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13 Recurring Pop-Up Restaurants in the Bay Area

Recurring pop-ups that people can't get enough of

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Pop-ups are practically de rigueur for starting a restaurant these days in San Francisco; just ask Wesburger, Lazy Bear, Wise Sons, Liholiho Yacht Club, Del Popolo, Mission Chinese, Californios, and many more restaurants around town that started in this grassroots way. It's a reasonable expectation, then, that many of the recurring pop-ups now operating around the city will eventually turn brick-and-mortar. Either way, the "in-the-know" feeling inspired by these ephemeral dining experiences keep things fresh, and the pop-ups coming.


From Vietnamese street food to Texas-style barbecue to refined pasta, there are all sorts of cuisines and experiences to seek in this fleeting form. And as a bonus, because there are not the same overhead costs as permanent restaurants, the food is often on the more affordable side, too. These 13 semi-permanent pop-ups currently operating around the Bay Area are ones to get excited about, especially so you can say you knew them when they were just a pop-up.

Have a hot tip on an under-the-radar pop-up? Let us know in the comments.

Note: map points are listed alphabetically, not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Masak Masak

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1415 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-2320
Visit Website
What: Over in Russian Hill, Masak Masak is a Malaysian-inspired pop-up inside Biondivino. Chef Emily Lai (Fatty Crab) hails from Kuala Lumpur and cooks up dishes like roti, angry chicken, asam laksa and more that find a funny, yet fitting pairing with Biondivino owner Ceri Smith’s Italian wines.

Where: Biondivino Wine Shop, 1415 Green St.

When: Every other Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; dates announced here

2. Rice Paper Scissors

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639A Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 440-2370
Visit Website
What: Rice Paper Scissors has been spreading Vietnamese street food around the city for four years now to high praise (Anthony Bourdain even stopped by), popping up at different spaces and even holding court for two years at Brick and Mortar for lunch. Founders Valerie Luu and Katie Kwan recently cut back that service to focus on finding a truly permanent spot, but what has stayed constant is their Thursday night dinner service at Mojo Bicycle Cafe. Dishes switch out regularly, but include duck and bamboo shoot noodle soup, curry beef brisket and several banh mi.

Where: Mojo Bicycle Cafe

When: Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

3. BLUD

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211 23rd Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 379-9880
Visit Website
What: Short for Bitches Liven Up Dinner, BLUD is a badass, all-female collaboration between Mel Lopez, the chef at Pizzetta 211 (where the dinners take place), Joyce Conway, Zero Zero's chef de cuisine, and Robin Kloess, Pizzetta 211's pastry chef (and an Incanto vet). With the food changes every month, revolving around a cuisine like Asian seafood or German classics and hip-hop blasting through the restaurant, it all comes together for one very fun dinner party.

Where: Pizzetta 211

When: A Tuesday once a month; watch their Instagram feed for date announcements.

Stefanie Tuder

4. Sorrel

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493 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
What: Chef Alex Hong (Quince, Jean-Georges), left, is cooking up refined, pretty Italian-influenced American food that clearly shows his fine dining background (we're talking dishes like lamb shoulder dumplings with wild mushroom tea or burrata agnolotti with corn and black truffle), and front-of-house Brennan Corbin, right, is serving it all up. There's almost always a crudo and a pasta (Quince left its mark) on the four-course $55 menu. Plus, rotating somms from restaurants like Central Kitchen and Flour & Water get in on the action with $32 wine pairings, making this one very pedigreed pop-up.

Where: Picnic on Third

When: Most Saturday nights; dates, times and locations announced here.

5. Farm to Fork

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969 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 757-0720
Visit Website
What: Learn about a new chef every time at Farm to Fork, which shows a documentary at the dinner highlighting the life of that chef, how they source ingredients, and the message they try to deliver through their food. Past chefs have included 54 Mint's Mattia Marcelli Gather's former chef Tu David Phu. Food from that chef follows the showing.

Where: The Village

When: About once a month; dates announced here.

6. Native Sons BBQ

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2245 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 890-5227
Visit Website
What: When SF native Eldo Chan relocated to Texas for high school and then returned after, he realized how much better barbecue was back South. So he and longtime friend Mervin Lau decided to make it themselves. Thus Native Sons BBQ was born, which now pops up about once a week, usually at Triple Voodoo or Speakeasy Breweries. Chan and Lau, who have no formal cooking experience, focus on Texas-style dry rub barbecue with 100 percent wood fire cooking, usually oak. They also make their own sauce, but Lau tells Eater it's "not barbecue that relies on sauce. It's just there to give you a different experience."

Where: Triple Voodoo or Speakeasy Breweries

When: Weekly; dates, menus, and locations announced here.

7. Seafood Stories

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555 Golden Gate Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
What: Seafood Stories has a bit of a different story than the others on this list. Chefs rotate in this series, which was created to raise awareness around sustainable fishing and seafood consumption; diners not only eat meals from the likes of State Bird Provisions and Hog Island Oysters chefs, but they also learn how to bring sustainable seafood practices into their daily cooking and dining lives.

