Sometimes you don’t need a proper brick-and-mortar to make it in New York. For these temporary dining concepts, all you need is a vision, a makeshift kitchen, and some hungry people to serve. These are our picks for the pop-ups you need to swing by before it’s too late.
Him @ Black Emperor
For: East Village bar hoppers craving Korean-style pub food from an amateur “karaoke rapper and beatboxer.”
What to expect: Honey-buttered tater tots; guac mixed with yuzu; crackling fried chicken coated with shin ramyun instant noodle seasoning; rice cakes hiding underneath chopped cheese-inspired toppings like ground meat and oozing American cheese; and one of New York’s best new burgers.
When: Every day until the end of November
For: Claus Meyer fanatics who like dining and giving back to the community.
What to expect: Petite tea sandwiches loaded with jerk chicken; fresh watermelon-tomato gazpacho; fried whole red snapper marinated and served cold; curried stew loaded with summer vegetables aside crispy roti skin; and classic banana pudding.
When: Saturdays through August 31
Republic of Booza in Fort Greene
For: Dessert fiends ready for a brain-stretching mind freeze.
What to expect: Elastic bestsellers from its Williamsburg location, including salted Oreo, vanilla bean, and sour cherry mahlab, along with location-specific flavors such as caramel chutney and mint chocolate chip.
When: Every day until the end of September
ChampagnePizza @ Niche Niche
For: Lovers of ’70s-era dinner parties in subterranean cellars.
Dishes to expect: Plenty of Chicago-style ’za from its neighbor, Emmett’s, and pours from four curated, freshly popped champagne bottles.
When: Wednesday through Friday, starting August 14
Gorsha @ Chelsea Market
For: Fast-casual eaters hungry for bowls incubated by Hot Bread Kitchen.
Dishes to expect: Ethiopian offerings like berbere-spiced chicken, stewed yellow lentils, turmeric-kissed rice, and injera crisps—all perfect for a flavorful, bountiful, healthful lunch.
When: Every day until October 31
For: Francophiles interested in dining like Pierre Cardin.
Dishes to expect: Contemporary interpretations of carpaccio (swapping raw meat with seasonal vegetables like summer squash and heirloom tomatoes), crepes (made with a chickpea flour base), buttered prawns (underneath a blanket of corn succotash), poulet roti (accompanied by grilled peaches and chimichurri), and profiteroles (transformed into ice cream sandwiches).
When: Saturdays until January 5
For: Hypebeasts who also love breakfast foods.
Dishes to expect: Air-chilled, 10-napkin-messy fried chicken; perfectly rounded black sesame mochi doughnuts; sweet potato soft serve swirled in homemade waffle cones; and sarsaparilla rum floats.
When: Sunday mornings, 11 a.m. until they sell out
Archestratus Books + Foods’s Chicken Parm Dinner
For: Red sauce aficionados ready to dine like an Italophile inside a Greenpoint cookbook store.
Dishes to expect: A slab of the Sicilian staple, along with a big salad and something sweet to finish it off (previous iterations have included peach cobbler and rainbow cookies).
When: Monthly (Thursday, August 15)
Côte Médi @ Chef’s Club
For: Pescatarians eager to try a celebrity chef’s take on coastal Mediterranean fare.
Dishes to expect: Shareable smoked salmon rillettes; fondue made with sea urchin and plankton sea foam; truffled diver sea scallops; whole roasted Portuguese sardines; and guajillo chili-spiced gambas al ajillo.
When: Monday through Saturday, until September 28
Sunday Asados @ Colonia Verde
For: Brooklynites who love garden parties and exotic barbecue.
Dishes to expect: Lip-smacking fare from London restaurateur Magnus Reid and curated glasses of vino from the micro-wine purveyors at Zev Rovine.
When: Monthly (Sunday, August 25)