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Southerns chicken sandwiches
Southerns/Facebook

Tracking New Orleans’s Hottest Pop-Ups

From pozole to oxtail dumplings to boudin musubi, where to find the best pop-ups in town

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Southerns chicken sandwiches
| Southerns/Facebook

The pop-up scene in New Orleans now includes bars and breweries with daily food calendars, top restaurants hosting guest chefs and collaborations, and even standalone wine and tiki bar pop-ups. Some of this inventive food and drink can be reliably found week after week at destinations like Lost Love, Barrel Proof, and Pal’s Lounge, and some pop-up proprietors are more elusive, requiring a follow to their social media to hunt down.

To keep track of these experiences, behold Eater’s brand new, continually updated guide to the best pop-ups in town and where to find them. Map points are those currently active pop-ups with upcoming dates on the books, but we’re keeping an eye on favorites like Lahpet, La Monita, Queen Trini Lisa, and Sabzi.

Did we miss a pop-up with an upcoming date? Let us know.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Southerns

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Southerns brings its amazing hot chicken Second Line Brewing every Thursday (and often elsewhere). In addition to catering events, this fest-winning kitchen pops up at breweries around town to introduce New Orleanians to the Nashville-style chicken sandwich of their dreams. Follow that chicken here.

Que Pasta

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The delicious pop-up that highlights mostly Honduran and Cuban cuisine now has a regular home at beloved cocktail bar Twelve Mile Limit, bringing creative pastas, empanadas, pupusas, and a lot of gorgeous octopus specials. You can also catch Amanda Alard at Barrel Proof some weeks as well as downriver at The Domino on Tuesday, February 11.

Octopus with squid ink pasta
Que Pasta Nola/Facebook

Gonzo’s Smokehouse & BBQ

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A popular festival vendor and brewery favorite, Gonzo’s serves award-winning smoked brisket, as well as ribs, pork mac & cheese, Mexican corn, and other traditional barbecue sides. It rotates between Parleaux Beer Lab, Abita Brewery, Wrong Iron, and festivals; next up at Wrong Iro. Follow Gonzo’s here.

Brisket from Gonzo’s Smokehouse
Gonzo’s Smokehouse/Facebook

Gattone Grasso

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Monday nights at Pal’s Lounge is for fat plates of comforting pasta from the experts at Gattone Grasso. This operation makes all its own “fat cat” pasta, bread, and sauce resulting in three cheese ravioli, carbonara, and a focaccia served with it for reasonable prices, every Monday. Check Gattone Grasso’s page for other appearances.

Carbonara from Gattone Grasso
Gattone Grasso/Facebook

Budsi’s Authentic Thai

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Three days a week (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday), find Budsaba Mason’s incredible Thai food at Pal’s Lounge. For Budsi’s Thai Tuesday (usually 6 to 11:30 p.m.), Mason serves a traditional menu of Panang chicken curry, dumplings, pad Thai shrimp, pad see ew, and mango sticky rice. On Friday and Sunday (6 to midnight) the menu changes, featuring special drunken noodles, curries, and soups. Follow her here.

Rad Na, a recent Budsi’s special
Budsi’s Authentic Thai/Facebook

Milkfish

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Delicious Philippine cuisine pop-up Milkfish has a permanent schedule at The Broad Theater, a perfect pairing with a flick at the historic theater. Watch chef Cristina Quackenbush prepare your food before you take it in, or you can just stop in for a bite of boudin lumpia, pork belly, bicol, and yaka mein, no movie required. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m. or until food sells out.

Hatch + Harvest

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Hatch + Harvest’s shtick is the use of green hatch chile in most dishes, a much-appreciated theme. A recent menu included pork hatch chile stew, black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, and an Italian beef sandwich. Usually at Urban South Brewery on Tuesdays and Miel Brewery + Taproom on Wednesdays.

Daddy Hot Bird

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Brock Seabrook’s Daddy Hot Bird serves Nashville-style hot chicken with cleverly-named spice levels ranging from none at all (named for the Atlanta Falcons), to “Cluck Me Up, Fam”, at the other end of the spectrum. Follow Daddy Hot Bird on Instagram for dates; he most recently popped-up at the downtown Company Burger and has been known to appear at Port Orleans and Barrel Proof.

Nuna Nola has taken over Tuesday night at Barrel Proof, serving a weekly pozole, mole spiced spare ribs, cauliflower asada with black lime crema, piri-piri chicken wings, and churros with a coffee and orange scented chocolate dip. Initially based entirely around pozole verde, Jackie Alpern and Jon Cashatt are now dishing out a range of fresh, bright food based on Mexican cuisine and flavors. Follow them on Instagram for menus and dates.

