Chicago is on a fast track to a full reopening, which means locals and visitors can look forward to a summer packed with creative pop-up collaborations and events in bars and restaurants around town. Follow along for a sampling of the best the city has to offer in Eater Chicago’s pop-up round up.
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As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.
Irving Park: Two New Orleans natives are throwing a pop-up on Sunday, September 18 at the Long Room to raise money for Hurricane Ida relief. Sahil Singh (Naansense, Tuck Shop) and Kristian Madere (The Lunchroom) are donating all proceeds from food sales to the Bayou Recovery Fund and the Crescent Fund. The Long Room will donate 25 percent of bar sales to the funds, too. Take a look at the menu below. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 18, Long Room, 1612 W. Irving Park Road.
Logan Square: Palita Sriratana has revived her Thai food operation. Pink Salt, which was a shooting star at the now-shuttered Fulton Galley food hall, is back. Sriratana will bring her northeastern Thai food and more on September 22 at Longman & Eagle. It’s dine-in only. 6 p.m., Sunday September 22, Longman & Eagle, 2657 W. Kedzie Avenue.
Old Irving Park: Former Leña Brava chef Stephen Sandoval is drawing upon his travel experiences and his family heritage from Spain to Mexico to create a special coursed menu for 14 people at the RLM Studio event space, 4042 N. Pulaski Road. Entre Sueños takes place on every Thursday (unless noted) through November. Reservations are $195 per person via Tock. Stay tuned for more coverage. 6:30 p.m. Thursday through November, RLM Studio, 4042 N. Pulaski Road.
Wrigleyville: Hotel Zachary is trying to give people a reason to be in Wrigleyville this time of year. The hotel, located across the street from Wrigley Field, is teaming up with Goose Island Beer Co. and Mordecai for a special beer dinner. Mordecai chef Mike McKinnell will serve curated beer pairings on Thursday, September 23 and September 30. Reservations at those links via Resy. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, September 23 and September 30 at Hotel Zachary’s second-floor terrace, 3630 N. Clark Street.
Bucktown: Asian-inspired virtual pastry shop Maa Maa Dei will pop up on Saturday at Hugo Tea Space with lapsang suchong tea eggs, boxes of kinako mochi, and matcha mooncakes with mung bean and goji berry filling, according to an Instagram post. Place preorders by sending a direct message to @maa.maa.dei. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 28, Hugo Tea Space, 1816 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
Edgewater: Buzzy taco hotspot Taqueria Chingon will collaborate with popular purveyor Cookies & Carnitas for a pizza pop-up with two special pies on Monday, August 30. For $65, patrons can get an al pastor pizza (avocado salsa, arbol salsa, cilantro, onion, pineapple) or Big Al pizza (nopales, poblano, corn, jalapeno, Oaxacan cheese, crema), plus a half carafe of margaritas and box of cookies. Tickets and more details are available via Eventbrite. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, August 30, Cookies & Carnitas, 5940 N. Broadway.
Irving Park/Albany Park: Chicago Reader’s Monday Night Foodball pop-up series kicked off this week and is featuring an impressive lineup of local chefs for upcoming events at the Kedzie Inn. These include Malaysian food from Kedai-Tapao (Monday, August 30), a Mumbai-themed menu from Tasting India (September 13), a Cambodian prix fixe meal from Mona Bella Catering (September 20), and more. The Reader has a full rundown is on its website. Monday, August 30 to Monday, October 11, Monday Night Foodball at the Kedzie Inn, 4100 N. Kedzie Avenue.
Lincoln Park: Japanese comfort food spot Bokuchan Curry House will pop up on Saturday at Fuel, the restaurant inside workout gear retailer Lululemon, according to a Facebook post. Customers can count on a menu of chicken katsu sandos (Hokkaido-style milk bun, curry sauce), cucumber and radish salad, and more. Bokuchan is from chef Shin Thompson, also behind local ramen mini-chain Furious Spoon. Tickets ($25) are available via Eventbrite. Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, August 28, Lululemon Lincoln Park, 944 W. North Avenue.
Logan Square: Jasmine Sheth’s virtual restaurant Tasting India will team up with local purveyor Vargo Brothers Ferments for a special Preserved Thali pop-up slated for Monday at Bang Bang Pie’s Logan Square location, according to an Instagram post. Collaborators aim to highlight the fermented flavors of regional Indian cuisine with a 10-component Thali (portioned for two) with both pork and vegetarian options. Place pre-orders online for outdoor seating or carryout. 5 p.m. Monday, August 30, Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, 2051 N. California Avenue.
