Pop-ups are in full swing around D.C., and this selective guide includes everything longer-term pop-ups and one-off events.
Federalist Pig Summer Pop-Up at Hook Hall
What: Federalist Pig, Adams Morgan’s Bib Gourmand-designated eatery known for its Kansas City, Carolina and Texas-styled barbecue, sets up shop at Park View event space and beer garden Hook Hall all summer. Culinary director and pitmaster Rob Sonderman will offer ribs, brisket plates, sandwiches, wings, and sides. Offerings include chopped brisket with queso dip and tortilla chips; smoked garlic hummus with pita chips; and barbecue sliders. To expand outdoor dining at its own Adams Morgan home base, FedPig will also debut a new 48-seat patio space on Saturday, June 25 (1654 Columbia Road NW). Construction on a second brick-and-mortar Federalist Pig just started in Hyattsville.
Where: FedPig x Hook Hall (3400 Georgia Avenue NW)
When: Hours are Wednesday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday noon to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday until 9:30 p.m., with happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday.
Hot Fried Chicken Pop-Up at Yellow
What: Top Chef winner Mei Lin returns to D.C. for a comeback collab with chef Michael Rafidi at his all-day Navy Yard cafe Yellow. Mei, who runs LA’s cult poultry place Daybird, brings her wildly popular Szechuan hot fried chicken sandwich and milk teas to Yellow for a one-day pop-up. Along with the full Yellow menu, specials that day include Szechuan hot chicken pita sando (habibi bird sauce, cabbage slaw, pickled chilis), Daybird’s Hong Kong milk tea (ceylon, assam, English breakfast tea blend and creamy condensed milk) and Yellow’s Damask rose milk tea (assam blend and toasted cardamom).
Where: Yellow, 1346 4th Street SE
Dates: Sunday, July 3, starting at 11 a.m. until sellout.
“Eats and Beats” at Thirsty Crow
What: Columbia Heights Malaysian hit Makan kicks off a new guest chef and DJ series in its basement bar Thirsty Crow on Mondays this summer. Look for a panini party with Makan’s own James Wozniuk; chicken-fried coq au vin sandwiches from Guy Cross; and African soul food from Trea’onne Allen. Rotating pop-ups each week also include Thai noodles, cocktails from Al Thompson, tacos, and more.
Where: Thirsty Crow, 3400 11th Street NW
When: Every Monday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with DJ Eskimo hitting the tracks at 7 p.m.
Summer Songwriter Series at Boundary Stone
What: The Bloomingdale pub hosts live and original music acts every Thursday this summer. Eli Waltz will open each night, followed by original artists spanning all genres. Chef David Bacot’s full menu and drinks are available throughout the night.
Where: Boundary Stone, 116 Rhode Island Avenue NW
When: Every Thursday this summer from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (free to enter)
Mandarin Oriental’s “Fridays Fried & Uncorked” & “Magic Pig Roast”
What: Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. near the Wharf and the National Mall debuted special weekly dining pop-ups for both hotel guests and locals. On Thursday nights, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Moosah Reaume is hosting a “Magic Pig Roast.” The name is inspired by a tale of culinary lore that Chinese immigrants to Cuba brought a special method of roasting a whole pig for hours within a box called “Caja China.” That name “Caja China” means magic or something mysterious, and Chef Moosah will use this method to roast pork every week. Then on Fridays, stop by for bubbles and fried chicken. To kick off the weekend, the hotel’s “Fridays Fried & Uncorked” series combines Korean fried chicken with sparkling wine.
Where: Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., 1330 Maryland Avenue SW
Dates: Magic Pig Roast every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays Fried & Uncorked every Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Morris American Bar’s Tiki Pop Up
What: Starting with paper drink umbrellas, Morris American Bar is going for a total tiki makeover for its outdoor bar this summer. The swanky Mount Vernon cocktail bar’s tiki-inspired pop-up starts on May 31, and the rum and gin-fueled drinks will flow throughout D.C.’s sweltering summer. Fruity options at the tiki bar include a reimagined strawberry daiquiri and a cocktail called For Pete’s Sake made with Caravedo Torontel pisco, Cherry Heering, hibiscus liqueur, and bitters. Look for fun glassware and mugs too, like peacock-shaped cups.
Where: Morris American Bar, 1020 7th Street NW (reserve here)
Dates: Tuesday, May 31 throughout the summer
Toh Roong x Haymaker
What: Toh Roong just secured a new weekend-only residency inside H Street NE bar Haymaker that lasts through June. Its Thai native founder Kitima Boonmala specializes in ultra-spicy egg noodle bowls like khao soi, based in a rich, coconut curry with fried chicken. Her popular Thai noodle pop-ups have appeared all over the area since 2018 at places like Elle, Neptune Room, and Lucky Buns. Toh Roong is the abbreviated version of the Thai word for the bustling night markets her home city of Ayutthaya is known for. There’s also crispy wontons, an Isaan-style yum salad, Thai lettuce wraps, and two noodle dishes that bring the heat and rotate weekly. The opening weekend features khao soi and baa mee heang, or dry Chinese-style noodles with roasted five-spice chicken. Cocktails include a chili-laced Bangkok Mule made with Thailand’s Mekhong whiskey and Singha beer.
Where: Haymaker, 1015 H Street NE
When: Friday, April 8 through Saturday, June 19. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. (kitchen open until 11 p.m.) and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Details: Combining theater and dining, Whimsy has dropped at the St. Regis. With two tables accommodating only 32 guests per seating, this theatrical dining experience includes a five-course menu from executive chef Andrew Roche. The room transforms with each course and diners experience perching in the treetops, floating among the stars, and sitting on the ocean floor. The experiences are vibrant with music and interactive opportunities. Tickets are $195 per person inclusive of a preselected five-course menu with the option to add on wine pairings.
