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A cocktail with a bottle of whiskey and box of Eggo waffles. Patrick Samokhvalof

Where to Eat and Drink at This Year’s Comic-Con

The pop culture phenomenon returns after a two-year hiatus.

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For the first time since 2019, Comic-Con International returns to the San Diego Convention Center, running July 21 to July 24 and bringing with it crowds of cosplayers, celebrity sightings, and sneak peeks at upcoming movies and TV shows.

This year’s food-themed tie-ins include a pop-up version of Mooby’s, the fictional restaurant often featured in works by filmmaker Kevin Smith. Tickets include a Mooby’s Meal comprised of a Moo Main like the Cow Tipper burger or the Half-Calf Unreal Cheesesteak and a side, with additional snacks, desserts, and drinks like Mooby’s Chronic Con Beer available for purchase. Coolhaus will have its ice cream truck parked at the Interactive Zone at Petco Park on Saturday, July 23 from 10 am. to 6 p.m. where it’s partnering with Paramount+ to give away limited edition “Wrath of P’Khan” ice cream sandwiches created to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the classic flick, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”.

While there are plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the Convention Center and its hallowed Hall H, (check out our handy maps of where to eat in the Gaslamp and the East Village), here’s a curated list of venues offering Comic-Con-themed dishes and drinks, from bites inspired by “Top Gun” to “Star Wars” and “Stranger Things” cocktails, along with a few other great area spots for when you need to escape from the fandom.

Note: map points are not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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While this opulent restaurant isn’t offering any specific deals, its design includes playful elements like a display of '70s-era robots at hostess stand and a huge 11-by-7-foot LED-backlit artwork of The Iron Giant behind the bar, making it the perfect Comic-Con-inspired backdrop for executive chef Tara Monsod’s menu that highlights her Filipino heritage with modern takes on kinilaw, lechon kawali, and kare kare. Reservations are recommended.

A mural behind a bar. James Tran

Lola 55 Tacos & Cocktails

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One of downtown’s top taco spots just happens to also serve top-notch cocktails in a stylish but casual setting. The all-day restaurant and bar cooks up a range of meat, seafood, and vegetable-based tacos, from the popular smoked carnitas and Baja fish to the vegan squash blossom relleno and “mindful mushroom.”

Sugar Factory American Brasserie

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Known for its over-the-top treats, the restaurant is featuring Comic-Con cocktail specials created by the Rock to celebrate his upcoming film, Black Adam. Starring his own Teremana Blanco Tequila, they include the People’s Anti-Hero, a combination of Teremana Blanco Tequila, Grand Marnier, triple sec, watermelon juice, limes, and pineapples topped with sour patch watermelon gummies, lime fruit slices, pink Cadillac gummies, and a grenadine floater and Shazam’s Archenemy made with Teremana Blanco Tequila, Hennessy, triple sec, lemonade, peaches and pineapples topped with gummy cherries, tropical drops and strawberry rock candy.

An opulent dining room. Haley Hill

The Lion's Share

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Seek respite from the crowds at this cozy drinking den with a 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. happy hour that recently released its new summer cocktail menu. One of San Diego’s best bars that also serves food, the sophisticated plates from chef Ted Smith showcase game meats like elk, boar, and venison.

The Lion’s Share Courtesy Photo

barleymash

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The longstanding bar is going full Super Mario this Comic-Con, partnering with liquor brands Bacardi, Grey Goose, and Patron to host a huge Mario-themed party on the upper level of the venue while turning the downstairs area into Donkey Kong’s jungle. Check out its infamous Anchorman-themed cocktails while you’re there.

A bar with TVs all around it. Barleymash

The Smoking Gun SD

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In honor of the Top Gun renaissance, the downtown restaurant is decking out its space in a Top Gun theme and releasing a special “Kick the Tires and Light the Fires!” menu that includes Great Balls of Fire (pretzel balls), Wingman (smoked wings), the Maverick double cheeseburger, and the Iceman Sundae.

Puesto at the Headquarters

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An easy walk from the Convention Center, this soaring restaurant and bar specializes in Mexico City-style tacos that come on corn tortillas cloaked in crispy cheese. Don’t skip its excellent cocktails, which include a spicy margarita spiked with habanero and a refreshing watermelon version made with fresh fruit.