Logan Square: Well-known local ramen cook Mike Satinover (known to his many fans as Ramen Lord) will pop up on Sunday with a collaborative Mazesoba Madness pop-up at Flat & Point, according to an Instagram post. He’ll feature a summery bowl of noodles (sans broth) in two styles: soy sauce-based with smoked pork and garlic, or a tantanmen-inspired sesame and chili version. Tickets will become available at noon on Wednesday via Tock and will include one bowl. Attendees will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon arrival. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, August 29, Flat & Point, 3524 W. Fullerton Avenue.
Logan Square: Salvadoran pop-up Papusa Time is making an appearance Wednesday at Maplewood Brewery and Distillery to celebrate the release of its Kell’em all kellerbier and brunch punch fruited sour ale, according to an Instagram post. Papusa Time will offer a tight selection of papusas revuelta (pork, bean, cheese) and papusas hongos (chipotle mushroom, cheese), plus vegan and vegetarian options. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Maplewood Brewery and Distillery, 2717 N. Maplewood Avenue.
Logan Square: Five lauded Chicago chefs — Diana Dávila, Beverly Kim (Parachute), Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde), Darnell Reed (Luella’s Southern Kitchen), and Valeria Taylor (Loba Pastry and Coffee) — will pop up on Monday, September 6 at Dávila’s acclaimed Mexican restaurant Mi Tocaya Antojeria to raise funds for local non-profit the Resurrection Project. Attendees can also expect cannabis entremeses from chef Manny Mendoza (Herbal Notes), a set from DJ MDOK, and a live art show featuring multiple artists, including chef Won Kim (Kimski). Tickets are available via Resy. Ticketholders will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon arrival. 5 p.m. Monday, September 6, Mi Tocaya Antojeria, 2800 W. Logan Boulevard.
River North: Celebrity chef Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill) and chef Kevin Hickey (Duck Inn) will pop up together on Tuesday, August 31 at Bar Sótano — Bayless’s subterranean bar helmed by his daughter Lanie — on a collaborative menu featuring several courses that highlight “the more progressive flavors of Chicago and Mexican kitchens.” Lanie Bayless, Julianna Arquilla (Bar Sótano), and Brandon Phillips (Duck Inn) will also offer a selection of new cocktails. Tickets ($85, 2 person minimum) are available via Resy. 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 31, Bar Sótano, 443 N. Clark Street (in the alley behind Frontera Grill).
Ukrainian Village: Vegan bento box maker Ash Lemasters (@snackiechan) will pop up with chef Stephanie Suzanne Brendle (@in_da_weeds) on Friday and Saturday for a four-course vegan Chinese American dinner, according to an Instagram post. Designed around the a theme of “resilience,” menu items include barbecue jackfruit bao, raw cheesecake (orange, cashew, ginger almond crust), and peach cascara rum punch. Tickets ($70) are available online. 7 p.m. Friday, August 27; 12:30 a.m. Saturday, August 28, 2506 W. Haddon Avenue.
Wicker Park: Adored South Asian street food pop-up Wazwan is slated to take over the former Clampdown for a month-long stint, according to chef and owner Zubair Mohajir. From Wednesday, August 25 through Sunday, September 30, patrons can snag creative halal creations like nihari momo (Sichuan pepper, chili oil), the super-popular THC sando (it stands for tandoori-honey-chicken), and a salmon and sable crudo (lemongrass broth, smoked trout roe, chili oil). It’s a way Mohajir can prepare for opening his upcoming restaurant, Aman. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday from August 25 through September 30, 1742 W. Division.
Des Plaines: New York City’s Filipino-American pop-up Barkada MARKET MARKET is coming with more than 30 vendors on Saturday to suburban Chicago, according to a rep. Attendees can expect to find music, art, and food from vendors like Indiana-based Salamat Cookies and East Coast mochi maker the Boiis Co. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 28, Brew Lounge and Five Boroughs Pizza, 1062 Lee Street in Des Plaines.
Fulton Market: Ace Hotel will on Friday, August 27 host a collaborative COMPOP night market with La Luna restaurant, 5 Rabbit Cervecería, and retailer Comercio Popular to celebrate modern Mexican design, according to a news release. Entry is free, but those who want to play a round of Millennial Lotería need to sign up in advance and purchase tickets ($15) online via Tock. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, August 17, Ace Hotel Chicago, 311 N. Morgan Street.
