MIAMI (Hoodline) – Wondering where Miami’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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to analyze which restaurants have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.

To find out who made the list, we first looked at Miami 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 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 riding a trend, right now.

Hutong

Photo: Hutong/yelp

Open since December 2019, this cocktail bar, which offers dim sum, seafood and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “Seafood” on Yelp.

Citywide, seafood spots saw a median 1.8% increase in new reviews over the past month. Hutong 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 seafood category: Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen has seen a 51.4% increase in reviews.

Located at 600 Brickell Ave. in Brickell, Hutong offers a popular dim sum platter as well as seafood entrees like the restaurant’s signature dish, The Red Lantern, which is made with crispy soft-shell crab and dried whole chilies and the Branzino filet in Sichuan peppercorn broth. (Check out the menu here.)

Hutong is open from noon–3 p.m. and 6 p.m.–11 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, noon–3 p.m. and 6 p.m.–midnight on Friday and Saturday and noon–3 p.m. and 6 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.

OMAKAI Sushi

Photo: OMAKAI Sushi/Yelp

Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about OMAKAI sushi, the sushi bar and Japanese spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as “Japanese” on Yelp saw a median 2.2% increase in new reviews over the past month, OMAKAI sushi appeared on Yelp relatively recently. Many new businesses struggle to gain reviews, but it has seen a surge of interest.

Want more about the business’s specialties in the words of the people behind it? “Bringing top quality sushi at the right price with the ‘leave it up to us’ set menus,” — that’s courtesy of its page on Yelp.

Open at 2107 N.W. Second Ave., Miami since October 2019, OMAKAI sushi offers a chef-selected omakase-style menu plus a la carte sections with nigiris and hand rolls, and sake flights.

OMAKAI sushi is open from noon-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday, noon–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–11 p.m. on Thursday, noon–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–11:30 p.m. on Friday, noon–11:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon–10:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Astra

Photo: Albert P./Yelp

Astra is also making waves. Open at 2121 N.W. Second Ave., the well-established bar and Mediterranean spot has seen a 19% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.3% for all businesses tagged “Mediterranean” on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, Astra’s review count increased by more than 700%.

There’s more than one hot spot trending in Miami’s Mediterranean category: The Deck at Island Gardens has seen a 7.7% increase in reviews.

Astra offers starters like cheese saganaki, salmon tartare and a platter with heirloom tomatoes, hummus, tzatziki, eggplant melitzanosalata and pita bread. The main dishes include squid ink pasta with lobster. (View the menu here.) Over the past month, it’s maintained a mixed 3.5-star rating among Yelpers.

Astra is open from 5 p.m.–1 a.m. on Monday-Wednesday, 5 p.m.–2 a.m. on Thursday, 4 p.m.–3 a.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and 5 p.m.–3 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and 5 p.m.–1 a.m. on Sunday.

Bellini

Photo: David S./Yelp

Bellini is the city’s buzziest Italian spot by the numbers.

The Italian spot, which has been open at 2988 McFarlane Road since summer 2019, increased its new review count by 20% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 2.4% for the Yelp category “Italian.” It outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.4 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

Bellini offers everything from classic paninis and pasta to house specialties like rib-eye steak, lamb chops and veal Milanese. Highlights include classic lasagne Bolognese, tuna carpaccio and Tiramisu dessert. (Take a peek at the menu.)

 

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