Some of Atlanta’s hottest restaurants aren’t restaurants at all: They’re pop-ups hosted by up-and-coming chefs, sometimes in existing restaurants and sometimes in secret locations. The undisputed star of the pop-up scene in Atlanta is Seung Hee Lee of Korean Fusion (thekoreanfusion.com), co-author of the cookbook Everyday Korean ($30, Countryman Press). She frequently delights her enthusiastic devotees and social media followers with pop-up dinners at spots around town like a mano and Root Baking Co. with her Korean eats and interesting ingredients—recent dishes included the likes of pickled Korean baby pumpkin and soy-marinated prawns. She collaborates across town on special events as well, like with a team-up with Jiyeon Lee of Heirloom BBQ. Lee also hosts secret suppers once a month in various private residences, and the only way to get access to this small, intimate setting is by getting on her list.
Other pop-ups to keep an eye out for include Miami import Ebi Chop Bar (ebimiami.com), run by Cleophus Hethington, executive chef at The Lawrence. Hethington explores the African diaspora through his highly executed dishes, including ingredients like dukkah, sorrel and benne seeds. Vinetta (vinettaatl.com) is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Amanda Newsom and Joel Penn. Their pop-up appears at restaurants like Brush Sushi in Decatur with whimsically plated modern American food.