The Best Winter Pop-Up Restaurants In London
Becoming widespread in Britain’s capital since the millennium, pop-up restaurants have taken the city by storm and are springing up across London. So whether you are looking to embrace the festive mood, or simply enjoy a unique dining experience, indulge in our pick of London’s top pop-up restaurants. The only catch is the bittersweet knowledge that they won’t always be there!
Anyone for shot-skis? If so, head down to Jimmy’s Pop-Up! Traditional contemporary British food is served, with a somewhat wild and exciting menu that changes every few days depending on ingredient availability. Inspiration for the setting, however, is taken from owner Jimmy Garcia’s chalets in Courchevel – think skis on the walls, sledges, and ski posters. Part of his renowned London catering company J.Garcia Catering, this pop-up is the perfect remedy to the winter blues.
9 Hildreth Street, Balham, London, UK
A fusion of music, fashion and food makes for an unforgettable party at the THAI POP UP! on the edgy and vibrant streets of Dalston. Priding itself on being an unassuming venue, the ethos of this exotic pop-up is a simple emphasis on the main article – authentic Thai cooking. Offering distinctive dishes with a focus on accessibility for all, it is a haven for discerning foodies, where they can enjoy favorites such as tantalizing deep fried prawns. Make sure to book ahead for this popular hidden gem, so as to avoid disappointment.
Upon entering the Yulefest, nestled in the heart of Shoreditch, you step into a true winter wonderland, boasting divine sheepskin-clothed upholstery and Scandinavian cuisine in an imaginative festive setting. Brunch and dinner dates can be booked online for this niche yet warming fairyland. The menu, crafted with care, showcases twists on traditional Christmas dishes; try the elk and beef meatballs for an exciting and rare dish. The menu also features an array of festive cocktails such as a gingerbread mule (cinnamon infused Absolut with lime juice and ginger beer), and of course an abundance of glögg, a Swedish take on mulled wine drunk from traditional boot shaped glasses.
The Star of Bethnal Green in East London plays host to Featherblade, a ‘chop’ restaurant offering good old-fashioned British meat. Open since September, they serve delicious, quality meat at reasonable prices, in a relaxed environment. A feasting menu is on offer for larger parties, and it will certainly be easy to get into the festive spirit with the pub’s DJs playing late into the night to bolster the atmosphere. Although only scheduled to be open until January, watch this space – after all, ten pounds for a steak is hard to argue with!
At this time of year it’s hard to shed the turkey-centric mindset, but who has ever been known to turn down a full English? The Full English Kitchen was once hailed as the best breakfast in Soho, but has now moved to a location in Islington, where a welcoming friendly vibe radiates from the inviting warmth of the traditional dark red brick pub The Joker of Penton Street. Everything is made fresh daily, down to their ketchup and jams, but breakfast isn’t all that is on offer. This passion-filled restaurant serves up all kinds of traditional British favorites whilst supporting small, family farms and reflecting seasonal produce; the shredded lamb shepherd’s pie is particularly sumptuous, using eight-hour slow braised lamb shoulder.
Inspired by its market surroundings, bespoke caterer Caiger & Co. has taken up a spot at Borough Market this Christmas. Their unique bar, made from reclaimed materials, radiates an industrial yet cosy vibe that reflects a modesty that is as honest as their simple belief in using the very best possible produce, brought to them daily by their neighboring market suppliers. Despite being able to boast regularly cooking for Mick Jagger, this friendly pop-up serves a delicious variety of party season feasts at market prices; book a table so that you can devour delectable dishes such as London gin cured gravlax at their supper club.
The Tasting Room Bar and Smokehouse
Bar, Restaurant, British
Situated in the bustling Exchange Square, the ambient and colourful pop-up The Tasting Room
is a great place to unwind after working up an appetite gliding around the Broadgate Ice Rink
. Grab a proudly stocked local craft beer and watch the rest of the ice action from the cheerful interior, complete with quirky cheese grater lanterns. Having teamed up with street food specialist SMOKESTAK, the restaurant will be serving delicious meat, smoked in-house on a two tonne US smoker, up until February.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, BBQ, $$$
Queen of Hoxton bar and club in Shoreditch, London | © Nathaniel Noir / Alamy Stock Photo
If you were to combine an enchanted forest setting with London’s East End, Woodlandia is what you’d get. This unique, whimsical pop-up is located on the rooftop of diverse venue Queen of Hoxton
, under the cover of fairy lights and vine-lined wigwams. Warming one hand over the log fire with the other clutching a cocktail such as the ‘eggsnog’, diners soak up the setting as they await a hearty barbecue dinner, cooked before their very eyes. If you’re still hungry for action afterwards, marshmallows sit begging to be toasted, and frequent workshops from The Foragers
teach guests how to enrich their favourite drink with foraged ingredients, just like a true huntsman.