We know, we know, there are enough pop-ups, one-off dinners and and food and drink-related events going on in London at any one time to blow your mind, not to mention seriously clog up your calendar.
So how do you know which ones are really worth going to? That's where we come in: we've cherry-picked our very favourite – and ergo the very best – food goings-on to make it that tiny bit easier.
Sit back, relax and peruse our guide below, safe in the knowledge that people with truly impeccable taste have deemed that brand-spanking-new pop-up absolutely worth the two-hour wait. You are very welcome indeed.
Bombay Talkies at Bombay Bustle
Every Monday until 15 April; 29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA
Dinner and a movie just got an upgrade. But there's a catch: popcorn is off the menu. Instead, at Bombay Talkies – a series of film nights hosted at Indian restaurant Bombay Bustle – expect to tuck into poppadoms, banana chips and canapés washed down with a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne before settling down for a film and three course meal created by executive chef Surender Mohan. The pop-up cinema runs until April and is inspired by the original Bombay Talkies, the movie studio which revolutionised cinema in Mumbai in the 1930s. Experience all this and more for just £52pp every Monday.
James Donnelly residency at Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen
Until end of year; 40 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UD
No stranger to the occasional residency, chef James Donnelly has followed his successes at The Sun and 13 Cantons and Louie Louie with this residency at Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen. Cooking up modern takes on classic British fare with a commitment to championing the nation's independent food producers, Donnelly has extended his residency until the end of the year. Which is great news for you and me when delicacies like Gloucestershire pork belly and roasted plaice have a, well, place on the menu. Donnelly's fish is additionally sourced through Henderson Seafood – a family-run operation that nets seasonal fish from the Devon coast – and his meat and vegetables from a host of local farms. It's root-to-leaf and nose-to-tail done right.
Rice Guys lunchtime pop-up at Kapé & Pan
Mondays and Tuesdays 12:00-2pm; Central Saint Giles, 1 St Giles High St, WC2H 8AG
West Londoners have a reason to celebrate (and eat) this month as KERB favourites Rice Guys are bringing their talents and grains to the Kapé & Pan coffee shop for a lunchtime pop-up guaranteed to start your week off right. Available on Mondays and Tuesday from noon till 2pm, you'll be able to try some of Rice Guys' specialty rice bowls topped with Hainanese chicken or smoky barbecue pork. Vegans are also well-catered for, too, with a funghi mapo tofu version delivering just as much punch as its meaty counterparts. A definite upgrade from last night's leftovers, if you ask us.
Margarita Masterclasses at Ella Canta
Now until 30 April; One Hamilton Place, W1J 7QY
What's your margarita game like? Average to middling, we'd assume. Well, mate, it's time you sorted that out. From now until the end of April, Ella Canta will open its doors to the public to discover the secrets behind making the perfect tequila cocktail for the beginning of its series of nifty margarita masterclasses. Taught by the bar's resident alcohol experts, you can expect to leave the bar well-versed in all things margarita. Don't worry if you're a bit of a lightweight, either. There'll be plenty of food to soak up the damage from the mezcal tasting. Guacamole, quesadillas, and tostadas round out a spread of top-notch Mexican dishes. Tickets cost £69.
Brixham Lunch Menu at Wright Brothers
Monday to Friday from 12-3pm; various locations
Seasonal, sustainable and savings might just be three of our favourite things – which, given that they're the three ideas that underpin Wright Brothers' two-course set lunch menu, might make this £20 spread one our favourite offerings in town. It's no £3 meal deal, sure. But if you have clients or parents hanging around, the Brixham Lunch Menu one might just be for you. The two-course set menu will feature a variety of seasonal catches for just £20 per person. Dishes change every week, but since Wright Brothers is known for sourcing the freshest fish around, you know it's going to be good. Plus, it's only available between 12-3pm every week day until March, so the race is on to try it all...
