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

Where to find Bolivian cocktails, veggie fries, themed rooftop bars, and more

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Watermelon tiradito from the vegan Mita pop-up in La Cosecha
Watermelon tiradito from the vegan Mita pop-up in La Cosecha
Mita [official]

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


Casa Kantuta

The Deal: Sibling duo Carla and Juan Sanchez bring their Bolivian heritage to Adams Morgan with a month-long speakeasy situated in the lower level of vegan restaurant/skate shop sPACEYcLOUD. D.C. bar vet and Roy Boys beverage director Luis Aliaga, who is half Bolivian, makes six opening cocktails that fold in lots of Rujero Singani — the South American country’s popular small-batch brandy. The “Pachamama,” named for the Inca fertility goddess, features earthy notes from cinnamon bark syrup. Imported decor from their native Bolivia’s capital La Paz include ekekos, small mustached ceramic figurines that represent prosperity, bowler hats, and gold accents as a nod to Bolivian mines. Sunday brunch stars salteñas — a broth-filled hand pie similar to empanadas — from Bolivian-born Maria Helena of D.C.’s Saya Salteñas. A private outdoor patio pays homage to the siblings’ nana and her love for roses.

Where: Casa Kantuta (entrance under sPACEYcLOUD); 2309 18th Street NW

Dates: Starting Thursday, July 8 with bar service Thursdays to Sundays from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Saturdays and Sundays (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a pop-up shop sells wares from local artisans, vintage shops, and small business owners from the BIPOC community.


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


Mita

The Deal: Chefs Miguel Guerra (El Cielo) and Tatiana Mora (Serenata) just moved their vegan pop-up inside a glass-enclosed cube at La Cosecha, the Latin market around the corner from Union Market. Dishes made in an open kitchen include watermelon crudo; white ceviche with coconut, huacatay leaves, and pineapple; a burger with heirloom tomato, root vegetables, and aioli; creamy rice with maitake mushrooms, artichokes, and fava beans; and panna cotta with Amazonian copoazu, milk chocolate, and puffed rice.

Where: Mita (located behind Las Gemelas Cocina Mexicana’s bar); 1280 4th Street NE

Cost: Dishes run $9 to $22


Heist Summer Series

The Deal: Dupont Circle nightclub Heist hosts a rooftop pop-up at the Kennedy Center with DJs, bottle service, and 60 VIP tables every Saturday night through the summer. Heist’s parent company Versus (Castas Rum Bar, Morris American Bar) hired Emmy-nominated producer Robert Pullen to liven up the iconic perch with high-tech lighting and artistic projections.

Where: The Kennedy Center’s rooftop; 2700 F Street NW

Dates: Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. (weather permitting)

Cost: Ticket tiers start at $240 for a Moët & Chandon table for six, and soar to a $1,000 minimum spend for an “Ultra VIP Cabana” for 10, with prime real estate next to the stage, private elevator access, dessert plates, and Red Bull packages.


Pescao

The Deal: Vienna’s Blend 111 rolls out a Latin-leaning seafood tapas series on Mondays starting this month. Executive chef Andrés-Julian Zuluaga’s weekly dinner lineup includes oysters, Maryland crab and trout caviar arepas; pickled Spanish mackerel with fresh tomato, adobo aioli and grilled bread; and hot options like gulf shrimp with achiote-infused olive oil, garlic, and brandy.

Where: Blend 111; 111 Church Street NW, Suite 101, Vienna, Va.

Dates: Every Monday starting July 12 to September 6, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Flight Night Wine Dinner at Uptown Market

The Deal: Upper Northwest’s gourmet grocer, restaurant, and coffee bar hosts a five-course dinner featuring five Spanish wines curated and poured by sommelier Aurelio Cabestrero (Grapes of Spain) to go along with dishes like Beluga caviar and Colorado lamb.

Where: Uptown Market, 4465 Connecticut Avenue NW

Dates: Friday, July 30, with seatings starting at 6 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $80


Lucky’s Crab House

The Deal: Lucky Buns chef Alex McCoy’s annual Chesapeake crab pop-up at Union Market will soon be a regular happening this summer. AYCE feasts return this month across Union Market’s sprawling outdoor patio, running Fridays to Sundays through early fall.