Little Kitchen

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Little Kitchen’s tacos, sometimes appearing in the LGD at Barrel Proof, can currently be found can be found downriver at Parleaux Beer Lab on Fridays. 2 for $7 and 3 for $9, tacos come in achiote chicken, chipotle ground beef, carnitas, or miso mushroom; all loaded up with fresh, colorful toppings of cabbage, carrot, onion, and cilantro (depending on the taco). Follow Little Kitchen for future appearances here.

Little Kitchen tacos
Little Kitchen/Facebook

Matchbook Kitchen

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Matchbook Kitchen is currently appearing at LGD whiskey bar Barrel Proof every Sunday and Monday; and at Miel Brewery on Thursday. The mashup of American, Chinese/Sichuan, Caribbean, and even Indian influences makes for lively, one-of-a-kind versions of tom yum, (mapo) nachos, dan dan noodles, lamb curry, oxtail dumplings, and on. Follow Matchbook here.

Matchbook Kitchen’s lemon ginger shrimp
Matchbook Kitchen/Facebook

Wolf ‘n’ Swallow

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Every Thursday brings Wolf ‘n’ Swallow to hangout Black Penny, where it might be a night for Irish tacos (yes) or for grilled cheese and soup, with soup options including creamy tomato bisque; potato, broccoli, and cheese; and curry squash puree, and grilled cheeses made with fontina, tomato, pickle, and Spam or brie, apple, and caramelized onion.

Camp Baps

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Camp Baps’s tagline is “an ode to fish camp food,” a nod to a time when a colony of fishing camps lined the shoreline of the lake, serving as a weekend getaway for city dwelling New Orleanians. And the food is a tribute indeed, with Gulf seafood shining in dishes like the cornmeal fried shrimp, grilled snapper collar with and fried frog legs with white barbecue sauce. Follow Camp Baps here.

Camp Baps’s snapper collar
Camp Baps/Facebook

The Nola Chuck Wagon

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Charles “Big Chuck” Jones is tyoically posted up Thursday through Sunday on St. Claude Avenue outside the delightful Allways Lounge, serving boiled seafood like crawfish, shrimp, and crab as well as turkey necks, sausage, and vegetables. His pop-up is also available to hire for private parties, sure to add some New Orleans flavor to any event. Follow Nola Chuck Wagon on Instagram here.

The Sassy Chef

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The Sassy Chef’s a busy one, popping-up at Pal’s Lounge, beer garden Wrong Iron, and beer store 504 Craft Beer Reserve. One of the most globally-influenced on the map, the Sassy Chef’s food ranges from chicken tamales and tacos to a miso burger and kimchi pork sandwich to an occasional pozole (Mexican stew). Next up at Crown & Anchor, but follow on Facebook here. 

The Sassy Chef’s chicken tamale
The Sassy Chef/Facebook

Ravenous Nola

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Ravenous Nola is most likely found at a brewery (Courtyard, Second Line, or Miel), Mid City beer store 504 Craft Reserve, and now, sometimes at Bywater “wine dive” The Domino. Though dubbed “Japanese fusion comfort food,” there’s no real telling what the menu will have in store, as they’ve recently included chimichangas, donburi bowls, boudin musibi, yaki udon, and a chicken Parmesan po-boy. Worth checking out no matter the evening’s theme.

Boudin musubi from a previous Ravenous Nola pop-up
Ravenous Nola/Facebook

Southerns

Southerns brings its amazing hot chicken Second Line Brewing every Thursday (and often elsewhere). In addition to catering events, this fest-winning kitchen pops up at breweries around town to introduce New Orleanians to the Nashville-style chicken sandwich of their dreams. Follow that chicken here.

Que Pasta

Octopus with squid ink pasta
Que Pasta Nola/Facebook

The delicious pop-up that highlights mostly Honduran and Cuban cuisine now has a regular home at beloved cocktail bar Twelve Mile Limit, bringing creative pastas, empanadas, pupusas, and a lot of gorgeous octopus specials. You can also catch Amanda Alard at Barrel Proof some weeks as well as downriver at The Domino on Tuesday, February 11.

Octopus with squid ink pasta
Que Pasta Nola/Facebook

Gonzo’s Smokehouse & BBQ

Brisket from Gonzo’s Smokehouse
Gonzo’s Smokehouse/Facebook

A popular festival vendor and brewery favorite, Gonzo’s serves award-winning smoked brisket, as well as ribs, pork mac & cheese, Mexican corn, and other traditional barbecue sides. It rotates between Parleaux Beer Lab, Abita Brewery, Wrong Iron, and festivals; next up at Wrong Iro. Follow Gonzo’s here.

