Sydney’s best summer pop ups 2015/16

Okay, aside from that FREAKIN’ TORNADO earlier this month, Sydney is still one of the best cities in the country when it comes to idyllic summer days. Something about that sun spreading across Sydney Harbour is enough to fill you with the desire to go out and make the most the most of your day, eating some of the best food and drinking the best drink you can find. That’s the best thing about this relatively new spat of pop-up venues; some of the city’s greatest food and drink outlets are able to experiment with various concepts and locations, offering some of their best creations to help you make the most of summer.

To help you along we’ve decided to create an on-going listing of the best summer pop-ups.

Note: This list will be updated regularly as more summer pop-ups are announced. Keep checking back to stay up to date!

[UPDATE 1: 3rd Jan 2016: Added Summer Playground at Sydney Opera House; Sydney Festival Village]

[UPDATE 2: 19th Jan 2016: Added Burgers by Josh summer residency at Greenwood Plaza, North Sydney]


Deus Presents: PLKxBarrio (to end of January 2016)

Pub Life Kitchen and Barrio Chino (also Cellar) are names which need no introduction to burger lovers across Sydney. Both have pumping out some of the absolute best you can find across the brimming scene of American-inspired burgers, and this pop-up is a result of the two businesses collaborating with Sydney’s Camperdown-based Deus Ex Machina for a burger pop-up to end all burger-pop ups.

From oh-so-juicy double cheeseburgers to ‘get em dirty’ fries with tangy house-made sauce and melted cheese, these guys know exactly how to please even the most picky of burger connoisseurs.

For more information check our write-up on the summer stint HERE.


The Gin Garden @ Museum of Contemporary Art (to 7th Feb 2016)

Before you enter the Museum of Contemporary Art it’d be hard to overlook this beautiful set-up. The Gin Garden is a temporary attachment to the MCA to celebrate the current, excellent exhibition by British genius Grayson Perry and it’s got all that elegant UK charm about it, with drinks curated by Young Henry’s and Archie Rose Distilling Co.. Food includes fresh Oysters and Sandwiches.

For more information click HERE.


The Grounds of Alexandria @ Entertainment Quarter (30th Dec 2015 to 24th Jan 2016)

Famed hub The Grounds of Alexandria have a moveable pop-up called The Grounds House, which was last seen at Sculpture by the Sea. They’ll be taking the whole thing to Entertainment Quarter (where Fox Studios is in Moore Park) this summer to sit right by Circus Oz and Water World Central. The family-friendly atmosphere will be helped along by the fact that this intriguing looking pop-up cafe was inspired by the wonders of C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien, presenting a mix of wonderland charm with a hobbit-themed design.

For more information click HERE.


Bennelong Balcony @ Sydney Opera House (8th Jan to 31st Jan 2016)

As far as restaurant openings go, there have been few this year that were as big a deal as Peter Gilmore’s Bennelong, the new resident restaurant in Sydney Opera House. By all accounts, it’s been fitting in swell, with rave reviews across the board and a bar, headed by champ Aaron Gaulke, that’s pumping out some incredible cocktails.

It’s been announced that, come January 8th, the restaurant will be opening up their private balcony for a pop-up bar lasting just over three weeks. Same view; different price tag. Dubbed Bennelong Balcony, the pop-up will open every Fri, Sat, and Sun from 12pm to late, bringing in a bunch of signature cocktails from Gaulke as well as Piper Heidsieck and Endeavour Pale Ale, served up alongside a specially-designed bar menu.

For more information click HERE.


Waterman’s Lobster Co. @ Bondi Beach (to March 2016)

Potts Point’s popular Waterman’s Lobster Co. have announced that they’ll be bringing their juicy Maine and Connecticut styled lobster rolls, as well as all the other favourites, straight to Bondi Beach this summer, opening up a temporary front in Hall Street’s food hub. Located at the former site of Mexican small bar Mr Moustache, the pop-up will be operating from Boxing Day, this Sunday 26th December, for three months, designed to fit into the beach-side setting with a casual, relaxed atmosphere sporting natural, cool blue and grey tones.

Perfect for Bondi Beach, Waterman’s Lobster Co. will be offering a menu that, in addition to the aforementioned lobster rolls, boasts veggie and seafood rolls, as well as a small selection of sides and salads, including oysters and kingfish tartare. All items will be up for takeaway orders as well, but you might want to dine-in and take advantage of their affordable wine list, which showcases Australian wins from Great Southern in WA, Adelaide Hills in SA, Tumbaruma in NSW, and Yarra Valley in VIC. Cocktails will also be available, including The Old Man & The Sea and the Ritz Spritz.

