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The SF and Oakland Pop-Up Heatmap: Where To Go NOW

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These days, pop-ups aren't just a way for chefs to experiment on the side: they're often the launching pads for future hot restaurants, as fans of Rich Table, PizzaHacker, Hillside Supper Club, Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, Juhu Beach Club, and numerous other acclaimed pop-ups gone permanent can attest. So where can you check out the next big thing before it happens? Here are 15 pop-ups that have recently caught our attention (all are currently in operation or have done an event within the last month), with intel on what they serve and where to catch them. It's by no means a comprehensive guide—pop-ups are too ephemeral and change too frequently to provide anything of the sort—but it should hopefully serve as a starting point to explore SF's culinary underground.


We know we probably missed some great pop-ups (they're not always easy to track!) Please share your favorites in the comments, and we'll consider them for future editions of this guide.

· The Bay Area Heatmap: Where to Eat NOW [~ ESF ~]
· All Pop-Ups posts [~ ESF ~]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Berlinetta Playlist

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417 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 400-0500
Visit Website
Every other Friday night, the bartending duo of Brian Felley and Mo Hodges (of the sadly shuttered Big) pop up at this lounge inside the Mystic Hotel to serve cocktails. They're around from 9 pm-1 am, and local DJs usually spin as well.

2. Hapa Ramen at Wing Wings

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422 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94102
While Richie Nakano continues to work on his brick-and-mortar, he and his team can be found nearly every Monday night (6-10 pm) at Wing Wings, where he serves up quirky ramens (this week's is lamb with shiso jelly) and occasionally even tacos. Updated menus usually show up day-of on Tumblr.

3. The Mill's Monday Pizza Party

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736 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 345-1953
Visit Website
Monday-night pizza is now a regular fixture at the Mill (6-9 pm), with Josey Baker turning his bread mastery to California-style vegetarian pies that rotate weekly (in the tradition of Cheese Board and Arizmendi). Caramelized onion-pepper and potato-leek have been topping combos so far. Call ahead to pick up a whole pie, or eat a slice in-house. Baker's Instagram usually features the pie of the week.

4. WesBurger

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639A Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 440-2338
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Regular readers may recall our interview with burger expert Wes Rowe, who's now using his research to produce superlative combos like the Dalton Burger, with portabella confit, caramelized onion pesto, and smoked provolone, or the Bruschetta Burger, with basil garlic aioli, balsamic tomatoes and mozzarella. Find him every Wednesday (6-10 pm) at Mojo Bicycle Cafe; he also makes occasional Thursday-night appearances at the SOMA StrEat Food Park.

5. Bespoke Doughnuts

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2344 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(831) 334-2408
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This Sunday pop-up at Castro bar Beaux takes doughnuts to the next level, with artfully decorated, freshly-fried pastries that usually include at least one savory option. Toasted beet with dill and tarragon, pulled pork, dark chocolate s'more, and strawberry lemon are among the three weekly rotating flavors.

6. LOQUI

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3609 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Every Friday and/or Saturday, this Mexican pop-up peddles tacos from a window at Tartine Bakery, with freshly-made tortillas and fillings like birria, carnitas, and carne asada. They usually run from 7:30 or 8 until 11, but sellouts happen; check their Twitter feed for the latest.

7. Thistle

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550 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(337) 281-5992
Visit Website
Juice pop-ups have come and gone in SF, with many eventually scoring their own brick-and-mortars (like Juice Shop and Project Juice). The latest is this Berkeley-based juicery, which appears at West of Pecos from 9 am-4:30 pm on weekdays with combos like apple-grapefruit-burdock and carrot-orange-turmeric.

8. Naked Kitchen SF

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Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
This private home has become one of the city's best spaces for pop-ups to take wing, regularly hosting high-end BYOB dinners by Mullen & Smith, Ante and Post Meridian, Sous Beurre Kitchen, and other projects from chefs who've trained in high-end kitchens. This Friday's dinner features Azorean cuisine from Ronny Miranda, while Ante Meridian will serve black truffle waffles for Sunday brunch.

