The Hottest San Francisco Pop-Up Restaurants Happening in May

San Francisco is no stranger to pop-ups. This city embraces the exclusivity and short lived nature of these temporary joints whether they last a week, month or merely a night. Renowned hot spots such as Lazy Bear and LihoLiho Yacht Club got their start showing up for a night here and there. Even veterans such as Jesse Koide of Mission Chinese are jumping in the pop-up game, with Pink Zebra a permanent pop-up located inside the Tao Yin. 

san francisco pop-up restaurants
Photo Credit: CHICA

Everyone loves a good pop-up success story, especially when you’ve been there from the beginning. That’s why we’re searching the pop-up scene to bring you 5 awesome San Francisco pop-ups you should try this month!!

1. CHICA Mexican American Pop-up- Saturday May 16 @ Buffalo Club

The CHICA pop-up was born from the ashes of another delicious Bay Area pop-up Bueno Eats. The new iteration CHICA is serving up delicious Mexican-American fare. Committed to using only fresh, local ingredients. Every creation is made from scratch with passion and seasonal ingredients. CHICA is dedicated to building a strong community between their diners and staff, so their pop-up feels more like a family get together, with family you haven’t met yet, than an everyday pop-up!

Get your hands on these dishes bursting with flavor and love. Pop-up highlights include cochinita pibil potato hash, chilaquiles, ceviche and oysters!

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2. Indian Paradox Pop-up- Friday May 15 @ 18 Reasons

san francisco pop-up restaurants
Photo Credit: 18 Reasons

Indian Paradox is the masterpiece of electrical engineer turned chef and sommelier Kavitha Raghavan. Kavitha is a Bay Area transplant from Chennai, India. What started as a love of wine and food has grown into the dazzling evenings that are Indian Paradox. This pop-up is a transformative experience matching the exotic flavors of India with wines from around the world. It’s a night filled with music, laughter and colors.

Brace yourself for completely new flavors, enhanced by perfectly paired wines. Forget the traditional Indian dishes you see in other restaurants Kavitha’s menu will sport classic Southern Indian street food dishes. This four course meal will be a night you’ll never forget. 

3. La Cocina Night Market- May 30  @ 3674 18th St.

The last Saturday of every month is a celebration of food and entrepreneurship thanks to the partnership of La Cocina and 18 Reasons. Food entrepreneurs get the chance to show off all their work as the Mission space transforms into a food marketplace. Among the vendors this month, you’ll find traditional Guanajuato fare, classics from the Himalayas, trendy bone broths and cheesecake!

In addition to sampling the delicious food, you’ll get a chance to hear stories from the hardworking entrepreneurs working with La Cocina.

4. Iza Ramen- May 17 @ 2170 Bryant St

Succulent broth, slaved over for hours. Long chewy noodles and perfectly cooked eggs. Iza Ramen is the full package. A permanent pop-up offering their triple-stock broth and impossibly tender pork belly out of their quaint Mission hideout every weekend. If you want to get a taste of this secret ramen recipe you have to be committed. The pop-up is only on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 11:30-2:30 and San Franciscans gather to get their slurp on during this 3 hour time slot. (Looking to avoid the lines- check out our recommendations) In addition to their piping hot and doted on bowls of ramen they offer a selection of authentic izakaya bites and drinks. Get there early and stay till the end.

5. Ante Meridian: Sunday Brunch Pop-Up @ Naked Kitchen

Anyone interested in the San Francisco pop-up scene has probably stumbled across Naked Kitchen. This weekly pop-up brunch and dinner venue hosts exciting new chefs showcasing their unique talents. Events come in all shapes and sizes and are all BYOB.

May 31st starts a series of pop-ups from Chef Anthony Yang, whose graced the kitties of both Per Se and Michael Mina. Take brunch to the next level with 4 courses of brunch featuring the farmer’s latest bounty and signature dishes such as black truffle waffles. 

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san francisco pop-up restaurants

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