Rita’s Café at Matches
11 February-30 March; 5 Carlos Place, W1F 3AP
Taking over the fashionable attic at 5 Carlos Place are the über-cool and wonderful team behind beloved east London-based restaurant Rita's Café. Missy Flynn and Gabriel Pryce's modern American dining is something you really don't want to miss out on. Available until the end of March, expect a vibrant menu of fresh street food inspired by the flavours of Mexico, serving chilaquiles for breakfast, tacos for lunch and churros for afternoon tea.
House of Holi at Cinnamon Kitchen
6-21 March; 9 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YL
Get your finest white threads at the ready because House of Holi is set to return to Cinnamon Kitchen City in Devonshire Square for its fifth year. Running from 6-21 March, the House of Holi will once again open the floor to 30 minutes of paint pelting your friends, family and colleagues to celebrate the Indian Festival of Colour. Tickets are priced at £22 per person and includes a Play Holi session, a Holi cocktail, or mocktail, and authentic Holi bites. No Indian celebration would be complete without a feast of delicious dishes and Cinnamon Kitchen will be serving up a spirited five-course menu available for £35 per person.
Le Bun at Truman Brewery
From 12 March; 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
On Tuesday 12 March, French-American burger creators Le Bun return to Elys Yard off Brick Lane for a 4 week pop-up of pure patty paradise. The burger barons will be serving up their classic Le Truffle Double Double Burger, Le Truffle Cheeseburger and regular cheeseburgers alongside two brand-new buns: the Truffle Honey Bacon Burger and Le Royale Cheeseburger. The Le Bun Shack will be officially open from Tuesday 12 March at 6pm. From then on you can find them every Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm to 9pm until 9 April.
AngloThai residency at The Mountgrove Bothy
From 14 March; 90 Mountgrove Road, Finsbury Park, N5 2LT
John Chantarasak – former Som Saa sous-chef and the man behind AngloThai – is taking up residency at The Mountgrove Bothy for three dangerously tasty weeks of eating. Starting 14 March, Chantarask will be in the kitchen of the relaxed Highbury wine bar to serve a host of authentic and highly-spiced Thai dishes of the highest order to the North London masses. Expect authentic Thai food that doesn't pull any punches every Thursday to Saturday for the next three weeks. A guaranteed knockout.
Pasta making workshop with Ollie Templeton at Carousel
16 March; 71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 8AB
Carousel head chef and co-founder Ollie Templeton, will be hosting another rendition of his ever-popular pasta making workshops. Guests will have the chance to knead, roll and shape two of Carousel's signature pasta doughs (classic egg and simple semolina) before learning how to cook up a tasty traditional sugo (sauce) from scratch. The workshop ends with a glass of wine and the opportunity for guests to enjoy the carbohydrate fruits of their labours, while also taking home a cavatelli board and a box of fresh pasta. Tickets are priced at £55 and include the workshop and lunch.
Paris Meets Pondicherry menu at Bistro Vadouvan with Éric Chavot
From 20 March; 30 Brewhouse Lane, Putney Wharf, Putney, SW15 2JX
From 20 March, Putney riverside restaurant Bistro Vadouvan will be teaming up with Michelin-starred chef Éric Chavot for the launch of a new 'Paris Meets Pondicherry' series. Having learned his trade under the tutelage of chef Chavot, Bistro Vadouvan's head chef Durga Misra will be joined in the kitchen by his former mentor to launch a menu inspired by the cities that best encapsulate his own cooking style. Guests will have a choice of two dishes for each course. Which means you can expect to make heart-wrenching choices between delicacies like beetroot croquette or beef tartare. The menu, which costs £35 and includes an arrival cocktail, will be available Tuesday-Sunday from 5.30pm for two months. Book yourself a spot via bistrovadouvan.co.uk.