Logan Square: Chef Eve Studnicka of virtual restaurant Funeral Potatoes will pop up on Monday, September 13 at underground dining club Saint Emeric, according to an Instagram post. The event, dubbed Meet Your Meat: Where the Wild Things Are, is a collaboration with Texas-based wild game butcher Kriss Abigail. The team promises a seven-course “hedonistic dream feast” with a butchering demonstration and drinks from bartender Stella Miller (the Sixth). Tickets will become available on Saturday, August 14 via Tock. Hours not yet available, Monday, September 13, Saint Emeric, Logan Square.
West Loop: Food and art society Eye Eaters has a new date for its its third annual Eating Rainbows, the Pride-themed event to benefit Brave Space Alliance, that was delayed earlier this summer due to extreme weather. The event is now slated for Saturday, August 14, will feature rainbow-colored food and beverages from chef Kelly Ijichi (Mom’s), Ollie Walleck (Heritage Bikes and Coffee), Dana Salls Cree (Pretty Cool Ice Cream), Goose Island, and Foxtrot Market, according to an Instagram post. Attendees can also expect drag performances, “Go-Go Go Karts” (think Mario Kart meets go-go dancers), DJ sets, and more. Tickets ($75 for LGBTIA family members, $85 for allies) and more details are available online. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, August 14, Eye Eaters, the lot at 1400 W. Carroll Avenue.
West Loop: Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Sisters and Filipino food hall spot Taste of the Philippines plan to pop up on Wednesday, August 25 with a special Kamayan Feast prix-fixe menu ($40) that includes pork lumpia, spicy beef noodles, som tum (Thai papaya salad), and more, according to a news release. Patrons should place orders online by Monday, August 23 for pickup, delivery, or dine-in service at Chicago French Market. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 25, Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton Street.
Skokie: Bumbu Roux chef Chris Reed will pop up with Indonesian street food on Friday, August 13 at Sketchbook Brewing in suburban Skokie, according to a news release. Known for both Indonesian and Cajun dishes, Reed will offer options like the Krakatoa (spicy pulled pork sandwich, pickled red onion, papaya, cilantro), veggie lumpia, and chicken sate. 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, August 13, Sketchbook Brewing, 4901 Main Street in Skokie.
Irving Park: Chef Jennifer Kim will mark her return to Chicago after and her post-Passerotto project, Alt Economy, five-city summer tour with a “huge homecoming blowout” pop-up Thursday, July 29 at Horner Park. Attendees can expect music, food, and pastries from an assortment of local chefs, plus beverages from Nine Bar and Juanita’s Bebidas. This is a fundraising effort for mutual aid groups Chicago Community Jail Support, Blck Rising, and the Chicago Hospitality Accountable Actions Database (CHAAD). 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, July 29, Horner Park, 2741 W. Montrose Avenue.
Irving Park: Chef Stephen Sandoval (Leña Brava) will launch his new prix-fixe pop-up dinner series, Entre Sueños, in August at event space RLM Studio, according to a rep. Sandoval will highlight “Baja Med,” or Mexican cuisine style with Mediterranean and Asian influences, plus beverage pairings, whole-animal cooking, and special touches like a seafood cart (meant to evoke street side food stands). Each dinner seats 14. Tickets for the launch dinner are sold out but diners can book spots ($225) from Thursday, August 12 through Thursday, November 11 via Tock. Future dinners will include a collaborative event with chefs Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill) and Rishi Kumar (Bar Sotano). Sandoval is also slinging street foods on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. inside Blind Barber in Fulton Market (948 W. Fulton Market). 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 12, RLM Studio, 4042 N. Pulaski Road.
Little Village: Tortas y Tianguis, a pop up mini-market with “backyard cookout vibes,” will kick off Sunday with tortas ahogadas from pozole rojo specialist Limon y Sal, chamoy candy from Sweet Picante, churros from All Doh’z Churros, and more. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 1, Tortas y Tianguis, 2715 S. Homan Avenue.
