New Orleans is a foodie town, no doubt. From crawfish étouffée to beignets to muffalettas to oyster po’ boys, the city has both a thriving local cuisine and some of the finest examples of classical fine cooking anywhere.

But it’s just as hard to open a restaurant in New Orleans as it is anywhere else—especially if you have a concept, like vegetarian Taiwanese food, or noodles ‘n’ pie, that you’re not sure is going to fly with a wide audience.

Enter the pop-up restaurant, a growing trend even in the culinary capitals of North America. (In fact, we wrote about pop-up restaurants earlier this year.)

Pop-up restaurants—in New Orleans, anyway—generally show up in other restaurants during their off-hours. Often, they’re run by chefs who own other restaurants, as is the case with Eman Loubier, who runs Dante’s Kitchen, and now also runs the pop-up Noodles and Pie.

Yes, Noodles and Pie.

According to this article in, New Orleans chefs looking to start small, start flexible, or start serving foods with niche appeal are turning to pop-up restaurants to avoid costly up-front costs and expensive gambles. And little to no overhead means chefs can offer high-quality food at reasonable prices.

That’s not to say running a pop-up is easy. Limited refrigerator space, marketing challenges and time constraints can make the ventures challenging.

But for chefs looking to start out or experiment and established restaurants looking to make a little extra income, pop-ups offer the best of all worlds.

What do you think? Do pop-ups have staying power?

Image credit: Infrogmation