Pop-ups have long thrived in New York City, but over the past couple of years, they’ve become an integral part of the dining scene. These blink-and-you’ll-miss-it events might deliver a thrilling meal for those in the know or offer a peek at dishes that could someday take center stage at a buzzy new restaurant.
The city’s proliferating pop-ups have never been more fun to attend — or harder to keep track of. Below, we’ve got your go-to guide for all meals ephemeral in NYC. Check back each week to track which New York City pop-ups should be on your radar right now.
Know about an upcoming pop-up that should be on this list? Email us at email@example.com.
December 1 — 8
Puma Yu’s, a wine bar serving Thai and Southern small plates out of the Georgia college town of Athens, is coming to Brooklyn. On December 7 and 8, Hana Makeogelli will host Puma Yu’s Pete Amadhanirundr and Ally Smith for a ticketed dinner at its Greenpoint taproom. The menu is al la carte. Reservations can be made online but walk-ins are welcome. 201 Dupont Street, near McGuiness Boulevard, Greenpoint
East Village cafe and bakery Smør is hosting a dinner on December 7 and 8 in the East Village. The hygge-themed pre-fixe meal will run $80 per person. Think: smoked fish, pickled herring, pork roast, roasted duck, with a cherry sauce rice pudding for dessert. Tickets are online. 441 East 12th Street, near Avenue A, East Village
Rona Economou ran Boubouki, a Greek food stall at the original Essex Market, from 2010 until 2018. These days, she’s hosting a pop-up nearly every week, catering the same homestyle Greek food she’s come to be known for. This week, she is bringing her food to two spots in the East Village: tonight, Friday, December 1 at ABC Beer Co. and then tomorrow, December 2, and the new cocktail bar Francis Kite Club. More details are in the flier. 96 Avenue C, near East Sixth Street; 40 Avenue C, near East Fourth Street, both in the East Village
Schrafft’s — an American restaurant icon of the early 20th century — is coming back to Midtown after closing down its last more than 40 years ago. Ahead of the reopening, Schrafft’s is hosting a Manhattan pop-up for the holidays. Starting December 3, on three consecutive Sundays during the holidays, Schrafft’s will be in front of jewelry store Tiffany & Co. — a nod to the restaurant chain’s appearance in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Schrafft’s president, James Byrne, says he looked in archives to old Schrafft’s recipes for the coffee and danishes they will be serving with an abbreviated menu using the same packaging Audrey Hepburn held in the movie and that the restaurant provided as craft services for the set. 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, Midtown
A cake shop infusing South Asian flavors is taking up residence inside a Lower East Side events space through December 30. Cake flavors include ones like a chai sponge cake with stone fruit jam, salted honey, and vanilla bean buttercream. Pre-orders can be placed online. 15 Essex Street, near Hester Street, Lower East Side
Maury Rubin, the owner of the beloved City Bakery, which closed in Manhattan back in 2019, is bringing back his famous hot chocolate. For the holidays, Rubin launched a pop-up at the Urbanspace Vanderbilt location, serving a version of the rich hot chocolate he’s come to be known for, set to run through at least the end of this year. It’s part of his new brand, the Color of Chocolate, which will sell hot chocolate-flavored spirits. It’s the second brand Rubin has started since closing down his bakery (though he’s no longer a part of Wonderbon, which launched in 2020). 230 Park Avenue, at Vanderbilt Avenue, Midtown East
Dandelion Chocolate, an artisanal chocolate company hailing from San Francisco, has set up a temporary store. The chocolate pop-up will remain in New York until March 15. 395 Bleecker Street, West 11th Street, West Village
Upside, the slice shop with several locations around the city, is flipping its adjoining Soho soft serve shop, Softside, into Soupside for the winter. Lailee Taghdisi (alum of Sweetgreen and Dig) has teamed up with the pizzeria to help transform the storefront. Soupside launched on November 24, with soups such as potato leek, tomato, and minestrone. It will remain that way until April, and throughout that time will host various rotating chefs — like Andy Baraghani — with proceeds going to the pop-up’s charity of choice.