Become a Hipster Pop-Up in 10 Easy Steps

Categories: LOLS

Camila McHugh

San Francisco is the king of hipster pop-ups. And we love it. Here's what you need to do to throw your fedora in the ring:

1. Put an egg on it: You can slap that free-range, olive-oil-fried egg on everything from burgers to bimbimbap. Eggs come from chickens, chickens are birds, and birds are painfully hipster. A true indie pop-up not only boasts a chef with owl-framed glasses, but an option to pay an extra buck to adorn pretty much anything with an egg.

2. Get on that Instagram hype: How much does a hipster weigh? An instagram! This smartphone app turns your average Joe into a pro food photographer and is a must have to document every step of prep and presentation. Let's be honest, that triple-fried chicken sandwich looks even tastier through a Valencia filter.

3. Think fusion: You know what's not cool? A regular hot dog. You know what's almost too cool to function? A hot dog fried in bacon fat, covered in sweet and sour slaw, doused with a secret Korean BBQ sauce, and served in an Acme roll.

4. Get a punny/ironic name: As a pop-up, you can play around a little with your name before you tone it down for a brick-and-mortar. Curry up now before your twist on "Seoul" gets snatched up by another sneaky Korean fusionist. Don't be afraid to stick in a reference to yourself -- are you the Bulgogi Baron, the Bacon Apple Pie Guy, or the Cupcake-on-a-Stick Lady? Own it.

5. Worship the Mission Street Food Cookbook: This is your bible. Take a peek at any self-respecting pop-up chef's bookshelf and you are guaranteed to find Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz's eclectic reflection on their improbable restaurant. Go get yours and read it about a million times to soak up every bit of knowledge you can from the pop-up that knows how to be both hipster and successful.

6. Read Mission Mission: Read it every day for a week. You'll be a different person. And just that much closer to pop-up stardom.

7. Partner with an obscure coffee company: Even San Francisco's favorite brews (rhymes with Tlue Tlottle and Door Darrel) are too mainstream for you. Your coffee company preferably paddles their coffee over from Bolivia in a canoe and delivers it to you by unicycle. Oh, and speaking of drinks: You've got to have Thai iced tea or Vietnamese iced coffee, and some agua fresca with basil in it on tap.

8. Don't cook in a real restaurant: You tried, but it wasn't for you. That's why you're popping-up! (Cue inspirational backstory.) Watch YouTube videos, befriend some chefs, and read lots of books instead of shilling for The Man.

9. Meet the other pop-ups: Lure them in with free whiskey and hope they tweet at you. If they like your food, maybe you guys can be friends and go play some Berlin-style ping pong together.

10. Launch a Kickstarter campaign: Even when you're living the hipster pop-up dream, you've still got future plans for a brick-and-mortar with a toned-down name and a slightly staider menu. You probably just left a good job to get your pop-up going, so get your name out there with folks looking to invest in the next cool thing.

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My Voice Nation Help

This is truly, painfully unfunny.  I really hope you guys aren't paying this person.


It seems to me that you are harping on one pop-up in particular. Your last "article" also happened to be about a Korean pop-up. You throw around words without definitions as insults, and talk down about passionate and talanted chefs. If you want to be a journalist, meet the amazing folks who put their well being on the line to bring new dining experiences to an SF dominated by restraunters battling over who can be the next Ray Croc. Please spare us your "YELP" style remarks on how a place you've never been, seems like it might be like some where you haven't been. We all read the racist "hipster" Asian food article on Grub Street, and now you've decided it would be cool to jump on that train, call names, and slam on other peoples heritage, culture, and careers. I will continue to support the creative people at Rice Paper Scissors, Stag Dinning Group, Lazy Bear, oh and especially Seoul Patch! Keep up the good work with your pop-ups, and ignore this hater, she probably burns her toast.


Is this what passes for journalism or hell even good writing these days?  Become a faux critic in 10 easy steps.  1.  Write about a restaurant and then crack on their work a few articles later.  2.  Adopt a "I'm so clever" tone about dozens of creative badasses in a city where it's fucking hard to survive and cook.  3.  Take a big jab at a few of the only funding options left if you don't want to get in bed with dirty banks who usually won't lend to restaurants anyway.  4.  Pretend you are a writer by making oh-so-ironic lists.  5.  Be sure to try to get ahead by crapping on a large swath of folks trying to get out from under the celebrity chef b.s. that comes with the territory by doing their own thing.  6.  Throw around hipster as a slur while desperately trying to be hip.  7.  Use your platform to make unoriginal comments directed at the people who will eventually turn you away from their spots.  8.  Adopt an attitude that people trying to be cool are over the top and ridiculous while you are cool and judgmental.  9.  Harp on how folks in the same boat try to build some community so they can fucking survive. 10.  Lose a regular reader with a snarky mess of a piece that contributes nothing to the conversation.


Fuck.  Even fucking sustenance is "hipster" now?  How about an article about how fucking "hipster" is "hipster" now.....or an article about how fucking "hipster" commenting about fucking "hipster" this and that or whatever.  Fucking hipster.

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