A mural in a dining room. Puesto

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

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At the Top of the Hyatt, perched high above downtown, the hotel bar will be mixing up the Green Goblin, a cocktail combining tequila, Midori, lime, and sweet and sour mix.

A green cocktail. Top of the Hyatt

When you’re done with panels for the day, unwind at this East Village destination restaurant that offers commendable cocktails like the California Dreamin’ made with California gin, bitter bianco, lillet blanc, strawberry, and a breezy, shareable Cali-Mediterranean menu from chef Travis Swikard that includes housemade pita and hummus, local seafood, and can’t-miss pastas.

A plate of pasta with bread and a glass of wine. Kimberly Motos

Sovereign Modern Thai Cuisine

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In need of a quick lunch or casual group dinner? Look no further than this friendly Thai spot serving the cuisine’s popular curries and noodles as well as Thai fried chicken, whole fried local rockfish, spicy stir-fried mussels, and excellent Thai sausages.

A tableful of Thai dishes. Arlene Ibarra

The Blind Burro

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Head to the Blind Burro to score a Boba Fett keychain, which will garnish a cocktail special called the Boba Fett Basil Tatooin-arita ($22), made with tequila, Corralejo Blanco tequila, Magdala orange liqueur, triple Sec, lime Juice, fresh basil, and mango and blueberry boba. A green-hued mocktail, dubbed the Yoda Soda ($8) and featuring kiwi puree, lime juice, agave, mint, and soda water will also be available.

A cocktail garnished with a Boba Fett keychain. Patrick Samokhvalof

The Deck at Moonshine Flats

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Stranger Things fans can grab some barbecue and check out themed cocktails created to celebrate the Netflix show’s latest season. The bar will be mixing up the Lego Her Eggo, a whiskey sour garnished with a mini Eggo waffle, and the Demogorgon, made with Uncle Ed’s Dragon Berry vodka, cranberry, triple sec, and lime, each available for $11. All drink specials will be available from Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 24.

A cocktail with a bottle of whiskey and box of Eggo waffles. Patrick Samokhvalof

Sally's Fish House & Bar

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Sally’s is doing it up Star Wars-style this year with a Dark Vader burger on offer as well as a range of $18 cocktails inspired by the franchise that includes the Obi-Wan Aperobi with Disaronno, Aperol, and Empress Gin and the C3POSSA made with Don Julio Reposado, pineapple, lime, and prosecco.

Animae

A mural behind a bar. James Tran

While this opulent restaurant isn’t offering any specific deals, its design includes playful elements like a display of '70s-era robots at hostess stand and a huge 11-by-7-foot LED-backlit artwork of The Iron Giant behind the bar, making it the perfect Comic-Con-inspired backdrop for executive chef Tara Monsod’s menu that highlights her Filipino heritage with modern takes on kinilaw, lechon kawali, and kare kare. Reservations are recommended.

A mural behind a bar. James Tran

Lola 55 Tacos & Cocktails

One of downtown’s top taco spots just happens to also serve top-notch cocktails in a stylish but casual setting. The all-day restaurant and bar cooks up a range of meat, seafood, and vegetable-based tacos, from the popular smoked carnitas and Baja fish to the vegan squash blossom relleno and “mindful mushroom.”

Sugar Factory American Brasserie

An opulent dining room. Haley Hill

Known for its over-the-top treats, the restaurant is featuring Comic-Con cocktail specials created by the Rock to celebrate his upcoming film, Black Adam. Starring his own Teremana Blanco Tequila, they include the People’s Anti-Hero, a combination of Teremana Blanco Tequila, Grand Marnier, triple sec, watermelon juice, limes, and pineapples topped with sour patch watermelon gummies, lime fruit slices, pink Cadillac gummies, and a grenadine floater and Shazam’s Archenemy made with Teremana Blanco Tequila, Hennessy, triple sec, lemonade, peaches and pineapples topped with gummy cherries, tropical drops and strawberry rock candy.

