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In the know: What's heating up New Orleans' food scene this month

Unsure where New Orleans' insiders are eating and drinking? It's easy to spot lines out the door, but some underlying trends are harder to see.

Want the scoop on New Orleans' most happening local spots?

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 in the limelight this month.

To find out who made the list, we first looked at New Orleans 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 sizzling hot, right now.

Emeril's New Orleans

Open since 2005, this well-established New American and Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, has been getting a lot more foot traffic lately.

While Emeril's New Orleans stayed on par with the median 1.5% increase in new reviews for New American spots on Yelp over the past month, maintaining a solid four-star rating, the number of visitors to Emeril's New Orleans more than doubled over the same time frame, according to SafeGraph's foot traffic data.

It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Ruby Slipper Cafe has seen a 2.7% increase in reviews, and The Governor Seafood & Oyster Bar has seen a 4.9% bump.

Located at 800 Tchoupitoulas St. in the Lower Garden District, Emeril's New Orleans offers lunch and dinner service, with highlights such as housemade boudin sausage, sweet barbecued salmon, lobster fettucine and sugar cane lacquered duck. Check out the Happy Hour and cocktail menus before your visit.

Emeril's New Orleans is open from 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. on weekdays and 5–10 p.m. on weekends. According to SafeGraph, it usually gets busy at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’re planning your visit, you may want to try its slower periods on Sundays.

Mahony's Po-Boys & Seafood

The French Quarter's Mahony's Po-Boys & Seafood is also making waves. Open at 901 Iberville St. since 2018, the popular Cajun/Creole spot, which offers seafood and more, has seen a 6.2% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.4% for all businesses tagged 'Cajun/Creole' on Yelp.

There's more than one hot spot trending in New Orleans's Cajun/Creole category: Atchafalaya Restaurant has seen a 1.2% increase in reviews.

Mahony's Po-Boys & Seafood offers Southern classics like gumbo, shrimp and grits, redfish almondine and crawfish étouffée. The bar serves beer, wine and cocktails, and delivery/catering services are also available. Over the past month, it's maintained a sound four-star rating among Yelpers. 

Mahony's Po-Boys & Seafood is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Tito's Ceviche & Pisco

Uptown's Tito's Ceviche & Pisco is the city's buzziest seafood spot by the numbers.

The well-established Peruvian spot, which opened at 5015 Magazine St. in 2017, increased its new review count by 2.1% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.5% for the Yelp category 'Seafood.' As for foot traffic, Tito's Ceviche & Pisco saw a 40% increase in visits over the past month, according to SafeGraph data.

Tito's Ceviche & Pisco offers fresh ceviche dishes as well as authentic Peruvian appetizers, salads, small plates and desserts. (Check out the full menu here.)

Tito's Ceviche & Pisco is open from 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday-Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.) According to SafeGraph, it's usually busiest at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., and people visit Tito's Ceviche & Pisco most on Saturdays and Fridays, with a slowdown on Tuesdays.

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.