The one-stop shop for all of London’s latest pop ups, regularly updated, for your reading pleasure. Read on for white-hot Carousel supper clubs, an underground detour to Eastern Europe, delicious cabaret and a stellar pita party…
Balkano Kitchen at Vault Festival 2017, South Bank (above) NEW
When: From 25 January until 5 March
What: If you couldn’t make it down to Edinburgh last year, Waterloo‘s underground cultural explosion The Vaults will do the trick with its six-week-long return, spanning comedy, music and theatre. Several shows will be taking place nightly, alongside cocktails and Eastern European dishes from Balkano Kitchen (think smoky, Serbian-style salsa and flatbread, or chicken souvlaki with labneh). The best bit? Some of the shows are free to watch, so we definitely recommend clearing some diary space.
Where: The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN
How much: Prices differ for individual shows, see website for details
The Black Cat Cabaret, Soho (above) NEW
When: Thursday to Saturday, from 26 January until April 2017
What: Feed those feather boa cravings (it’s a real thing, ok?) with The Black Cat Cabaret’s series of supper clubs, taking over the Rah Rah Rooms in Piccadilly. Combining fine dining with high kicks, acrobatics, live music and fire breathing, The Black Cat serves a three-course, pan-European menu alongside.
Where: Rah Rah Room, 217 Piccadilly, W1J 9HN
How much: From £29 to £109, depending on ticket type
Underground Supper Club, Walthamstow (above) NEW
When: From 19 to 21 and 26 to 28 January
What: Start 2017 off on the right track with this supper club based in a 1960s train carriage. A series of guest chefs (TBC) will be put in the driving seat, offering up four-course dinners in the evenings and brunch at the weekend. Be warned: you might end up wishing TFL manufactured ‘food baby on board’ badges.
Where: The Pump House Museum, William Marshall Close, E17 8AN
How much: Dinner from £59
Pita Party at Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Clerkenwell (above) NEW
When: Throughout January
What: The boys at Berber & Q are celebrating all things pita this month with a series of guest chef collaborations at its Exmouth Market branch. Chefs from Duck & Waffle, Caravan and Decatur will each be designing a pita to be added to the menu for a week. The festivities will culminate in a pita party on Sunday 5 February, where each pita can be sampled and a winner will be crowned.
Where: 46 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
How much: Pita Party tickets £29
MyPie at The King & Co, Clapham (above) NEW
When: Until 26 February
What: You only have to look out the window to see that it’s still very much winter. Comfort food is the cure for any grumpiness the weather may induce, so head down to Clapham for some tasty pies. MyPie are taking over the site for two months, serving up a regularly changing menu of steamy pie-y goodness, with fillings including steak, chilli and cheese.
Where: 100 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7BZ
How much: Pies from £8.50
Elizabeth Allen at Carousel, Marylebone (above) NEW
When: From 17 to 21 and 24 to 28 January
What: Chef-to-watch Elizabeth Allen (who left Pidgin shortly after earning it a Michelin star) will be offering Carousel diners a preview of her forthcoming London restaurant, Shibui, feeding diners a four-course set menu including the likes of buttermilk chicken with caviar. We think Allen will be making big waves on the restaurant scene this year; get in on the fuss early here.
Where: 71 Blandford St, Marylebone, W1U 8AB
How much: Tickets £37.50
Yamagoya at Shuang Shuang, Soho (above) NEW
When: Lunch from noon until 3pm, dinner from 5.30pm until 11pm (10.30pm on Sundays), every day until June
What: Ramen fans listen up, because Yamagoya has brought its traditional Japanese ramen to the UK for the first time. This six-month residency in Chinatown offers up the signature Yamagoya ramen, which means handmade noodles in a smoky, tonkotsu broth, garnished with Japanese chashu pork belly, marinated bamboo shoot, Kikurage mushrooms, nori and marinated Burford Brown egg.
Where: 64 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LU
How much: Ramen bowls from £10.50
Bar Boulud at Harrods, Knightsbridge (above) NEW
When: Every day from 11.30am until 8.15pm (5.30pm on Sundays), until 29 January
What: While Bar Boulud undergoes a renovation at its Mandarin Oriental home, this pop up has emerged just a few minutes away in Harrods. Finding its home in the Food Hall on the ground floor, expect the restaurant’s signature dishes, including those famously top-quality burgers, or perhaps venison fillet with kale and parsnip. Look out for Daniel Boulud himself too, cooking here on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 January.
Where: Harrods Food Hall, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW3 1BW
How much: Mains from £17
Adam Rawson at The George & Dragon, Fitzrovia (above)
When: Until the end of February
What: Chef-to-watch Adam Rawson is making a habit out of pub residencies, but we’re not complaining. This time around, there’s a ‘Global Traveller Burger’ menu which features the likes of a chicharrón burger with chilli-pepper ketchup, with snacks such as an ‘nduja sausage and rosemary Scotch egg. You can also expect blackboard specials, as well as a short series of nine-course supper clubs planned for January and February.
Where: 151 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 6QF
How much: Burgers from £11, Scotch eggs £5
The Momo Shack at Brunswick East Café, Dalston (above)
When: Until 18 February
What: A taste of Tibet has come to Dalston via The Momo Shack: Alex Lobsang is serving up a range of Tibetan momos (Nepalese-style steamed dumplings) this month including lamb, chicken and vegetable options. The dishes are accompanied by a generous serving of mixed vegetable stir-fry and homemade spicy tomato salsa. A selection of craft beers, organic wines or Tibetan-themed cocktails wash it all down and there are even live acoustic sessions by local musicians.
