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SF

Guide

29 Pop-Ups To Know About Right Now

Here are 29 spots to check out in San Francisco and Oakland.

Written by
29 Spots
Launch Map
29 Spots
Launch Map
Updated October 26th, 2020

The way we eat in San Francisco has changed dramatically over the past few months - and with all of the constant shifts and uncertainty, restaurants and chefs have had to get creative. Tons of pop-ups have, well, popped up, in the Bay Area recently - and they’re having lots of success, especially as we adjust to a more takeout-focused lifestyle. From cinnamon rolls to arepas to cheesy, gooey pupusas, here are 29 pop-ups that you should know about right now.

THE POP-UP SPOTS

Intu-on

$$$$ 458 Grove St

Intu-on is an Isaan Thai pop-up that’s currently operating out of Hayes Valley’s Birba Wine Bar every Sunday (they’re taking Nov. 1st off, but will be back on schedule starting the 8th). The chef, who previously worked at Kin Khao and LA’s Night + Market, is offering things like papaya salad, shrimp mousse toast, and crispy curry rice, which you can get a la carte or as part of a bento box tasting menu. Check their Instagram for menu updates.

Jeremy Chen

Da Cook Shop

$$$$ 3198 16th St

Miss Ollie’s is our favorite Oakland spot for crispy, juicy skillet-fried chicken - and now, you can get some in SF. Until December, Miss Ollie’s is popping up at Elda in the Mission, and serving things like salt fish ackee, jerk chicken, and, yes, the fried chicken, which you can wash down with one of Elda’s fantastic cocktails. Da Cook Shop is every Thursday to Sunday from 5-9pm.

Tavo's Joint

$$$$ 167 11th St

The Venezuelan pop-up is currently operating out of the Joint Venture Kitchen in SoMa. The menu includes everything from arepas with pollo mechado to guava sticky buns to tequeños, and has plenty of vegan options, as well. Order online for pick-up Thursdays to Saturdays from 5-9pm, or Sundays between 1-5pm.

Keep an eye on Sankofa’s Instagram for future pop-ups, which have been known to sell out quickly. The menu changes, but expect things like chinchinga, chicken palaver, stewed okra, and hibiscus bofrot. Sankofa recently collaborated with Tavo’s Joint for a weekend-long pop-up featuringVenezuelan and Ghanaian dishes, like suya roasted short rib arepas and hibiscus sticky buns.

Eric Chow, a Tartine Bakery alum and pastry chef from Bar Agricole, is currently focusing on making scones, crostatas, and fluffy, coffee-flavored cinnamon rolls. On Wednesdays, you can get them delivered throughout SF between 2-6pm (Chow glazes the cinnamon rolls in the back of his trunk when he arrives). You can also snag one by stopping by Elda on Wednesdays, and Excelsior Coffee or Oakland’s Magnolia Mini Mart on Thursdays.

Frolic & Detour pops up once a month at Deli Board and Garden Creamery, and focuses on cookies. They have eight different flavors that all sound great - including masala chai molasses, birthday cake, and chocolate espresso passion fruit - so if you want to try them all, your best bet is to order at least one of each. If you can’t wait for Frolic & Detour’s pop-ups to get your hands on these cookies, you can also place an order online - you’ll get a box of 12 for next day pick-up at Saint Frank Coffee in Russian Hill.

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🍫💛🍓🍰🌈💕☕️⭐️🍪✨

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Krescent Carasso

Reem's at Alkali Rye

$$$$ 3256 Grand Ave

Following the shutdown in March, Reem’s Fruitvale location transitioned into a commissary kitchen making meals for vulnerable communities. So if you’ve been missing Reem’s baked goods and wraps, they’re now popping up weekly at Alkali Rye, a new spirits shop by Lake Merritt. Pre-order here for pick-up on Tuesdays from 5-7pm, and while you’re there grab some wine, rum, tequila, or other bottle from Alkali Rye’s extensive (and thoughtfully sourced) selection.

Ox & Tiger

$$$$ 238 Broadway

The dishes at this pop-up draw on the chefs’ Filipino and Japanese cultures - you can expect things like chicken karaage sandwiches, yakisoba pan, mentaiko pancit, and more. They’re currently doing outdoor dinners on Fridays and Saturdays at Vineyard Gate, a wine shop in Millbrae, and they’ve also made appearances at Hunters Point Brewery. Check their Instagram for the latest menus and updates.

Unco Frank's at The Devil's Acre

$$$$ 256 Columbus Ave

The Hawaiian pop-up is currently operating out of The Devil’s Acre in North Beach. You can grab furikake fries, salt and pepper karaage, or kalua pork sliders, and enjoy it all with a cocktail on the parklet out front. You can find them there Wednesday to Sunday.

