Pop-Up Dining On Any Budget

May 17, 2011 7:00 AM

Outstanding in the Field

(credit: Outstanding in the Field)

The pop-up dining trend has been sweeping the globe, but for some adventurous folks, spending a fortune is not on the menu. 

Chefs and food enthusiasts agree—the unconventional dining movement is about great food and the spirit of communal dining. It’s not about exclusivity. Sadly, “adventurous eating” often comes with a hefty price tag—until now.


For those in the cheap seats, grab a picnic lunch at Pastoral and head to Millennium Park.

Pastoral features only the best local and international meats and cheeses and their sandwiches are a force to be reckoned with.

Several days throughout the week, Millennium Park offers the lunch break music series and evening concerts for free. Picnics are encouraged and you can BYOB!

Great food, sweet tunes. Heaven.

53 E Lake St
(between Wabash Ave & Dearborn St)
Chicago, IL 60601
$5-$20 per person

Music in Millennium Park Summer Schedule: explorechicago.org


(credit: Sinha)


By day, Jorgina Pereira is a caterer, but Every Sunday she opens her home to you and cooks up a Brazilian storm!

This is as authentic as it gets. You are treated like a long lost relative and I promise, you won’t have a better sampling of Brazilian cuisine anywhere else in the city. The brunch is buffet style, so bring your second stomach.

2018 W. Adams
$30 per person, BYOB
Brunch only. 2pm-6 p.m.

Reservations are a must—there are usually only two seatings.

Monday Night Dining Series, Kendall College

This is one of Chicago’s best kept secrets. The meals here are prepared and served by students. Often the dining room is set communal style and the corkage fee is waived for the Monday Night Series for a BYOB event. At the end of the dinner, the head chef greets guests and participates in an exclusive Q & A about the meal, region, and ingredients.

Count on never having the same meal twice—each quarter, the students focus on a different region.
This quarter focuses on American cuisine, including the Southwest and Midwest regions for the rest of this program.
5 courses for $38. Enough said.

Kendall College
900 N.North Branch Street
Chicago, IL 60642

Reservations are a must!
Call 312.752.2328 or make your reservations online.

Upcoming Dinners:
May 23rd, and June 6th

$38 per person, per banquet, which includes non-alcoholic beverages and sales tax, but does not include gratuity.

Each banquet begins at 7:00 p.m. (seating begins at 6:30 p.m.)

BYOB, corkage fee waived for the Monday Series


(credit: Clandestino)


Efrain Cuevas of Clandestino does it best. He is the leading food-creative in Chicago and no dinner will ever be the same.

$80 usually buys you about 6 courses and a meal you will remember for the rest of your life.

Each feast takes place at a different location, some of which have included an old Chicago mansion, an artist studio, and a pottery barn in the country.

Clandestino will host their next two dinners on June 11th and 25th.

Please note that Clandestino does host events for under $80 and is BYOB

For upcoming dinners, events, and more information: http://clandestinodining.org/

Outstanding in the Field

(credit: Outstanding in the Field)

Outstanding in the Field

This is the crème de la crème—the ultimate dining experience.

Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive.

The price drops in at about $200 a head, but mark my words—it’s worth every penny.

Imagine the sun setting and a small farm as your backdrop. The food? Holy smokes.

Each year Outstanding in the Field commissions reputable chefs and farmers from all over the country to host an impressive one-of-kind event in their respective region.

Past chefs have included Stephanie Izard, Paul Kahan, and Mindy Segal to name a few.
Buy your tickets now. They sell out fast.

Tickets are still available for the Green Acres dinner with Bill Kim & Bare Knuckles feast with Paul Virant. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: outstandinginthefield.com

Stephanie Lu Jokich is a corporate concierge and lover of all things food and drink. She encourages you to invite her to dinner with her project Good Food.

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