Summer is, at long last, in full swing in Chicago, and the city is bursting with pent-up energy after a very dreary spring. Chefs across the city are down to clown, embarking on creative collaborations and holding fun, tasty events in bars and restaurants around town. Follow along for a sampling of the best the city has to offer in this week’s Eater Chicago’s pop-up round up.
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Humboldt Park: Chefs from nearly 30 Chicago restaurants and food businesses will pop up to raise funds to help victims of the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from Ethopia’s Tigray War, according to Tigist Reda, owner of longtime Ethiopian restaurant Demera in Uptown. Set for September 21 at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, the event will feature chefs from hotspots including Virtue in Hyde Park, Parachute in Avondale, Frontera Grill in River North, and Lula Cafe in Logan Square. Proceeds will go to Health Professionals Network for Tigray, a volunteer group that provides humanitarian aid and health care services to Ethiopia. Reda has spent more than a year raising money to support survivors and formed a charity, Hope 4 Tigray Women, to focus on victims of gender-based violence. Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, 3015 W. Division Street.
Logan Square: A pair of prolific virtual restaurants Maa Maa Dei, an Asian-inspired pastry shop, and Superhai, a Japanese-style snack spot, will partner on a pop-up Wednesday, August 24 at Ludlow Liquors, according to an Instagram post. The duo plan to channel vibes from anime and cult Japanese Netflix hit Midnight Diner with a menu of salmon ochazuke, chili crisp MSG fries, and red bean and milk cream snow cones. Maa Maa Dei and Superhai X Ludlow Liquors, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, August 24, 2959 N. California Avenue.
Logan Square: Motorshucker, a Chicago-based business that delivers fresh oysters by motorbike, will pop up on Tuesday, August 23 at left-hand path-leaning neighborhood bar Way Out, according to co-owner Nathan Case-McDonald. The team promises a sea of oceanic fare, including a “rocking” oyster bar, fish tacos, and shrimp tostadas, plus cocktails, beer, and wine. Motorshucker X Way Out, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday, August 23, 3213 W. Armitage Avenue.
Avondale: The Beer Temple, the craft beer bar and store in Avondale, is teaming up with Cruz Blanca beer for its La Floridita and Tlayuda Party. They’ll pair their three Cruz Blanca La Floridita Sparkling Cerveza variations with 14-inch elote tylayudas. La Floridita and Tlayuda Party at 6 p.m. on Thrusday, August 4 at the Beer Temple, 3173 N. Elston Avenue,
Avondale/Humboldt Park: A Chicago collaboration two years in the making is finally unleashed: Chinese-American hit 3 Little Pigs and local favorite Honey Butter Fried Chicken are this week offering serving each other’s food at their respective restaurants. Honey Butter is serving a barbecue sauce-drenched fried chicken sandwich gilded with 3 Little Pigs’ pork belly bacon; 3 Little Pigs is featuring its original salt and pepper fried chicken sandwich with Honey Butter’s eponymous condiment with ghost pepper honey. Cai has also teased plans for a collaboration with Tribecca’s Sandwich Shop from Honey Butter alum Becca Grothe in Avondale. 3 Little Pigs x Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Open through Saturday, July 30, 3 Little Pigs at 3220 W. Grand Avenue; Honey Butter Fried Chicken at 3361 N. Elston Avenue.
Gold Coast: Luxurious Italian restaurant Adalina will hold a four weekend pop-ups throughout August with sweet treats and pastries for humans and canines, according to an Instagram post. All proceeds will go to animal welfare groups Paws Chicago, the Anti-Cruelty Society, and Feline Friends Chicago to help address the annual influx of homeless animals each summer in Chicago. Homeless animal fundraisers at Adalina, Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 7; Saturday, August 13 to Sunday, August 14; Saturday, August 20 to Sunday, August 21; Saturday, August 27 to Sunday, August 28; 912 N. State Street.
Lincoln Park: Life, uh, finds a way at Replay Lincoln Park’s immersive Jurassic Park-themed pop-up with enormous dinosaur sculptures, plenty of oversized plant life, and special cocktails such as the Laura Dern (strawberry rhubarb gin, basil mint syrup, watermelon puree) and Hold onto Your Butts (spiced rum, ginger poblano syrup, mango puree). Jurassic Bar at Replay Lincoln Park, Open through Sunday, September 4, 2833 N. Sheffield Avenue.