9. Dear Mom

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2700 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 625-3362
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Dear Mom's kitchen is a reliable spot to catch pop-ups for Saturday and Sunday brunch. Mr. Kim's (Korean deli) and The Naughty Hindu (Indian) are currently scheduled, and Marla Bakery, Ante Meridian, and the infamous Eastside Bagels have all been past participants.

10. Trilogi SF

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3066 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 425-2392
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24th Street wine bar La Movida plays host on Tuesdays (6-10 pm) to this "Thai tapas" pop-up, which offers Tessa Phosrithong and Vivien Li's takes on green curry chicken, Hawaiian fried-chicken sliders, and glass noodles with shrimp and pork, among other options, as well as La Movida's full wine and beer offering (each dish has a suggested pairing).

11. Balls Deep Arancini

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3158 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 282-3325
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Situated at the intersection of fried, carbs, and cheese, arancini are pretty much the best drunk food you could ask for. Staffed by Seven Hills and Henry Miller Library alums, this regular Saturday night pop-up takes the goods to hungry drinkers at El Rio, with flavors like eggplant-pesto and avocado-jalapeno. They're around from 9 pm-1 am.

12. Peko Peko

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2232 Martin Luther King Junior Way
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 798-6566
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Sylvan Mishima Brackett now has a space in the Mission for his farm-to-table Japanese fare, but until Rintaro arrives later this summer, he continues to do his thing via pop-ups. Get on his e-mail list for info on events, which typically go down on Wednesday or Thursday nights in Oakland.

13. Bistro Ordinaire

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3354 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 629-3944
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While he plots his Kronnerburger brick-and-mortar in Oakland (arriving this summer), Chris Kronner has been making regular "bistro" appearances at cute Grand Lake wine bar Ordinaire on Thursdays and Fridays. He mostly eschews burgers for the more upscale and market-driven fare he perfected at Bar Tartine. His Instagram and Ordinaire's Facebook are good places to get updates.

14. curATE by Quince

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501 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
As Quince's regular space goes under the knife for renovations, Michael and Lindsay Tusk have launched curATE, a pop-up series at Hedge Gallery that runs through August 30th. Each week has art from a different curator and food themed around it. It's open Wednesdays-Saturdays, and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West took 30 people there last week, if that's an incentive.

15. Abura-ya

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380 15th St
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 835-9515
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This pop-up based out of Oakland's Garden House offers Japanese-style fried chicken and a variety of izakaya-style sides. Catch them Thursday-Sunday, 6-10 pm; they also appear at other venues, like Virgil's Sea Room, from time to time.

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1. Berlinetta Playlist

417 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Every other Friday night, the bartending duo of Brian Felley and Mo Hodges (of the sadly shuttered Big) pop up at this lounge inside the Mystic Hotel to serve cocktails. They're around from 9 pm-1 am, and local DJs usually spin as well.
417 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94108

2. Hapa Ramen at Wing Wings

422 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94102
While Richie Nakano continues to work on his brick-and-mortar, he and his team can be found nearly every Monday night (6-10 pm) at Wing Wings, where he serves up quirky ramens (this week's is lamb with shiso jelly) and occasionally even tacos. Updated menus usually show up day-of on Tumblr.
422 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94102

3. The Mill's Monday Pizza Party

736 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Monday-night pizza is now a regular fixture at the Mill (6-9 pm), with Josey Baker turning his bread mastery to California-style vegetarian pies that rotate weekly (in the tradition of Cheese Board and Arizmendi). Caramelized onion-pepper and potato-leek have been topping combos so far. Call ahead to pick up a whole pie, or eat a slice in-house. Baker's Instagram usually features the pie of the week.
736 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

4. WesBurger

639A Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Regular readers may recall our interview with burger expert Wes Rowe, who's now using his research to produce superlative combos like the Dalton Burger, with portabella confit, caramelized onion pesto, and smoked provolone, or the Bruschetta Burger, with basil garlic aioli, balsamic tomatoes and mozzarella. Find him every Wednesday (6-10 pm) at Mojo Bicycle Cafe; he also makes occasional Thursday-night appearances at the SOMA StrEat Food Park.
639A Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

