Between Pride, a post-voting, civic-duty-fueled dopamine rush, and weather that necessitates several showers, there’s a ton of fun things to do and eat this week. We curated a list of the most exciting pop-ups, collaborations, and parties happening between June 22nd and June 27th. All you need to do is pick which one(s) to go to.
The Singaporean food at this Washington Heights spot - like perfectly cooked laksa noodles and sweet roasted pork and pipping hot deep-fried buns with chili crab sauce - makes it one of the best new restaurants in the entire city right now. That’s why we feel compelled to tell you about their pop-up series on Sundays at Skin Contact, a natural wine bar on the Lower East Side that’s historically fun to visit. At each dinner, Native Noodles will serve a menu of noodles, roti, and kaya waffles that pairs with a curated list of natural wine. The collaboration is running until July 11th and reservations are required ahead of time.
Hags, a queer, community-driven restaurant that’s opening a full-time location on 1st Avenue in the East Village, will be popping up at Ursula on Tuesday, June 22nd. Stop by Ursula’s Crown Heights cafe between 12-5pm for dishes like fried okra with bordelaise sauce, spicy crab over grits, and pork cheeks with broccolini, pickled peppers, and tahini. Plus a jello dish whose profits will support For The Gworls (an organization funding rent and gender affirmative surgeries for black transgender individuals). The event is a part of the New Mexican cafe’s Queer Community pop-up series (which has been ongoing since February 2021), and you can read our interview with Eric See, Ursula’s owner, and his vision for queer pop-up events at Ursula here.
Big dessert news: Fan Fan Doughnuts in Bed-Stuy now serves ice cream on weekends in collaboration with chef and food writer Nicole Taylor - who is the author of an upcoming Juneteenth cookbook called Watermelon and Red Birds. Right now, Fan Fan is focusing on doughnut sundaes and a special tres leches ice cream with whipped cream, strawberry-sumac compote, and lime zest. You can only order ice cream on weekends for now, but Fan Fan Doughnuts is open starting at 9am on weekdays for all your other doughnut-related errands.
On Tuesday, June 22nd the chef of the not-yet-open Cantonese restaurant Bonnie’s will be serving three noodle dishes at one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants, Saigon Social on the Lower East Side. Bonnie’s is set to open in Williamsburg in the fall of 2021, but they’ve been throwing pop-up events around the city as a way to test out menu items (sort of like dipping a toe into a swimming pool or texting before calling). Stop by Saigon Social starting at 5pm for mussels with black bean garlic sauce over ho fun rice noodles, cacio e pepe made with fu yu, and black pepper beef atop Hong Kong style fried egg noodles. May as well order Saigon Social’s excellent shell crab bánh mì or crispy nem cua bể while you’re at it.
After closing down at the end of 2020, the team behind one of our all-time favorite restaurants, MeMe’s Diner, announced this week that they’re reopening the Prospect Heights location as a mixed-use, shared space called KIT (Keep In Touch). Starting this Wednesday, June 23rd, you can stop by for coffee and all-day snacks made by chef Libby Willis, and natural wine curated by Black Cat Wines between 8am-8pm. On weekends, Dacha 46 will continue to serve Eastern European banya brunch (they’ve been operating at MeMe’s for several weeks now), and you can also try Solid Wiggles’ beautiful jello shots and jelly cakes.
After a year-plus hiatus, Smorgasburg is returning to its Williamsburg location on Saturday, June 26th (the Jersey City, World Trade Center, and Prospect Park markets are already open). Even if you’ve been to Smorgasburg before, we’re reminding you of its existence specifically because our favorite BBQ spot in the city just booked a stall there. Bark Barbecue, originally based in Ozone Park, will be serving its phenomenal smoked brisket, juicy turkey, and Dominican specialty sides on Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park. Go give it a try and send us an email about how much you loved the meat later.
Pride month events are wrapping up, and if you’re looking for more this week (aside from the Queer Liberation March and annual NYC Pride March in Manhattan), Elsewhere in Bushwick will have dance parties and live shows Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We recommend securing tickets in advance, since the outdoor bar area gets crowded. You can check out the schedule and book tickets here.