Barbecue and more: What's trending on Houston's food scene?

Want the inside word on Houston's buzziest local spots?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which local businesses have been getting outsized notice 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 increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are on a hot streak this spring.


Truth BBQ




Photo: sophie n./Yelp


Open since January, this Southern spot, which offers barbecue and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Southern" on Yelp.

Citywide, Southern spots saw new reviews increase by a median of 3.4 percent over the past month, but Truth BBQ saw a remarkable 306.2 percent increase, with a slight downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to 4.5 stars today.

Located at 110 S. Heights Blvd. in Washington Avenue Coalition / Memorial Park, Truth BBQ offers barbecue meats such as brisket, beef ribs, turkey, pork ribs, pulled pork and sausage either as a meal or sandwich. It also has sides of mac & cheese, corn pudding, coleslaw, baked beans and collard greens. (Click here to view the menu.)

La Vibra Tacos




Photo: gus a./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about the Heights's La Vibra Tacos, the Mexican spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Mexican" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.8 percent over the past month, La Vibra Tacos bagged a formidable 160 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, with a slight upward trend from a four-star rating a month ago to its current 4.5 stars.

Open at 506 Yale St., Suite A, since January, La Vibra Tacos offers tacos with fillings such as beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, fish, veggies and chiles, as well as costras (Gouda cheese on a flour tortilla) and volcans (toasted corn tortilla with Oaxacan cheese) with similar protein fillings. (Check out the entire menu here.)

Dish Society




Photo: Dish Society/Yelp


The Heights's Dish Society is also making waves. Open since January at 1050 Yale St., the New American, breakfast and brunch and traditional American spot has seen a massive 114.3 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 3.1 percent for all businesses tagged "American (New)" on Yelp.

Dish Society offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. In the morning, look for breakfast sandwiches, tacos, french toast and chicken and biscuits. For the afternoon and evening, Dish Society serves main courses like shrimp and grits, chicken pot pie and citrus-glazed salmon, as well as sandwiches and salads. Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating tick down from 4.5 stars to four stars.

Izakaya Wa




Photo: Jenn L./Yelp

Montrose's Izakaya Wa is the city's buzziest sushi bar by the numbers.

The sushi bar, izakaya and beer bar, which opened at 2015 W. Gray St., Suite J, in October, increased its review count by an imposing 153.8 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 3 percent for the Yelp category "Sushi Bars."

It's not the only trending outlier in the sushi bar category: IWA YA Teppanyaki & Sushi has seen a 73.3 percent increase in reviews.

Izakaya Wa offers panko fried and grilled skewers of meat, fish and chicken, sushi (sashimi and hand rolls), rice/noodle dishes and lunch specials on the menu. Add a Japanese, local craft beer, wine or sake to wash it all down.

Crazy Alan's Swamp Shack




Photo: Marjorie S./Yelp

Clear Lake's Crazy Alan's Swamp Shack is currently on the upswing in the seafood category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp increased review counts by a median of 3.5 percent over the past month, this Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, increased its by 94.4 percent--and kept its rating consistent at three stars.

Open for business at 1330 Bay Area Blvd. since January, menu standouts include fresh crawfish, the Cajun ribeye, the chicken and sausage jambalaya and fresh seafood, served with dirty rice, potatoes or veggies.
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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.