Noble Square: Henry Cai (3 Little Pigs), who is having an especially busy run lately, will also pop up in August with chef Brian Jupiter at Frontier to kick off the restaurant’s ticketed Smoke Sessions Series, according to a rep. Patrons can expect to try smoked meats from around the world, such as smoked wagyu beef cheek carnitas, smoked chicken shawarma, and 3 Little Pigs’ smoked pork ribs. Tickets ($59 each) and more details are available via Tock. 3 Little Pigs at Frontier’s Smoke Sessions Series, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 4, 1072 N Milwaukee Avenue.
Avondale: Knox Ave. (which combines Asian flavors with barbecue) and Mom’s (the beloved vendor that was once housed inside Marz Community Brewing) is popping up inside the Guild Row club. Look for brisket, sausage, kimchi mac and cheese, and more. Knox Ave. and Mom’s pop-up, noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, and Guild Row, 3130 N. Rockwell Avenue, tickets via Tock.
Fulton Market: Two Michelin-starred Smyth is hosting two pop-ups featuring chefs from two acclaimed international restaurants. The first involves Ron McKinlay of Toronto’s Canoe. McKinlay and Smyth chef John Shields will pump out a $350 tasting menu meant to highlight the similarities between Toronto and Chicago. The second pop-up features Atshushi Tanaka of Restaurant A.T. in Paris. Tanaka and Shields will serve a $450 tasting menu. Ron McKinlay at Smyth, July 23 and Atshushi at Smyth, August 10, tickets via Tock.
Logan Square: Dhuaan BBQ, which mixes South Asian flavors with smoked Texas barbecue, is back at Hopewell Brewing. This time they’re serving Philly Masala Cheesesteaks in both beef and a new chicken variety. Dhuaan BBQ pop-up at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16 at Hopewell Brewing, 2760 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
The Loop: It’s been in the works for years, but Avli on the Park has finally secured a pop-up with The Clumsies, a cocktail bar in Athens. Co-owner Louie Alexakis raves about the bar which will be serving special cocktail flights (Aegean Negroni: London Dry Gin, Ambrato Vermouth, Campari, Fennel Seeds, Diktamus; Mediterranean Gimlet: London Dry Gin, Greek Salad Cordial and Popeye & Olive: Vodka, Mint, Spinach, Green Apple, Green Olive). The rooftop party features drinks and a DJ in Lakeshore East. Clumsies pop-up, at 7 p.m. Friday, July 29 at Avli on The Park, tickets for $125 via Tock.
West Loop: Entre Sueños, the ambitious pop-up from chef Stephen Sandoval (Leña Brava), returned in July to kick off a fresh series of bi-monthly 20-seat dinner events that will run through mid-October at Soho House Chicago, according to a rep. Sandoval’s 20-seat dinners will feature Baja Med cuisine — a blend of Mexican, Asian, and Mediterranean traditions — as small plates, shared entrees, beverage pairings, and a seafood cart. Entre Sueños pop-up, at 6:30 p.m. bi-monthly through October 16 at Soho House Chicago, tickets for $185 via Tock.
Albany Park: Chicago Reader’s Monday Night Foodball weekly pop-up series continues, and while tickets are entirely sold out for Monday’s Lebanese-Armenian feast, patrons would be wise to plan ahead for the stacked lineup that runs through August. It includes Jordan Wimby of the Melanin Martha on Monday, June 20; Charles Wong of Umamicue on Monday, June 27; and Dawn Lewis of D’s Roti & Trini Cuisine on Monday, July 11. Monday Night Foodball at the Kedzie Inn, 4100 N. Kedzie Avenue.
Bucktown/Logan Square: Mindy Segal (Mindy’s Hot Chocolate) is still putting the final touches on her new bakery space, but in the meantime, fans can find her delectable baked goods on Saturday at a pop-up inside a FreshMarketPlace grocery store, according to an Instagram post. Patrons can expect hits like rugelach as well as gluten-free bagels and chocolate chip cookies. Mindy’s Bakery at FreshMarketPlace, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (or sold out) Saturday, June 11, 2134 N. Western Avenue.
Englewood: Vinyl & Vittles, a new monthly market selling food and records and featuring sets from local DJs, will pop up on Sunday at the Englewood Village Plaza, according to Block Club Chicago. Patrons can purchase bites from South Side vendors like Doughboy’s Chicago and snag vinyl from Shady Rest Vintage & Vinyl. Future markets are scheduled for July 10, August 7, September 11, and October 2 at the same location. Vinyl & Vittles at Englewood Village Plaza, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12, 5800 S. Halsted Street.
