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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 börek spread from Spasia Dinkovski’s Mystic Börek
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 börek spread from Spasia Dinkovski’s Mystic Börek
| 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. Newcomer Wines Dalston x SSAW Collective

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5 Dalston Ln, Dalston
London E8 3DF, UK

Cosy Dalston wine bar and importer Newcomer is reprising its Easter collaboration with growers’ community SSAW Collective for a dinner residency through summer. Chef Lulu Cox, formerly of Shoreditch’s Rochelle Canteen, will cook a weekly five-course set menu for garden tables booked on Newcomer’s website, as well as snacks for walk-ins.

2. Kamienko’s Bagels

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Former head chef at Shoreditch’s Leroy, Sam Kamienko has developed a winning sideline in baking bagels, getting on a bike, and biking the bagels around London. £1.50 each — minimum order of four.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Tendril - A (mostly) vegan kitchen

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21 Great Pulteney St, West End
London W1F 9NG, UK

Tendril is chef Rishim Sachdeva’s riposte to the stereotype that Indian chefs should only be cooking Indian food. A “mostly vegan” kitchen, Sachdeva develops dishes by centering one ingredient, before layering up different iterations of it with complimentary flavours. So a roast cauliflower — the vegan hero of the 2010s — gets perked up by XO sauce and cacao nibs; grilled carrot sits atop a base of bulgur and quinoa.

6. 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. After a sold-out lockdown, a new kitchen, website, and delivery system are in the offing. It begins with a layered version of sausage, feta, confit spring onion, and apricot; or a rolled with creamed spinach, potato, and Parmesan.

7. Symplicity Burger x Shake Shack Victoria Nova

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172 Victoria St, Westminster
London SW1E 5LB, UK

Neil Rankin’s Symplicity Burger is working with Shake Shack on a limited crispy shallot burger, using the fermented and roasted vegetable and miso patty that has offered Londoners an alternative to tech meat giants. It’s topped with vegan cheddar, crispy shallots, and a Dijonaise, and is very much worth a look.

8. Cue Point Ltd

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10 Riverside Dr, Chiswick
London W4 2SP, UK

Cue Point is serving some of the finest smoked meat in London right now, without question. Smokestak alumnus Joshua Moroney and creative producer Mursal Saiq started the business partly out of love for barbecue and partly out of frustration at the lack of inclusivity in the field in London. The duo’s desire for a more integrated community is the driving force behind Cue Point’s Afghan barbecue, which fuses “American” smoking methods with Afghan flavours. The “nacos” are a riff on tacos — smoked lamb, brisket or short rib served on tortilla sized naan, topped with garnishes such as jalapeno or scotch bonnet jam, Afghan chutney, pickles and crispy onions. A selection of traditional Afghan dishes such as borani kadoo and bolani — a stuffed flatbread — are also available.

9. Rye Lanez Tattooing

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Unit 210, 22a Blenheim Grove, Peckham
London SE15 4QN, UK

Just like almost everybody else in England, the team at Rye Lanez used the first four months of lockdown to up their sandwich game. Putting those skills to use, Rye Lanez Tuck Shop has since launched — a somewhat unusual side project for a tattoo parlour. Changing monthly, the menu’s sandwiches feature glorious combinations such as chestnut mushrooms cooked in homemade jerk sauce, with fried plantain; a baked bean and cheese breakfast bap; or the shop’s take on a Philly cheesesteak, with slow-cooked beef, cheese sauce, sauteed peppers, and pickled cucumber. All are priced at £5, available alongside snacks such as spicy Space Raiders or Tangy Toms. A perfect lunch combo. Orders can be placed in person or via Instagram DM, available for delivery to SE15 postcodes.

10. Peppeckish @ The Hill Station

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The Hill Station, Kitto Rd
London SE14 5TW, UK
Wednesday nights only
Visit Website

Guiseppe Comino is still cooking some of the best Italian food in London, but he’s adapted his residency on Telegraph Hill to a new home at the Hill Station Cafe, sticking to the Wednesday night schedule that he’d made his own before COVID-19 hit. Deliveries are continuing on Fridays in the local area.

11. Matsudai Ramen

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Belvedere Rd
London SE1 8XT, UK
20 October — 21 November, Thursday — Saturday
Visit Website

This popular Cardiff-based ramen joint is popping up from October - November, Thursday through Saturday, with a range of styles including lighter shoyu, creamy tonkotsu, and the heat of tantanmen. There’s also a collaboration with Nigel Ng’s “Uncle Roger,” based around Minora Yoshimura’s leikei-style ramen.

12. Baruru Supper Club at Caribe'

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49 Brixton Station Rd
London SW9 8PQ, UK

A supper club which celebrates the histories and food culture of the Caribbean through a series of dishes — in this case all vegan and spanning the culinary traditions of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Cuba, Martinique, and Barbados — cooked and hosted by chef-owner Keshia Sakarah. Guests can look forward to the likes of dal; tomato and aubergine choka with roti; and a coco sorbet. Priced at £49.50 — on 29 September, 2021.

