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Where to Eat and Drink During Comic-Con

The pop culture behemoth returns for its 50th Anniversary 

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The comic convention of all conventions is about to descend upon San Diego for almost an entire week of cool launches, sneak peeks, cosplayers, and movie star sightings. And while there are plenty of restaurants and bars within easy walking distance of the Convention Center and its hallowed Hall H, here are 14 spots that cover everything from themed dishes and drinks (hello, Star Wars-inspired cocktails and sushi) to favorite local hangouts with great happy hours.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. THE US GRANT

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326 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-3121
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Inspiration comes from the seven kingdoms for The Grant Grill’s Game of Thrones inspired cocktail tribute. The Mother of Dragons is served from a dragon egg, while other tipples include White Walker, King of The North, and The Three Eyed Raven — all of which can be paired with a Cersei’s Scottish Egg.

Next door at French-inspired cocktail lounge Rendevouz try The Dark Knight, crafted with Absinthe and rye whiskey it features a bat signal ice cube, or the gin-based Recton, which comes decorated with a SIPMI image of a flyer from the inaugural Comic-Con held at THE US GRANT in 1970.

2. Tocaya - San Diego

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755 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 343-2898
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Superheroes need to stay healthy too, and in celebration of the ‘Con Tocaya has added a few specials to their regular menu of salads, bowls, and burritos. Comprising two tacos, one side, and one agua fresca the Comic-Con Combo rings in at $9.95 or with the addition of a Revenge of The Margarita (blackberries, raspberries, organic lime juice, organic agave) bumps up to $14.95. 

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3. Theatre Box

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701 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 814-2225
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The Gaslamp’s new luxury cinema, dining and entertainment complex will run limited-edition menu items inspired by Marvel, Disney, and the like in the Sugar Factory American Brasserie and TCL Chinese Theatre. Themed Comic-Con dish highlights include The Deadpool Wrap, The Wonder Woman Salad, Captain America Burger (served in a blue bun), and The Hulk Sliders.

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4. Cowboy Star

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640 10th Ave
San Diego, CA
(619) 450-5880
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One of San Diego’s most sophisticated steakhouses offers a fine dining experience in East Village and decidedly more sedate change of pace to the hectic Convention Center. From the cocktail menu to the wine list, the American Wagyu short ribs to the signature steak tartare, everything here is stellar. 

Cowboy Star Courtesy Photo

5. The Lion's Share

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629 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 564-6924
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No ‘Con specials at this dimly-lit but warmly welcoming cocktail bar but there are some new dishes on the menu, including a corn soup with local crab, cilantro dust, and chorizo, and a bone-in filet with crawfish butter and English pea risotto. There’s a new cocktail list too, try something from the In Season page, like the Stolen Smoked Rum and NOLA Coffee liquor-based Quick Draw McGraw.

The Lion’s Share Courtesy Photo

6. Prohibition Lounge

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548 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-1919
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Underground speakeasy Prohibition has prepared three Jedi-inspired cocktails for Comic-Con including Crazy Old Ben made with Russell’s Reserve single-barrel bourbon and demerara. In honor of the Tatooine farm boy turned Jedi Knight himself, there’s Another Skywalker (also bourbon-based), and Use the Force Luke! crafted with Dobel añejo tequila, lime, honey, and R&D bitters. 

Courtesy of Prohibition

7. Mattarello Cooking Lab

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518 Sixth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(858) 717-0173
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Lucia Celi and Francesco Guardini’s low-key all-day eatery on Sixth Avenue is a great place to head for mid-morning bites, lunch, or a more leisurely dinner (it’s also BYOB). The bread and pasta – from the ravioli and farfalle to the tagliatelle – here are all made from scratch daily, there are sandwiches too and brunch on Sundays. On the sweet side, don’t miss the cannolis or tiramisu.

8. Puesto at the Headquarters

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7079, 789 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 233-8880
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Puesto’s Comic-Con offerings this year include the filet mignon and Maine lobster claw El Héroe taco (which also comes with melted cheese, avocado, and crispy onion strings), and the Villain Taco with fried calamari, a lemon-habanero tartar sauce, pickled avocado, watermelon radishes, and micro greens. Pair with cilantro-infused mezcal and watermelon margarita, the Trusty Sidekick.