Reed Davis

Eko Kitchen

$$$$ 130 Townsend St

Last year, Eko Kitchen became SF’s first and only Nigerian restaurant. And after a fire burned down their commercial kitchen in July, they’ve since moved operations to Merkado’s space in SoMa. The menu at Eko Kitchen changes, but they have combo meals, which include things like smoky jollof rice, chicken with roasted pepper sauce, gizdodo, and puff puffs, available to-go every Sunday. You can use apps for delivery, or place an order for pick-up by phone or online.

Popoca

$$$$ 411 26th St

The Uptown Oakland pop-up serves excellent Salvadoran food - pupusas, enchiladas, and trout smoked over a comal - out of Classic Cars West Beer Garden. They’ve also got a “dinner for two” (it comes with four pupusas and sides), and pints of escabeche, beans, and hot sauce to-go. They’re open Wednesday to Saturday from 5:30-9pm.

Miguelito’s

$$$$ 2000 Hyde St

From Wednesday to Sunday, Abrazo in Russian Hill is hosting a pop-up called Miguelito’s. They’re selling charred octopus tacos with chorizo aioli and citrus slaw, carne asada street tacos, carnitas, chicken, elotes, and more out of Abrazo’s side door on Union Street. And if you want an extra kick, ask for their house-made habanero salsa, which they’re selling by the bottle.

Raphael Latrache

Beretta Pop-Up

$$$$ 661 Divisadero St

Our favorite Italian spot in the Mission for small plates and cocktails is now on Divisadero, and offering outdoor dining and Happy Hour specials every day. So if you’re in NoPa and are suddenly hit with the all-consuming need for burrata, right now, you’re in luck. They’re taking brunch and Happy Hour reservations online, and also have a waitlist for dinner.

Al Pastor Papi

Al Pastor Papi

$$$$ 601 Mission Bay Blvd N

If (and by if, we mean when) you’re in desperate need of some al pastor, check Al Pastor Papi’s Instagram to see where their truck is at. The location changes every day, but they’re typically around SF. If, by some miraculous force, you don’t want al pastor, they’ve also got carne asada, chicken, and nopales - all of which you can get in tacos, open-faced quesadillas, burritos, or bowls.

The Vegan Hood Chefs

Since 2017, The Vegan Hood Chefs have been bringing plant-based soul food to SF, and healthier options to local Black and brown communities that have historically lacked access to them. They’re mostly catering right now, but occasionally pop up around the city (check their Instagram for updates). The menu varies, but expect to see things like lobster mac and cheese, oyster po’boys, or sweet potato and black bean tacos. You can also place a catering order on their website.

Chancho's

Chancho's

$$$$

The team behind Low Bar, a new cocktail bar that’s put its opening on pause due to the pandemic, recently launched a Mexican pop-up called Chancho’s. They’re selling burritos and tamales with salsa verde chicken or roasted poblano chile that you can also order by the half-dozen. Chancho’s has operated out of Itani Ramen and Heart and Dagger Saloon in the past, but check their Instagram for the current location.

Angela Pinkerton, who was previously a pastry chef at Che Fico, is now making excellent pies for pick-up. The menu changes weekly with what’s in season (so keep an eye on their website), but expect things like Gravenstein apple, pluot raspberry with a brown butter shortbread crumble, key lime, and passionfruit and bay leaf meringue pie. Five- and nine-inch pies are available for pick-up at Fiorella, Nido, and other spots in SF and Oakland on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Nora Haron

IndoMex

$$$$ 736 Washington St

What started as experimental, hybrid recipes between an Indonesian-Singaporean chef and her Mexican partner became a pop-up serving Indonesian and Mexican-inspired brunch. On certain Sundays, stop by IndoMex (operating out of Xingones in Old Oakland), where you can either pick up your order or sit outside and eat beef rendang chilaquiles, a salsa-y sambal, and pandan flan. Be sure to order ahead, and check Instagram for pop-up dates.

Mona Leena Michael

The Mana'eesh Lady

$$$$ 5200 Adeline St

For fluffy, za’atar-covered mana’eesh, labneh, or jalapeño-garlic tahini, order from The Mana’eesh Lady, a pop-up from the head chef of Dyafa. She’s taking pre-orders only for pick-up on Fridays - check Instagram for the weekly menu and link to order.

Pinoy Heritage

Pinoy Heritage

$$$$ 580 Sutter St

The Filipino pop-up, which currently lives at Pacific Cocktail Haven in Union Square, is preparing delicious meal kits, seven-course dinners, and prepared food to-go. Their offerings change periodically, but standbys include things like chicken inasal, lumpia, pancit luglug, and sisig fried rice. They deliver on Fridays, or you can pick up or dine outside at PCH. Place your order online.

