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A spread of börek pastries on a plush pink fabric background, scattered with red candles, lighters, and bowls of pickles and dips
A spread of börek pastries on a plush pink fabric.
Caitlin Isola

London’s Best Restaurant Pop-Ups Right Now

All the pop-up adaptations and chef-at-home specialists the city needs to know about

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A spread of börek pastries on a plush pink fabric.
| Caitlin Isola

Welcome to Eater London’s weekly updated guide to all the temporary food worth knowing about in London. Whether it’s a pop-up residency, a one-off dinner, or something only available one night of the week, these are the capital’s elusive and occasional restaurants worth knowing about before they’re gone. With the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, more chefs and restaurants are turning to residencies, taking advantage of short-term spaces or the lure of the one-off to intrigue diners. Some are also starting entirely new ventures, either while furloughed or just to stave off lockdown boredom. Here’s a pick of the best.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Liu Xiaomian Marylebone

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The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews
London W1G 7EQ, UK

Charlene Liu and Liu Qian specialise in bowls of xiǎomiàn in broths heavy with Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, soy, sesame paste, ginger, and a signature chilli oil. Minced pork, yellow peas, and water spinach are typical toppings, with the dish traditionally eaten for breakfast in Chongqing; glass noodles made from sweet potato starch are also available for a slippy, chewier textural alternative.

2. Goila Butter Chicken @ Carousel London

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19-23 Charlotte St.
London W1T 1RL, UK

A new space for a location from pop-up residency experts Carousel, this 10-seater spot starts life as home for Goila Butter Chicken, the Mumbai-based brand that launched as a meal kit in 2020. The hero dish is, necessarily, butter chicken, with sides including dal makhani, jeera rice, and even skin-on fries with the butter chicken gravy.

3. Mystic Börek

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Spasia Dinkovski’s hypnotising spirals of burnished pastry don’t just look like what they are — börek from the gods — but the rings on a tree trunk, showing the ancestral traditions that she so lovingly details alongside the pies themselves on Instagram. Having briefly introduced fully fledged delivery, Dinkovski has now returned to the drops and weekend pop-ups that made her name: check Instagram for updates.

4. Maison Mathilde @ 180 Corner

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180 Strand, Temple
London WC2R 1EA, UK
12:30 p.m., 24 — 27 May, lunch only
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Anaïs Ca Dao van Manen, one of London’s most creative chefs now based in Brussels, will bring a personal interpretation of Franco-Vietnamese comfort food to central London. The menu’s designed as something of a surprise, but expect a savoury, flaky pate chaud; a riff on 40 clove of garlic chicken dubbed “Saigon style,” and plenty of fun.

5. Newgate Studio

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Islington
London, UK

Coco Kwok’s cooking — and documenting of that cooking under @newgatestudio Instagram handle — is a gentle kind of mesmeric. Clams bob in their water, with a sandcastle of anchovy seasoning; placid pies recall time at St. John; omelettes that lazily twist around each other like boomerangs. Sometimes find it at Meletius Coffee in Angel, where a menu of hot: grilled pork shoulder or velvet crab rice wrapped in lotus leaf; cold: cured sea bass in buttermilk, or master stock pig ears or tofu; and green: with cured beef fat dripping, lemon, and chicory reads and eats beautifully. Other times, DM for takeaway via Instagram.

6. Passa Passa @ Tola

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56 Peckham High St
London SE15 5DP, UK
https://www.instagram.com/passapassalondon/
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Chef Zae Millen takes over Noodle Neighbour at Tola on Peckham High Street with a range of Afro-Caribbean dishes, served Tuesday — Saturday. Snackable small plates like suya skewers, saltfish fritters with plantain ketchup, and cured halibut with scoth bonnet chilli might precede a generous prawn taco platter, or flat iron steak with curried delica pumpkin and green sauce.

7. Black Eats LDN Hackney Market

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Bohemia Pl
London, UK
Dates throughout the summer, check Instagram for details
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The latest in a summer program of event collaborations with Bohemia Place, Jackson Mclarty’s Black Eats LDN is reprising its weekend markets, putting the spotlight on Black-owned food traders from across the city. While this edition is daytime, keep an eye out for Friday night events from now through September.