Logan Square: The irreverent sandwich slingers at Big Kids will amp up the nostalgia even more this month with a collaborative pop-up celebrating the seminal 1996 cinema classic Space Jam, according to an Instagram post. They’ll team up with Chicago’s Birria Ta-Ta-Tacos, as well as Juanitas Bebidas and the team behind Cry Baby, a forthcoming bar in Asheville, North Carolina, for cocktails “inspired by martians and basketball.” Dream Team: A Space Jam Pop-Up at Big Kids, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, June 26, 2545 N. Kedzie Boulevard.
Pilsen: Chef Adrienne Cheatham, a former Top Chef competitor and Chicago native (though she now resides in New York City), will pop up on Sunday at Dusek’s Tavern to offer dishes from and promote her new Southern Soul Food cookbook, Sunday Best, according to a rep. Cheatham’s food will be offered alongside Dusek’s brunch menu. Reservations are available via OpenTable. Sunday Best at Dusek’s Tavern, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 12, 1227 W. 18th Street.
Around Town: Billy Zureikat, a Logan Square home cook and baker who goes by Tripping Billy, a reference to his 2021 diagnosis with limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), which targets the leg muscles, will be touring Chicago pizzerias this summer to serve up his namesake pizza (shishito pepper cream sauce, smoked corn, pickled jalapenos, spring onion, and roasted shishitos) in various styles to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The tour has already begun with Crust Fund Pizza and continues with Table Donkey & Stick on Sunday, May 1. Future stops include Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream, Milly’s Pizza in the Pan, Bungalow by Middle Brow, and more. Follow Zureikat’s Instagram for updates. Tripping Billy at Table Donkey & Stick, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1, 2728 W. Armitage Avenue, preorder via Tock.
Avondale: Chef Won Kim of Kimski will be hosting a Taste of Bridgeport celebration this Saturday, April 30, at Guild Row in... Avondale. The event will feature food and drink from Kimski, Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream, Duck Inn, Marz Brewing, Maria’s Package Goods, and Buddy, plus live music. Kim, who is also a graffiti artist, may also paint the fire pit. Taste of Bridgeport, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, April 30, 3130 N. Rockwell Street, tickets available via Tock.
Bridgeport: Vendador, the pop-up from chef Francis Pascal (formerly of Alinea and Momotaro), along with Bryan Prado (Oriole), will be taking over Kimski for a one-night Mexican-themed party. There will be food, drinks, and live music from DJs Danzo and Fazer. Vendador at Kimski, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, May 9, 954-960 W. 31st Street.
Little Italy/Wicker Park: Locally-owned Japanese-style ice cream brand Kurimu will in early May launch a massive three-month pop-up collaboration with the Care Bears, the cuddly and colorful ’80s-era characters with their own plush toys, multiple TV series, comics, and mountains of merchandise. Fans can expect special soft serve flavors, branded items like hats and t-shirts, and tons of Care Bear-themed decor at both its locations. A kickoff event is slated for noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Wicker Park shop. Stay tuned for more on this event. Kurimu x Care Bears, May 7 through July, 1159 W. Taylor Street; 1632 W. Division Street.
Lincoln Park: In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, the Chocolate Collective, 12 Asian American woman chocolatiers from around the country, will be teaming up to produce a special gift box of two dozen chocolates to benefit the Abundance Setting and the Very Asian Foundation. Chicago is represented by Simply Mithai, SUGOi Sweets, and Chocolat Uzma. Preorders begin May 1. Chocolate Collective — Chicago, pickup Saturday, May 21, at Lululemon, 944 W. North Avenue, preorder via Tock.
Logan Square: Alt Economy, the pop-up from Jennifer S. Kim, is offering a Mother’s Day brunch box in collaboration with Salt Spoon Bakehouse and Exfolia Botanical (though it can also be a gift to any other parental figure). The boxes include several types of cured fish, bagels, cream cheese, jam, and a bouquet. Mother’s Day Cured Fish Boxes, pickup between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at Exfolia Botanical, 3608 W. Wrightwood Avenue, preorder online.
Around Town: Taco Sublime, the self-proclaimed “best tacos in the world,” has three long-term pop-ups in April, at Marz Community Brewing in McKinley Park, at the Life on Marz Community Club in Logan Square, and Royal Palms Chicago in Bucktown. Taco Sublime at Marz Community Brewing Company, Tuesdays and Wednesdays April 5 through April 20, 3630 S. Iron Street; Life on Marz Community Club, Fridays through Sundays April 2 through April 17, 1950 N. Western Avenue; and Royal Palms Chicago, April 25 through May 1, 1750 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
Bridgeport: Dhuaan BBQ’s Indian-flavored Dhuck Inn Dhuaan Dog will be featured at the Duck Inn Dog Nights every Wednesday this month. The dog is fried and topped with Indian-style giardiniera, pickled and fried onions, cilantro, and Frankie sauce, and it sits on a bed of masala french fries. Proceeds will go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Dhuaan BBQ at the Duck Inn, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays in April, 2701 S. Eleanor Street.
