Right now, there’s something comforting about the inherent transience of a pop-up. While the newness and strangeness of, well, everything might have us in a perpetual state of Monday-morning-after-a-long-weekend, new and different is what we expect from pop-ups. Whether you’re looking for a glimpse of normalcy, or you just want to try some chicken fried steak covered in gravy, check out the 24 pop-ups on this guide.
With all due respect to watching the guy who yelled “yard sale” from the chairlift proceed to lose his skis and poles five minutes later, après-ski is the best part of any ski vacation. But there’s no rule saying that hot buttered rum and tequila-infused hot cocoa can only be consumed at the base of a mountain. For the next six weeks starting on October 30th, you can après-ski with hot cocktails, as well as alpine-inspired food and wine on Kindred’s heated outdoor patio Wednesday through Saturday from 4-11pm.
Along with analyzing an ex’s posts for signs that they’re still thinking about you, the best reason we can think of to open Instagram right now is to find out the next time Yellow Rose is popping up in NYC. That way, you’ll be on top of when and where to find chicken fried steak covered in gravy, fideo soup with hominy and hot buttered plum, and micheladas with roasted tomatoes and pickled peppers. Whatever else you order, tacos are non-negotiable, and come on tortillas that the husband-wife team makes fresh daily.
Chikarashi Isso at Hotel 50 Bowery
If you only know Chikarashi as a fast-casual spot with long lines at lunch, then their pop-up on the second-floor outdoor terrace at Hotel 50 Bowery might seem out of left field. After all, rather than $14 poke bowls, they’re serving a 13-course kappo-style yakitori omakase for $150 per person. But if you made it to Chikarashi Isso in the three or so months it was open before the shutdown, then you’ll know they can do an excellent high-end yakitori experience as well. The FiDi location hasn’t reopened yet, but you can still watch scallops and chicken oysters grilling in front of you before arriving on your plate topped with uni and white truffle. Seats at the U-shaped chef’s counter for either of the night’s seatings can be reserved here.
Kindred - Orange Wine Festival
When white wine grapes are pressed, the skins are typically separated from the juice right away. But if you leave the skins in contact with the juice for a couple of weeks or months, you get orange (or skin-contact) wine. People in Georgia have been making it for 8,000 years, and now people are drinking it with their acai bowls in NYC. For a much deeper dive into the world of orange wine, head to Kindred on November 1st. Tickets for one of the day’s two-hour seatings costs $150 per person, and includes 16 two-ounce pours, as well as a bunch of vegetarian-friendly food. While drinking 1.3 bottles of delicious wine on a heated and covered outdoor patio in the East Village would be very pleasant on its own, Kindred is from the same people as Ruffian, so you can expect as much background and excitement around the wines as you’re interested in hearing.
The Migrant Kitchen
The Migrant Kitchen - who we’ve partnered with on Feed The Polls to feed people in line at polling locations across the country on election day - is serving dishes with Latin American and Middle Eastern influences out of a pop-up in Williamsburg. Not only can you order things like smoked street corn with sumac and labneh, or a roasted lamb torta with mujadara and Oaxaca queso, but for every $12 you spend, The Migrant Kitchen will donate a healthy meal to a New Yorker in need. Head to the pop-up between 12-10pm Tuesday through Sunday, or place an order for delivery.
Bronx Night Market
Unless they’re to your friend’s one-person rendition of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” free tickets should usually be met with a fair bit of skepticism. Allow us to assure you that free tickets to Bronx Night Market are ones you can enthusiastically accept. They simply guarantee you a two-hour slot between 12-6pm on weekends, and make sure that social distancing at this outdoor food fair can be maintained at all times. After reserving your ticket here, head to Fordham Plaza for things like jerk pork tacos, arepas, kebabs, and plump bao buns.
Mister Jiu’s x The Four Horsemen
What happens when one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Mister Jiu’s, and one of our favorite spots in NYC, The Four Horsemen, collaborate on a six-course takeout meal inspired by Chinese banquet dining? We don’t know. At least we won’t know for sure until the weeklong partnership launches on November 13th. Then we’ll get a better sense for how poached ling cod stew with butter beans and smoked duck with silken tofu pair with natural colombard from Mendocino. You can choose a pick-up time, and order the $145 ($195 with wine) meal for two ahead of time here.
When a wine store clerk asks, “Can I help you?” the honest response tends to be, “I want something great, and I have a price point in mind, but I’m not sure how to describe the former, and feel weird announcing the latter.” But that’s rarely what comes out of our mouths. If only we could taste the wines and discuss them with someone knowledgeable before buying them, then wine shopping wouldn’t be such a pain. Fortunately, that’s exactly what you can do at Parcelle’s pop-up in the West Village. Make a reservation for a table Wednesday through Saturday from 5-9pm, try an array of different wines while snacking on small plates, chat about them with the wine shop’s staff, and then if you want, purchase a bottle to-go.
Blueberry cured hamachi and mandoo stuffed with warm chocolate ganache probably don’t come to mind when you picture a karaoke bar. But those, along with other sweet and savory Korean-influenced dishes, are currently being made by two former chefs from The Modern at Karaoke Star in Koreatown. There’s no indoor seating (or karaoke), but outdoor seating is available for walk-ins Tuesday through Saturday from 5-10pm, and reservations are available by messaging one of the chef’s on his Instagram.
