With skyrocketing rents, cash-poor patrons and endless interference from those bastards at the DOH, an increasing number of would-be restaurateurs are turning away from the standard restaurant business model — forgoing brick and mortar for Smorgasburg stands, food-trucks, and (arguably the hottest thing in transient dining) pop-up eateries. While many of these experimental, corner-cutting enterprises are truly fly-by-night, others are making a tasty-toehold in Brooklyn’s ever-evolving dining scene — here’s hoping they buckle down and stick it out for the long haul.
Operating out of Kinfolk Studios, this three-day-a-week Scandinavian pop-up is one of the hardest to score reservations in the city — you’ll have to call weeks in advance for a shot at a five course, $45 meal of squid with rosehips, scallops with seaweed, and beef cooked in hay.
90 Wythe Ave, (347) 286-6241
Noodles at No Name Bar
Greenpoint’s No Name Bar is not big on advertising (they don’t have a phone number, or in case you didn’t notice, a name), so you’re forgiven if you’ve never discovered the slamming food served in the basement. From 12:30pm-3am, descend the staircase for delectable (and highly affordable) bowls of ramen, seafood and fishball noodle soups, and garlicky, seasonal greens.
597 Manhattan Ave
While there are only a handful of respectable Ethiopian options in the city (and even fewer great vegan joints), this Bushwick-based, travelling vegan/Ethiopian café and restaurant is a real find. Be sure to check their website for the skinny on upcoming venues — where you can try any four of their savory dishes for $8 (think steamed kale with carrots, split red lentils with Berbere sauce, and sunflower milk with peppers crumbled injera), or all seven for a mere $12.
For info, visit bunnaethiopia.net
Southern cuisine is all the rage in BK, but no one does down and dirty Creole better than this New Orleans-style weekend pop-up. Chef and former NOLA resident Simon Glenn performs miracles on a makeshift grill in the backyard of d.b.a Brooklyn — cooking up dishes like duck liver boudin balls, Louisiana blue crab fingers, and chicken-tasso-andouille gumbo, that we desperately wish we could eat every day of the week.
113 N 7th St, (347) 223-2710
The authentic Vietnamese food chef An Nguyen Xuan serves out of Williamburg’s Simple Café every Monday, Thursday and Friday is anything but — think barbecued pork rolls, lemongrass chicken vermicelli bowls, tonkin beef noodle soup and grilled pork banh mi.
346 Bedford Ave, (718) 218-7067
Australian Meat Pies at the Three Jolly Pigeons
Does a dude selling homemade, Aussie-style meat pies during occasional bartending shifts at a divey Bay Ridge pub qualify as a pop-up? Maybe, maybe not — but considering said entrepreneur is testing the waters in Bay Ridge and not, as one would expect, North Brooklyn, we think it warrants a mention. Let’s just hope he forgoes further cost cutting by opening up a ‘barber shop’ upstairs.
6802 3rd Ave, (718) 745-9350