clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A Running Guide to Pop-Ups Around D.C.

Where to find Jamaican eats, free ceviche, cocktails from award-winning Irish mixologists, and more

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

A photo a goat curry and rum cocktail at 600T.
Dougie’s Backyard serves a prix fixe menu filled with Caribbean flavors on Sunday, November 21, at 600T.
600T/official photo

Pop-ups are in full swing around D.C., and this curated guide includes everything longer-term pop-ups and one-off events.


600T x Dougie’s Backyard

The Deal: The Shaw cocktail bar’s ongoing series with Jamaican pop-up Dougie’s Backyard returns this month with an all-day prix fixe meal served on its colorful back patio. D.C. bartender/chef Fabian Malone’s three-course lineup includes pineapple salad, goat curry, and pumpkin and chicken foot soup to go along with tunes and plenty of Caribbean rum-filled cocktails and punches from 600T.

Where: 600T, 600 T Street NW

Dates: Sunday, November 21, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $45 per person (reserve via Resy)

And on Thursday, November 18, 600T celebrates its fourth anniversary with a live performance by jazz band M-Trane Trio, which had a weekly residency at the bar early on (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.).


Homeboy Bar Takeover at The Doyle Bar

A photo of Homeboy’s Irish owners outside of their London bar.
Homeboy’s Irish owners Aaron Wall and Ciarán Smith.
Lateef Okunnu/Homeboy

The Deal: London’s award-winning Homeboy bar brand from Irish duo Aaron Wall and Ciarán Smith heads to the states for a two-night takeover at The Doyle Bar at The Dupont Circle Hotel. The family-owned Irish luxury hotel group brings Homeboy to D.C. for the first time to unite the brands’ “modern Irish hospitality” roots. Named No. 97 on the Top 500 Bars in the World list for 2020, Homeboy’s debut D.C. menu will include a matcha latte milk punch and variations of the classic martini made with Boatyard’s vodka or double gin, joined by mineral-forward tinctures like Ireland’s Cashel blue cheese or kombu and oyster leaf. For another taste of its across-the-pond home, DJ Rob Carter will spin Homeboy’s hip hop and R&B soundtracks all night.

Where: The Doyle Bar at The Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Avenue NW

Dates: Wednesday, November 17 to Thursday, November 18

Cost: Cocktails are $16 each


CryBaby Comedy at Toki Underground

The Deal: The intimate ramen bar’s monthly comedy series welcomes Napoleon Emill, a performer on Comedy Central and writer for “Flatbush Misdemeanors” on Showtime.

Where: Toki Underground, 1234 H Street NE

Dates: Thursday, November 18; doors open at 10:10 p.m. and the show starts at 10:15 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $20

Toki Underground/official photo

Inca Social Latin Kitchen Preview Pop-Up

The Deal: Inca Social, the vibrant Peruvian bar that serves pisco sours and a long list of Virginia beers by the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station in Vienna, hosts a preview of its second location opening in Arlington next month. The daytime party will feature free ceviche and causa samples, live music, dancing, and a llama mascot.

Where: Inca Social Arlington, 1776 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia

Dates: Saturday, November 20, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 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


Replay at Gaylord National Resort’s Pose Rooftop

The Deal: An ’80s-themed pop-up bar just landed atop the Gaylord National Resort, which reopened this month following a $64 million renovation. The neon-lit rooftop bar located on the 19th floor features soaring views of the Potomac River, retro arcade games, decadent milkshakes, colorful cocktails, and DJs playing the best of the decade. Each night at sunset, a bartender reenacts a famous scene from Tom Cruise flick Cocktail.

Where: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Md.

Dates: Starting Thursday, July 1

Gaylord National Resort/official photo

Cliché at Scarlet Oak

The Deal: Navy Yard’s Scarlet Oak expands its pop-up game with first-ever weekday lunch service out of its side door. Cliché’s menu centers around “trendy” orders like smash burgers, fries (with the option to add Old Bay), avocado toast, various lettuce wraps, and Brussels sprouts Caesar salads. Bottled cocktails for lunch include a summery mule and blood orange bourbon. The expanding menu will also include personal-sized, Detroit-style pies from its popular Side Door Pizza pop-up that’s still going strong since its debut last fall. Co-owner Brian Schram is behind both pop-ups.

Where: Scarlet Oak, 909 New Jersey Avenue SE

Dates: Wednesdays to Fridays starting Wednesday, May 5, for takeout or patio service

Cost: Dishes are $4-$12 and cocktails are $12


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


SANdwich LORENZO

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: Starting Monday, March 22, from 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).


Fedmobile

The Deal: D.C.’s acclaimed barbecue outfit Federalist Pig debuts a weekend mobile kitchen in Hyattsville while waiting for its brick-and-mortar location to open on the same lot. Offerings include dry rubbed and slow-smoked turkey breast and pulled pork, jalapeno cheese sausage links, meaty “sammiches” and family-style meats and sides.

Where: 5504 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, Md.; order ahead for pickup from the food truck here.

Dates: Wednesday to Sunday starting at noon

Carryout and delivery.


Rita’s Tacos at Roy Boy’s

The Deal: The fried chicken-and-bloody mary bar in Shaw enters the pop-up game with a new Mexican menu available for pickup. Along with taco fillings like chicken, carnitas, lamb, and al pastor, a Nashville hot variety features its fried chicken, mac and cheese, and hot sauce. Any order can be dunked in a cup of rich consomé for $3.