Persian New Year at Berenjak
21 March; 27 Romilly Street, Soho, W1D 5AL
To mark the Persian New Year (otherwise known as 'Nowruz'), Berenjak will be serving two Iranian classics for one day only on Thursday 21 March. Chef and founder Kian Samyani will be cooking two of his favourite dishes from the traditional festive dinner eaten every year with his family whilst growing up. Guests can opt for sabzi polo ba mahi, pan-fried stone bass marinated in angelica accompanied with steamed herb rice and torshi, and aash-e reshteh, a thick bean and noodle soup with kidney beans, herbs and kashk (a sour fermented yoghurt). In keeping with the theme of Persian hospitality, guests will be treated to complimentary Persian tea and sweets to end the night. Booking ahead is highly advised.
Hoppers x Farang Sunday Session
24 March; 49 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SG
On Sunday 24 March, Hoppers will welcome award-winning modern Thai street-food restaurant Farang, into their Soho kitchen to kick off the first Hoppers Sunday Sessions of 2019. It's like when Hulk Hogan teamed up with the Ultimate Warrior. Except much tastier. Guests will be able to gather elbow-to-elbow at large communal tables to enjoy a spread of dishes designed to be shared by the whole table. It's all a bit fusion, with Sri Lankan spices meeting Thai herbs and relishes in a menu that includes a nutty smoked shrimp and curry leaf mix, a citrus-sweet DIY crab miang; Jaffna duck leg kari served with roti and nham prik nhuml; five spice and fermented shrimp-roasted goat shoulder and, to finish, cardamom donuts with pandan dunkin custard.
Num Triyasenawat at Kiln
25 March; 58 Brewer Street, W1F 9TL
Kiln have invited chef Num of the legendary Samuay & Sons in Udon, Thailand, to cook a one-off guest dinner on Monday 25 March. Having trained with chef David Thompson and later at Bo.Lan under 'Bo' Songvisawa and Dylan Jones, chef Num returned to his hometown in Udon Thani to open Samuay & Sons, a progressive Esarn-Thai restaurant. A few years after its opening, Samuay & Sons became the sensation of Thailand's blooming creative food scene and was even recently nominated in the World Restaurant Awards alongside Kiln. The menu at Kiln will showcase Esarn food that goes far beyond the type of westernised 'Som Tam' you're probably more familiar with. Dishes in discussion are mum yang (grilled bitter offal and blood sausage) and mok pla with jaew tub pla (herby fish steamed in banana leaf served with spicy fish liver sauce). Kiln's own Luke Pyper will be pouring wines on the night, with a focus on lesser-known winemakers. The set menu (which costs £55 including snacks) will run from 6pm until late. Bookings via firstname.lastname@example.org.
An exceptionally rare afternoon tea
25 March; Claridge's, Brook Street, W1K 4HR
Afternoon tea at Claridge's just got even better: on 25 March, Claridge's executive chef Martyn Nail; René Redzepi, co-owner of the two-Michelin star restaurant Noma; and Richard Hart, founder of Copenhagen's Hart Bageri will team up to create a special, one-off charity afternoon tea sitting. With tea cocktail pairings by Henrietta Lovell (founder of the Rare Tea Company) and entertainment from comedian Alexander Armstrong, it's not one to miss. Plus, it's all in aid of Rare Charity, an initiative offering young people, within tea producing communities, access to education. What's not to like about that? Get involved at rarecharity.com/afternoon-tea where one £5 donation will put you in the running to win one of 50 'golden tickets' to the event. Winners will be contacted on 19 March. Best of luck.
Vincent Van Gogh-inspired lunch menu at Rex Whistler
27 March-11 August; Tate Britain Art Gallery, Milbank, SW1P 4JU
Inspired by Van Gogh's vivid colour schemes and the Dutch flavours he favoured, Rex Whistler restaurant head chef Alfio Laudani has developed an artsy tasting menu and reduced three-course lunch menu to celebrate the Tate Britain's latest Vinnie Van Gogh collection. Expect literally tasteful homages to the painter like a Gevulde Koek dessert (a popular Dutch almond tart) that sits on a stroke of turquoise absinthe paint designed to reflect the brush stroke technique and colours in Starry Night on the Rhône. It's the sort of food that's nearly too pretty to eat. The tasting menu costs £55 and pre-booking is required.
