10 Best Pop-Up Restaurants in the Bay Area

Outstanding in the Field

In this frustrating economic climate, Bay Area locals have at least one reason to be thankful: a burgeoning foodie revolution in the form of underground supperclubs, pop-up restaurants, and an ever-growing gaggle of gourmet food trucks.

Regular Joes can now sample prix-fixe five-course meals from internationally recognized chefs, previously available only to an exclusive upper-class clique. On top of that, gourmet meals are no longer reserved for stuffy, ritzy locales; they can be enjoyed on farms, in wine caves, or even in basements.

Here, your guide to the top 10 pop-up restaurants in and around the Bay Area.

1. Back to Roots: Outstanding in the Field | Location Varies
Get back to roots—of your food that is— with this outdoor pop-up dedicated to reconnecting eaters to the origins of their food. (outstandinginthefield.com)
Visit the website for dinner locations and details.

2. Spice It Up: Kingston 11 1620 Shattuck Avenue | Berkeley
This lively happening brings Caribbean festivities (and tasty food to match) to Berkeley’s Guerilla Café each week. (kingstoneleven.com, 510-214-2311)
Take BART to the Downtown Berkeley station. Walk to Shattuck Avenue.

3. Get Hyperlocal: Canvas Underground Location Varies
Commune with local hosts, chefs, and artists at this quirky rotating supperclub that takes its themed parties to places like homes and gardens. (canvasunderground.wordpress.com)
Venues change frequently. Check the website for locations.

4. Bring Home the (Artisan) Bacon: Pop Up General Store | 4629 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way | Oakland
This regular Oakland pop-up food shop allows you to skip the long reservation waits and snobby clientele trendy restaurants in favor of taking food from those same chefs home with you. (popupgrocerystore.com)
Take BART to the McArthur Station. Walk to Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 40th Street, and take bus number 18 toward Albany. Get off at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 47th Street.

5. The Floating Speakeasy: Paladar Temescal | Location Varies
This exclusive underground Oakland supperclub brings the glamour of the speakeasy to the Internet age. Follow the blog for new events, RSVP, and receive an email with your super-secret password (okay, it’s the location, but still cool).(paladartemescal.blogspot.com)
Location is emailed to attendees upon RSVP.

6. Go Afro-Urban: Selam 1620 Shattuck Avenue | Berkeley
Dig in to a hearty meal of Ethiopian food at this monthly Berkeley pop-up hosted by the Afro Urbanites cultural project. (afrourbanites.com)
Take BART to the Downtown Berkeley station. Walk to Shattuck Avenue.

7. Street Food Goes Gourmet: Tendejon de la Calle | Location Varies
Chef Mateo Granados serves up “tastes of the street,”  Yucatán-inspired dinners in beautiful locations around Sonoma county. (mateogranados.com)
Dinner locations change frequently. Check the website for location details.

8. Food-Truck Fever: The Mobile Gourmet | 131 Lytton Avenue (Palo Alto) | 601 Skyway (San Carlos)
The best of the Bay Area’s food trucks gather weekly in Palo Alto (Friday evenings) and San Carlos (Wednesday afternoons). (the-mobile-gourmet.com)
Fridays: Take the Caltrain (Train 158) to Palo Alto Caltrain stop. Walk to Lytton Avenue. Wednesdays: Take the Caltrain to San Carlos.

9. Chef Sampler: Guest Chef | 5337 College Avenue | Oakland
Hot chefs take turns with two-week stints cooking up innovative meals for the lucky few who can get into this Rockridge kitchen. (theguestchef.net)
Take BART to the Rockridge station. Walk to College Avenue.

10. In-N-Out What?: Fivetenburger | Location Varies
Chow down on a wonderfully juicy burger made from the best ingredients at this popular Oakland food truck. (fivetenburger.com)
Visit Fivetenburger’s website or Twitter for current locations.

Photo: Courtesy of Outstanding in the Field

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A twenty-something Colorado native, Alison Kjeldgaard is an aspiring editor, avid reader, and obsessed tango dancer. She lived in Los Angeles for four years where she enjoyed running and lounging on the beach. She graduated in 2009 from Occidental College with two journalism internships under her belt, an English Literature degree, and a national economic crisis. Despite this, Alison has paid the bills working odd jobs and taking every chance she can to travel. So far, she has been to Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Austria, Costa Rica, and Argentina. Alison recently moved to San Francisco from Denver, and is a freelance writer with a love of hiking, biking, caving and gold panning. Check out her magazine at www.artanimalmag.com.