Catch These NYC Pop-Up Restaurants and Events While You Can
We have an abundance of very cool things to do, utterly delicious food to eat, and out-of-this-world cocktails to sip in NYC. And while there never seems to be enough time to try them all in one weekend, most of the best of what this city has to offer can usually wait until “next time.”
But throw the now firmly established pop-up scene into the mix, and suddenly the stakes are higher. Many of NYC’s finest food and drink makers are opting for limited-time menus and events, setting our FOMO radar on high alert. As we prepare to say sayonara to winter and hola to spring, here are some of the most unique, immersive, and globally inspired food and drink pop-ups NYC has to offer right now.
Through March 22
If cured meats are your jam, you don’t want to miss Cinco Jotas’ ibérico ham safari through NYC. Stop by 11 participating restaurants including Boulud Sud, il Buco, Mercado Little Spain, Salinas, and The Aviary, for dishes like ricotta and ham-stuffed tortellini, black truffle and ham gnocchi, uni with tripe and ham, Spanish torrija French toast with ham and cod and pata negra ham, respectively. Each stop on the tour gives you an opportunity to enter to win a trip to Jabugo, Spain.
Cost: Menu prices vary
Chef Serigne Mbaye’s special Senegalese dinner comes to Harlem on the heels of his recent return to Senegal, where he spent his childhood before taking turns in some of the most revered kitchens in New Orleans, San Francisco and New York. The meal will explore the concepts of home, history, and gastronomy through courses like Beauty, an appetizer of fonio, apple, turnips and raisins, and Where I’m From, a hearty dish of lamb, root veggies and cabbage.
Fermented foods have long been celebrated for aiding gut wellness, and this Brooklyn Cider House-fest makes the funky fare tasty, too. Sip local cider, kombucha and sake along with tastes of kimchi, cheese and charcuterie while you listen to live music and learn about the world’s oldest preservation techniques from more than 25 vendors.
Cost: Tickets start at $25
Weekends through March
If you were worried that your weekend Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg supply lines would disappear with the cold weather, good news: You can still shop and taste everything both have to offer at their indoor iteration at 25 Kent. Browse dozens of furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques vendors, local jewelry, art, and crafts artisans and designers, and of course, loads of Smorgasburg’s trademark delicious specialty and local food makers.
Cost: Free admission, food and drink prices vary
Assemble a crew of your favorites for a feast at Gran Tivoli on Sunday evenings through March. The three-course dinner kicks off with a bread basket fit for royalty (think roasted tomato focaccia and cauliflower pizzette amongst others), then officially begins with a pasta course -- baked ziti with a pork sausage and chestnut ragu -- followed by slow-roasted lamb shanks with broccolini, mashed potatoes and a lemon-black garlic sauce, and finished with a tableside zabaglione gelato sundae bar.
Cost: $55 per person; minimum of two people
Rooftop Iglounge at TimeOut Market
Take in the city skyline as you wait out the final weeks of winter atop TimeOut Market, a food hall featuring over two dozen of NYC’s favorite food makers, like David Burke Tavern and Fish Cheeks. Snag a seat in one of the three rooftop “iglounges” outfitted with faux fur covered chairs, fluffy blankets and twinkling lights and sip on a seasonal cocktail like the Snow White Tini, a mix of vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, white creme de cacao, half-and-half and raspberry powder dust.
Cost: Menu prices vary
The Winter Hideaway
Each of three glass houses in The Hoxton’s courtyard is outfitted for a cozy and whimsical winter adventure with a group (the largest house can accommodate up to 12). The family-style tasting menu ($75 per person), which starts with appetizers like wood-roasted beets and stuffed peppers, followed by a selection of three entrees like orecchiette with squash, wild black sea bass and grass-fed ribeye, and finishes with a “tower of treats” can be supplemented by shareable cold weather classics like cheese fondue and/or a warm chocolate chip cookie platter.
Cost: Minimum spends of $500 per group of 6-8 for and $750 per group of 10-12
Through March (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Williamsburg’s The Izakaya has made its way to Nowadays, an indoor/outdoor “gathering place” that hosts an array of restaurants and events throughout the year. Diner’s menu is inspired by Japan’s famiresu -- family-friendly restaurants -- which are known for extensive menus intended to cater to a wide variety of palates. Stop by during happy hour from 5pm-8pm Wednesday-Friday 2-for-1 beers. Soak ‘em up with Japanese-style fish and chips, the vegan lotus root burger, or the spicy chicken ramen.
Cost: Menu prices vary; cover charge applies on weekend evenings
For the March iteration of their monthly Luncheonette Roulette pop-up dinner, Gertie is hosting NOLA sister restos Turkey and the Wolf and Molly’s Rise and Shine. Among the dishes on offer are their respective classics the Collard Melt, a Southern-inspired version of the grilled cheese, and the Grand Slam McMuffin, an elevated, homemade take on the fast food favorite. You’ll want to get there early for this one: They’re only accepting walk-ins.
Cost: Menu prices vary
Maury Rubin’s beloved City Bakery may have closed last year after close to 30 years in business, but you can still find the iconic hot chocolate maker’s wares in NYC via The Wonderbon Chocolate Co. Expect a rotating menu of unique hot chocolate options like miso white chocolate with shisho powder and black currant-brown sugar hot cocoa, along with weekday happy hour specials like the mezcal-spiked chocolate served with an onyx cocoa-salted rim.
Cost: Menu prices vary; happy hour hot chocolate shots are $5.50 each, or $20 for a four shot flight
Through April 30
Immerse yourself in the rich culinary history of Okinawa via the East Village during Taste of Japan at Sakagura. Through March 17, profits from the Awamori flight, a celebration of Japan’s oldest spirit, will benefit the reconstruction of Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was destroyed in a fire last year. Along with the Okinawa-produced Awamori cocktails, guests will enjoy regional specialties like jimami peanut tofu, buta kamameshi, and soki noodle soup.
Cost: menu prices vary
Paradise Prime has returned to Mister Paradise for the second year in a row, popping up every last Sunday of the month through the spring. This cheeky take on a classic steakhouse dinner begins with martinis in The Red Room, followed by a decadent meal of shrimp cocktails, tableside Caesar salads, and prime rib, finishing with the “Holy Cow,” a velvety ice cream sundae served with a nightcap of scotch. Wine is served throughout.
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