Berry Bros. & Rudd 'Down to Earth' wine tasting at The Gallery at The Hospital Club
28 March, 5:30-8:30pm; 24 Endell Street, WC2H 9HQ
This 'Down to Earth' tasting from the folks at Berry Bros. & Rudd's wines is a great way to get to know all about the importance of sustainability in the wine world. Guests will have the opportunity to taste a selection of the range from around the world, crafted using varying environmentally-friendly approaches. Producers from Eva Fricke (Rheingau, Germany), Rosie Finn (from Neudorf in Nelson, New Zealand) and Morgane Fleury (from Champagne Fleury) will be in attendance alongside experts from Britain's oldest wine merchant. The tasting aims to help demystify the complicated language and in-the-know definitions surrounding wine. Terminology like: biodynamic, organic, low-intervention, sustainable, natural, dry farming and sulphur will be simplified in terms that even the most obtuse wine dunce will understand. An additional masterclass option is available for customers to listen to the three winemakers discuss what it's like putting all this theory into practice, and the impact it has on their wines. The general tasting costs £45. The version with the additional masterclass is £55.
'Preserving the Japanese Way': a miso-making masterclass with Nancy Singleton Hachisu at Carousel
31 March, 11:00am and 2:30pm; 71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 8AB
Joining Carousel this March, acclaimed cookbook author Nancy Singleton Hachisu will be hosting an exclusive masterclass to complement her evening guest chef residency. The workshop will teach students to make their own miso by hand, using an age-old method, specialist tools and a selection of authentic ingredients, including organic soy beans, koji and salt from the legendary Yamaki Jozo. The miso 'mash' can then be taken home and left to ferment in a beautiful ceramic crock for three months, until ready to use to transform even the simplest of dishes into complex, umami-fied treats. Tickets are priced at £95 per person, with signed copies of Nancy's best-selling book available for purchase at a discounted price of £25.
Ghana Kitchen at The King & Co
1 April-1 June; 100 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7BZ
Renowned chef Zoe Adjonyoh is bringing her popular Ghana Kitchen back to The King & Co for a highly-anticipated two-month residency. The menu will showcase traditional Ghanaian ingredients using modern methods and feature a mix of Ghana Kitchen classics like okra fries, JFC (Jollof Fried Chicken) and red red vegan bean stew, alongside exciting new dishes. Zoe's groundnut stew also returns with languidly slow-cooked lamb shank, with diners having the option to feast on pork belly brined with Supermalt and plantain and an array of other hearty dishes.
Cherry Blossom cocktails at Sakagura
1-28 April; 8 Heddon Street, W1B 4BU
From 1-28 April, Sakagura will be inviting guests to dine amongst the cherry blossoms in honour of the traditional Japanese custom of Hanami. Sakagura have created a bespoke list of limited-edition cocktails in partnership with Gekkeikan (the brewery of choice for the Japanese Imperial Family and The House of Suntory) that showcase Roku craft gin and Toki whisky. Each priced at £15, cocktails like the Wild Blossom – Toki whisky blended with caramel syrup and a refreshing top up of handmade berry’s soda make for a lovely way to ring in the spring. Exclusive to Sakagura, Gekkeikan will also be showcasing its very first non-alcoholic sake in the form of the Innocent Cherry mocktail. Priced at £6, mixed with calpico, pomegranate, and elderflower cordial and the subtle touch of vanilla, you’ll be able to get a proper sake experience without any of the alcohol.
Selin Kiazim at Gridiron
3 April; 19 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1LB
On Wednesday 3 April, Selin Kiazim (of Oklava and Kyseri fame) will take charge of Gridiron kitchen in the first of the restaurant's 'Gridiron Guests' series. Kiazim will be serving a Turkish-Cypriot-style feasting menu with unique and decadent mains like bayildi, yoghurt and duck fat flatbreads. Gridiron's sommelier Lucy Ward (formerly of wine dons Noble Rot) will be matching bottles with the Selin's innovative dishes. The wine list for the evening also champions female winemakers, with all the wines selected from women-led producers. Tickets for the four courses with wine pairings cost £65, whereas the alcohol-free option is priced at £40 with a non-alcoholic cocktail spread. Tickets can be bought here.