Where: Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE

Dates: Starting Friday, June 18

Cost: Reservations for two-hour time slots are available via Resy, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the last seating at 9 p.m.


Summer House at Gateway Park

The Deal: National Landing BID sets up an alfresco office space that doubles as a happy hour spot this summer, complete with summer cocktails and bites, yard games, and beach-themed seating areas. To cater to remote workers, there’s WiFi, cold brew, and standing desks.

Where: Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Highway, Arlington, Va.

Dates: Starting Wednesday, June 16


Pizza Pop-Up at Victura Park

The Deal: The sprawling setup the Kennedy Center’s outdoor Reach complex hosts a weekend pizza pop-up led by pastry chef Rebekka Baltzell and ABC Pony’s Erik Bruner-Yang. Personal-size square pizzas made on-site include a cheese and pepperoni option and rotating special.

Where: Victura Park, 2700 F Street NW

Dates: Available every Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.


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


Fainting Goat’s Picnics at Logan Circle

The Deal: The Fainting Goat launched a new picnic pop-up delivering snack packs, s’mores kits, adult juice boxes, frozen pina coladas, and baskets of fried chicken and chocolate ganache cheesecake to nearby Logan Circle via blue bicycle. The restaurant is even selling picnic blankets and branded flasks.

Where: Logan Circle and Fainting Goat at 1330 U Street NW

Dates: Starting Friday, April 2, available for delivery every Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. (pick up from the restaurant and get 10% off).

Cost: Starting at $30 per person; order via QR code or the website

Fainting Goat’s new picnic pop-up via bicycle
Photo: Clarissa Villondo

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


Desert Oasis at Hook Hall

The Deal: Park View’s Hook Hall transforms into a desert oasis for the summer, complete with private indoor or outdoor cabanas for rent and a Mediterranean menu filled out by falafel chips, dips, and merguez pizza. Every first and third Wednesday at 7 p.m., Crystal Edge hosts drag bingo with free drinks and free shots.

Where: Hook Hall, 3400 Georgia Avenue NW

Cost: Curtained cabanas (2.5-hour limit for $125) includes a bottle of bubbly and special drink menu.


Camp Anthem

The District Pier at The Wharf revives its pop-up waterfront bar and restaurant for lunch and dinner (Fridays to Sundays). Each waterfront cabana seats up to six for two hours; reserve here.


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: Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.


Man vs Fries

The Deal: Man vs Fries, the Bay Area-born, Black-owned business that’s expanded nationwide to Portland, Seattle, Houston, Austin, Atlanta, and Miami, makes its D.C. area debut out of new food trucks in Arlington and D.C. Fries are the star here, making their way into big burritos (NorCal style with carne asada or pollo asado, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and secret sauce) or SoCal style with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The indulgent menu also includes asada-topped nachos or curly fries; a “Hella-Dilla” quesadilla stuffed with Flamin’ Hot Doritos or Cheetos; and fried cheesecake, battered Oreos, and cookie dough bites.

Where: Arlington, Virginia (2636 Wilson Boulevard) and downtown D.C. (631 P Street NW); pickup and delivery through third-party apps

A CBR burrito (chicken, bacon, ranch) at Man vs Fries.
Man vs Fries/official photo

District Fried Chicken & Co.

The Deal: Clyde’s Restaurant Group expands its pandemic-era portfolio of ghost kitchens with the addition of District Fried Chicken & Co. Choose from traditional fried chicken, bone-in wings, hand-breaded chicken tenders, buttermilk-brined fried chicken breast sandwiches, crispy fried shrimp, and sides, plus an assortment of dry rubs, sauces, and dips. Other pop-ups under the Clyde’s Restaurant Group umbrella include District MeltHouse, for towering grilled cheese sandwiches to go with mac and cheese, and DC Sushi Fast (sashimi and signature rolls).

Where: Order online for delivery via third-party apps

Cost: Fried chicken sandwiches start at $9.50


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: Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost: Sandwiches start at $14


Little Prince Pizza

The Deal: Schlow Restaurant Group expands its pandemic-era pizza pivot in Northwest with a bigger comfort foods selection. The rebooted ghost kitchen, now dubbed Little Prince Pizza, adds hot wings slathered in four flavors like D.C.’s famous mumbo sauce, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and desserts by chef Alex Levin, plus beer and White Claw. Pies include chef Hamilton Johnson’s eponymous “The Hamilton” (shredded short rib, ricotta, truffle honey, fresh herbs) and “The American” that’s billed as a double bacon cheeseburger deluxe pizza.

