Oct 13, 2022 - Food and Drink

The pop-ups fueling Atlanta's food scene

An overhead shot of tacos and huevos rancheros decorated with crisp yellow tostada chips

Photo: Courtesy of A La Luna Taqueria

On any night of the week in metro Atlanta, dozens of creative chefs, bakers and pastry makers who aren't tied to brick-and-mortar restaurants pop up and serve exciting and unexpected dishes.

  • Keeping track of who's where and when can require a scheduler.

How it works: Metro Atlanta's standout food scene is fueled by a diverse and tight-knit community of veteran and newcomer chefs mixing traditions and tastes and themes.

  • Bars, breweries and farmers markets open their kitchens and customer base to the chefs, who in turn promote and support each other.
  • "There's a Discord server with 100+ pop-up chefs asking and getting help from each other," says Punk Foodie ATL's Sam Flemming.

Of note: Some pop-ups have graduated to a dedicated slot at food halls (Humble Mumble at Midtown's Coda Collective Food Hall) or brick-and-mortar spaces (Gigi's in Candler Park).

What they're saying: After Filipino pop-up Kamayan's break-out success in 2018, the range of cuisines available has exploded, Flemming says.

  • "On any given weekend, you can find Lao, Khmer, home-style Vietnamese, Polish, Bosnian, Trinidadian and food from other countries populated by the African diaspora. The list goes on."

Be smart: The metro's pop-up scene is dynamic and dizzying. Follow your favorites on Instagram and bookmark frequently updated and in-depth resources like Punk Foodie ATL, Atlanta magazine and Eater Atlanta.

Here are a few favorites:

A La Luna: Nick Jennings (Wrecking Bar, Husk, Cinco y Diez) cooks up South-Central American fare like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros and maitake mushroom tacos with his recently launched pop-up.

  • Upcoming stops include Round Trip Brewing, Rising Son and many more. Get the chips.

Stolen Goods ATL: This collective of Black and brown chefs covers pastries (Claudia Martínez of Miller Union), barbecue (Bryan Furman of B's Cracklin') and Caribbean and African American cuisine (Demetrius Brown of Heritage Supper Club).

  • Most recently, the group participated in the Gather 'round at the newly opened Westside Motor Lounge on the edge of English Avenue.

So So Fed: Named as a cheeky nod to the legendary Atlanta record label, Molli Voraotsady's pop-up pays tribute to the homemade Laotian meals she ate growing up.

  • "It's like the funkiest Thai food you can imagine," she told Atlanta. "Lots of fermented flavors, lots of fish sauce, lots of herbs and lots of grilled meat."

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Atlanta stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more