For those who want to taste the hottest dishes before anyone else, tracking local pop-ups is what it's all about — but it's epically tricky. True to their name, pop-ups can and will pop up just about anywhere and at any time. Yet, Portland’s best pop-ups are how many of the city's biggest restaurants are born (see Holdfast, Nodoguro, etc.). Easily keep track with this regularly updated guide. Some require you to purchase your seat beforehand, while others allow walk ins, but all here on this list pop up regularly at least once a month.
Cuisines from the United States and Caribbean
Who’s running the show: Robert Bryant (Moveable Feast Catering)
What it is: This pop-up food truck previously known as Jamaican Taste serves Caribbean food such as jerk chicken, fish cakes, and beef or veggie patties in a pastry crust — all served with Caribbean slaw and fried sweet plantains.
Details: $29 for four courses; find dates and locations on Facebook and at Feastly.
Who’s running the show: Elsy Dinvil
What it is: Get Haitian plates based on family recipes for take-out. Offerings are gluten-free, nut-free, and include plant-based options; past favorites included fried chicken wings in a tropical sauce, vegan stuffed portobello mushroom, Haitian spicy meatballs, and fried, sweet, or spicy plantains.
Details: A la carte pricing; dates announced on Instagram; all food orders must be placed in advance through the pop-up’s corresponding pre-purchase page.
Who’s running the show: Sean Sigmon
What it is: Get plant-based food with a southern influence at a la carte brunches or a six-course prix fixe dinner. Dishes have included a waffle with sungold pole bean and corn succotash, or nettle dumplings in allium broth with porcini chips.
Details: A la carte pricing or prix fixe; dates announced on Instagram for the brunches, and the $35 dinners occur the last Wednesday of every month at the Bad Habit Room (5433 N Michigan Ave).
Food of Guam
Who’s running the show: Ed Sablan (PDX671)
What it is: The Food of Guam dinner celebrates indigenous Chamorro cuisine and the culinary influences from Asia, Europe, and Mexico that make it what it is today. These pop-up dinners give Sablan access to a larger kitchen in order to create more complex dishes than those at his food cart, PDX671.
Details: ~$50 for a five-course prix fixe meal, with optional wine pairing or a la carte beer or wine; held at Feastly (912 SE Hawthorne Blvd); dates announced on Sablan's Feastly page
Who’s running the show: Dahli Powell
What it is: The vegan menu rotates weekly, ranging from a cheesy buffalo Crunch Wrap to BBQ jackfruit-stuffed coconut fry bread.
Details: A la carte pricing; every Sunday at Culmination Brewing from noon to 8 p.m.
Who’s running the show: Maya Lovelace (Husk) with barista Zach Lefler
What it is: Prepare for well-researched Appalachian home cooking at the only pop-up to crack the Eater PDX 38. The dinners are 9-course, family-style affairs, featuring things like angel biscuits, pimento cheese, collards, and that legendary buttermilk fried chicken. Monday nights are scaled back to the “Three-Fat Fried Chicken” along with a couple seasonal sides.
Details: The multi-course Southern bacchanalia is ~$75 per head, while the scaled back dinners are ~$40 a person. All meals are reservations only, with wine pairings and other beverage options available from Andy Young (St. Reginald Parish) and held at Dame (2930 NE Killingsworth) on Mondays and Tuesdays (prices do not include gratuity). Sign up for Mae’s newsletter for supper club invites, seats sell out quickly.
Who’s running the show: Cameron Lee (23 Hoyt)
What it is: This pop-up focuses on foraged and wild food using ingredients such as cattails, sea beans, or meats like goose, quail, rabbit, or venison highlighted with berries, mushrooms, and burdock root.
Details: Prices vary for their dinners from $45-55 and are generally held at Feastly (912 SE Hawthorne Blvd); dates are listed under his profile at Feastly.
Who’s running the show: Jaret Foster and Mona Johnson (Tournant, Foster’s Craft Cooking)
What it is: In the evenings and on weekends, the Tournant space hosts various pop-ups, including some of the pop-ups on this list. The owners of Tournant also throw Oyster Social, an oyster-feast-meets-cocktail-party with additional dishes by rotating guest chefs.
Details: Pop-up events are walk in, priced a la carte, and held at Tournant (920 NE Glisan) or at partner breweries and other locations. Oyster Social takes place every first Friday of the month and additional dates as listed on their events calendar. Join the mailing list on the website to keep up to date.
