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One of the fascinating things about this region is a that we love a good pop-up. Think events, food, fashion and more. If someone wants to give something a go, chances are they’ll find a willing audience to test their products on.
And while bricks and mortar may be the ambition of many a budding restaurateur, for others, the idea of a hefty rent, constrained spaces and ongoing overheads leave little to be desired.
Enter the pop-up.
Here in the Northern Rivers, a food pop-up food is something you’re likely to see, well, popping up all over the place. It works for those who run them and oh how it works for me too! The food is always fun and the venues are always relaxed. If you’re a local, it’s easy to get the swing of things, knowing where and when the regulars strut their stuff. But if you’re just visiting the area, it might be a little harder to know where and when to look out for good food. Beyond the usual market options (and there’s plenty of those), here’s a few you might want to put on your radar:
Mullum’s Paddock Project does pop-up wood fired pizza at the Brunswick Fishermans’ Co-op on Fridays and Saturdays. Best to check their Facebook for times and more information.
Luscious, one of my favourite cafes (which is sadly up for sale) in the A&I District does pop-up pizza at Mullumbimby and Ocean Shores. Check their page for details.
My local pop-up is the sublime Il Carretto. This mobile wood fire pizza outfit is a fixture at Bangalow on Tuesdays, Clunes on Thursdays and Bexhill on Fridays. It’s a good idea to reserve your dough in advance!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat pizza all the time! Other ideas are:
Shoza Gyoza pop-up at Clunes on Friday nights and Newrybar Merchants for Saturday lunch. Delicious dumplings.
Seven Mile Brewing in Ballina has rotating food trucks on the weekends so you can eat some nice food and try some craft beer.
The Nellie M Prawn Trawler operates out of Brunswick Heads and pops-up – well, ok, floats up – on mornings where they’ve been out trawling for prawns overnight. Watch their Facebook page to know when to head down, and you won’t get fresher prawns.
The ironically named Thursday Night Fish pops up on Wednesday nights in Lennox. I’ve had this on my list to get to for ages, drooling over the menus each week, so if you beat me there, let me know how tasty it is!