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.
Lievito Notte Pizza Pop-Up at Present Company
The Deal: Chinatown’s Present Company Public House chef Lincoln Fuge showcases his sourdough skills with a winter pizza pop-up called Lievito Notte, which translates to “night yeast.” Dough fermented for 36 hours is baked fresh to order with traditional toppings like pepperoni and mozzarella. Offbeat options include Nashville hot eggplant, homemade mushroom “salami,” and a “Green, Egg, and Ham” pie with basil pesto.
Present Company also slings a $5 Mind Eraser special during January to capitalize on the recent craze for the throwback drink.
Where: Present Company, 438 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Dates: Wednesdays and Thursdays through the end of February
Cost: Pies are $14-$16 each and served alongside its normal menu
Alfie’s Thai Night Market
The Deal: After a two-year pandemic pause, popular Northern Thai supper club Alfie’s returns for one night only at Lucky Buns in Adams Morgan. The Thai takeover, led by chefs Alex McCoy and Scott Han, includes a bowl of hand-pounded khao soi curry with egg noodles, braised beef with chili oil, and pickled mustard greens. There’s also homemade sai ua samun phrai herbal pork sausage with green chili relish and herbs; slow-cooked lamb hangleh curry with pickled ginger, pineapple, and Burmese spices; and fiery laap and charred eggplant salad. Chang beer, Mekhong, and cocktails will be flowing all night.
Where: Lucky Buns, 2000 18th Street NW
Dates: Thursday, January 12 from 5 p.m. to midnight; Reserve via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with walk-in space available.
Anju x The Dabney
The Deal: Award-winning Korean chef Danny Lee (Anju, Chiko, Mandu) heads to Michelin-rated Dabney for a one-night collaboration with chef Jeremiah Langhorne. Lee’s mom Yesoon Lee, lovingly called “Mama Lee,” will also cook on-site. The four-course menu will mash up Korean and mid-Atlantic flavors with use of the Dabney’s renowned hearth.
Where: The Dabney, 122 Blagden Alley NW
Dates: Tuesday, January 17
Cost: Tickets are $115 and $95 extra with wine pairings; reservations for parties of two for four require a $25 deposit per person.
Mindful Drinking Fest 2023
The Deal: Round out Dry January with a one-day festival full of non-alcoholic wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails, along with some of the top pioneers leading the zero-proof charge. Hosted at Union Market’s Selina hotel, look for tastings, wellness classes, a bartender competition, and afterparty hosted by Disco Mary Collective. Mindful Drinking Fest claims to be the largest spirit-free drinking event of its kind in the U.S.
Where: Selina DC, 411 New York Avenue NE
Dates: Saturday, January 21 starting at 3 p.m.
Cost: Ticket tiers are $35, $75, and $95
The Deal: After a two-year break in D.C., chef Marcelle Afram’s popular Palestinian carryout Shababi resurfaces with a month-long residency at H Street’s Please Bring Chips. The menu specializes in musakhan—rotisserie-style chicken brined for 24 hours before being coated with a blended mix of allspice, sumac, cumin, fenugreek, and cardamom. It’s a dish steeped in tradition as the national dish of Palestine and a West Bank dinnertime staple. Catering and events company Please Bring Chips now occupies the old home of Burmese restaurant Thamee.
Where: Please Bring Chips; 1320 H Street NE
Dates: Thursday, January 26 to Saturday, February 25
Cost: Tickets are $113.64 per person
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
Lost Sock Roasters at Phillips Collection
The Deal: Lost Sock Roasters opens a new pop-up cafe this fall inside the Dupont Circle’s revered Phillips Collection. A full espresso bar, iced and hot seasonal drinks, and non-caffeinated options join a list of wines and beers. Owners Nicolas Cabrera and Jeff Yerxa debuted their first standalone coffee shop in Takoma last year after roasting in Brightwood Park since 2015. Look for baked empanadas by Hungry Moon Foods in Hatboro, Pennsylvania (Cabrera’s parents’ company), as well as new creations by chef Jordi Harper. The cafe is outfitted with free Wi-Fi and a massive patio. Tryst formerly operated a cafe inside the private museum.
Where: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW
Dates: Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: The cafe will be open to museum guests as well as the general public (without an entrance fee).
Details: From husband-and-wife team Michael Turner and Alexandra Bookless Turner (and named for their daughter), naturally unleavened pan pizzas made with mid-Atlantic grains come with pepperoni, sausage and peppers, four cheese, as well as an all-cheese white version with chile flakes, garlic, and honey drizzle. Add on a kale Caesar or a slice of cajeta cheesecake for the full deal. Details on ordering and payment here.
Where: Pick-up is in D.C.’s Trinidad neighborhood. Exact location will be shared upon order confirmation.
When: The pop-up returns once a month with dates announced on the website and Instagram.
The Deal: From veteran Tune Inn bartender Stephanie Hulbert-Sargent, Rammy-nominated A Presto! Italian Foods celebrates the kind of Sunday dinner she grew up eating in New Jersey with her Italian family, according to Washington City Paper. Named for Hulbert-Sargent’s maternal grandfather, family is the name of the game with several dishes are named for family members. Mama Sue’s meatballs, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, and Sunday gravy all make appearances on the rotating menu. Reservations available here.
Where: Bullfrog Bagels upstairs space (317 Seventh Street SE)
Dates: Thursday to Sunday nights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Balangay Pop-Up at Bullfrog Bagels
The Deal: Filipino chef Wing Villarias sets up shop at Atlas District’s Bullfrog Bagels three nights a week with an a la carte dinner menu featuring classics like lumpia, crispy pork belly, fried calamari with squid ink, vegan pancit, and fried chicken adobo.
Where: Bullfrog Bagels, 1341 H Street NE
Dates: Open for dine-in and takeout Thursday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: Dishes start at $8
Kennedy Street Tacos
The Deal: Chef Jaren Morrow’s taco Tuesday residency at neighborhood dive Jackie Lee’s features a menu of crunch wraps, quesadillas, burritos, taco salads, and pick-your-own proteins.
Where: Jackie Lee’s, 116 Kennedy Street NW
Dates: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday
Cost: Tacos and dishes are $6-$10 and sides (tostones, beans, rice) are $3 each
The Deal: San Lorenzo chef Massimo Fabbri debuts a lunchtime pop-up showcasing the sandwiches his mom used to make him in Tuscany. On the savory side, a 10-inch baguette comes with mortadella and caprese. Another option has 18-month prosciutto di Parma ham, burrata mousse, crushed tomato, and 12-year-old Balsamic. A “sweet” section served on a round brioche bun include Nutella ricotta with strawberries and hazelnuts and “Vegano” with fresh figs, mint, and fig jam. The menu will also feature four salads and a soup of the day.
Where: San Lorenzo Ristorante + Bar, 1316 9th Street NW
Dates: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday
Cost: Sandwiches run $10-$14. Orders will be available through DC to GoGo, Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats or via pickup at San Lorenzo via phone (202-588-8954).