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London’s best food critic-approved pop-up restaurants to book now

From hyper seasonal dishes to wood-fired feasts, these pop-up restaurants are the best ways to sample a limited edition experience in the capital

While the London dining scene might have taken a major set back in recent months, many of the restaurants have found innovative ways to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. There are plenty of brilliant pop up experiences to try this season, but here are a few of the best that are thrilling London’s food critics…

Joy

London’s best food critic approved pop-up restaurants to try right now

This collaboration between restaurateur Stevie Parle and designer Tom Dixon serves dishes made using super fresh, hyper seasonal produce from The Goods Shed in Kent. Their fruit and veg is also sold here – expect to be surrounded by tables of it creating sumptuous harvest festival vibes. These fresh ingredients are also donated to those in need via a local charity, and guests are given the chance to ‘pay it forward’ by adding a vegetable box to their bill to be donated on their behalf. As for the food? The menu changes daily, but look out for the incredible lobster cooked over an open grill.

Joy, Portobello Docks, 342-344 Ladbroke Grove W10; joyatportobello.co.uk

Brat at Climpson’s Arch 

London’s best food critic approved pop-up restaurants to try right now

Having taken up residency at London Field’s Climpson Arch over the summer, Brat will now be running here across the winter until 2021, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy it. Over this time, head chef Tomos Parry will be serving dishes cooked over coal and wood fires, like roasted Game rice, whole Crab with hay butter, grilled mushrooms and wood fired breads. No wonder award-winning food writer Gizzi Erksine recommends Brat as one of her favourite restaurants in London. 

Brat, 374 Helmsley Place, Hackney, E8; bratrestaurant.com

Bubula

London’s best food critic approved pop-up restaurants to try right now

This Middle Eastern restaurant in Spitalfields first started life as a series of pop ups, so it’s only fitting that it celebrates its first birthday as a permanent restaurant with three guest chef take overs in October. Taking place on three Sundays of the month, the line up starts with Farokh Talati from St John’s Bread and Wine who will be putting a Parsi spin on dishes on 4 October. This will be followed by Nirmal Save of Gunpowder fame on 11 October, then Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie on Som Saa on 18 October. 

Bubala, 65 Commercial St, Spitalfields, E1; bubala.co.uk
To book the pop up dates, visit resy.com

Jolie

London’s best food critic approved pop-up restaurants to try right now

This hybrid restaurant-cum-cocktail bar pop up explores the flavours and tastes of France through authentic sharing plates – think smoked duck breast, wild mushroom croquettes and crème brulee. Inspired by the famous Hotel Costes in Paris and the glamorous beach bars of the Cote d’Azure, look out for signature drink Versailles – an opulent champagne-based cocktail made with caramel peach Cognac and vanilla gold spray. This buzzy pop-up is open until Christmas, so make sure you book a table this season before it closes.

Jolie, 459 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW10; lillipopup.co.uk/jolielondon

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