An opulent dining room. Haley Hill

The Lion's Share

The Lion’s Share Courtesy Photo

Seek respite from the crowds at this cozy drinking den with a 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. happy hour that recently released its new summer cocktail menu. One of San Diego’s best bars that also serves food, the sophisticated plates from chef Ted Smith showcase game meats like elk, boar, and venison.

The Lion’s Share Courtesy Photo

barleymash

A bar with TVs all around it. Barleymash

The longstanding bar is going full Super Mario this Comic-Con, partnering with liquor brands Bacardi, Grey Goose, and Patron to host a huge Mario-themed party on the upper level of the venue while turning the downstairs area into Donkey Kong’s jungle. Check out its infamous Anchorman-themed cocktails while you’re there.

A bar with TVs all around it. Barleymash

The Smoking Gun SD

In honor of the Top Gun renaissance, the downtown restaurant is decking out its space in a Top Gun theme and releasing a special “Kick the Tires and Light the Fires!” menu that includes Great Balls of Fire (pretzel balls), Wingman (smoked wings), the Maverick double cheeseburger, and the Iceman Sundae.

Puesto at the Headquarters

A mural in a dining room. Puesto

An easy walk from the Convention Center, this soaring restaurant and bar specializes in Mexico City-style tacos that come on corn tortillas cloaked in crispy cheese. Don’t skip its excellent cocktails, which include a spicy margarita spiked with habanero and a refreshing watermelon version made with fresh fruit.

A mural in a dining room. Puesto

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

A green cocktail. Top of the Hyatt

At the Top of the Hyatt, perched high above downtown, the hotel bar will be mixing up the Green Goblin, a cocktail combining tequila, Midori, lime, and sweet and sour mix.

A green cocktail. Top of the Hyatt

Callie

A plate of pasta with bread and a glass of wine. Kimberly Motos

When you’re done with panels for the day, unwind at this East Village destination restaurant that offers commendable cocktails like the California Dreamin’ made with California gin, bitter bianco, lillet blanc, strawberry, and a breezy, shareable Cali-Mediterranean menu from chef Travis Swikard that includes housemade pita and hummus, local seafood, and can’t-miss pastas.

A plate of pasta with bread and a glass of wine. Kimberly Motos

Sovereign Modern Thai Cuisine

A tableful of Thai dishes. Arlene Ibarra

In need of a quick lunch or casual group dinner? Look no further than this friendly Thai spot serving the cuisine’s popular curries and noodles as well as Thai fried chicken, whole fried local rockfish, spicy stir-fried mussels, and excellent Thai sausages.

A tableful of Thai dishes. Arlene Ibarra

The Blind Burro

A cocktail garnished with a Boba Fett keychain. Patrick Samokhvalof

Head to the Blind Burro to score a Boba Fett keychain, which will garnish a cocktail special called the Boba Fett Basil Tatooin-arita ($22), made with tequila, Corralejo Blanco tequila, Magdala orange liqueur, triple Sec, lime Juice, fresh basil, and mango and blueberry boba. A green-hued mocktail, dubbed the Yoda Soda ($8) and featuring kiwi puree, lime juice, agave, mint, and soda water will also be available.

A cocktail garnished with a Boba Fett keychain. Patrick Samokhvalof

The Deck at Moonshine Flats

A cocktail with a bottle of whiskey and box of Eggo waffles. Patrick Samokhvalof

Stranger Things fans can grab some barbecue and check out themed cocktails created to celebrate the Netflix show’s latest season. The bar will be mixing up the Lego Her Eggo, a whiskey sour garnished with a mini Eggo waffle, and the Demogorgon, made with Uncle Ed’s Dragon Berry vodka, cranberry, triple sec, and lime, each available for $11. All drink specials will be available from Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 24.

A cocktail with a bottle of whiskey and box of Eggo waffles. Patrick Samokhvalof

Sally's Fish House & Bar

Sally’s is doing it up Star Wars-style this year with a Dark Vader burger on offer as well as a range of $18 cocktails inspired by the franchise that includes the Obi-Wan Aperobi with Disaronno, Aperol, and Empress Gin and the C3POSSA made with Don Julio Reposado, pineapple, lime, and prosecco.

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