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.
The London pop-up guide: 19 not to miss
1. James Donnelly residency at Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen
Where? Until end of year; 40 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UD
Why? 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.
2. Brixham Lunch Menu at Wright Brothers
Where? Monday to Friday from 12-3pm; various locations
Why? 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...
3. Elizabeth Haigh at Maslow's Mortimer House
Where? 2 May-27 June; 37–41 Mortimer Street, W1T 3JH
Why? This spring sees members' club Maslow's Mortimer House kick off its Guest Chef series with the super talented chef Elizabeth Haigh of Kaizen House. Launching 2 May, Haigh, who previously garnered a Michelin star at Hackney outlet Pidgin, will be present at the premises for an eight-week residency. Drawing inspiration from her British and Singaporean heritage, as well as the city of London itself, Elizabeth's food combines her love of wood-fired cooking, subtle detail and bold flavours for a range of imaginative (and delicious) dishes. Her a la carte menu, exclusively created for the residency, will feature dishes such as ox cheek rendang buns with fermented sambal, udon vongole with pickled wild garlic, barbecue aged beef with black sesame béarnaise, fried carrot cake with sambal belachan chilli, truffled roti with curried lamb sweetbreads, and miso and kaya "toast" caramel ice-cream.
4. Vincent Van Gogh-inspired lunch menu at Rex Whistler
Where? 27 March-11 August; Tate Britain Art Gallery, Milbank, SW1P 4JU
Why? 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.
5. AngloThai at Counter Culture and The Dairy
Where? 8 May-29 June; 16 The Pavement, SW4 0HY
Why? John Chantarasak and Desiree West’s AngloThai is going be at Clapham restaurants, Counter Culture and The Dairy, for the months of May and June. AngloThai delivers a punhy mix of traditional Thai recipes and flavours with modern techniques and seasonal British ingredients. All paired with a low‐intervention natural wine program. AngloThai’s menu at Counter Culture will change according to seasonality, with some of the dishes to include: Brixham crab and wild ramson broken rice; root vegetable som tam, salted duck egg and cobnuts; duck hearts, XO chilli jam, three cornered garlic; and Thai doughnuts and pandan leaf custard. In addition to AngloThai taking the helm at Counter Culture, the duo will also be curating a revolving door of chefs and wine experts (like Andy Oliver, Honey Spencer, and Tongton Ren) for a series of collaborative Sunday dinners at The Dairy. Clapham just got a hell of a lot cooler.
6. St Germain x OXO Tower Terrace
Where? 21 May-30 June; Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH
Why? From 21 May to 30 June, visitors to OXO Tower Bar can discover the elegant world of French spritz through an exclusive cocktail menu created by St-Germain – the world's first French elderflower liqueur – in a range of drinks that have been created in collaboration with some of London's finest bartenders. The cocktails will be available on the flower-festooned 'Summer in Bloom' rooftop terrace at OXO Tower Bar, offering you and your drinking partner a pretty banging view of the River Thames and London skyline. The bespoke cocktail menu features three decadent spritzes from the How to Spritz French Fluently' cocktail book alongside three new cocktail creations from Paulius Patumsis, Head Bartender at OXO Tower Bar.
Where? 30 May-13 July; 30 The Queen's Walk, SE1 8XX
Drink enough cider here and – just like John Mayer predicted – your body will turn into a Rekorder-land. And that's a good thing, we suppose. Rekorderlig has brought London's first ever mixed reality bar to the Southbank. The multi-sensory experience intends to transport Londoners to Rekorder-land, a place where sun-seekers can come together and enjoy a wonderfully Swedish world of Midsummer. All visitors to Rekorderlig's mixed reality bar have to do is step through a portal and enter Rekorder-land – a hyper-real world where the flavours of the Swedish cider are brought to life. The multi-sensory experience, powered by Magic Leap, has been created in partnership with Director of Immersive Experiences Connie Harrison. Sip on all your Rekorderlig favourites, including the much-loved and super refreshing Botanicals range, and sample some exclusive Rekorderlig cocktails while you're at it, too.