Logan Square: The family behind California-based Haarmeyer Wine Cellars will pop up on Thursday for wine tastings and hot dogs from noted meat merchant Porter Road (vegan alternatives will also be available) at bar and bottle shop Easy Does It, according to a Facebook event. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 29, Easy Does It, 2354 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
Logan Square: Gourmet grocer L&M Fine Foods (which recently opened a North Center restaurant) and Logan Square’s Dutchbag Brewing will also pop up for a Crosstown Sausage Party at Easy Does It (one of the most prolific pop up venues of the summer). Patrons can stop in on Sunday for sausages, cheese plates, and beer. 1 p.m. Sunday, August 1, Easy Does It, 2354 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
Ukrainian Village: Vietnamese-Guatemalan pop-up Giống Giống (pronounced yum yum) plans to feature a special barbecue menu available at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 8 at Sportsman’s Club, according to an Instagram post. The menu from chefs Jeanette Tran (Smyth, Oriole) and David Holinger (Aya Pastry, Bakery at Fat Rice) includes a shuco hot dog with curtido and chirmol (Maggi mayo, avocado, tamarind mustard) and nem lui hue and longanisa noodle tostada (lemongrass pork and oregano meatballs, chili vermicelli salad). 4 p.m. Sunday, August 8, Sportsman’s Club, 948 N. Western Avenue.
Avondale: Chicago-area bartender Nick Kokonas (not to be confused with Alinea Group’s co-founder), formerly of Longman & Eagle and GreenRiver, will host a pop-up bar and book release party on Monday at Avondale Bowl, according to a news release. Patrons can try drinks straight out of Kokonas’ new cocktail book Something & Tonic: A History of the World’s Most Iconic Mixer, along with ingredients from Maison Ferrand Spirits, Top Note Tonic, and Tomr’s Tonic Syrup. Those who like to mix their bowling with drinking can book hour-long lane reservations at email@example.com. Tickets and more details are available online. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, June 14, Avondale Bowl, 3118 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
Beverly: Thattu, chef Margaret Pak’s mega-hit South Indian street food spot, will pop up on Thursday at Two Mile Coffee Bar on Chicago’s South Side, according to an Instagram post. A 2020 James Beard Best New Restaurant semifinalist, Thattu previously operated out of Politan Row food hall in West Loop but has since departed. Pak has a large community of fans so many items are already sold out, but fast-typing diners may be able to snag one of the last chicken biriyanis or masala biscuits via Square. Two Mile will also sell Thattu’s Malabar Ginger Cooler, with a portion of overall sales going toward Aid India’s COVID Relief Fund for India. 6 p.m. to 9 pm. Thursday, June 10, Two Mile Coffee Bar, 9907 S. Walden Parkway.
Lincoln Square: Longtime Filipino favorite Isla Pilipina will team up with chef Darnell Reed’s Luella’s Southern Kitchen on Tuesday, June 15 for a one day-only pop-up, according to an Instagram post. The team will feature longanisa, garlic rice, and lumpia Shanghai. For dessert, patrons can expect an ube-beignet ice cream sandwich, with all proceeds going to the Chicago chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, Luella’s Southern Kitchen, 4609 N. Lincoln Avenue, Luella’s x Isla Pilipina Summer Pop-Up.
West Loop: Eye Eaters, a “not-so-secret” social society focused on food and art, will on Saturday June 26 hold its third annual Eating Rainbows, a Pride-themed event that will benefit Brave Space Alliance, according to co-founder Jenna Lieberman. She and artist Paul Octavious will feature rainbow-colored food and beverages, along with drag performances, “Go-Go Go Karts” (think Mario Kart meets go-go dancers), DJ sets, and more. Tickets ($75 for LGBTIA family members, $85 for allies) and more details are available online. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 25, Eye Eaters, the lot at 1400 W. Carroll Avenue.
West Loop: Chef and professional vocalist Lizz Wright (Carver 47) and chef Jordan Spritz of popular catering company Jordan’s Food of Distinction will appear on Friday, June 18 at the Epiphany Center for the Arts with dinner and live music, according to a rep. Wright will perform at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., with a dinner menu designed by both chefs served at 8:15 p.m. Tickets and more details are available online. 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 18, Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Avenue.
West Town: Chef Harold Villarosa of New York City-based “Filipino soul food” brand Unkle Harold’s will pop up on Friday for one night only at lauded bakery and restaurant Kasama, according to a Facebook post. He, along with Kasama owners Genie Kwon and Tim Flores, will feature a takeout-only Kamayan Feast for two that includes lamb ribs with palapa sauce, Kasama Kinilaw (shrimp, squid, calamansi vinegar, coconut), garlic rice, and huckleberry basque cakes. Reserve online via Tock. A portion of proceeds will go to immigrant rights nonprofit AFIRE Chicago.
Evanston: Noshi’s, a one-night event featuring Indian and Pakistani food from chef Naushab Ahmed (Home With Chef Art Smith Events) plus, music and dancing, will pop up on June 24 inside new private event space PalmHouse in suburban Evanston, according to a rep. Tickets (starting at $100) are available online. 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, PalmHouse, 619 Howard Street in Evanston.