When: 6:30 p.m. seatings each Tuesday through Saturday beginning March 9
Where: The St. Regis hotel, 923 Black Lives Matter Plaza NW
Details: Cinder BBQ’s new Mexican breakfast pop-up brings tamales, enchiladas, huevos rancheros and huevos con chorizo, pozole, and chilaquiles to Petworth, according to Petworth News.
Where: Cinder BBQ, 800 Upshur Street
When: Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon
Details: Vienna’s Latin fusion restaurant Blend 111 is running a Pescao Latin seafood tapas pop-up through July with cold dishes like oysters, Maryland crab, and trout caviar arepas with coconut aioli; as well as mackerel toast with pickled Spanish mackerel, fresh tomato, adobo aioli, and grilled bread. Hot dishes include grilled Spanish octopus with alcaparrado and boiled potato; as well as Australian king prawns with adobo, avocado aji, cilantro, and piquín pepper. Plenty of sides, cocktails, as well as wines by the bottle and glass also join the line-up.
Where: Blend 111, 111 Church Street NW, Suite 101, Vienna
When: Mondays from March 14 through the end of July. Reservations and full menu here.
Details: Chef Ed Hardy, who recently closed Rogi pierogi stand, is back with a meatball (and other round foods) pop-up conveniently located in the former Rogi space at Chefscape at the Village at Leesburg. Everything on the menu is in ball form, such as Eastern shore hushpuppies with Old Bay and lobster cream; Italian meatballs; Swedish meatballs; arancini, bourbon balls, and cake pops.
Where: Chefscape at The Village at Leesburg, 1602 Village Market Boulevard SE #120, Leesburg
When: Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to closing until further notice.
Details: After a fire damaged Dupont Circle’s Sign of the Whale bar on March 2, the popular Southern-leaning Japanese spot announced it would head over to Nero for some pop-ups starting Thursday, March 3 with the “same specials, same bartenders, same DJ, and the same good time.” Thursday’s fundraising pop-up includes $1 Bud Light, $3 rail drinks, and $5 green tea shots. Sign of the Whale will announce future pop-ups on its social media accounts.
Where: Nero, 1323 Connecticut Avenue NW
When: Thursday, March 3 (check social accounts for other fundraising events throughout the weekend) during opening hours
Details: Michele’s in the Eaton Hotel is taking lunch for a test spin with New Orleans style sandwiches and tarte flambée available for pick-up. The salty, briny muffuletta, created at Central Grocery in the 1800s to satisfy hungry French Market vendors, receives a layer of aioli in addition to olive mix, cured meats, and provolone at Michele’s. Fried cauliflower lands on chef Matt Baker’s version of the po’boy while Old Bay anchors it in this part of the country. There’s also a shrimp roll, a lamb French dip, and a short menu of tarte flambée. Order here.
Where: Michele’s in the Eaton Hotel, 1201 K Street, NW
When: Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Details: Joining Andy’s Pizza, Donburi, Twelve Twenty Coffee, London Chippy, and Empanadas De Mendoza in the food hall space on the third floor of Tysons Galleria, this Ghanaian pop-up and regular at farmers markets is popping up with a “pan-African soul” menu featuring customized rice bowls topped with proteins like stewed oxtail and sauces like Ghanaian hot pepper sauce.
Where: Urbanspace Food Hall, Tysons Galleria, Third Floor, 2001 International Drive, McLean, Virginia
When: Opens in early March
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.
A.i. Pop-Up Event Series
The Deal: Nü Androids’s multi-sensory project pops up in a 12,000-square-foot Northeast warehouse through the spring, complete with well-known EDM DJs, activations, custom light shows, LED music visualizers, and art installations. Healthy 4you Juicebar slings fresh-pressed cold juices, pastries, and Neapolitan-style pizzas with a cauliflower crust option. Look for a curated cocktail list named after the featured headliner’s tracks.
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. (upcoming lineup here)
Where: A.i. (2101 New York Avenue NE)
Cost: Tickets are $20 to $35 per person
The Deal: The old home of The Sushi Bar is rotating pop-ups until a new, permanent restaurant for the space is announced this spring. Tiki, from former Mango Mike’s owner Mike Anderson, has given the space a bamboo-laced facelift now that Joy on the Avenue Christmas pop-up has moved out. No word yet one the bar’s menu, but the mangorita had a huge following at Mango Mike’s. [ALXnow.com]
Where: 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue
Dates: Opens the week of January 23
A Presto! Italian Foods
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 through Sunday nights from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sukūtā Sushi x Side Door
The Deal: Brian Schram, who opened Detroit-style pizza pop-up Side Door out of the side door at his Scarlett Oak Restaurant and Bar, has teamed up with chef Lucas Irwin, the brains behind the ambitious menu at high-end sushi restaurant NaRa-Ya, to bring fancy, “island-inspired” sushi to Navy Yard and Capitol Riverfront. Irwin pays homage to the pizza legacy with a sushi pizza, which is a crispy flour tortilla topped with tuna, shallots, cherry tomatoes, serrano peppers, and black truffle aioli. Also find dishes like the seasonal roasted butternut squash miso and pistachio-crusted tuna tataki.
Sukūtā will be pick-up and delivery only (guests should pre-order online), but diners can eat their sushi at one of the two picnic tables.
Where: Scarlett Oak side door between the 909 Apartments main entrance and Scarlet Oak Restaurant’s large patio, 909 New Jersey Avenue SE
Dates: Wednesday to Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning December 15.
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).
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
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
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 through the end of May
Cost: Dishes are $3-$17 and cocktails are $15; order online
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
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.