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10 Can’t-Miss Pop-up Restaurants in 2015

Ilana Freddye / Outstanding in the Field

The pop-up trend has arrived at the plate, introducing diners to one-off culinary experiences that feature celebrity chefs, off-the-grid locations, and innovative menus. We’ve rounded up ten upcoming pop-ups across North America that will entice your taste buds this season, ranging from long-table dinners on an organic farm to musical pairing events.

By Anja Mutic

Peter Gourniak
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Musical Pairing

WHERE: New York City & beyond

Learn to pair music with food under the guidance of former chef Barbara Werner who runs Musical Pairing pop-ups. Using a mathematical formula, she’ll match your food with music—vanilla ice cream with Pachelbel's “Canon”, tuna ahi with The Go Go’s, filet mignonwith Pavarotti, and dark chocolate cake with “Gangsta Paradise”. BYOH (Bring Your Own Headset), and they’ll do the rest.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New York City Travel Guide

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WHERE: San Francisco, California

At the chef’s counter of three-Michelin-starred Saison, guest chef Jiro Lin runs an eight-seater sushi pop-up Tuesdays through Saturdays through the end of May. The contemporary omakase dining concept kicks off with golden caviar and ichiban dashi soup, before free-flowing nigiri sushi rolls out by the dozen.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s San Francisco Travel Guide

Courtesy of Three Degrees Restaurant
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Three Degrees at River Place Hotel

WHERE: Portland, Oregon

Beyond the locally focused menu of Three Degrees, Chef Tom Dunklin runs a series of month-long alfresco dinners, inspired by his travels, on the edge of the Willamette River. Meals are served at the ten-seat waterfront counter and kick off in May with Tacos & Tequila, followed by BBQ, Bourbon and Beer in June.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Portland Travel Guide

Toshi Kawano
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Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar at North Arm Farm

WHERE: Pemberton, British Columbia

On September 5, chef James Walt from Whistler’s Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar hosts another long-table dinner showcasing seasonal fare amidst the organic fields of North Arm Farm, just north of Whistler. The buffalo mains and Valrhona desserts are made to couple perfectly with the fresh squash blossoms, chanterelles, and berries harvested on site.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s British Columbia Travel Guide

Jamie Kowel
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Purple Palm Restaurant at Colony Palms Hotel

WHERE: Palm Springs, California

A legendary mobster hangout back in the 1930s, Purple Palm Restaurant at Colony Palms Hotel has gained quite a following with its chef’s table series, which hosts a pop-up by a different star chef once a month. On May 20, Chris Phelps and Zak Walters from the 100% California sourced Salt’s Cure kitchen present a tasting menu paired with Italian Ziobaffa wines.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Palm Springs and the Desert Resorts Travel Guide

Ilana Freddye / Outstanding in the Field
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Outstanding in the Field

WHERE: North America

Every May, Outstanding in the Field embarks on a mission to bring diners closer to the source of their food with a pop-up dinner tour of the U.S. With eighty-four dinners in more than thirty locations, celebrated chefs stage long-table extravaganzas inches from ingredients, in wheat fields and olive groves. Next up: May 9 at County Line Harvest in Petaluma, California.

Robert Velazquez and Brian Bates
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Booze Pig & Co. at Mother

WHERE: Atlanta, Georgia

The two-man Booze Pig & Co team run pop-up dinners every Sunday and Monday at laid-back Mother restaurant & bar and devise an a la carte menu based on whatever is market-fresh. Sommelier Brian Bates has curated a succinct but global wine list to pair with chef RobertVelazquez’s contemporary fare—think catfish bun and cubist poutine.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Atlanta Travel Guide

Courtesy of Sopra Sotto
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Sopra Sotto

WHERE: Baltimore, Maryland

The vibrant murals and heavy drapes in Sopra Sotto set the stage for Opera Night on May 17, when the tenors and sopranos mingle with diners in the contemporary Italian farm-to-table restaurant. The live aria and duet performances are paired with a multi-act menu starring smoked tomato soup, ravioli, and lamb medallions.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Baltimore Travel Guide

Courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America / Phil Mansfield
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Pangea at the Culinary Institute of America

WHERE: Hyde Park, New York

The latest pop-up at the Culinary Institute of America, Pangea has reimagined the world’s cultural flavors based on the earth’s growing population and the need for more conscious dining. Students have created a plant-forward menu showcasing dishes like edamame salsa and root vegetable tagine, which are served until the end of June.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Hudson Valley Travel Guide

Courtesy of EatWith
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SugarFoot Grits at La Cocina

WHERE: San Francisco, California

Introducing a more personal approach to eating out, promotes culinary pop-ups that involve eating in, mostly in the chef’s home for a dinner party. On June 2, the SugarFoot Grits pop-up will stir up Southern-style Brunswick stew and bourbon buttermilk grits pie at La Cocina food incubator in South Park.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s San Francisco Travel Guide

For other pop-up events across the US, check out the listings at