6% increase in new reviews over the past month, this New American spot increased its new reviews by 11.3% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars.
There’s more abuzz in the world of Houston Southern restaurants: Dish Society has seen an 8.9% increase in reviews.
Open for business at 12389 Kingsride Lane since 2018, Flying Biscuit Café offers breakfast, brunch and lunch. Menu highlights include French toast, omelets, shrimp and grits, oven fried chicken and hamburgers. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
Flying Biscuit Café is open from 6 a.m.–3 p.m. daily.