Where: Brunswick East Café, Gillett Street, N16 8JH
How much: £7 for six pieces of momo
Project Awana, Holloway (above)
When: Tuesday to Sunday, until April 2017
What: While a library might not be your first choice of destination for dinner, that’s exactly where Project Awana is based. With a focus on ethical and sustainable fusion food, the kitchen’s current menu (a festive special available until Christmas Eve) includes monkfish with chicory and apple, and caramelised pear with coffee and walnut.
Where: Highbury Library, 66a Drayton Park, N5 1ND
How much: £40 per head for the festive menu
The Lodge, Clapham (above)
When: Tuesday to Sunday throughout winter
What: “Oh yah, I’m just going on my ski holiday. To Clapham.” If the chalet isn’t an option this winter, head to pop-up-pro Jimmy Garcia’s wintry lodge. Guests can enjoy hot food, warm drinks and a private dining room. Dishes on the menu include gin-cured salmon and wild boar and apple sausages, to be enjoyed alongside Jamaican hot toddies or mulled wine.
Where: 409 Clapham Road, SW9 9BT
How much: Approximately £35 a head
Ballie Ballerson, Dalston (above)
When: Until further notice
What: Relive all your childhood birthdays with this adults-only ball-pit bar. Featuring 200,000 balls, confectionary-based cocktails (ingredients include Wham bars, Sherbert Dip Dabs and Skittles), inflatable rings and foam toys, this is sure to make for one messy night out. The ball pit is chest-high, so we’d recommend keeping your phone firmly in your pocket.
Where: 79 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8AD
How much: £5 entry
Claw at The Sun & 13 Cantons, Soho (above)
When: Until the end of February
What: Street-food vendors Claw specialise in sustainable seafood dishes and are the latest Sun & 13 Cantons resident. Dishes to catch include cracked crab claws in a smoked pancetta broth, sourdough-fried oysters with oyster cream, as well as kimchi-fried softshell crab. Veggies are catered for too via BBQ tenderstem broccoli with black garlic yoghurt and pickled walnuts.
Where: 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG
How much: Sourdough-fried oysters with oyster cream £7, kimchi-fried softshell crab £12
Remix at Sanctum Hotel, Soho (above)
When: Until the end of February
What: Chef James Cathcart is overseeing this temporary site at Sanctum Soho Hotel, which will be replaced with a permanent restaurant in March (details TBA). Offering British cuisine and funky cocktails, you can expect the likes of fillet of beef with fondant potato, and lobster and strawberry salad with Champagne foam. Aforementioned sips include the Raw Egg: elderflower and passion-fruit consommé with mango, served in an eggshell… That’s bound to make for a cracking cocktail.
Where: Sanctum Soho Hotel, 20 Warwick Street, W1B 5NF
How much: Mains from £16
Winter Village, Vauxhall (above)
When: 10 November until February 2017
What: The team behind Vauxhall Street Food Garden has transformed it into an alpine ski village, right in the heart of Vauxhall. Alongside a fondue lodge, cable cars and photo booths, there’s street food from the likes of City Burger, Ye Olde Fish & Chips, Sweet Nothings and Souper Soups. You can also warm your cockles with a seasonal cocktail, including twists on egg nog and other festive classics. Who needs Val Thoren?
Where: 6a South Lambeth Place, SW8 1RT
How much: Free entry
Wondering Wine Kitchen, City (above)
When: Until March 2017
What: Rushing home for a glass of wine after work has been made far easier by Wondering Wine’s pop-up kitchen, inside Old Street Station. The site serves up bites of cheese, charcuterie and small plates. Wines are available by the glass, carafe and bottle and there’s even a takeaway option, if you’d rather drink in front of the telly (no judgement).
Where: Old Street station
How much: £12 for a 500ml carafe
Little Nan’s Rio Bar, Dalston (above)
When: Tues-Thurs 6pm-12M, Fri 5pm-1.30am, Sat 5pm-3am
What: Little Nan’s in Deptford is a popular spot and they’ve now got an offshoot in Dalston. Enjoy high tea and cocktails, plus there’s a selection of fine wines, prosecco, spirits and candy vodka shots. Fresh popcorn is included in the unlimited pic ’n’ mix stand – what more could you want?
Where: 107 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
How much: £39
Maman Le Mot, London Bridge (above)
When: Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm, until March 2017
What: Set in a secret location near London Bridge, this immersive dining experience from A Place in Time takes you back to 1940s France, where you are enlisted as a secret British spy. Expect fake moustaches, berets and terribly bad French accents aplenty. There’s also a dinner, followed by a night of dancing… Serious people need not apply.
Where: The super-secret location is revealed when you pay up
How much: £42.50 per person
Pull & Punch at The Horn of Plenty, Mile End (above)
When: 6-10pm Monday to Friday and weekends from 1pm until late
What: ‘Low, slow, smoke and spice’ – that’s the ethos behind Adam McGurk’s roaming restaurant, focused on low and slow cooking ‘in all its forms’. He’s moving his meaty bandwagon (filled with the likes of North Indian-inspired sorpotel pork buns) into the kitchen of this classy East End boozer – it’s a good shout for enthusiastic carnivores.
Where: 36 Globe Road, Stepney, E1 4DU
How much: Mains from £10
Farmopolis, Greenwich (above)
When: Until September 2017
What: If you’re green of finger, then Farmopolis should be on your hit list. A major new urban farming destination, this floating space combines art, culture, hard labour and, happily, eating. The on-site café’s organic menu offers flavour in spades (tee hee), including salt-baked sweet potato, ricotta and sprouting coriander, as well as pastrami and rye panzanella, served with melon and Montgomery cheddar.
Where: The Jetty, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0FL
How much: Mains from £11
This article was updated 11 January 2017