Pop-ups are an essential part of an innovative and fun culinary scene. They allow chefs to showcase the food and drink they are passionate about in a casual, low-risk way while demonstrating their talent and scope of imagination. In Portland, pop-ups have been the jumping off point for a number of exciting restaurants, from James Beard Award-nominated chef Thomas Pisha-Duffly’s Gado Gado to the wood-fired pizzeria No Saint. Below, we compiled a list of pop-ups to keep an eye on as they experiment and exhibit their talent, opening up new venues and more. This list will be updated throughout the year. Have you visited a recurring pop-up that blew your mind? Let us know via our tip line.
Lupine’s Pal-Entine’s Day
This pop-up from Becca Nguyen (Langbaan) and Patrick Delsid (formerly Tusk) is a celebration of Delsid and Nguyen’s friendship, and the menu plays with both of their culinary styles. The menu includes things like grilled squid with cara cara orange and rau ram, green garlic dip with tofu and smoked potatoes, and a Vietnamese egg coffee tiramisu with avocado mascarpone. A portion of the proceeds will go to Blanchet House, which provides food and clothing to Portland’s unhoused community.
When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (or sold out), Tuesday, February 13
Where: The Houston Blacklight, 2100 Southeast Clinton Street
Learn more: Lupine’s Instagram
The Distiller’s Dinner with Kolectivo, Straightaway Cocktails, and Accompani
The Distiller’s Dinner is the seated dinner at the core of Oregon Distilled, a festival celebrating the state’s spirits scene. The dinner is a large-scale collaboration between bottled cocktail brand Straightaway (plus its associated liqueur and amari brand, Accompani) and Kolectivo, a cultural collective from the people behind Filipino restaurants Magna and Sun Rice, @_eavening, and pop-up Tikim, The dinner pairs dishes with mini cocktails; for instance, a branzino dish with coconut vinaigrette and shallots will arrive alongside a butterfly pea flower-infused cocktail with Accompani’s Blue Dorris and lemongrass-galangal syrup. The $195 ticket for the dinner comes with a VIP ticket to Oregon Distilled, which includes 4 p.m. early entry, two drink tickets, a commemorative tasting glass, a small bites from chefs at the festival.
Seaweed Beer Night at Loyal Legion
Winter Waters, the statewide culinary festival highlighting regenerative seafood and sea vegetables, is hosting dinners and parties throughout the month; many of the Portland events are sold out, but beer bar Loyal Legion will be celebrate the world of seaweed beers, with beers from Sisu in Seaside, Obelisk in Astoria, Beaverton’s Binary Brewing, and Portland’s Duality. Oregonian beer writer Andre Meunier will be in the house to taste and evaluate the entrants alongside the guests.
When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 21
Where: Loyal Legion, 710 Southeast 6th Avenue
Learn more: Winter Waters website
The Tender Carp
Chef Michael Fu Lu’s Northern Chinese and Taiwanese pop-up returns to Street Disco this month, though this dinner is an homage to Fu Lu’s nieces, Shelly and Margot. The meal blends Cantonese, Taiwanese, and French culinary influences, with dishes like beef tendon aspic with oxtail demiglace, or a potage en croute — a thick soup with a pastry shell — made with coconut and milkfish. Those interested can make a reservation for the $80, six-course dinner online.
When: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 21
Where: Street Disco, 4144A SE 60th Avenue
Learn more: The Tender Carp Instagram
Cooking With Friends: Eater Awards Edition
Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly, who own Southeast Clinton bar the Houston Blacklight, are hosting a pop-up with chef Luna Contreras (of the Mexican pop-up Chelo) and Louis Lin (of the first generation American food restaurant Xiao Ye). All three won Eater Awards in 2023, and will collaborate on an a la carte menu for the day. Eater had no part in organizing or funding this pop-up, but hey, we’ll take it.
When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, February 22
Where: The Houston Blacklight, 2100 SE Clinton Street
Learn more: The Houston Blacklight calendar