Many North American cities have embraced pop-up food markets with wide-open arms. Toronto’s Underground Market holds monthly pop-ups at Evergreen Brick Works, a pop-up market emerged underneath New York’s famous High Line and San Diego has just implemented its first food market at the beginning of 2013 on National Avenue.
It bears the question- what is so attractive about pop-up food markets? Is the allure the interesting spaces and locations that these events are held? Is there widespread desire to sample unique food from various restaurants and vendors? Or is it the knowledge that the market may not exist next year, next month or even next week that draws crowds to pop-up markets? Maybe it’s all of the above.
Pop-up markets create a platform for existing and emerging food vendors to showcase their skills to their peers, critics and admirers. In many cases, these events serve as job-interviews for many aspiring chefs. It also provides restaurants with an opportunity to test and obtain feedback on new recipes.
Furthermore, pop-up markets are increasingly attracting foodies from diverging backgrounds. These events provide opportunities for differing social groups to bond over their love for fish tacos. And who knows, maybe bond over other things?
While the economic and social justifications for pop-up markets can be disputed, what is indisputable is the fact that these events are delicious, affordable, fun and here to stay.