8. Ling Ling’s @ The Gun

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235 Well St
London E9 6RG, UK
Wednesday — Sunday
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British-Chinese chef Jenny Phung’s residency at Hackney pub The Gun was a hit in 2021, and it’s resuming for the new year Wednesday — Sunday. While many dishes lean on Phung’s experiences growing up with Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine, others take a more roving approach and are inspired by travels to Japan and South Korea, refracted through modern London cooking. Expect Sichuan chicken wings; gochujang watermelon with feta; and on Sundays, some inventive roasts.

1. Liu Xiaomian Marylebone

The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews, London W1G 7EQ, UK

Charlene Liu and Liu Qian specialise in bowls of xiǎomiàn in broths heavy with Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, soy, sesame paste, ginger, and a signature chilli oil. Minced pork, yellow peas, and water spinach are typical toppings, with the dish traditionally eaten for breakfast in Chongqing; glass noodles made from sweet potato starch are also available for a slippy, chewier textural alternative.

The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews
London W1G 7EQ, UK

2. Goila Butter Chicken @ Carousel London

19-23 Charlotte St., London W1T 1RL, UK

A new space for a location from pop-up residency experts Carousel, this 10-seater spot starts life as home for Goila Butter Chicken, the Mumbai-based brand that launched as a meal kit in 2020. The hero dish is, necessarily, butter chicken, with sides including dal makhani, jeera rice, and even skin-on fries with the butter chicken gravy.

19-23 Charlotte St.
London W1T 1RL, UK

3. Mystic Börek

London, UK

Spasia Dinkovski’s hypnotising spirals of burnished pastry don’t just look like what they are — börek from the gods — but the rings on a tree trunk, showing the ancestral traditions that she so lovingly details alongside the pies themselves on Instagram. Having briefly introduced fully fledged delivery, Dinkovski has now returned to the drops and weekend pop-ups that made her name: check Instagram for updates.

4. Maison Mathilde @ 180 Corner

180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA, UK

Anaïs Ca Dao van Manen, one of London’s most creative chefs now based in Brussels, will bring a personal interpretation of Franco-Vietnamese comfort food to central London. The menu’s designed as something of a surprise, but expect a savoury, flaky pate chaud; a riff on 40 clove of garlic chicken dubbed “Saigon style,” and plenty of fun.

180 Strand, Temple
London WC2R 1EA, UK

5. Newgate Studio

Islington, London, UK

Coco Kwok’s cooking — and documenting of that cooking under @newgatestudio Instagram handle — is a gentle kind of mesmeric. Clams bob in their water, with a sandcastle of anchovy seasoning; placid pies recall time at St. John; omelettes that lazily twist around each other like boomerangs. Sometimes find it at Meletius Coffee in Angel, where a menu of hot: grilled pork shoulder or velvet crab rice wrapped in lotus leaf; cold: cured sea bass in buttermilk, or master stock pig ears or tofu; and green: with cured beef fat dripping, lemon, and chicory reads and eats beautifully. Other times, DM for takeaway via Instagram.

Islington
London, UK

6. Passa Passa @ Tola

56 Peckham High St, London SE15 5DP, UK

Chef Zae Millen takes over Noodle Neighbour at Tola on Peckham High Street with a range of Afro-Caribbean dishes, served Tuesday — Saturday. Snackable small plates like suya skewers, saltfish fritters with plantain ketchup, and cured halibut with scoth bonnet chilli might precede a generous prawn taco platter, or flat iron steak with curried delica pumpkin and green sauce.

56 Peckham High St
London SE15 5DP, UK

7. Black Eats LDN Hackney Market

Bohemia Pl, London, UK

The latest in a summer program of event collaborations with Bohemia Place, Jackson Mclarty’s Black Eats LDN is reprising its weekend markets, putting the spotlight on Black-owned food traders from across the city. While this edition is daytime, keep an eye out for Friday night events from now through September.

8. Ling Ling’s @ The Gun

235 Well St, London E9 6RG, UK

British-Chinese chef Jenny Phung’s residency at Hackney pub The Gun was a hit in 2021, and it’s resuming for the new year Wednesday — Sunday. While many dishes lean on Phung’s experiences growing up with Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine, others take a more roving approach and are inspired by travels to Japan and South Korea, refracted through modern London cooking. Expect Sichuan chicken wings; gochujang watermelon with feta; and on Sundays, some inventive roasts.

235 Well St
London E9 6RG, UK

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