New Orleans’s pop-up scene in early 2020 was thriving — rotating daily options at bars and breweries, guest chefs and collaborations at top restaurants, and courtyard wine and tiki bar pop-ups — offering an alternative way for chefs and bartenders to flex their creativity. While the future of pop-up restaurants in a post-pandemic world remains uncertain, many New Orleans chefs have adapted their model and mobile kitchens, with some even pausing plans to open a restaurant in favor of the temporary to-go operation.
Here, Eater rounds up food pop-ups in New Orleans currently offering home delivery or curbside pickup. As always, double check all websites and social media listed below, and tip well — if New Orleans is lucky, their place in the city’s dining scene will be permanent.
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Dakar Nola is the brand new kitchen from Serigne Mbaye, an acclaimed young chef with a background cooking at Commander’s Palace and two Michelin-starred restaurants. Mbaye recently returned to New Orleans with contemporary Senegalese pop-up Dakar, initially planned for the former Polly’s Bywater Cafe on St. Claude Avenue. While that plan changed (the wonderful Stuph’d Beignets ended up opening in the space), Dakar has been popping up Saturdays at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFab) and Mondays at Gracious Bakery. Excitingly, this week Mbaye’s menu of jollof, nambe, soupa konja (a Senegalese seafood okra gumbo), and more, is available to order online for curbside pickup at SoFab or delivery.
Budsaba Mason is the chef behind Budsi’s, a popular Thai kitchen that popped up three times a week at Mid City bar Pal’s prior to the stay-at-home order. Mason’s plans to open a Marigny restaurant by the same name this spring were delayed, but luckily for Budsi’s fans, she and husband and business partner Jared Mason are still running the pop-up. Better yet, it’s all via no-contact delivery. A recent menu included pad see ew, som tam (papaya salad) with grilled pork and sticky rice, waterfall pork, mushroom and tofu larb, and mango sticky rice. Follow Budsi’s Facebook page for ordering hours and available delivery windows.
New Orleans chef and Trinidadian native Queen Trini Lisa brings a next-level lineup of Caribbean specialties and flavors with her menu, which found a home at Portside Lounge earlier this year. Serving up some of the best jerk chicken in town, fried fish, curry chicken, and the (vegan) Trinidadian staple doubles, her food can still be picked up at Portside Lounge, and is also available to order for delivery via Waitr and other third party apps. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for hours and availability, and order online through her website to pick up.
Hatch + Harvest’s highlights the famed green hatch chile in most dishes, a much-appreciated theme. Previously on the calendar at many local breweries, the pop-up is now offering pickup and a delivery service. Order items like pork hatch chile stew, black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, chickpea bowls, and chile chicken nachos online to pickup at a designated time or to schedule for free home delivery. Follow Hatch + Harvest’s Instagram for menu and availability.
It’s not available for delivery, but the Neopolitan-style individual pizzas from Yin Yang Pie are worth a trip to wherever they’re selling from (most recently, Okay Bar in the St. Claude neighborhood). Follow Yin Yang on Instagram for pop-up days, hours, and the menu, and place orders via direct message or walk-up (depending on availability).
This baker on the West Bank is creating some of the most beautiful breads, cakes, and specialty Vietnamese desserts imaginable, all bursting with intricate designs, bright colors, and fresh fruits. Pandan coconut and ube milk breads, mango float cakes, tiramisu cakes, and Vietnamese banana ice cream — Banh Vi’s baked goods are the perfect special treats to add a pick-me-up during quarantine. Direct message via Instagram to place an order for pickup.
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