Pétanque is a ball-tossing game similar to bocce that originated in France in the early 1900s. Now that you know what it is, you should know where to play it. One answer is Carreau Club, a pop-up in the courtyard at Industry City where you can drink bottled cocktails, and eat snacks from the team at M. Wells, like a pan bagnat or muffaletta sandwich. Show up in person, or reserve a court for up to six people through their website.
Reception Bar is a great spot for after-dinner drinks on the LES, and now Wednesdays through Fridays, this Korean cocktail bar is equally well suited for after-dinner snacks, or as it’s better known, dessert. Joy Cho, a former pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, is serving a few Korean-inspired sweet and savory options, like flourless chocolate cake with bokbunja wine whipped cream, or kimchi grilled cheese with kewpie on housemade bread.
There’s a new Mexican street food pop-up right outside of Cevicheria El Rey on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights that specializes in tacos Arabes and cemitas. Served with cochinita pibil (roasted pork) on a giant tortilla that almost resembles a pita, the food at Tlaxcal Kitchen traces back to the city of Puebla, where 19th-century Arab immigrants intertwined kebabs and shawarma into central Mexican cuisine. Check out their Instagram information for more information on hours and specials.
Under The Volcano
This fall, the chef from Tlaxcal Kitchen is cooking tacos at Under the Volcano, a mezcal bar on East 36th Street. Along with cochinita pibil and birria, you’ll also find dishes like salsa borracha prepared with mezcal, and sheep barbacoa made with agave leaves.
When you think of an ideal spot for a block party, Midtown probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. And while you still won’t see any lawn chairs or kiddie pools, Midtown Social is doing their part by supplying hot dogs, chopped cheese sandwiches, potato salad, and Italian ice. Sit at one of their outdoor tables Monday through Friday from 11am-9pm, or bring your food a block away to Bryant Park.
San Antonio's Wood Fired Pizza
2.38% - it’s about the chances Vegas gives either the Giants or Jets of winning this year’s Super Bowl, and it’s the fraction of time each week when you can get San Antonio’s Wood Fired Pizza. From 5-9pm on Friday nights, they park their oven in front of 132 Eagle Street in Greenpoint, and serve bubbly, charred pies for takeout and BYOB outdoor tables.
Karasu always seems to be somewhere you don’t expect. Usually, that means running a Japanese speakeasy and izakaya in a back room of Walter’s in Fort Greene. And currently, it means operating a pop-up at 128 Meserole Street in East Williamsburg. Wednesday through Sunday until Halloween, they’re serving skewers and small plates, karaage fried chicken, and excellent cocktails at indoor and outdoor tables beginning at 5pm.
Her Name Is Han is offering weekly ssambap bapsang sets Friday through Sunday. For $45, you can have pork belly, braised mackerel, and a bunch of sides delivered directly to your door. They also offer a drink supplement, which includes three beers and a bottle of soju for $20.
In Hudson, the people behind the temporarily closed Lil’ Deb’s Oasis are currently running a pop-up called Fuego 69 at the Riverton Lodge. From 3-5pm, you can hang out in the hotel’s backyard and order drinks, or stop by for dinner between 5-9pm, when they’re serving dishes like buckwheat flatbread topped with buckwheat honey and fried buckwheat groats. 69 cents from every dish is donated to local and national racial justice causes.
Brooklyn’s Paulie Gee’s is hosting a new pop-up with Edith’s, a Jewish deli that’s serving pizza bagels, latke BEC sandwiches, challah knots, and more from this popular Greenpoint pizza place. You can try their baked goods, plus things like smoked fish and cream cheese for takeout or on Paulie Gee’s outdoor patio every Thursday through Sunday through October.
This nomadic burger joint has already hosted pop-ups at spots like Marshall Stack, Ray’s, and Smile To-Go this summer, and their cheeseburgers photos look disturbingly delicious. You can choose whether you want a single or double-patty burger, but both options will always come loaded with caramelized onions and a cascading waterfall of melted cheddar cheese. Check their Instagram to find out where they’ll be popping up next.
Smile To Go
Yardy, a Caribbean catering company, is now offering delivery and takeout out of the Soho Smile To-Go location on Howard Street from 10am to 6pm, Tuesday through Friday. Check out the menu of things like shrimp skewers, tamarind ginger chicken, and a galette with caramelized onion and chayote squash - and place your order here.
Holy Ground’s space in Tribeca isn’t a standard venue for a BBQ spot. Instead of paper napkins and canned beer, you’ll find red leather booths and martinis. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that its pop-up isn’t traditional either. They’ve put a custom smoker and grill on the back of a 1966 Chevy pickup truck, which they park in front of various partner-restaurants around the city. On Wednesdays, you’ll find them at Ray’s on the LES, Friday and Sunday at Donna in Williamsburg, and Thursday through Sunday at Elsewhere in Bushwick. Perhaps most fitting given their current setup, they’re also operating out of the parking lot of Joe’s Auto Repair, next to We Got Company, in Williamsburg on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The only way we can imagine leaving this Flushing spot off the NYC dumpling podium is if you’ve never tried their pork and chive or lamb and cilantro dumplings. Fortunately for people in Manhattan, that’s now easier than ever, as Dumpling Galaxy has set up a takeout and delivery operation on the Upper West Side. You can place an order any day between 4-9:30pm through their website.
City Winery Pop Up
City Winery, which just opened a massive new location in the Hudson Valley, is operating a pop-up wine garden at Rockefeller Center. Every day from 1-7pm on the plaza between 50th and 51st, you can get City Winery’s house wine on tap, as well snacks like charcuterie, various cheeses, and burrata.