After so many months at home, we’re all yearning for something new – and with little incentive to travel, even better if that novel offering just so happens to be on our doorsteps. Luckily, some of the city’s hottest chefs and restaurants have listened to that plea and opened a host of pop-ups around the capital, offering everything from relaxed wood-fired fare and expertly made cocktails to theatrical immersive dining experiences. Here we’ve rounded up London’s best pop-up restaurants to book into this summer.
When Michelin-starred Brat opened in Shoreditch in 2018 it quickly became the foodie hot spot of the moment, being crowned London’s best restaurant at the National Restaurant Awards 2019. Now they’ve opened up a new outdoor pop-up to maximise the number of diners they can welcome back this summer. Situated in Hackney’s Climpson’s Arch courtyard, there’s a daily-changing menu showcasing seasonal ingredients sourced from some of the best producers in the UK, like Dan Cox’s Crocadon Farm in Cornwall and Calixta Kilander’s Flourish Farm in Cambridge. Alongside that you’ll find plenty of the Basque-inspired wood oven-cooked fare that celebrated head chef and co-owner Tomos Parry has become known for, including their signature whole roasted turbot.
Monday to Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 12pm-11pm; Arch 374, Helmsley Place, Hackney, E8 3SB
British vodka brand Black Cow have teamed up with Tom Dixon’s Coal Office restaurant on a brand new al fresco concept in Coal Drops Yard. Situated just outside Dixon’s King’s Cross shop, the pop-up will be mixing potent espresso martinis using Black Cow’s smooth Pure Milk Vodka, which is made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows. Sip cocktails as you overlook the canal, before ordering a round of small plates from the Coal Office’s Food Hub Café – the excellent stuffed Kubalahs (a kind of Israeli sandwich) are not to be missed.
Thursday – Sunday, 12-7pm throughout the summer season; Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, King’s Cross, London N1C 4DQ
Gourmet deli and restaurant Wild by Tart, founded by glamorous chefs Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison, who have catered for the likes of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Cara Delevingne, have opened an al fresco pop-up restaurant in pretty Eccleston Yard in Belgravia. Expect seasonal dishes following their farm to fork ethos, made from ingredients hand grown on their respective family farms in Northumberland and Somerset. Highlights on the menu include charred Cornish mackerel with pickled rhubarb and crème fraiche and smoky pulled aubergine with labneh, tahini and pomegranate, as well as superb wood-fired pizzas.
Wednesday and Thursday 5pm-10:30pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-4pm & 6pm – 10:30pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm; Eccleston Yard, Eccleston Place, Belgravia, London SW1W 9AZ
Best pals Gizzi Erskine and Professor Green ended up becoming the runaway hit of lockdown when they collaborated on a weekly Instagram series called ‘Giz & Green’s Monday Night Fakeaway’, in which they recreated some of the musician’s favourite takeaways while restaurants were closed, tackling everything from Big Macs to Wagamama’s chicken katsu curry. Now they’ve launched their very own pop-up restaurant at Italian favourite Passo in Shoreditch to bring you their take on their most popular dish, the deep-dish pizza – with a twist – including some seriously spicy Tabasco-laced offerings and a veggie stuffed crust.
From 17 July, 80 City Road, Shoreditch, London EC1Y 2BJ
After a passionate campaign to save Soho’s normally thriving hospitality business was launched earlier this year, the beloved London foodie hot spot is back on track with its new Summer Street Festival, which sees 17 streets temporality pedestrianised to allow for socially distanced outdoor dining every weekday evening and weekend over the summer. To get into the festival mood, many of the local favourites are putting on specials, with the iconic French House pub breaking with tradition to offer full pints alongside their usual halves and Rasa Sayang launching Satay Street, bringing the BBQ hawker street traditions of Singapore to the car-free roads of Frith Street.
From 5-11pm on weekdays and 11am-11pm on weekends all over Soho throughout the summer
Looking for a new alfresco spot in central London to meet friends for a bite to eat and an ice cold Aperol Spritz? Covent Garden have opened a brand new fairy-light lit picnic area on the East Piazza, where you can go and pick up dishes from one of the nearby restaurants, whether that’s sashimi from Sushisamba or the fish of the day from Oysterman, before bringing them back to enjoy in the sunshine. And to finish off? Homemade ice cream from Laduree.
From 11am-8pm daily; Cranbourn Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 7AR
The kings of the immersive dining experience are back with a brand new pop-up restaurant, hot on the heels of their last offering, Journey, which took diners on a culinary adventure around the world. For their latest installation they’ll be taking over a site on the King’s Road to offer a make-your-own experience, where you’ll be invited to cook your meal on a cutting-edge stone surface that doubles as a dining table. Chef’s whites and hats are provided, as are all pots, pans and utensils, and each table is separated by an artwork that doubles as a Perspex screen, making the space Covid-19 safe.
From August 2020; 459 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW10 OLR
Borough Market favourite Elliot’s is bringing the summer vibes to Southwark with its outdoor pop-up restaurant, Ell Fresco. The New York-style spot is known for serving fresh, vibrant dishes using produce from the local Borough Market traders, as well as boasting an extensive natural wine list, featuring organic and bio-dynamic wines from around the world. This summer it’s all about the slow fermented sourdough pizzas, which come with indulgent toppings like brown butter and black truffle, and their daily-changing seasonal small plates, featuring dishes like stracciatella with courgette, rhubarb pickle and sugar bean and pickled herring with egg, pink fir potato, beetroot and dill.
From 4 July, 12 Stoney Street, Borough Market, Southwark, SE1 9AD
Created by immersive whizz kids Neverland the concept at Fulham Beach is all about escapism, and an afternoon here genuinely feels like leaving London, with a coastal St Tropez vibe complete with beach huts, daybeds for lounging on and a pretty jungle covered pergola. There are also two bars – one outside and one inside – and street food offerings from Malibu Kitchen and Pizza Shed.
Wednesday to Friday 6pm-12am, Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 12pm-6.30pm; 364 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, London SW6 2TY