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Food + Drink

This Spring’s Coolest Pop-Up Restaurants

Pop-up restaurants are breaking into the dining scene, and our taste buds are tingling with anticipation. From a top-chef bistro in NYC to a saucy spot in SF, here's where you should be eating right now.

Photo by Christopher Joe Cypert

BLUD, San Francisco
If this newcomer’s cheeky acronym (short for Bitches Liven Up Dinner) is any indication, we can’t wait to try what the women behind the small SF eatery whip up next. The all-female team — chef Mel Lopez and pastry chef Robin Kloess of Pizzetta 211 (where the pop-up meals take place) and Joyce Conway — serve a rotating menu one Tuesday of every month. Don’t expect white tablecloths or soft jazz here. Instead, there’s blaring hip-hop tunes and creative concoctions like steak tartare with smoked Jidori egg yolk, pistachio and Provence herb lavash cracker; three-cheese grits with scallops, crispy pancetta, fried capers and homemade Calabrian hot sauce; and tofu and pea leaf sformato, with Korean chili prawns, black sesame vinaigrette and crispy garlic chips. Stalk their Instagram for date announcements.

Auden Bistro, New York City
Mark your calendar for a night out at NYC’s newest upscale pop-up restaurant. Some of the city’s top chefs are cooking at Auden Bistro as part of the Ritz‘s monthly dinner series, Kitchen Takeover. Though details for the next meal in April are still under wraps, we trust it’ll be good, judging by the past picks: Chef Bobby Puccio from Astoria’s Italian gem, Bartolino’s; James Yang, the executive chef of the Asian tapas joint, Carma; and Maria Loi, owner of the Greek outpost Loi Estiatorio. The evening includes a meet and greet, a multi-course pre-fix dinner ($85) and wine pairing ($35) courtesy of the hotel’s head sommelier.

Haiyo Dog, Washington D.C.
What do you get when you combine Asian street food with classic midwestern fare? Haiyo Dog, an EatsPlace pop-up helmed by chef Katy Chang. Imagine house-baked milk bread buns stuffed with local amish beef, turkey or organic veggie dogs, and topped with dan dan noodles, kimchi or edamame. Our favorite, the takoyaki, is covered in Kewpie mayo (a Japanese spread made with rice vinegar), katsuobushi or bonito flakes (dried and smoked fish) and nori. Stop by Mondays through Saturdays after 5 p.m. to try one for yourself ($5-$9).

Belmond British Pullman, London
As if a ride in a historic 1920s train isn’t cool enough, a set of celeb-chef pop-ups is launching on the Belmond British Pullman rail route from May to September. Guests will sip champagne at Belmond’s private lounge in Victoria Station and tuck into a multi-course meal aboard the train. To kick off the inaugural event on May 6, award-winning chef Aldo Zilli will dish up some of his most popular Italian plates. The rest of the star-studded lineup includes TV chefs Richard Corrigan and James Martin, as well as Tom Kerridge, owner of the two Michelin-starred pub, The Hand and Flowers.