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Soul Food, Sushi And More: What's Trending On Miami's Food Scene?

MIAMI (Hoodline) -- Wondering where Miami's in-the-know crowd is 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 uncover which eateries have been getting a noteworthy uptick in attention 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 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.

Piccola Italia Pizza

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(Photo: Piccola Italian Pizza/Yelp)

Open since 2009, this family owned Italian spot, which offers pizza and more, is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Italian" on Yelp.

Citywide, Italian spots saw a median 2.7% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Piccola Italia Pizza saw a 4.5% increase, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating throughout. According to SafeGraph foot traffic data, the number of visitors to Piccola Italia Pizza more than doubled over the past month.

It's not the only trending outlier in the Italian category: North Italia has seen a 13.4% increase in reviews.

Located at 2389 Coral Way in Coral Way, Piccola Italia Pizza offers pizza with a variety of toppings, pastas, sandwiches and desserts. Menu highlights include the chicken parmigiana sub, bolognese pizza and tiramisu.

Piccola Italia Pizza is open from 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. on Tuesday-Friday, noon–10:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m.–10:30 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.) According to SafeGraph, people tend to visit Piccola Italia Pizza on Saturdays and Thursdays, and it attracts a quarter of its total visitors over those two days. If you're planning your visit, you may want to try its slower periods on Sundays.

Katsuya Brickell

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(Photo: katsuya brickell/Yelp)

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Brickell's Katsuya Brickell, the popular venues and event space, sushi bar and Japanese spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Japanese" on Yelp saw a median 2.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, Katsuya Brickell bagged a 17.4% increase in new reviews within that time frame, with a slight upward trend from a 3.5-star rating a month ago to its current four stars.

Open at 8 S.E. Eighth St. since June 2018, Katsuya Brickell offers offers starters like Chili-Passion Oysters (kumamoto oyster, passion fruit and Fresno chili jam) and Waygu short rib gyoza (with dashi braised onions and brûléed Gruyere foam) as well as sushi and sashimi platter. Desserts include the Geisha's Kiss, which is made with adzuki bean semifreddo, strawberry sake consomme, crispy meringue, strawberry foam and shisho.

Katsuya Brickell is open from 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11:30 a.m.–midnight on Friday and Saturday.

The Citadel

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(photo: kenny d./yelp)

The Little Haiti's The Citadel is also making waves. Open since February at 8300 N.E. Second Ave., the well-established food court, music venue and cocktail bar has seen an 11.4% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 2.9% for all businesses tagged "Cocktail Bars" on Yelp.

The Citadel is a food hall offering French, Asian, Peruvian, Italian favorites and more. A full-service bar offers everything from beer and wine to handcrafted cocktails like the Miami Margarita with Patron Silver, mango fruit puree, lime juice and habanero hellfire bitters. Over the past month, it's seen its Yelp rating improve from four stars to 4.5 stars.

The Citadel is open from 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (It's closed on Monday.)

World Famous House of Mac

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(Photo: world famous house of mac/Yelp)

World Famous House of Mac is the city's buzziest New American spot by the numbers.

The well-established New American spot, which offers soul food and chicken wings and opened at 2055 N.W. Second Ave. since 2015, increased its new review count by 7.5% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.7% for the Yelp category "American (New)."

World Famous House of Mac is known for its wide selection of gourmet macaroni and cheese dishes, including one with jumbo shrimp and seasoned lobster tail. Other offerings include chicken wings with a variety of sauces and pasta dishes like the jerk salmon pasta (it's made with with penne pasta, jerk Alfredo sauce and spicy salmon).

World Famous House of Mac is open from noon–11 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, noon–2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon–midnight on Sunday.


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