Chef Smelly's

$$$$ 2430 Broadway

Over the last few years, Chef Smelly’s massive plates of Creole dishes have drawn lines around the block. And even now in pandemic times, things are no different. Here’s how you do it: head to Au Lounge in Uptown Oakland on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday from 5-9pm, and wait your turn for blackened prawns, surf & turf fries, sweet chili garlic chicken, garlic noodles, and more. Check Instagram for the menu and updates - and note that it’s walk-up orders only.

Ben Samples

Fowl + Fare

$$$$ 101 Broadway

If you’re always on the lookout for the newest fried chicken sandwich, like us, check out Fowl + Fare in Oakland. Their sandwiches change occasionally, but one they always have is the classic with chipotle aioli, pear slaw, and a fried chicken thigh. Others you’ll want to try include a Mediterranean fried chicken sandwich with feta tzatziki, za’atar, and tomato mint jam, and one with bacon black garlic ranch. Fowl + Fare is usually around on weekends, but check their Instagram for pop-up days and location.

Haight Loaves

$$$$ 904 Haight St

In the Things Bay Area People Love hierarchy, there’s fried chicken sandwiches. Then there’s freshly baked sourdough. Every Friday and Sunday, Haight Loaves in SF is making sourdough loaves, sandwich bread, and focaccia, and focaccia pizza on Fridays. You can place an order for pick-up online or by DM-ing them on Instagram.

Claws of Mantis

This Vietnamese spot doesn’t pop up on a regular schedule. But if you check their Instagram and find a date is approaching, put it on your calendar immediately - so you can look forward to things like papaya salad, braised pork belly, and pandan butter mochi. In the past, they’ve had set dinner menus for pick-up and delivery in SF, and recently, they had an a la carte menu and outdoor dining at The Showdown in North Beach.

Erik Ratensperger

Che Fico

$$$$
AmericanItalian  in  Nopa
$$$$ 834-838 Divisadero St

Unless you count last year’s one-day pop-up, Che Fico is now serving breakfast for the first time ever. On Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-12pm, you can choose from a menu of things like cherry and almond cornettos, prosciutto and egg breakfast sandwiches, and bowls of fresh fruit, all of which you can wash down with coffee from Sightglass.

Smish Smash

Smish Smash Burgers

$$$$ 517 8th St

Smashburger enthusiasts, rejoice - Smish Smash is making thin, crispy, caramelized smashburgers out of Neptune’s in Alameda, Thursdays through Sundays - and they’re absolutely delicious. Fried chicken sandwiches, fries, and weekly specials, like their recent uni burger or Mk’Rib, are also on the menu.

We checked out Smish Smash - read about it here.

Zeitcafe

$$$$ 199 Valencia St

Once a week, you can head to Zeitgeist’s spacious, socially-distanced beer garden for their new breakfast pop-up, Zeitcafe. From 8am-1pm on Thursdays, they’ll serve Bloody Marys, beer, and espresso and cold brew from Four Barrel Coffee, and an egg, spam, and jalapeño aioli breakfast sandwich. They’ll also make burgers after 11:30am.

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Four Barrel and Zeitgeist are partnering again for ZeitCafe! This morning from 8am-1pm. Four Barrel’s baristas will be serving fancy coffees out of the Zeitgeist front door. Chef @no.days.off.matt will be serving his new breakfast sandwich “The Mission Subi”- scrambled eggs, Spam, seaweed, and jalapeño aioli on toasted sourdough. Coffee served in the garden. Bloodies served in the garden. Zeitbooths. Strong Wifi. Sunshine. @fourbarrelcoffee 🍺 Zeitgeist SF 🍺 Valencia St x Duboce Ave The Mission St - SF #zeitgeist #fourbarrelcoffee #fourbarrel #beergarden #restaurant #beer #food #bar #divebar #bartender #barista #baristalife #sanfrancisobars #bloodymary #draftbeer #coffee #neighborhoodbar #localbar #brunch #barsofinstagram #beerbars #coffeetime #coldbeer #missiondistrict #coffeeaddict #daydrinking #burgersandbeer #coldbrew #sanfrancisco #coffeelover

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Señor Sisig

Señor Sisig

$$$$ 1628 Webster St.

It used to be hard to track down Señor Sisig’s food truck in the East Bay. The truck made occasional appearances at East Bay Off the Grids, and had a brief stint in Oakland’s Dimond District. But now, if you live in the area, you won’t have to travel to their brick-and-mortar spot in the Mission for their excellent burritos and nachos - they’re operating a semi-permanent pop-up at 1628 Webster in Downtown Oakland, every day. Check their website for hours.

Woodblock

$$$$ 300 Grove St

The chef behind Baia, a brand-new vegan Italian spot in Hayes Valley, has also created a plant-based sushi pop-up called Woodblock. It’s operating out of the Baia kitchen and has a menu of veggie-focused rolls, like a spicy crab roll made with hearts of palm and an unagi tempura roll made with eggplant and tempeh.

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