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1. Newcomer Wines Dalston x SSAW Collective

5 Dalston Ln, Dalston, London E8 3DF, UK

Cosy Dalston wine bar and importer Newcomer is reprising its Easter collaboration with growers’ community SSAW Collective for a dinner residency through summer. Chef Lulu Cox, formerly of Shoreditch’s Rochelle Canteen, will cook a weekly five-course set menu for garden tables booked on Newcomer’s website, as well as snacks for walk-ins.

5 Dalston Ln, Dalston
London E8 3DF, UK

2. Kamienko’s Bagels

London E8, UK

Former head chef at Shoreditch’s Leroy, Sam Kamienko has developed a winning sideline in baking bagels, getting on a bike, and biking the bagels around London. £1.50 each — minimum order of four.

3. 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

4. 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

5. Tendril - A (mostly) vegan kitchen

21 Great Pulteney St, West End, London W1F 9NG, UK

Tendril is chef Rishim Sachdeva’s riposte to the stereotype that Indian chefs should only be cooking Indian food. A “mostly vegan” kitchen, Sachdeva develops dishes by centering one ingredient, before layering up different iterations of it with complimentary flavours. So a roast cauliflower — the vegan hero of the 2010s — gets perked up by XO sauce and cacao nibs; grilled carrot sits atop a base of bulgur and quinoa.

21 Great Pulteney St, West End
London W1F 9NG, UK

6. 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. After a sold-out lockdown, a new kitchen, website, and delivery system are in the offing. It begins with a layered version of sausage, feta, confit spring onion, and apricot; or a rolled with creamed spinach, potato, and Parmesan.

7. Symplicity Burger x Shake Shack Victoria Nova

172 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 5LB, UK

Neil Rankin’s Symplicity Burger is working with Shake Shack on a limited crispy shallot burger, using the fermented and roasted vegetable and miso patty that has offered Londoners an alternative to tech meat giants. It’s topped with vegan cheddar, crispy shallots, and a Dijonaise, and is very much worth a look.

172 Victoria St, Westminster
London SW1E 5LB, UK

8. Cue Point Ltd

10 Riverside Dr, Chiswick, London W4 2SP, UK

Cue Point is serving some of the finest smoked meat in London right now, without question. Smokestak alumnus Joshua Moroney and creative producer Mursal Saiq started the business partly out of love for barbecue and partly out of frustration at the lack of inclusivity in the field in London. The duo’s desire for a more integrated community is the driving force behind Cue Point’s Afghan barbecue, which fuses “American” smoking methods with Afghan flavours. The “nacos” are a riff on tacos — smoked lamb, brisket or short rib served on tortilla sized naan, topped with garnishes such as jalapeno or scotch bonnet jam, Afghan chutney, pickles and crispy onions. A selection of traditional Afghan dishes such as borani kadoo and bolani — a stuffed flatbread — are also available.

10 Riverside Dr, Chiswick
London W4 2SP, UK

9. Rye Lanez Tattooing

Unit 210, 22a Blenheim Grove, Peckham, London SE15 4QN, UK

Just like almost everybody else in England, the team at Rye Lanez used the first four months of lockdown to up their sandwich game. Putting those skills to use, Rye Lanez Tuck Shop has since launched — a somewhat unusual side project for a tattoo parlour. Changing monthly, the menu’s sandwiches feature glorious combinations such as chestnut mushrooms cooked in homemade jerk sauce, with fried plantain; a baked bean and cheese breakfast bap; or the shop’s take on a Philly cheesesteak, with slow-cooked beef, cheese sauce, sauteed peppers, and pickled cucumber. All are priced at £5, available alongside snacks such as spicy Space Raiders or Tangy Toms. A perfect lunch combo. Orders can be placed in person or via Instagram DM, available for delivery to SE15 postcodes.

Unit 210, 22a Blenheim Grove, Peckham
London SE15 4QN, UK

10. Peppeckish @ The Hill Station

The Hill Station, Kitto Rd, London SE14 5TW, UK

Guiseppe Comino is still cooking some of the best Italian food in London, but he’s adapted his residency on Telegraph Hill to a new home at the Hill Station Cafe, sticking to the Wednesday night schedule that he’d made his own before COVID-19 hit. Deliveries are continuing on Fridays in the local area.

The Hill Station, Kitto Rd
London SE14 5TW, UK

11. Matsudai Ramen

Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XT, UK

This popular Cardiff-based ramen joint is popping up from October - November, Thursday through Saturday, with a range of styles including lighter shoyu, creamy tonkotsu, and the heat of tantanmen. There’s also a collaboration with Nigel Ng’s “Uncle Roger,” based around Minora Yoshimura’s leikei-style ramen.

12. Baruru Supper Club at Caribe'

49 Brixton Station Rd, London SW9 8PQ, UK

A supper club which celebrates the histories and food culture of the Caribbean through a series of dishes — in this case all vegan and spanning the culinary traditions of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Cuba, Martinique, and Barbados — cooked and hosted by chef-owner Keshia Sakarah. Guests can look forward to the likes of dal; tomato and aubergine choka with roti; and a coco sorbet. Priced at £49.50 — on 29 September, 2021.

49 Brixton Station Rd
London SW9 8PQ, UK

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