Bubala x Untitled
7-8 April; 538 Kingsland Road, E8 4AH
After the success of its recent pop-ups at Brunswick East, Berber and Q and a sell-out guest residency at Carousel, Bubala is bring its unique brand of vegetarian feasting to Dalston bar and restaurant Untitled. Using bold flavours, Bubala showcases vegetarian dishes in a pretty imaginative way. While the full menu won't be unveiled until the night, it will be sure to include a spread Bubala signatures such as the banging hummus with burnt butter, crispy chickpeas and freshly baked laffa bread. That alone is enough to get us through the door. Though, with the amount of food involved, we might not be able to squeeze back out again. The veg-heavy set menu costs £35.
Matty Matheson x Yard Sale Pizza
Available April 16-30; All Yard Sale Pizza locations
Swing by any of Yard Sale Pizzas from April 16-30 to get your mouth around a limited edition pizza known as The Brick Lane Bad Boy. Created by none other than tattooed megachef Matty Matheson (yes, megachef is the preferred technical term), the pizza is inspired by Matheson's love for Brick Lane's iconic salt beef bagels. A collaboration with Yard Sale's own Nick Buckland, the pizza features pastrami smoked by Cobble Lane along with a plethora of mozzarella, pickled cabbage, honey mustard dressing, dill pickles, and lashings of hot mustard. Yard Sale's signature double-fermented bases make the ideal canvas for the construction and – available in 12" or a super sized 18" for sharing – are more than worth trekking to get. That being said, takeout is also available.
Caravan x Bazaar with Sabrina Ghayour
April 29; Yalding House, 152 Great Portland Street, W1W 6AJ
Caravan Fitzrovia will be welcoming chef and writer Sabrina Ghayour for a full restaurant takeover on Monday 29 April. The event will include a special three-course sharing feast that showcases the Middle-Eastern recipes from her soon-to-be published cookbook Bazaar. The first course will comprise of small sharing plates (including chickpea and vegetable kofta wraps as well as orange, olive, pine nut salad with mint and pul biber), followed by a selection of sharing dishes (including assorted freekeh stuffed vegetable dolma and courgette, spinach and preserved lemon salad). Dessert is a choice of either sticky beetroot halva tart or courgette, orange and almond cake. Caravan will also be serving a special Middle-Eastern inspired Barberry Martin throughout the evening alongside a selection of wines and beers. Tickets for the feast cost £60 per person, plus booking fee.
Easter Market at Canopy Market
19-21 April; West Handyside Canopy, King's Cross, N1C 4LW
Canopy Market, the independent market in the heart of King's Cross, will be putting on a special Easter market from 19-21 April. A great selection of activities will be running across the three days. Including: a live farm, a sheep show, face painting, an art and design-focused Easter egg hunt, a circus street performance and an art and design workshop. Which is all well and good, but you want to know about the food, right? Well, fret not. Street-food stalls will be on hand to fill you with homemade pasta from Love Farina and grilled cheese toasties from the Big Melt. As well as, of course, plenty of hot cross buns and chocolate. Lots. Of. Chocolate.
London Shell Co Easter Hunt
19-21 April; The Prince Regent Sheldon Square Central, W2 6PY
Over Easter weekend, the London Shell Co crew will be holding a lovely little canal-inspired Easter hunt around the Paddington Central & Maida Vale area. Each day they'll hide message in a bottle that contains a tasty prize of dinner for two and a complimentary wine pairing worth £210. To be in with the best chance of winning, participants are encouraged to follow London Shell Co on Instagram, who will post the first clue on their feed and stories at 11am. Once found, the winners will need to Instagram message and bring their message in a bottle to the London Shell Co crew, who will be docked at Paddington Basin, to claim their prize. Easter for adults? We're sold.