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.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink During Comic-Con
The pop culture behemoth returns for its 50th Anniversary
1. THE US GRANT
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
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.
3. Theatre Box
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
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.
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5. The Lion's Share
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.
6. Prohibition Lounge
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.
7. Mattarello Cooking Lab
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
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.
9. The Cat Cafe
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.
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.
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11. Monzu Fresh Pasta
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
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
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).
14. Odysea Lounge
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.