From hot Nashville chicken to topped donuts, these restaurants have it all, if you know where (and when) to find them.
Pop-up restaurants are welcome jokers of modern catering, for an obvious reason: with their fleeting ephemeral, their often ambitious young chefs at the helm and their generally repulsive or offbeat cuisine, they instill an air of spontaneity, exclusivity and excitement in the city in a way that more permanent situations naturally cannot. Plus, after a year of cooking at home more often than ever, we really crave the electric sensation of discovery and city life that pop-ups embody. And so, as the post-pandemic days beg to be seized, here are eight exciting Boston-area pop-up restaurants to try this summer.
Later this year, Comfort Kitchen will bring a full-service coffee shop to Upham’s Corner serving comfort food inspired by the African diaspora. Want a taste of what to expect? Now you can head to Jamaica Plain’s space-themed restaurant, Little Dipper, where the Comfort Kitchen team is hosting a pop-up preview Thursday through Sunday all summer. The succinct menu is inspired by the culinary traditions and travels of the Moors of North Africa, resulting in dishes like spiced spiced chicken with candied lemon marmalade and za’atar brown butter trout. If these vibrant flavors are any indication of what the future has in store, we’ll look forward to whatever Comfort Kitchen cooks in a place of its own.
Comfortkitchenboston.com; Little Dipper is located at 669A Center St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9217.
East Boston Oysters
An elusive and unpredictable operation, East Boston Oysters have achieved enormous success despite embodying many things our suffocated city tends to shy away from: impulsiveness and whimsy, in particular. Nonetheless, founder Alexis Cervasio puts on effortless, playful, slightly irreverent and elegant events that, in a nutshell, educate eaters about New England’s most mysterious seafood specialties, oysters and caviar. There’s a twist, though: Tickets for each night – which often feature cameos from other local independent food companies – are advertised as a flash sale via their mailing list, with detailed locations and routes kept under wraps until now. ’24 hours before the start of the festivities. The pandemic threw a wrench into the proceedings, but they are back in action this summer, even though Cervasio simultaneously preparing to open a brick and mortar market. Sign up for EBO’s mailing list to stay up to date and, most importantly, don’t delay when an event is announced: the latest ‘excursion’ to Duxbury sold out in just a few hours.
The distinct warmth of Nashville Hot Chicken is one of this city’s most iconic culinary exports, and Hot Chix, which has appeared at Kendall Square Pagu since 2019, is perhaps the region’s most well-known supplier. from Boston. While it’s only available to take out for a few hours a week on Tuesdays, founders Alex Nystedt, Will Yoo, and Alex Kim have built a name for Hot Chix as the premier destination for fried chicken, so much so that a brick-and-mortar restaurant of theirs is slated to open in July in Inman Square. That said, they’ll continue to operate the pop-up in Pagu even after the new space opens, which means their fiery chicken sandwiches and top-notch side dishes (like a refreshing banana pudding) will keep devotees in the game. heat of this neighborhood satiated even as they plant more permanent roots elsewhere.
Hotchixboston.com; Pagu is located 310 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-9290.
According to Vanessa Yip, Wednesdays should no longer be known as bump days – they are now, by her decree, #OnlyFlans Wednesday. It’s the day she tackles the classic dessert – from standards like chocolate flan to inventions like a coffee-speckled cafecito or aptly named “tiramiflan” – pops up in Buenas at Bow Market for take out, filled with instructions. to unmold succulent creams and their magnificent caramel puddles at home. Pre-orders must be placed before 9 p.m. on Sunday night to guarantee pickup, but some walk-in customers might still be able to grab some custard by the slice, if they’re lucky.
Instagram.com/laflaneteria; Buenas is located at 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville.
Confectionery Coeur de Lion
The donut is a blank canvas ripe for invention, but few take it in as many exciting directions as Kate Holowchik, the female force behind this pop-up of pastries and baked goods. Available at the Reign Drink Lab in Dorchester most weekends in the summer, Holowchik’s creations range from savory preparations like a caprese donut with mozzarella mousse and marinated tomatoes to a raspberry, lychee and lime rickey donut. , and even imaginative takes on other breakfast pastries, like an ube cinnamon bun. Best of all, the flavors vary according to the whims of Holowchik, meaning no weekend will have the same selection, and repeat visits are bound to be rewarded.
Instagram.com/lionheartconfections; Reign Drink Lab is located at 1370 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 617-863-7353.
Mimi’s Chūka Diner
B&G Oysters alumni Ted Woo and Jon Awerman have joined forces to serve their interpretation of chūka ryori, or Chinese-inspired dishes prepared in Japanese style, to address the fascinating (and often delicious) ways different cultures can meet through food. Keep an eye out on Instagram for the couple’s Boston-area appearances: In recent weeks, Mimi’s Chūka Diner has appeared at CREATE Gallery in Somerville’s Bow Market and Idle Hour restaurant in Quincy, among others. There are also themed bento boxes prepared for pickup on Fridays and Saturdays in Malden and Medford, respectively – a recent offering, for example, brothless ramen noodles with braised chicken, ajitama devil egg and gyoza. . You don’t feel like going for a walk? Mimi’s Chūka also delivers fresh pasta balls to the Boston area every Sunday.
The latest and greatest addition to Seaport dining experiences is Para Maria, a culinary tribute to chef Tatiana Rosana’s abuela. Rosana’s concept of Latin cuisine moved into Envoy Hotel’s Outlook kitchen, which she typically runs until September, bringing with it a menu inspired by the Miami native’s upbringing to a Cuban family. Expect to find a handful of delicious tacos – think chipotle portobello mushrooms and pork mojo carnitas – as well as ceviche and three types of elotes. And with many of the family’s traditional dishes served on small plates and meant to be shared, Para Maria is a seemingly tailor-made place to host your countless reunions with loved ones this summer.
Paramaria.com; Outlook Kitchen located at 70 Sleeper St., Boston, 617-338-3030.
Although the pandemic caused Chief Derrick Teh to be fired from his post at Cambridge’s Momi Nonmi last year, it also gave him the freedom to devote time and energy to developing his own project at Sekali. Foodies’ favorites are modern Malaysian dishes that derive mouth-watering results from his education in Borneo and his culinary career in the northeast: think laksa curry with udon noodles and short pork ribs, as well as crisps. homemade chili and kaya, or coconut jam. Menus and pickup locations are posted every Wednesday on their Instagram, but act fast – they’re known to sell out in minutes.