8. Staropramen Supper Club at Bryn Williams Restaurant
Where? 5 June; Somerset House, WC2R 1LT
Why? To celebrate its 150 year anniversary, iconic Czech beer Staropramen is hosting an exclusive supper club at Somerset house in partnership with Michelin star chef Oldrich Sahajdák of Prague's La Degustation. Sahajdák has crafted a menu true to traditional Czech cuisine with dishes dating back to the 19th century, offering a taste of the past with an added splash of sophisticated modern twists. Expect ingredients and dishes including sweet dumplings with poppy seeds, pickled mushrooms, a red berry and Kohlrabi combination, as well as a candied rhubarb topped pork. And beer, too. Lots of beer.
9. Half-price food at Ooty Station
Where? 7-16 June; Ooty Station, 66 Baker Street, W1U 7DJ
The latest venture from the talented team behind south Indian restaurant Ooty, Ooty Station is opening on 7 June to offer a range of Indian-inspired bar snacks, lunch items (think: malli chicken wings, mutton methi samosas and light-as-air dosas) alongside a cracking selection of cocktails and beers. With an off-street outdoor terrace and counter bar dining inside, it's set to be an ideal place to laze away a couple of languid hours on a hot summer's day. To celebrate the opening you can nab yourself 50% off food from 7-16 June. And, as if that wasn't tempting enough, Ooty Station is also going to be showing the Cricket World Cup on its wide-screen TV. Howzat?
10. Celebrate Eid with Dishoom and Dinerama
Where? 11 June, 18:00-22:30; 19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ
Why? Dishoom and Dinerama's Eid celebration to mark the end of Ramadan promises to be a cracking event for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Bringing traditional Sufi qawwali music and a fully halal food line-up to Dinerama, the evening intends to bring people of all backgrounds together for an evening of food, live music, spoken word poetry and prayer. Because the one thing we’ve all got in common is a love for some excellent eating. Guests can enjoy a diverse line-up of artists and performers alongside street food from Dinerama's resident traders and Dishoom's own pop-up food stalls. Tickets are £8 including entry and entertainment. Get yours now before they're all gone.
11. Arrack masterclass at Hoppers
Where? 12 June; 77 Wigmore Street, W1U 1QE
This summer, Hoppers will be hosting a series of dinners and masterclasses in partnership with Sri Lankan spirit brand, Ceylon Arrack. Hosted at Hoppers’ second restaurant, at St Christopher’s Place, the series will launch on 12 June and aims to not only fill you with the stuff but also teach you about the coconut spirit’s rich history and traditional distilling process. Throughout the evening, Sri Lankan dishes including mutton rolls, black pork paan, shellfish kothu, goat biryani and love cake will be served and paired with a corresponding arrack cocktail. You’ll even get the chance to infuse your very own Ceylon Arrack cocktail. Tickets are priced at £60pp (including an arrack goody bag you’ll get to take home afterwards) with subsequent events taking place on 17 July and 14 August.
12. Rice Guys and Ping Coombes collab
Where? 12-14 June; Various locations
This summer, street food Rice Guys are teaming up with Masterchef alum, Ping Coombes to launch a special one-off dish. Launching 12 June, the chilli bean, hibiscus and pineapple pork dish will celebrate Rice Guys and Ping's Chinese heritage. The dish will be available for lunch (for a limited time) at the Rice Guys street food truck at various locations as follows:
12 June – Broadgate Circle & West India Quay
13 June – City Point & Paddington Merchant Square
14 June – King's Cross Granary Square & St. Katharine's Dock
The dish will be served up alongside Rice Guys' classic Hainanese chicken rice.
13. Free sandwiches at Sub Cult
19 June; 82 Watling St, EC4M 9BX
Sandwich dons Ben Chancellor and Gareth Phillips – better known under the collective of Sub Cult – have announced their much-anticipated first bricks and mortar site will open in the heart of the City on Wednesday 19 June. Which is, y’know, fantastic news for everyone tired of limp and disappointing egg cress meal deals. To celebrate the opening, Sub Cult is giving away 200 FREE sub sandwiches to the first 200 customers on launch day. Yes, FREE sandwiches. Be warned though: only one sanger is allowed per person and will only be available until stocks last, so get your skates on to avoid disappointment.