Brisket from Gonzo’s Smokehouse
Gonzo’s Smokehouse/Facebook

Gattone Grasso

Carbonara from Gattone Grasso
Gattone Grasso/Facebook

Monday nights at Pal’s Lounge is for fat plates of comforting pasta from the experts at Gattone Grasso. This operation makes all its own “fat cat” pasta, bread, and sauce resulting in three cheese ravioli, carbonara, and a focaccia served with it for reasonable prices, every Monday. Check Gattone Grasso’s page for other appearances.

Carbonara from Gattone Grasso
Gattone Grasso/Facebook

Budsi’s Authentic Thai

Rad Na, a recent Budsi’s special
Budsi’s Authentic Thai/Facebook

Three days a week (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday), find Budsaba Mason’s incredible Thai food at Pal’s Lounge. For Budsi’s Thai Tuesday (usually 6 to 11:30 p.m.), Mason serves a traditional menu of Panang chicken curry, dumplings, pad Thai shrimp, pad see ew, and mango sticky rice. On Friday and Sunday (6 to midnight) the menu changes, featuring special drunken noodles, curries, and soups. Follow her here.

Rad Na, a recent Budsi’s special
Budsi’s Authentic Thai/Facebook

Milkfish

Delicious Philippine cuisine pop-up Milkfish has a permanent schedule at The Broad Theater, a perfect pairing with a flick at the historic theater. Watch chef Cristina Quackenbush prepare your food before you take it in, or you can just stop in for a bite of boudin lumpia, pork belly, bicol, and yaka mein, no movie required. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m. or until food sells out.

Hatch + Harvest

Hatch + Harvest’s shtick is the use of green hatch chile in most dishes, a much-appreciated theme. A recent menu included pork hatch chile stew, black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, and an Italian beef sandwich. Usually at Urban South Brewery on Tuesdays and Miel Brewery + Taproom on Wednesdays.

Daddy Hot Bird

Brock Seabrook’s Daddy Hot Bird serves Nashville-style hot chicken with cleverly-named spice levels ranging from none at all (named for the Atlanta Falcons), to “Cluck Me Up, Fam”, at the other end of the spectrum. Follow Daddy Hot Bird on Instagram for dates; he most recently popped-up at the downtown Company Burger and has been known to appear at Port Orleans and Barrel Proof.

Nuna

Nuna Nola has taken over Tuesday night at Barrel Proof, serving a weekly pozole, mole spiced spare ribs, cauliflower asada with black lime crema, piri-piri chicken wings, and churros with a coffee and orange scented chocolate dip. Initially based entirely around pozole verde, Jackie Alpern and Jon Cashatt are now dishing out a range of fresh, bright food based on Mexican cuisine and flavors. Follow them on Instagram for menus and dates.

Little Kitchen

Little Kitchen tacos
Little Kitchen/Facebook

Little Kitchen’s tacos, sometimes appearing in the LGD at Barrel Proof, can currently be found can be found downriver at Parleaux Beer Lab on Fridays. 2 for $7 and 3 for $9, tacos come in achiote chicken, chipotle ground beef, carnitas, or miso mushroom; all loaded up with fresh, colorful toppings of cabbage, carrot, onion, and cilantro (depending on the taco). Follow Little Kitchen for future appearances here.

Little Kitchen tacos
Little Kitchen/Facebook

Matchbook Kitchen

Matchbook Kitchen’s lemon ginger shrimp
Matchbook Kitchen/Facebook

Matchbook Kitchen is currently appearing at LGD whiskey bar Barrel Proof every Sunday and Monday; and at Miel Brewery on Thursday. The mashup of American, Chinese/Sichuan, Caribbean, and even Indian influences makes for lively, one-of-a-kind versions of tom yum, (mapo) nachos, dan dan noodles, lamb curry, oxtail dumplings, and on. Follow Matchbook here.

Matchbook Kitchen’s lemon ginger shrimp
Matchbook Kitchen/Facebook

Wolf ‘n’ Swallow

Every Thursday brings Wolf ‘n’ Swallow to hangout Black Penny, where it might be a night for Irish tacos (yes) or for grilled cheese and soup, with soup options including creamy tomato bisque; potato, broccoli, and cheese; and curry squash puree, and grilled cheeses made with fontina, tomato, pickle, and Spam or brie, apple, and caramelized onion.

Camp Baps