The hottest ticket this week is also one of the year’s biggest events: Comic-Con International takes San Diego from Wednesday to Sunday. It's far-and-away the largest Comic-Con convention in North America, including a mish-mash of programs, screenings and workshops devoted to not only comic culture, but also pop culture, sci-fi, movies, television, gaming, and more. Downtown restaurants will be flooded with roughly 130,000 attendees and many proprietors are extending the experience by offering themed foods and cocktails. Read below for top spots to grab a drink, bite or treat.
Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room is upping its Comic-Con offerings with drinks and food specials, starting this Thursday. Eight dollar cocktails include The Hammered Hulk (pictured on the left) with Malibu rum, blue curacao, Tito’s vodka, midori, pineapple juice and a dash of Sprite, and Kryptonite, made with blue curacao, tequila, lime and simple syrup and garnished with a cherry Pop Rocks rim. There’s also a Fizz-tastic Four champagne flight ($22) that goes well with the menu's chicken liver mousse and smoked salmon tartare. 531 F St.; 619-255-5152
ALTITUDE Sky Lounge at the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter is the closest thing to flying at this convention. They’re offering special cocktails inspired by two well-known DC and Marvel characters. Drink Thor’s Hammer, a mix of orange vodka, peach schapps and orange juice dropped into a glass filled with Red Bull. Or sip Superman, made with Stoli vanilla, orange and raspberry vodkas, white cranberry and pineapple juices with a splash of grenadine. 660 K St.; 619-696-0234
Andaz Hotel's RoofTop600 has another awe-inspiring view of the scene below. Take in the sights and relax with their Star Trek-inspired shot, Beam Me Up Scotty. It’s a combination of coffee liquor, crème de banana and Bailey’s. Video games also get a shout out with the Power Up cocktail referencing Super Mario Bros. The orange-flavored vodka, peach schnapps and Red Bull cocktail combo will fuel your adventures. 600 F St.; 619-849-1234
All hotels in the vicinity of the convention center are prime spots to potentially catch celebrities. But head to The Westin San Diego where Seth MacFarlane, Sandra Bullock and Stacy Kiebler have been spotted in the past. While waiting, order up their Super Hero Smash, a vodka cocktail infused with strawberries and mixed with lime and blue curacao served on the rocks. 400 West Broadway; 619-239-4500
Searsucker is getting into the cocktail game with several pop culture-themed options. Choose from Catching Fire, Darth Vader, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, Captain America or The Walking Dead. 611 5th Ave.; 619-233-7327
Saltbox is serving up eight different cocktails. Look out for Bon Temps Blood Bank with Ron Zacapa rum, beet purée, lemon juice, ginger cane syrup and chocolate bitters, topped with a ginger beet and served in a Mason jar. It goes well with their Socal poutine and housemade soft pretzels. 1047 5th Ave.; 619-515-3093
BiCE San Diego is offering a bunch of happy hour specials from 5-7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday and all day Sunday. Specials include Hulk’s Green Beans, fried green beans with a gorgonzola truffle sauce, Spider-Man Webbed Cheese (pictured above), blue cheese cotton candy concoction, and a Katniss Cocktail made of whisky, ginger beer, simple syrup, mint and lemon juice — all for $5. 425 Island Ave.; 619-239-2423
Puesto at the Headquarters has their own kind of superhero but comes in the form of a taco. El Heróe Taco features the restaurant's handmade flour tortilla topped obster and filet mignon, crispy melted cheese, onions, avocado and pistachio jalapeño salsa. The special El Héroe Margarita is made with Gran Centenario, fresh lime, fresh mango, coconut and tajin. Find his image on the menus throughout the restaurant and on shirts.
789 W Harbor Dr. #155; 619-233-8880
The Blind Burro is turning their eye towards the Sharknado phenomena with food and cocktail specials. Order burritos filled with carne asada, chicken and even smoked shark meat with peppers, onions, cheese and rice. Shark tacos are available for $5. Wash it down with an ocean blue Shark Bite margarita-style drink with Espolon Blanco Tequila, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice and lime. It's topped with a shark gummy worm. 639 J St.; 619-795-7880
Tin Roof restaurant is making it easier for conventioneers to pick up food in a jiffy without resorting to the overpriced fare at the convention center. Stop by from 7-10 AM for the breakfast burrito, filled with egg, cheese, potato and bacon with a side of salsa and fruit. Lunch options include a chicken, veggie or chop salad wrap with chips and housemade salsa. All of these options are $5 as well. 401 G St.
If you order up the Captain America at The Commons Bar you’ll receive the restaurant’s signature chicken wings with a cocktail named after the Sentinel of Liberty. Citrus, sweet tea vodka, grenadine and curacao are topped with frozen lemonade. Enjoy this paring while taking a break from the convention. 901 4th Ave.; 619-696-8888
Spike Africa’s has reworked its menu for Comic-Con, adding Aquaman Fish and Chips and a Bruce Wayne Burger to the regular menu. You an also check out cocktails like the Kryptonite Martini with Svedka vodka, pepperoncinis with olive brine or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cup with gin, fresh lime, cucumber and honey syrup. 411 Broadway; 619-795-3800
There are no food specials at RA Sushi. Instead, find sushi rolls with pop-culture references woven in like Tuna Takei, featuring seared Ahi tuna with an onion soy vinaigrette and a Zombie roll with spicy salmon, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeño, topped with avocado and Sriracha. 474 Broadway; 619-321-0021
The lineup at Donut Bar this week is sure to be even longer thanks to the donuts they're decorating just for the big event. Last year, they unveiled donuts that appealed to fans of Hello Kitty, Wolverine, Captain America and Batman and they promise to outdo themselves this year with things like Deadpool- and Iron Man-themed donuts and an Infinity Gauntlet bear claw (pictured at the top). 631 B St.; 619-255-6360
The Cravory has partnered with The US Grant Hotel to offer cookies with a comic spin. There's the Hulkinator, a green birthday cake dough cookie with green sprinkles that crushes other cookie counterparts in sheer size, the Kryptonite, a chocolate cookie studded with semi-sweet chocolate chunks, Rolos and caramel candies, and the Chewbacca Treat, with the shop’s signature dough, milk chocolate chunks, a caramel ribbon and marshmallows. Finally there's Captain Grant, a red velvet cookie with Guittard white and semi-sweet chocolate chips with a blue and white chocolate drizzle. It’s complimentary to guests of the hotel but you can also get some for yourself at The Cravory's Point Loma location for $2 each. 326 Broadway; 619-232-3121