Humboldt Park: Jeff & Judes, the “Jew-ish” deli, is teaming up with pickle shop Vargo Brother Ferments for a series of sandwiches available every Monday in April, Vargo Brother announced on Instagram. The next offering on April 11 will feature a vegan Caesar white bean salad with fermented carrot and kale on a country loaf. Later on in the month, customers can try PowerKraut and collard green kimchi. Vargo Brother x Jeff & Judes, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays in April, 1024 N. Western Avenue.
Ravenswood: MaaMaaDei, Jaye Fong’s Instagram bakery, will be popping up with a spice-themed menu at Ponnopozz to celebrate the craft studio’s inclusion in the Chicago Reader’s Best of 2021 issue. Other vendors will be selling work, and there will be drinks from Begyle Brewery and Koval Distillery. Customers are encouraged to pre-order via DM. MaaMaaDei at Ponnopozz, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, April 8, 4839 N. Damen Avenue.
West Town: Well-known Chicago barbecue pro Charlie McKenna (Lillie’s Q, Roux) will late this month hold the second annual BarbeCure charity event to raise funds for cancer-related nonprofits, according to a rep. This year’s gathering is a “chicken wing showdown” at District Brew Yards among lauded local chefs Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat), Brian Jupiter (Ina Mae), Zach Engel (Galit), and the spouse team of Genie Kwon and Tim Flores (Kasama). Tickets are $75 and proceeds benefit the Katherine McKenna Scholarship Fund — named for McKenna’s aunt, who died of breast cancer — and the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation. BarbeCure at District Brew Yards, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, 417 N. Ashland Avenue, tickets available via EventBrite.
Avondale: Chef and restaurateur Tigist Reda of Ethiopian restaurant Demera in Uptown will pop up for one night on Saturday at Guild Row with messob platters, traditional Ethiopian coffee service, and more to raise funds for survivors of gender-based violence in the country’s Tigray region. Tickets ($75), available via Tock, include appetizers, a family-style meal, dessert from Pretty Cool Ice Cream, and optional wine pairings from Minum Wines. Organizers say ticket proceeds will go directly to women Reda met in refugee camps to help them open their own cafes. Demera Ethiopian Supper Club at Guild Row, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 3130 N Rockwell Street.
Edgewater: Cookies & Carnitas and its brasserie are celebrating spring and the start of Green City Market with a special five-course dinner centering around beef. Dishes include a trio of carpaccio (classic, Thai, and venison), oxtail agnolotti, and Miyazaki A5 wagyu. It’s intended to spotlight local farmers and butchers. Cookies and Carnitas Red Meat Dinner, 7 p.m., Sunday, April 3, 5940 N. Broadway, tickets are $170 via Tock.
Humboldt Park: Texas-based butcher and former Chicagoan Kriss Abigail on Monday, April 18 will return to the Midwest for a new lamb-focused edition of her Meet Your Meat dinner series. Patrons can expect a whole lamb butchery demonstration from Abigail followed by a seven-course lamb dinner from chef Jacquelyn Lord (The Dinner Belle) and beverage pairings from bartender Stella Miller (Yugen, the Sixth). Tickets ($300) and more details are available online. Buckwild Babes’ Meet Your Meet: On the Lamb at Orkenoy, 6 p.m. Monday, April 18, 757 N. Kimball Avenue.
Humboldt Park: Modern Jewish deli Jeff & Judes will this week host a prix fixe tasting menu pop-up with Kentucky whiskey maker Angel’s Envy. The event will feature six courses with cocktail and wine pairings, with bartenders putting a special emphasis on the distillery’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon and rye whiskey finished in Caribbean rum casks. Tickets ($125) are available via Tock. Angel’s Envy x Jeff & Judes, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 31, 1024 N. Western Avenue.
River West: Asian-influenced barbecue caterer Umamicue will pop up in April at Korean American hit Perilla with options including smoked pork belly banh mi and smoked beef cheek stew, according to a Facebook post. Quantities are limited so the team recommends placing preorders by booking tickets ($12-$15) via Tock. Umamicue at Perilla Korean American Fare, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, 401 N. Milwaukee Avenue.