For more information click HERE.


Grey Goose Pairing Menu at Vine Double Bay (to 31st Jan 2016)

Premium Vodka brand Grey Goose have taken the success from their recent pop-ups this year and taken their focus on cocktail-food pairings to Double Bay’s popular Vine. The French inspired pop-up bar offers a number of special cocktail-canape pairings, each designed to bring out the best in the smooth liquid, an experience set against some French Riviera-inspired décor.

For more information click HERE.


Wulugul Pop-Up @ Streets of Barangaroo (to August 2016)

By the end of 2016 there are expected to be around 80 permanent food, drink, and retail options at the site of Barangaroo, one of the biggest developments Sydney has ever seen. To give us a taste of what a day and/or night out at the precinct would be like we currently have the Wulugul Pop Up, a temporary (but thankfully long-lasting) waterfront food and drink hub designed to showcase the unique location and it’s dedication to curated, top quality hospitality, as part of the continual changes dubbed The Street of Barangaroo.

The team behind the pop-up have went and rounded up some of the country’s finest vendors, most notably providing a temporary location for Melbourne’s famous Belles Hot Chicken, which has been teasing Sydney for awhile now with the random pop-up here and there. In addition to Belles, huddled closely is the equally sought-after Mamak Malaysian kitchen, and The Barbershop’s new bar concept Gin & It, as well as movable carts from inner-city gems RivaReno Gelato and Edition Coffee Roasters.

For more information click HERE


Noma Australia (26th Jan to 2nd April 2016)

Okay so it is completely sold out, but for those lucky enough to have scored tickets to this head-turning pop-up restaurant could do with a swift reminder of what’s in store for them. Noma Copenhagen has been named “best restaurant in the world” twice now, recognising the innovation and craft Chef René Redzepi brings, as well as his focus on sourcing interesting local produce and using them in creative ways.

Redzepi has closed the doors of his famous restaurant, planning to move it – temporarily – to Sydney’s Barangaroo. Dubbed Noma Australia the pop-up dining experience is one of the most anticipated culinary events the city has ever seen – the $485 tickets were snapped up in a matter of seconds – and every food-lover in the county, nay the world, is anxious to see how Redzepi has channeled his extensive research on Australia’s fine produce (hint: he spent a lot of time in NT).

For more information click HERE.

Image Credit: Time Out Sydney

Sydney Opera House Summer Playground (Until 31st Jan)

Sydney Opera House always plays it’s hand during summer, and this year they’ll be bringing in a full Italian Riviera-inspired pop-up bar to the Western Boardwalk and inner Foyer. It’s on until the end of the month, putting a spin on the iconic space with Italian menu options set alongside SOH’s many Summer essentials like morning yoga, Music at the House (which includes performances from Four Tet, Disclosure, and Hot Chip), production Blanc de Blanc, and the Bennelong Balcony pop-up (as mentioned above).

Image Credit: Prudence Upton

Meriton Festival Village @ Sydney Festival (7th Jan to 26th Jan)

Sydney Festival Village is always one of the biggest pop-ups in the city every January, and 2016 is looking no difference as yet another incredibly diverse program of shows, concerts, talks, events, art exhibitions and more are spread throughout Sydney Festival. Sydney Festival Village will be propped up in the heart of Hyde Park for a few weeks, and if last year is anything to go by, look for a huge range of exciting food and drink outlets to help tempt you into spending all day, right alongside popular features like the Lawn Library, Late Night Library Storytelling, cabaret shows, and circus performances.

The Colonel
The Colonel

Burgers by Josh @ Greenwood Plaza, North Sydney (Throughout Jan/Feb; updates via social media)

Josh Arthurs has quickly become known as one of the ultimate burger lords in Sydney and his second summer residency at Greenwood Plaza in North Sydney comes as a result of high demand. Building a repute on massive, often excessive, and always indulgent burgers, he has established a market within the burger craze and the following that this pop-up is set to bring in is massive in scale (if his past pop-ups are anything to go by). It’ll be around from now (Jan 19th for a few weeks into February, but hopefully they extend the residency because demand for these burgers isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

For more information plus out behind the scenes look at Burgers by Josh click HERE


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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