Where: Upper Georgetown (2505 Wisconsin Ave NW) and Mt. Vernon Triangle (465 K St NW)

Dates: Open daily for pickup and delivery, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Cakes by Cut

Cut’s executive pastry chef Kieu-Linh Nguyen debuted a new cake-centric ghost kitchen at the Rosewood hotel restaurant.
Cut/official photo

The Deal: Kieu-Linh Nguyen, the executive pastry chef at Wolfgang Puck’s Cut steakhouse in Georgetown, has rolled out a cakes service with a price tag befitting special occasions. The Marcel’s alum carves out space at the upscale restaurant to make elegant 6- and 8-inch confections like a chocolate praline cake; strawberries and cream vanilla sponge cake with Grand Marnier; and spiced carrot cake with muscovado sugar and cream cheese icing.

Where: Orders can be placed on Tock three days in advance of pickup at Cut (1050 31st Street NW)

Cost: Circular creations serve six to 14 each and run $85 to $120


One Night in Tokyo at barmini

The Deal: Modernist cocktail lounge barmini by José Andrés offers diners a taste of Tokyo via a multi-course menu from chef Ruben Mosquero. Dishes include breakfast in Hokkaido — goat milk aerated ice cream, hay-infused goat milk sauce, and puffed wild Japanese rice with makrut lime powder, hay caramel, and fennel flowers — and a bright green matcha doughnut made with matcha ice cream and matcha powdered sugar.

Dates: Starting Wednesday, February 3

Cost: $70 per ticket, or add $75 for a wine pairing selected by Master Sommelier Andy Myers. Barmini’s beloved cocktails are available a la carte.


Sandibuns

The Deal: Team Service Bar debuted a new to-go burger bar with beef patties from 7 Hills Farm or Impossible Meat joined by caramelized onions, dill pickles, and special sauce on a potato bun. A “Puff Puff Smash” is a smoked bleu cheese burger with thick cut bacon and a “Sandi’s Spice Bomb” is a Nashville hot burger with spice bomb, pimento peppers, cooper cheese, and apple butter. The takeout-only menu also includes a “Talk Birdy to Me” chicken thigh sandwich with Buffalo sauce, salads, and sides like “F***ing Hot Fries” and gooey mac and cheese with béchamel and breadcrumbs. The pop-up could spark the debut of lunchtime service at Service Bar, the team tells Eater.

Where: Service Bar, 926 U Street NW

Dates: Starting Thursday, January 21 at 4 p.m.

Cost: Sandwiches start at $9 and sides start at $4


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: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Fridays to Sundays

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


HalfSmoke

The Deal: Shaw sausage bar HalfSmoke added a trio of virtual kitchens during the pandemic: Butter Me Up (breakfast sandwiches, coffee, tea, and cocktails); Morning After Next (brunch bites like Cinnamon Toast Crunch pancakes, seafood hash, and grilled half smoke sausages and gravy); and a new D.C. style of square pan pizza at Get Social.

Where: 651 Florida Avenue NW; available for carryout and delivery seven days a week.

Roasted veggie hash at HalfSmoke’s Morning After Next (tofu scramble, Beyond Meat sausage, butter and sweet potato hash, arugula, pickled carrots, cucumber and beets).
HalfSmoke/official photo

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


Etta Faye’s Chicken Shack

The Deal: Smokecraft Modern Barbecue offers a variety of fried chicken sandwiches on buttermilk biscuits. Options swing from a fried green tomato BLT to a fried chicken sandwich with harissa hot sauce on a potato bun. There are also salads and sides like spiced tater tots with smoked garlic sauce and mac and cheese.

Where: 1051 N Highland Street, Arlington, Virginia. Orders will be available for delivery on UberEats and DoorDash, or order online for pickup during brunch on weekends.

Cost: A la carte, and a “chuck it bucket” for four ($26) comes with fried chicken, two sides, slaw, biscuits, and fries.


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 three-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: $125 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)

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