5. Bespoke Doughnuts

2344 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
This Sunday pop-up at Castro bar Beaux takes doughnuts to the next level, with artfully decorated, freshly-fried pastries that usually include at least one savory option. Toasted beet with dill and tarragon, pulled pork, dark chocolate s'more, and strawberry lemon are among the three weekly rotating flavors.
2344 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

6. LOQUI

3609 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Every Friday and/or Saturday, this Mexican pop-up peddles tacos from a window at Tartine Bakery, with freshly-made tortillas and fillings like birria, carnitas, and carne asada. They usually run from 7:30 or 8 until 11, but sellouts happen; check their Twitter feed for the latest.
3609 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

7. Thistle

550 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Juice pop-ups have come and gone in SF, with many eventually scoring their own brick-and-mortars (like Juice Shop and Project Juice). The latest is this Berkeley-based juicery, which appears at West of Pecos from 9 am-4:30 pm on weekdays with combos like apple-grapefruit-burdock and carrot-orange-turmeric.
550 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

8. Naked Kitchen SF

Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110
This private home has become one of the city's best spaces for pop-ups to take wing, regularly hosting high-end BYOB dinners by Mullen & Smith, Ante and Post Meridian, Sous Beurre Kitchen, and other projects from chefs who've trained in high-end kitchens. This Friday's dinner features Azorean cuisine from Ronny Miranda, while Ante Meridian will serve black truffle waffles for Sunday brunch.
Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

9. Dear Mom

2700 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Dear Mom's kitchen is a reliable spot to catch pop-ups for Saturday and Sunday brunch. Mr. Kim's (Korean deli) and The Naughty Hindu (Indian) are currently scheduled, and Marla Bakery, Ante Meridian, and the infamous Eastside Bagels have all been past participants.
2700 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

10. Trilogi SF

3066 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
24th Street wine bar La Movida plays host on Tuesdays (6-10 pm) to this "Thai tapas" pop-up, which offers Tessa Phosrithong and Vivien Li's takes on green curry chicken, Hawaiian fried-chicken sliders, and glass noodles with shrimp and pork, among other options, as well as La Movida's full wine and beer offering (each dish has a suggested pairing).
3066 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

11. Balls Deep Arancini

3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Situated at the intersection of fried, carbs, and cheese, arancini are pretty much the best drunk food you could ask for. Staffed by Seven Hills and Henry Miller Library alums, this regular Saturday night pop-up takes the goods to hungry drinkers at El Rio, with flavors like eggplant-pesto and avocado-jalapeno. They're around from 9 pm-1 am.
3158 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. Peko Peko

2232 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Berkeley, CA 94703
Sylvan Mishima Brackett now has a space in the Mission for his farm-to-table Japanese fare, but until Rintaro arrives later this summer, he continues to do his thing via pop-ups. Get on his e-mail list for info on events, which typically go down on Wednesday or Thursday nights in Oakland.
2232 Martin Luther King Junior Way
Berkeley, CA 94703

13. Bistro Ordinaire

3354 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
While he plots his Kronnerburger brick-and-mortar in Oakland (arriving this summer), Chris Kronner has been making regular "bistro" appearances at cute Grand Lake wine bar Ordinaire on Thursdays and Fridays. He mostly eschews burgers for the more upscale and market-driven fare he perfected at Bar Tartine. His Instagram and Ordinaire's Facebook are good places to get updates.
3354 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

14. curATE by Quince

501 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
As Quince's regular space goes under the knife for renovations, Michael and Lindsay Tusk have launched curATE, a pop-up series at Hedge Gallery that runs through August 30th. Each week has art from a different curator and food themed around it. It's open Wednesdays-Saturdays, and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West took 30 people there last week, if that's an incentive.
501 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133

15. Abura-ya

380 15th St, Oakland, CA 94612
This pop-up based out of Oakland's Garden House offers Japanese-style fried chicken and a variety of izakaya-style sides. Catch them Thursday-Sunday, 6-10 pm; they also appear at other venues, like Virgil's Sea Room, from time to time.
380 15th St
Oakland, CA 94612

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