Puesto/Courtesy Photo

9. The Cat Cafe

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472 Third Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 786-2289
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Get away from the chaos of Comic-Con and enjoy locally roasted coffee in the company of friendly adoptable (although not during the convention) felines, including Jacey The Bengal, Koji, and Lotus, among others. Author Amy Chu will be signing copies of her graphic novel Sea Sirens on opening night, and Cat Cafe merchandise with designs by Janet Lee (@dapper_janet) will be available.

10. Lionfish

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435 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 738-7200
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A short walk from the Convention Center, Pendry San Diego’s centerpiece is home to buzzy bar and lounge area with a more formal dining room just beyond. There’s a nightly happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. with $5 drafts and $8 craft cocktails, plus small plates including duck confit tostadas ($9) and $1 oysters.

11. Monzu Fresh Pasta

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455 Tenth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-5032
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East Village eatery Monzu is bringing back lunch service during Comic-Con this week only with specials like toasted focaccia panini, a buffalo mozzarella bowl and a truffle burrata, alongside other dishes from the regular menu. There will be a happy hour every day too, (noon to 6 p.m.) with 20% off all bottles of wine. For early bird evening eats check out the a la carte dinner offerings at 5 p.m. 

12. The Blind Burro

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639 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 795-7880
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Two cocktails in honor of Comic-Con will be available at The Burro, each served in a large goblet. In homage to former stormtrooper turned Resistance ally, Finn’s F’in Spicy Margarita is made with Partida Blanco, and Ancho Reyes Verde (a spicy, smoky chile liqueur), lime juice, and jalapeño syrup finished with a tajin rim, lime wedge, and serrano garnish. Stormtrooper figure (sadly) not included. 

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13. Sally's Fish House & Bar

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1 Market Pl
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 358-6740
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Star Wars fans should add Sally’s to their 2019 must-visits because, Star Wars-inspired sushi, lightsaber chopsticks, and Galactic cocktails are all on the menu. Across the plaza at Brew30, there’s a hefty double meat, double cheese, and double bacon Hulk Smash Burger served on a green bun, plus themed cocktails, including the Dark Phoenix (vodka, peach schnapps, sprite, cranberry juice).

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14. Odysea Lounge

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1 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 564-3333
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Welcome to the unofficial Comic-Con HQ where the Hilton’s lounge bar will be serving appropriately-themed cocktails during the convention. There’s the Toy Story 4-inspired Buzzed Lightyears (Grey Goose, St. Germain, Aperol), while Thunderdome fans will enjoy the bourbon-forward Madd Max. Gifted spy Natasha Romanoff also gets a nod with the rum-based Le Veuve Noire.

Katie Agner, PSAV

1. THE US GRANT

326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101

Inspiration comes from the seven kingdoms for The Grant Grill’s Game of Thrones inspired cocktail tribute. The Mother of Dragons is served from a dragon egg, while other tipples include White Walker, King of The North, and The Three Eyed Raven — all of which can be paired with a Cersei’s Scottish Egg.

Next door at French-inspired cocktail lounge Rendevouz try The Dark Knight, crafted with Absinthe and rye whiskey it features a bat signal ice cube, or the gin-based Recton, which comes decorated with a SIPMI image of a flyer from the inaugural Comic-Con held at THE US GRANT in 1970.

326 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101

2. Tocaya - San Diego

755 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy

Superheroes need to stay healthy too, and in celebration of the ‘Con Tocaya has added a few specials to their regular menu of salads, bowls, and burritos. Comprising two tacos, one side, and one agua fresca the Comic-Con Combo rings in at $9.95 or with the addition of a Revenge of The Margarita (blackberries, raspberries, organic lime juice, organic agave) bumps up to $14.95. 

755 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

3. Theatre Box

701 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy Photo

The Gaslamp’s new luxury cinema, dining and entertainment complex will run limited-edition menu items inspired by Marvel, Disney, and the like in the Sugar Factory American Brasserie and TCL Chinese Theatre. Themed Comic-Con dish highlights include The Deadpool Wrap, The Wonder Woman Salad, Captain America Burger (served in a blue bun), and The Hulk Sliders.

701 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

4. Cowboy Star

640 10th Ave, San Diego, CA
Cowboy Star Courtesy Photo

One of San Diego’s most sophisticated steakhouses offers a fine dining experience in East Village and decidedly more sedate change of pace to the hectic Convention Center. From the cocktail menu to the wine list, the American Wagyu short ribs to the signature steak tartare, everything here is stellar. 

