Temporary Eateries: Pop-up Restaurants in Metro Detroit

By: Toni Cunningham | November 27, 2012

Until recently, I had never heard of a pop-up restaurant. In case you’re also in the dark, a pop-up restaurant is essentially a temporary eatery, one that operates in a café, building or other restaurant for one day (or night) only.

Ultimately, they allow blossoming chefs to gain exposure without going bankrupt. Pretty cool, eh? I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are several pop-up restaurants in the Metro Detroit area.

Komodo Kitchen dishes up Indonesian food and makes its once-a-month guest appearance at both Pinwheel Bakery and The Red Hook in Ferndale. While the menu is always changing, Batavian Noodle Salad and Javanese Chicken Opor have both been featured.

Komodo Kitchen’s past suppers included a three-course meal and tea for only $45 per person. It’s also BYOB!

The Brunch Underground is ultra secretive, and the only way you’ll discover the location of the event is by requesting an invite. It’s worth the effort though—homegrown herbs and vegetables as well as locally roasted coffee are menu staples.

The meal is reasonably priced, as brunch usually costs between $10 and $30 per person. Local ingredients turned into a delicious and cheap mid-morning feast? Sign me up.

Detroit Gypsy Kitchen serves up all-natural, locally sourced vegan fare. In addition to popping up in Detroit, Gypsy Kitchen offers dinner for pick-up in one of two locations once a week. Weekly dinners cost $9 and get you a bountiful three-course meal.

Previous menus have included items like summer vegetable curry, hearty five bean chili and tacos with Spanish rice.

Chartreuse makes an appearance once a month in Detroit and dishes up meals that use about 80 percent local ingredients—they’re also organic, raw, vegan and soy-free.

Four-course meals by Chartreuse have been hosted at various locations, including The Fisher Building, and include items like butternut squash ravioli, coconut curry stir-fry and crab cakes with Creole slaw.

San Street serves up Asian street food in Ann Arbor’s outdoor food court, Mark’s Carts, and once a month, the mobile joint makes an appearance at Zingerman’s Events on Fourth.

San Street’s previous pop-ups have included menu items like butternut squash soup, Korean baby back rib plate, tofu plate and lucky pork bun. Wine, beer and cocktails are also served at the events.

Take note, adventurous foodies. The aforementioned pop-ups require purchasing a ticket to the exclusive event in advance, so keep that in mind!