Where: Fine & Rare

When: Once a month; dates, chefs, and menus announced here.

8. Through the Kitchen Window

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3299 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 874-5585
Visit Website
What: Some Nopalito chefs and staff have been putting on an independent dim sum pop-up called Through the Kitchen Window. The casual crew cooks up flavor-forward small plates like pork gyoza, uni BLT's, as well as large-format dishes like whole roasted fish with stone fruit mole.

Where: PizzaHacker, 3299 Mission St.

When: Once a month; dates announced and tickets sold here.

9. FOB Kitchen Pop-Up

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2351 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Though technically still a pop-up, FOB Kitchen operates full-time out of the kitchen at the Mission's Gashead Tavern. Chef Janice Dulce channels her grandmother's cooking with Filipino dishes like adobo pork, Shanghai lumpia, and pancit. She and partner Brandi Dulce recently upped the ante by shifting to dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 6 p.m.- 10 p.m., with weekend brunch from 11 a.m.- 3 pm.
FOB Kitchen/Faceboko

10. Oakland Tea Parlor at Starline Social Club

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645 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 593-2109
Visit Website
Steep Tea Company is popping up at the restaurant/bar/music venue during the daylight hours, offering curated tea beverages like chai, as well as pots of their own tea blends. There's also a light lunch menu of salads, tea sandwiches, scones, and the like. Vintage movies and shows (like Twin Peaks) play at 12:30; the pop-up runs from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday, no reservations necessary.
https://www.instagram.com/starline_social_club/

11. RTB Fillmore

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1560 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
Chef Rodney Wages (Saison, Atelier Crenn) has struck out on his own, offering a tasting menu ($98) of Japanese-influenced dishes like an ebelskiver-style pastry filled with abalone, roasted garlic, and coated with fried shrimp, and bread service with fermented tofu and pickles. Wages hosts dinner at Izakaya Kou on Mondays; Wages has now added Friday and Saturday dinners at Dabba (71 Stevenson St.), where he'll serve the same menu in a different space, with opportunities for walk-ins. Tickets are available here .
Ellen Fort

12. Oakland Tea Parlor at Starline Social Club

Copy Link
645 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 593-2109
Visit Website
A nifty collaboration between Steep Tea Co. and Starline Social Club has resulted in one of the best daytime hangouts in Oakland. A small menu of breakfasty tea items, like a daily quiche, soup, little gem salad, and a breakfast sandwich, accompany loose leaf teas by the pot, specialty drinks like a very spicy chai, and a "matchalter," a gibralter made with matcha tea. There's wifi, and cool vibes every Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

13. Tacos Oscar

Copy Link
645 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 593-2109
Visit Website
Tacos Oscar can be found popping-up all around the East Bay, offering some of the most toothsome tortillas in all the land. However it's always a safe bet to find them at Starline Social Club, every other Monday from 5 p.m.- 11 p.m. The menu changes, but it's always all about the tacos (and sometimes quesadillas).

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1. Masak Masak

1415 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94109
What: Over in Russian Hill, Masak Masak is a Malaysian-inspired pop-up inside Biondivino. Chef Emily Lai (Fatty Crab) hails from Kuala Lumpur and cooks up dishes like roti, angry chicken, asam laksa and more that find a funny, yet fitting pairing with Biondivino owner Ceri Smith’s Italian wines.

Where: Biondivino Wine Shop, 1415 Green St.

When: Every other Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; dates announced here

1415 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94109

2. Rice Paper Scissors

639A Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
What: Rice Paper Scissors has been spreading Vietnamese street food around the city for four years now to high praise (Anthony Bourdain even stopped by), popping up at different spaces and even holding court for two years at Brick and Mortar for lunch. Founders Valerie Luu and Katie Kwan recently cut back that service to focus on finding a truly permanent spot, but what has stayed constant is their Thursday night dinner service at Mojo Bicycle Cafe. Dishes switch out regularly, but include duck and bamboo shoot noodle soup, curry beef brisket and several banh mi.

Where: Mojo Bicycle Cafe

When: Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

639A Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

3. BLUD

211 23rd Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121
Stefanie Tuder
What: Short for Bitches Liven Up Dinner, BLUD is a badass, all-female collaboration between Mel Lopez, the chef at Pizzetta 211 (where the dinners take place), Joyce Conway, Zero Zero's chef de cuisine, and Robin Kloess, Pizzetta 211's pastry chef (and an Incanto vet). With the food changes every month, revolving around a cuisine like Asian seafood or German classics and hip-hop blasting through the restaurant, it all comes together for one very fun dinner party.

Where: Pizzetta 211

When: A Tuesday once a month; watch their Instagram feed for date announcements.