640 10th Ave
San Diego, CA

5. The Lion's Share

629 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
The Lion’s Share Courtesy Photo

No ‘Con specials at this dimly-lit but warmly welcoming cocktail bar but there are some new dishes on the menu, including a corn soup with local crab, cilantro dust, and chorizo, and a bone-in filet with crawfish butter and English pea risotto. There’s a new cocktail list too, try something from the In Season page, like the Stolen Smoked Rum and NOLA Coffee liquor-based Quick Draw McGraw.

629 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

6. Prohibition Lounge

548 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy of Prohibition

Underground speakeasy Prohibition has prepared three Jedi-inspired cocktails for Comic-Con including Crazy Old Ben made with Russell’s Reserve single-barrel bourbon and demerara. In honor of the Tatooine farm boy turned Jedi Knight himself, there’s Another Skywalker (also bourbon-based), and Use the Force Luke! crafted with Dobel añejo tequila, lime, honey, and R&D bitters. 

548 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

7. Mattarello Cooking Lab

518 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Lucia Celi and Francesco Guardini’s low-key all-day eatery on Sixth Avenue is a great place to head for mid-morning bites, lunch, or a more leisurely dinner (it’s also BYOB). The bread and pasta – from the ravioli and farfalle to the tagliatelle – here are all made from scratch daily, there are sandwiches too and brunch on Sundays. On the sweet side, don’t miss the cannolis or tiramisu.

518 Sixth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

8. Puesto at the Headquarters

7079, 789 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Puesto/Courtesy Photo

Puesto’s Comic-Con offerings this year include the filet mignon and Maine lobster claw El Héroe taco (which also comes with melted cheese, avocado, and crispy onion strings), and the Villain Taco with fried calamari, a lemon-habanero tartar sauce, pickled avocado, watermelon radishes, and micro greens. Pair with cilantro-infused mezcal and watermelon margarita, the Trusty Sidekick.

7079, 789 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

9. The Cat Cafe

472 Third Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Get away from the chaos of Comic-Con and enjoy locally roasted coffee in the company of friendly adoptable (although not during the convention) felines, including Jacey The Bengal, Koji, and Lotus, among others. Author Amy Chu will be signing copies of her graphic novel Sea Sirens on opening night, and Cat Cafe merchandise with designs by Janet Lee (@dapper_janet) will be available.

472 Third Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

10. Lionfish

435 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

A short walk from the Convention Center, Pendry San Diego’s centerpiece is home to buzzy bar and lounge area with a more formal dining room just beyond. There’s a nightly happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. with $5 drafts and $8 craft cocktails, plus small plates including duck confit tostadas ($9) and $1 oysters.

435 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

11. Monzu Fresh Pasta

455 Tenth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

East Village eatery Monzu is bringing back lunch service during Comic-Con this week only with specials like toasted focaccia panini, a buffalo mozzarella bowl and a truffle burrata, alongside other dishes from the regular menu. There will be a happy hour every day too, (noon to 6 p.m.) with 20% off all bottles of wine. For early bird evening eats check out the a la carte dinner offerings at 5 p.m. 

455 Tenth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

12. The Blind Burro

639 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy Photo

Two cocktails in honor of Comic-Con will be available at The Burro, each served in a large goblet. In homage to former stormtrooper turned Resistance ally, Finn’s F’in Spicy Margarita is made with Partida Blanco, and Ancho Reyes Verde (a spicy, smoky chile liqueur), lime juice, and jalapeño syrup finished with a tajin rim, lime wedge, and serrano garnish. Stormtrooper figure (sadly) not included. 

639 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

13. Sally's Fish House & Bar

1 Market Pl, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy Photo

Star Wars fans should add Sally’s to their 2019 must-visits because, Star Wars-inspired sushi, lightsaber chopsticks, and Galactic cocktails are all on the menu. Across the plaza at Brew30, there’s a hefty double meat, double cheese, and double bacon Hulk Smash Burger served on a green bun, plus themed cocktails, including the Dark Phoenix (vodka, peach schnapps, sprite, cranberry juice).

1 Market Pl
San Diego, CA 92101

14. Odysea Lounge

1 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Katie Agner, PSAV

Welcome to the unofficial Comic-Con HQ where the Hilton’s lounge bar will be serving appropriately-themed cocktails during the convention. There’s the Toy Story 4-inspired Buzzed Lightyears (Grey Goose, St. Germain, Aperol), while Thunderdome fans will enjoy the bourbon-forward Madd Max. Gifted spy Natasha Romanoff also gets a nod with the rum-based Le Veuve Noire.

1 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

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