Foods of Asia and Europe
Fimbul Nordic Supper Club
Who’s running the show: Matthew Wickstrom (sous chef at Holdfast, Kachka)
What it is: This supper club features Icelandic cuisine with a seven-course prix fixe format and optional wine pairings. Past dishes have included dung-smoked trout with hay butter; the Icelandic doughnut astarpungar (which means “love ball”); and blueberries with yogurt-like skyr.
Details: $70, with additional cost for a la carte beverages or wine pairings. Each dinner offers multiple seatings — select a seating time and pre-pay for the dinner on the website; sign up to be notified of the next date via Fimbul’s newsletter, dinners take place at the Holdfast dining space (2131 SE 11th Ave).
Who’s running the show: Jane Hashimawari (Wafu, Castagna)
What it is: Ippai serves Japanese home cooking and healthy comfort food, just like chef Hashimawari’s mother used to make. Pop-up themes have included Japanese New Year, curries, and summer somen.
Details: Prices TBD and dinner tickets include food and gratuity; order tickets promptly, as they tend to sell out. Beverages are available a la carte. Dates as announced on Instagram or by signing up for the newsletter on the website; located at Milk Glass Market (2150 N. Killingsworth)
Thali Supper Club
Who’s running the show: Leena and Joe Ezekiel
What it is: Thali Supper Club provides a taste of the Ezekiels’ native India, showcasing different regional flavors each month, such as a Goan holiday party, or the cuisine of the coastal state of Kerala in Southern India or West Bengal in Eastern India. A meal usually involves a first course of appetizers, then a thali platter with an assortment of dishes, followed by dessert.
Details: $45-$65 depending on the theme, with additional wine, beer, and cocktail options; monthly; find dates and dinner tickets on the website; held at Tournant (920 NE Glisan)
Drink or Dessert Focused
Who’s running the show: Taylor London and Grahm Doughty
What it is: After collaborating on their first milkshake in 2009, friends London and Doughty have turned their passion into this late-night shake pop-up available only on weekend evenings. There are always three regular shakes, as well as two additional monthly specials. Regular flavors include Double Gold (turmeric, ginger, apple, cayenne, Fruity Pebbles), or the Woodblock Mocha (with Dapper & Wise coffee and Woodblock chocolate).
Details: Cost: $7 per shake. Any shake can be made with cashew ice cream and cashew milk for $2 extra, for those who prefer a vegan or non-dairy option. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays or sold out at Dapper & Wise (3158 SE Division St.) on dates as announced on their Instagram.
Outer Darkness Donuts
Who’s running the show: Brandon Weeks (Charlie Trotter’s, Urban Farmer, Renata)
What it is: Outer Darkness Donuts offers only one food option: a plate of five sweet and savory mini-doughnuts, to share or inhale on your own. One of the doughnuts changes every week, and you may find Meatball Bombalone Benedict becomes a mini-skillet of mushroom sausage gravy over the next visit. Wash down your bites of donut with dark roast coffee or mimosas with flavors like strawberry sorbet float.
Details: Outer Darkness Donuts is first-come, first-serve (no reservations) and costs $9 for a donut flight, with additional drink priced a la carte. It takes place every Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Jacqueline (2039 SE Clinton St.). Find more info at Outer Darkness Donuts.
What it is: Kintoki, or Japanese Shaved Ice, courtesy of a manual shaved ice machine brought from Japan and house-made natural syrups and real fruit. Example flavors include Uji Matcha Milk Kintoki with Matcha Green Tea and Tofu Mochi with Adzuki Bean and Condensed Milk.
Details: $6-10 per shaved ice. Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or sell out at Courier Coffee downtown (923 SW Oak St.) on dates as announced on their Instagram.
Who’s running the show: Eric Nelson and Chris Abbott (Laurelhurst Market)
What it is: Shipwreck is a cocktail pop-up offering more libation options then food, with guest chefs providing dive bar-inspired seafood classics like interpretations of a fried fish sandwich, or family-style seafood like Lobster Thermidor or Singapore Chili Crab. The original cocktails are the real stars every time, like a pina colada with coffee, along with rotating new cocktails from the Shipwreck PDX crew and featured bartenders.
Details: A la carte pricing; from 4 to 10 p.m.; stay tuned to their Instagram and website for dates; locations TBA