14. Sekforde Spritz Garden at Head & Tails Cocktail Bar
20 June; 175 West End Lane, NW6 2LH
Sekforde botanical mixers have teamed up with the skilled bartenders of Heads & Tails cocktail bar to create a refreshing new low-abv Spritz menu for the bar's new outdoor terrace. From 20 June, anyone visiting the little snippet of paradise can enjoy a choice of four Spritzes that are low-in-alcohol but loaded with a choice selection of Mediteranean bitters and Sekforde botanical mixers. All of which are simply perfect for quaffing in the hot summer sun.
15. Cocchi Negroni cocktails at Polpo Smithfield
24-30 June; 3 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6DR
To celebrate Negroni Week this year, artisanal Italian vermouth and aperitivo producers Cocchi are launching a mini-Negroni flight menu at the brand new Negroni Bar at Polpo Smithfield starting from 24 June. The Negroni Bar can be found in the downstairs area of Polpo Smithfield and, for just £14, guests can enjoy 3 mini Cocchi Negronis (either the 'White', 'Classic', and 'King') and free-flowing cichéti (Venetian-style snacks).
16. Negroni Week 2019 with Mele e Pere
Where? 24-28 June; 46 Brewer Street, W1F 9TF
Vermouth specialists Mele e Pere are celebrating Negroni Week 2019 this June with...well… negronis. The Soho restaurant and bar is introducing a dedicated negroni menu, hosting a special programme of masterclasses from 24-28 June and giving away 100 free Negronis to mark the occasion. The giveaway of 100 free Negronis will involve 50 each on the evenings of the 24th and 25th – all you've got to do to grab a free cocktail is say the phrase: "La vita Campari". Five masterclasses will also be taking place on days throughout Negroni Week. Priced at £30, these masterclasses will showcase a different craft gin or vermouth (including tipples from Discarded Vermouth, Campari, Cocchi vermouth, Sacred Distillery, and East London Liquor Company) on each day. Tickets for the masterclasses are priced at £30.
17. 31 Days of Riesling Launch Party
Where? 26 June; 5 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
Once considered a bit of a novelty, riesling is now one of the best-loved wine grapes in London and beyond. And if you don’t believe us, how about this: throughout the whole of July, the 31 Days of German Riesling celebration will show you exactly why the aromatic grape should be top of your list. Expect masterclasses, pairing menus and wine flights on offer at some of the best venues in the capital, from Bedales to Som Saa, Humble Grape to Medlar and many more. To kick off the hundreds of 31 Days of German Riesling related activities taking place across the country, Wines of Germany are throwing an exclusive launch party at Newcomer Wines in Dalston on Wednesday 26 June. Like riesling? Have all the riesling, and thank us later.
18. Jaltarang at Kutir
4 July-31 August; 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS
This summer, chef Rohit Ghai is putting a big emphasis on the sea part of Chelsea via the introduction of a brand-new Jaltarang (“from the sea”) menu to Kutir. The five-course menu is washing ashore in West London on 4 July and will consist of seasonal seafood and summer bangers like: soft shell crab with chickpeas, coconut, curry leaf and tomato; hand-dived Scottish scallops with aubergine fritters and mustard; prawns with mustard, mooli and salty fingers; and coriander Scottish lobster with black pepper, cumin and todi vinegar. Dessert options include your pick of either chocolate with banana, Valrhona chocolate crisps and chilli or mango cassata with cranberry, pistachio and pink peppercorns. There’s only one thing to do this summer and it’s go to Chelsea: because darling it's better, don’t where a sweater, take it from me.
19. The Norfolk Boys Menu at Dukes London
Where? 9 July; 35 St James's Place, SW1A 1NY
Mayfair hotel, Dukes London, is delighted to announce a one-off gastronomic evening on Tuesday 9 th July at the hotel's signature restaurant, GBR . Inspired by their joint Norfolk heritage and fond memories of summers spent on the north Norfolk coast, longstanding executive head chef, Nigel Mendham, will join forces with Michelin-star chef, Tom Aikens to create a one-off, six-course Norfolk Boys tasting menu. Using local produce from their trusted Norfolk suppliers including Nurtured in Norfolk, they will draw on memories of sandy beaches, clam-picking and crabbing. Priced at £125 per person, a donation from each ticket sold will go to one of Dukes London's favourite charities - Hospitality Action - which offers vital assistance to those who have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis.