Opinion: Why The Pop-Up Restaurant Culture Is Awesome


The concept of a pop-up restaurant is not new, but it’s something that is slowly gaining traction all over the world. Everywhere there are pop-ups that are, for the lack of a better word, popping up and delivering different kinds of food to people who’ve never tried something of that sort before. But for those that are unaware of what a pop-up restaurant does, then here’s a brief explanation: it’s like a pop-up sale, but with food. An already existing restaurant in the city will open up its doors and kitchen to the chef from another restaurant in order to introduce food lovers in the city to something new. The pop-up can happen either at a restaurant or another venue that can hold that kind of event and it can last either for a weekend or for months. There are different ways that pop-up restaurants work and whatever it is, it’s something that people love no matter what.

Internationally, pop-up restaurants are happening everywhere. They’re usually themed and based on famous characters or movies in pop culture or serving a specific kind of food and the like. There has also been the Naked Dining Pop-up in London and then there’s the Tim Burton pop-up in New York. Sometimes these pop-ups become permanent fixtures, sometimes the pop-up moves to other parts of the country or the world, because everybody needs to experience what the world has to offer.

When pop-ups first started, it was done by young chefs and those who were starting out for the first time and they couldn’t afford the brick and mortar of a permanent space. So they’d use open spaces like parking lots of rooftops and spread out tables and chairs and serve their food, giving the whole experience a much more authentic and natural vibe, which people were interested in. Besides that, everything was much cheaper than a regular restaurant with other overhead costs.


Now, pop-up restaurants aren’t open just by young and amateur chefs, but by top chefs and those who already run restaurants around their city. They step out of their comfort zone and their own kitchens to cook in another space giving their food a different twist.


Whatever the theme is, or whatever the kind of food that they are serving, the pop-up restaurants are about so much more than being the coolest place to be in the city. It’s about experiencing something new that you’ve never had before. Think of all the cuisines that you wanted to try and couldn’t try because there wasn’t a restaurant of that sort in your city. But if a pop-up restaurant arrives even for a weekend, it’s an experience that you want to be part of simply because it’s something new.

In Chennai, Ashvita Bistro has been known to introduce pop-up restaurants in the city. They’ve brought to Chennai audiences a Parsi wedding food experience, then a special burrito menu which started with a short pop-up experience and then became part of the menu. Finally, they also introduced Deep Dish Chicago Pizza pop-up which was very popular.

Here’s hoping more pop-ups happening all over India, giving food lovers a chance to try something new and different, and also experience something that they wouldn’t find in a mainstream restaurant.