211 23rd Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121

4. Sorrel

493 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
What: Chef Alex Hong (Quince, Jean-Georges), left, is cooking up refined, pretty Italian-influenced American food that clearly shows his fine dining background (we're talking dishes like lamb shoulder dumplings with wild mushroom tea or burrata agnolotti with corn and black truffle), and front-of-house Brennan Corbin, right, is serving it all up. There's almost always a crudo and a pasta (Quince left its mark) on the four-course $55 menu. Plus, rotating somms from restaurants like Central Kitchen and Flour & Water get in on the action with $32 wine pairings, making this one very pedigreed pop-up.

Where: Picnic on Third

When: Most Saturday nights; dates, times and locations announced here.

493 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107

5. Farm to Fork

969 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
What: Learn about a new chef every time at Farm to Fork, which shows a documentary at the dinner highlighting the life of that chef, how they source ingredients, and the message they try to deliver through their food. Past chefs have included 54 Mint's Mattia Marcelli Gather's former chef Tu David Phu. Food from that chef follows the showing.

Where: The Village

When: About once a month; dates announced here.

969 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103

6. Native Sons BBQ

2245 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
What: When SF native Eldo Chan relocated to Texas for high school and then returned after, he realized how much better barbecue was back South. So he and longtime friend Mervin Lau decided to make it themselves. Thus Native Sons BBQ was born, which now pops up about once a week, usually at Triple Voodoo or Speakeasy Breweries. Chan and Lau, who have no formal cooking experience, focus on Texas-style dry rub barbecue with 100 percent wood fire cooking, usually oak. They also make their own sauce, but Lau tells Eater it's "not barbecue that relies on sauce. It's just there to give you a different experience."

Where: Triple Voodoo or Speakeasy Breweries

When: Weekly; dates, menus, and locations announced here.
2245 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107

7. Seafood Stories

555 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
What: Seafood Stories has a bit of a different story than the others on this list. Chefs rotate in this series, which was created to raise awareness around sustainable fishing and seafood consumption; diners not only eat meals from the likes of State Bird Provisions and Hog Island Oysters chefs, but they also learn how to bring sustainable seafood practices into their daily cooking and dining lives.

Where: Fine & Rare

When: Once a month; dates, chefs, and menus announced here.

555 Golden Gate Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102

8. Through the Kitchen Window

3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
What: Some Nopalito chefs and staff have been putting on an independent dim sum pop-up called Through the Kitchen Window. The casual crew cooks up flavor-forward small plates like pork gyoza, uni BLT's, as well as large-format dishes like whole roasted fish with stone fruit mole.

Where: PizzaHacker, 3299 Mission St.

When: Once a month; dates announced and tickets sold here.

3299 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

9. FOB Kitchen Pop-Up

2351 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
FOB Kitchen/Faceboko
Though technically still a pop-up, FOB Kitchen operates full-time out of the kitchen at the Mission's Gashead Tavern. Chef Janice Dulce channels her grandmother's cooking with Filipino dishes like adobo pork, Shanghai lumpia, and pancit. She and partner Brandi Dulce recently upped the ante by shifting to dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 6 p.m.- 10 p.m., with weekend brunch from 11 a.m.- 3 pm.
2351 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

10. Oakland Tea Parlor at Starline Social Club

645 W Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
https://www.instagram.com/starline_social_club/
Steep Tea Company is popping up at the restaurant/bar/music venue during the daylight hours, offering curated tea beverages like chai, as well as pots of their own tea blends. There's also a light lunch menu of salads, tea sandwiches, scones, and the like. Vintage movies and shows (like Twin Peaks) play at 12:30; the pop-up runs from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday, no reservations necessary.
645 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94612

11. RTB Fillmore

1560 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Ellen Fort
Chef Rodney Wages (Saison, Atelier Crenn) has struck out on his own, offering a tasting menu ($98) of Japanese-influenced dishes like an ebelskiver-style pastry filled with abalone, roasted garlic, and coated with fried shrimp, and bread service with fermented tofu and pickles. Wages hosts dinner at Izakaya Kou on Mondays; Wages has now added Friday and Saturday dinners at Dabba (71 Stevenson St.), where he'll serve the same menu in a different space, with opportunities for walk-ins. Tickets are available here .
1560 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

12. Oakland Tea Parlor at Starline Social Club

645 W Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
A nifty collaboration between Steep Tea Co. and Starline Social Club has resulted in one of the best daytime hangouts in Oakland. A small menu of breakfasty tea items, like a daily quiche, soup, little gem salad, and a breakfast sandwich, accompany loose leaf teas by the pot, specialty drinks like a very spicy chai, and a "matchalter," a gibralter made with matcha tea. There's wifi, and cool vibes every Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
645 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94612

13. Tacos Oscar

645 W Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
Tacos Oscar can be found popping-up all around the East Bay, offering some of the most toothsome tortillas in all the land. However it's always a safe bet to find them at Starline Social Club, every other Monday from 5 p.m.- 11 p.m. The menu changes, but it's always all about the tacos (and sometimes quesadillas).
645 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94612

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