Ah, Comic Con. The beautifully weird event that brings hundreds of thousands of people to our fair city. You can feast your eyes on ill-fitting spandex costumes and glimpses of celebrities, but those things won’t fill your stomach. Instead,check out the best places to eat in downtown San Diego and nosh on tasty treats while you’re researching things to do at the convention center:
Neighborhood (777 G St, San Diego)
Bite sized corndogs, steak tartar, butter poached mussels, and a slew of sauces made in house because they don’t “believe in ketchup.” Neighborhood is the cheeky gastropub to complement your Comic Con experience. Their beer list will give you a solid understanding of San Diego’s budding craft beer culture. Looking for stronger spirits? There’s a speak easy style bar inside, Noble Experiment, but you have to find its entrance to earn your drink.
Bootlegger (804 Market St)
The most important thing you need to know about Bootlegger is that they serve up a mean plate of chicken and waffles. This isn’t your granny’s chicken, this finger-lickin’ good plate features fresh fried chicken, a maple ‘gastrique’ (excuse the fancy jargon, they mean syrup), and a side of smoked gouda mac and cheese. Your cholesterol levels will be through the roof, but you’ll be too happy to care.
Bang Bang (526 Market St)
I can’t visit this place without the Jessie J song popping into my head (if you don’t know it, consider yourself lucky). Bang Bang hosts some of EDM’s most banging DJs by night, and by day, it dishes up sushi rolls with names like “Kill Bill” and “Karate Kick.” The Asian cuisine will have your tastebuds waxing on and waxing off. Pro tip: Take a trip to the bathroom with camera in tow, the stalls are themed and plastered with pictures of your favorite celebs, like Ryan “Hey Girl” Gosling and Hello Kitty.
Donut Bar (631 B Street)
Donut Bar has won more medals than Michael Phelps. The downtown bakery serves hundreds of donuts each day and sells out no matter what. Get there bright and early to sink your teeth into a dulce de leche cronut, creme brulee donut, or fluffy pink donut inspired by the man, the myth, the legend–Homer Simpson.
Burger Lounge (528 5th Avenue)
Quick, cheap, and delectable, Burger Lounge is the perfect option for the comic book lover on the go. Grass-fed beef, ahi tuna, turkey, and house-made veggie patties await you on a fluffy bun or on a nutritious bed of greens. The beauty of Burger Lounge is you can make your plate as healthy or indulgent as you want. Everyone in your group will have an order they can Instagram (to the dismay of their followers–let’s cool it with the food pics, guys).
Puesto (789 W Harbor Dr #155)
Before America’s Finest City was known for hosting Comic Con, it was renowned for its Mexican food. Staying true to tradition, Puesto delivers sassy street tacos that will have you reconsidering your religion. I’ve been worshipping at the house of tacos for quite some time. And as a Mexican food deacon, I’m proud to endorse Puesto. With vegetarian eats as well as carnivorous delights, you’ll savor every last spicy mouthful.
Barleymash (600 5th Avenue)
American classics with a contemporary twist. Barleymash is in the heart of the Gaslamp and serves up delicious bites and cocktails daily. Menu highlights include burgers on homemade buns comprised of three tasty cuts of meat, iron fries (mountains of piping hot potatoes covered in gourmet toppings, think pork belly confit and pepper jack beer cheese sauce), and luscious libations (my favorite is the No. 48- Markers Mark bourbon, vanilla-spiced liqueur, Amaretto, Orgeat, Angostura bitters, lemon, strawberry). Annnnnd if you’re looking to make your Comic Con weekend even more festive, stick around post-dinner to get your groove on! The restaurant opens up into a dance floor and SD locals have been known to bust a groove.
To all those attending Comic Con, have fun and may the food force be with you!