Pop-ups and events are in full swing around D.C., and this selective guide includes everything longer-term pop-ups and one-off events.
The Deal: After a years-long pandemic hiatus, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and food writer David Hagedorn bring back Chefs for Equality to D.C. with a newly announced list of 150 top local chefs, bakers, and mixologists. Tickets to the 10th annual night of food, drink, entertainment, auctions, and decadent decor support the group’s educational work nationwide and its fight for full LGBTQ+ equality. This year, 40 savory tasting stations serving everything from kimchi Reubens to foie gras macarons join 20 cocktail bars and 13 lavish chef tables where guests can enjoy a five-course meal in the middle of the action. Stunning cakes surrounding the room provide guests dessert at the end of the night before leaving with a culinary goodie bag. New activations this year include a “Speed Diner meets Drag Brunch” with a performance curated by Crazy Aunt Helen’s; a central “Queerlada Shop” from Colada Shop; and an upper-tier Champagne & Caviar Lounge.
Where: National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW
Dates: Monday, October 30 starting at 6 p.m.
Cost: Tickets ($325 or $550) can be purchased here. This year’s theme, Plate of Emergency, calls attention to the state of emergency that HRC has officially declared due to intensified attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.
Chinese Prime Rib House Pop-Up Dinner Series
The Deal: Chef Tim Ma’s latest passion project pays homage to stateside steakhouse culture near and far, specifically, San Francisco’s perennially packed institution House of Prime Rib.
His ongoing dinner series at his new Navy Yard restaurant Any Day Now reimagines the legendary prime rib house through an immigrant lens. “I love prime rib houses, and obviously, I love Chinese food,” says Ma, who also runs Chinese takeout Lucky Danger. The family-style menu is centered around a five-spice prime rib paired with hoisin demi glaze and an array of sauces. Starters include a green papaya Caesar salad, and Any Day Now’s hit scallion pancakes function as the bread course. Sides include creamed bitter greens and mashed potatoes with Szechuan gravy with creme brulee as the finale. Any Day Now’s chef and partner Matt Sperber and beverage director Ryan Ward collaborate on the menu, which includes a martini-heavy cocktail list. Another dinner is slated for December.
Where: Any Day Now, 2 I Street SE
Dates: Friday, October 27, with the second dinner slated for December
Cost: $80 per person (excluding beverages, tax and tip); seatings start at 5:30 p.m.
Moon Rabbit x Away
The Deal: James Beard-nominated chef Kevin Tien’s Moon Rabbit Supper Club partners with NYC-based travel and luggage company Away to celebrate the opening of its first retail storefront in Georgetown (3237 M Street NW). Dubbed “Kevin’s Trip Home,” the multi-course menu draws inspiration from Tien’s Vietnamese roots and Cajun upbringing in Louisiana. Reheat-and-eat dinners for two to six, delivered in stylish Away tote bags, feature popular Moon Rabbit dishes, rotating seasonal specials, and off-menu surprises.
Dates: The menu is available beginning October 1 through Table 22
Cost: Moon Rabbit Supper Club starts at $120 per month, plus $15 for D.C. area delivery
The Deal: A Miami Vice-obsessed bar just zoomed into Del Ray, complete with a South Beach mural, ’80s music, neon-lit signage, palm tree wallpaper, retro posters, and hot pink-and-turquoise tones everywhere. Miami Vibes is the site’s latest themed activation in the old Sushi Bar space by its Homegrown Restaurant Group owners Bill Blackburn and “Mango” Mike Anderson.
The bar is fueled on daiquiris, mojitos, watermelon frose, and Kona lagers. Cute cocktail names like the Don Johnson, Crockett & Tubbs, and St. Vitus Dance pay homage to the cult show. A selection of on-brand starters and dishes includes pineapple-glazed wings, coconut shrimp, jerk chicken tacos, lobster and shrimp ceviche, and spinach and crab dip, plus Key Lime pie for dessert.
Where: 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue, Del Ray, Virginia
Dates: Now through October; hours kick off at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. (and midnight Thursday to Saturday)
Chef’s Table with Amy + Friends
The Deal: Centrolina chef Amy Brandwein invites fellow top chefs to come cook four-course dinners for charity at her Italian restaurant at CityCenter DC. Each guest chef will select the cuisine of the night, and proceeds from each 26-seat seating will go toward a charity of the guest chef’s choice.
Where: Centrolina, 974 Palmer Alley NW
- 10/24: Joan Nathan
- 11/1: Katsuya Fukushima
- 11/14: Erik Bruner Yang
Cost: Tickets are $175 (excluding tax, tip and alcoholic beverages.) Reservations for the inaugural dinner with chef Jocelyn Law-Yone can be made on Resy, with proceeds donated to local nonprofit Imadi. More chefs and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition, Brandwein is hosting a Culinary Excursion in Umbria, Italy from July 19 to 26. The trip with her general manager, who’s a native of Umbria, will include truffle hunting, olive oil mill tours, gelato lessons and tastings, and culinary demos.
Lost Sock Coffee x Anxo Cider
The Deal: After roasting coffee next door since 2016, Lost Sock just debuted a pop-up breakfast cafe inside Brightwood Park’s Anxo Cidery. Situated in the space occupied by Brightwood Pizza & Bottle, Lost Sock offers a morning-to-midday menu of espresso drinks, single-origin options, and seasonal lattes alongside a selection of pastries, baked empanadas, breakfast sandwiches, and its whole bean lineup. Lost Sock maintains a standalone cafe in Takoma Park and recently wrapped a pop-up run in Dupont’s Phillips Collection.
Where: 711 Kennedy Street NW (inside Anxo Cidery)
Dates: Hours are Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the kitchen closes at noon. That’s when Brightwood Pizza starts slinging pies and a selection of ciders, beer, and wine.
Swiftie Sundays at Show of Hands
The Deal: D.C.’s obsession with Taylor Swift continues with a weekly party at Show of Hands to honor the music and cocktail influence of the superstar. The Roost’s cocktail bar on Capitol Hill celebrates the pop icon every Sunday night with cocktails, wines, beers and spirits themed around her song lyrics and track titles. Think: “Wine Stained Dress” (gin, Gentian, lemon, red wine float) and “Red Flushed Gold Rush” (bourbon, red bitter, honey, lemon). Dance to Swift songs in a dedicated space behind the bar.
Where: Show of Hands (inside the Roost), 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Dates: Every Sunday night
Tonari’s “Hole in the Wall” Pop-Up Dessert Bar
The Deal: Daikaya Group’s Tonari rolls out a dessert-only feast featuring five courses, including an opening cocktail and riff on Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s molten chocolate cake. Set up on the second floor, the seven-seat sweets bar puts its pastry-making chefs on full display. The name is an ode to Japan’s original wafu Italian restaurant Kabe No Ana, which translates to “hole in the wall.” Tonari’s fanciful tasting menu up top replaces its normal lineup of savory dishes. Daikaya Group’s pastry chef Mary Mendoza, best known for inventing the doffle and her decadent chicken-fat chocolate cakes at Bantam King, also runs the kitchen on the first floor of Tonari.
Where: Tonari, 707 6th Street NW
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, with seatings between 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Price: Five courses for $55 (includes three drink pairings; the drinks menu also includes half-bottles of Champagne