Hot fall food and drink pop-ups around D.C.
A ton of fun fall restaurant and bar pop-ups are happening around D.C.
Why it matters: Compared to your average dining room, pop-ups and chef collabs bring a lot of energy and creativity to the table — and they're often a chance to try out an upcoming hotspot or rising star chef before they go big.
Cool pop-ups to try now: Smashburgers, cakes with booze...
🐇 Moon Rabbit: Chef Kevin Tien's shuttered French-Vietnamese restaurant lives on at Bryant Street Market in Edgewood. Guests can book tables for an oft-changing menu with hits like crawfish noodles and new fall dishes.
🍔 Mélange Burger: Chef Elias Taddesse revives his D.C. smashburger concept inside his Doro Soul Food takeout near Howard University. The former fine dining chef fashions milk bread buns, dry-aged beef patties, and 'shroom burgers in-house, but flavors are nostalgic (e.g. that Big Mac riff).
🎂 Cakes & cocktails: Capitol Jill Baking heads to Hill East Burger for an afternoon of cakes and booze on Saturday, Nov. 4 (3pm-5pm). On tap: drink specials, burgers, tarot readings, and specialty sweets including a Texas devil's food sheet cake with spicy chocolate buttercream and Vietnamese coffee mousse.
🧑🍳 Chef's Table: Centrolina chef Amy Brandwein's private dinner series continues in November with collaborative suppers highlighting talents like Katsuya Fukushima (Nov. 1) and Erik Bruner-Yang (Nov. 14).
And coming soon…
🍘 Tonari Cafe: Daikaya Group next month is launching a coffee shop and daytime café inside their Japanese-Italian restaurant in Chinatown. On tap: Italian-style coffee service (hello, espresso + tonic), egg sandos, and fun onigiri (rice balls) like lamb ragu or a riff on garlic bread.
🥩 Chinese Prime Rib House: American-Chinese flavors meet chophouse swagger at chef Tim's Ma Any Day Now in Navy Yard, which is launching a regular series. Expect a family-style menu of five-spiced prime rib, mashed potatoes with Szechuan gravy, and many martinis ($80 tickets). This first one sold out quickly; look for another event, likely in December.
Between the lines: If you're a pop-up fan, there are a few usual suspects I like to follow on social media to be in the know about their next surprise feast.
🐯 Magpie and the Tiger: In addition to KBQ home feasts, the Korean-American cooking duo are pop-up masters (just look at this recent collab at pizza spot Boogy & Peel, which also hosts various chef friends).
- The next event is Nov. 9 at Nido Market in Mt. Pleasant: an intimate dinner with Hana Makgeolli and an autumnal Korean feast (tickets $60-$165).
🇵🇸 Shababi: Chef Marcelle Afram's traveling Palestinian-American concept started during the pandemic, and they frequently host pop-up events and make meal deliveries in neighborhoods around D.C.
- Their next pop-up is Nov. 8-10 at Hill East Burger (5-1opm, dine-in and takeout) for a Palestinian-inspired spin on burgers and fries. Yes to a musakhan-spiced fried chicken sando with "French onion" labneh, shredded iceberg and pickles.
🐦 Thirsty Crow: In addition to being a cool Malaysian American sports bar with a drink-friendly menu, the Columbia Heights spot hosts frequent pop-ups with industry friends.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to add new pop-ups.
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