What’s for dinner? Yelp wants to help.
Yelp released its list of “America’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2020” on Jan. 7, and seven restaurants in Texas and three in Dallas-Fort Worth made the list.
In North Texas, Yelp’s top restaurants are:
- Tommy Tamale Market & Cafe in Grapevine, a Tex-Mex restaurant open since 2009. It’s made Yelp’s list several times and this year landed at No. 16.
- Sky Rocket Burger in Far North Dallas, a burger joint with a tiny, simple menu. Yelp says it’s the 28th place to visit in 2020.
- The Aussie Grind in Frisco, ranked No. 30. It’s known for coffee, but Aussie Grind also has a sizeable breakfast and lunch menu.
If you’re scratching your head, we are, too. If you were asked to rank the top places to eat in 2020 in North Texas, would these three have made your list? They didn’t make our lists of biggest restaurant and bar openings in 2019 or most exciting restaurants of 2020.
But customers shouldn’t be surprised by Yelp’s wonky results. These restaurants don’t need to be new or even “exciting” by our definition.
It’s a game of numbers.
The list is created by Yelp’s data science team who “pulled the top restaurants by ratings and number of reviews in 2019 across the U.S., with representation based on each place’s share of top-rated restaurants nationally,” according to the website. Community managers in major cities then helped develop the final list.
All three North Texas restaurants carry a five-star rating on Yelp.
The idea is solid: It’s a ranking of all the restaurants, nationwide, you should consider visiting in 2020. But execution is a problem: All that data, in so many cities, means these restaurants may not even have been top hits in their own cities, much less nationwide.
But perhaps we shouldn’t care. Yelp’s list is one of the few times when mom-and-pop shops in diverse neighborhoods get nationwide attention for being liked by customers. Some might say: Isn’t that what makes for a good restaurant recommendation?
Among the 100 restaurants named, a few do seem truly worthy of a trek across the country. Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, S.C., for instance, came in at No. 34 and is a destination spot for those willing to travel for smoked meat. It’s named for John Lewis, the El Paso native who had a hand in Franklin Barbecue and La Barbecue in Austin before moving out east. Also on the list, at No. 68, is Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, the famous restaurant formerly known as Oklahoma Joe’s until it changed its name in 2014.
The No. 1 restaurant on the list is a food truck in San Diego called Shawarma Guys. With 490 reviews, the restaurant has received a perfect five-star rating.
See Yelp’s full list here.
For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.
Source: Thanks https://www.dallasnews.com/food/restaurant-news/2020/01/07/7-texas-restaurants-make-yelps-top-100-places-to-eat-in-2020-but-theres-a-problem/