Where: Order online for pickup at Roy Boys (2108 8th Street NW)

Cost: Tacos range from $3.50-$4.50; elote corn is $6


Ampersandwich

The “McReid” stars smoked and slow cooked St. Louis ribs and chopped pork shoulder, topped with dill pickles and BBQ sauce on a house-made bun.
Samantha Giordano Kim/Shilling

The Deal: Shilling Canning Company chef Reid Shilling enters the ghost kitchen game with a sandwich-centric menu filled with nostalgic favorites like an elevated “McReid” spin on the McDonald’s McRib. The “E. Lombard Street Corned Beef” piles hot corned beef and mustard on house Jewish rye. Chivito — the national dish of Uruguay and now a D.C. favorite — features wood-fired beef, Virginia ham, applewood smoked bacon, egg, roasted red peppers, chimichurri, garlic aioli, onion, and more on a house bun.

Where: Delivery via DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats; also available on-site at Shilling during happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) Wednesdays and Thursdays. 360 Water Street SE

Dates: Open Wednesday and Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost: Sandwiches start at $14


Gonzo

The Deal: Pineapple & Pearls alum Nicholas Olivas draws from his upbringing in San Gabriel Valley, California, with a new weekend residency at Dupont Circle’s Astoria. The SoCal-inspired carryout menu includes Baja shrimp tacos, pork pozole, guacamole tostadas, and a burnt cinnamon tres leches cake. Drinks include Tecates, Miceladas, and a baked apple toddy.

Where: 1521 17th Street NW

Dates: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday to Sunday

Cost: Dishes are $3-$17 and cocktails are $15; order online


HalfSmoke

The Deal: Shaw sausage bar HalfSmoke debuted virtual kitchen Butter Me Up (breakfast sandwiches, coffee, tea, and cocktails) during the pandemic, served 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Where: 651 Florida Avenue NW (carryout and delivery)


Pizzeria Pop-Up at Anafre

The Deal: Prolific restaurateur and chef Alfredo Solis decided his seafood restaurant Anafre doesn’t lend itself easily to takeout-focused pandemic times, so he’s flipping the Columbia Heights spot into a Mexican-inspired pizzeria pop-up. That means pies like a Chile Relleno pizza topped with blistered jalapeño, Oaxaca cheese, and sour cream, or a pizza starring grilled chicken and mole poblano. Besides the nine pizzas, familiar menu items are still available for Anafre fans too (like the popular seafood nachos).

“I love our concept at Anafre and we had so much great momentum before the pandemic, but it just isn’t as sustainable as our other restaurant concepts,” Solis said in a press release. “In trying to see the brighter side of things, I’ve been wanting to spread my wings more and showcase some of the skills I’ve picked up along my chef journey. I’m proud to be a Mexican chef but that doesn’t mean I can only make Mexican food.”

Where: Anafre; 3704 14th Street NW

Dates: Anafre’s pizza pop-up will be open throughout the duration of the pandemic. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday from and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday. Order takeout online and indoor and outdoor seating are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Cost: Pizzas are $10 to $14


Pho Joint at Duke’s Grocery

The Deal: Duke’s Grocery in Foggy Bottom debuts a pop-up centered around the beloved Vietnamese soup. Pho Joint fills bowls with protein options like brisket, eye round, meatballs, chicken, or a combo of the above. “The Duke’s family all enjoys pho regularly, so a few weeks ago we took a stab at it ourselves using a family recipe,” says managing partner Daniel Kramer, in a statement.

Where: Duke’s Grocery (Foggy Bottom): Pho Joint & Toddy Bar; 2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Dates: Pho is available for dine-in, takeout and delivery via UberEats, Caviar, GrubHub and Doordash.

Cost: Pho bowls are $12-$14 and cocktails are $11-$12

Pho at Duke’s Grocery Foggy Bottom.
Duke’s Grocery/official photo

Fiola 2.0

The Deal: Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s new pop-up dinner series stars produce and meats sourced from Rappahannock County’s Chancellors Rock Farm. The eight-course menu at the Michelin-rated Italian restaurant rotates frequently, depending what’s in season. Customers can choose from two savory dishes and dessert, or opt for the chef’s personally curated menu.

Where: Fiola, 678 Indiana Ave NW

Cost: $225 per person; reserve via Tock


Officina x Via Umbria

The Deal: Chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s three-level Italian complex on the Wharf teams up with Via Umbria, Georgetown’s go-to market for Italian goods. The pop-up adds Officina’s breads, wines, and preserves to the mix, along with hot prepared foods, fresh pastas, butcher products, and specialty meats and cheeses. It’s available for takeout or delivery, or customers can book a timed shopping slot to maintain social distance.

Where: Via Umbria; 1525 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Dates: Starting Wednesday, June 10; Wednesday to Friday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Cost: The pop-up also features nightly two-course meals for two ($70) with rotating mains like lasagna bolognese and braised beef short rib.

Officina eats at Via Umbria.
Officina/official photo

Pop-Up Wine Shop at Lulu’s Winegarden

The Deal: Lulu’s, the months-old replacement to Vinoteca, is back with pickup, delivery, and limited patio service full of Southwestern dishes from chef-partner Cable Smith. A new pop-up wine shop inside sells more than 45 labels repping small producers. And an on-site market slings ready-to-drink bottled cocktails and pantry staples like its barbecue aioli and everything spice, along with fridge fillers like pickled shallots.

Where: Lulu’s Winegarden; 1940 11th Street NW (contactless pick-up via GoTab or delivery via Caviar)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater DC newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world