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Where to find cheap eats at Comic-Con

Discount grub for under $10 is just a short walk away from the convention center

Comic-Con Cheap Eats Guide


Let’s face it, nobody comes to the Con for the food. And most Con-goers would prefer to spend their dollars on limited-edition vinyl Stan Lee dolls than a five-star dinner. So here’s a bargain-hunter’s guide to the best cheap eats within walking distance of the convention center.

Breakfast

Dunkin’ Donuts: East Coasters, rejoice. San Diego’s first Dunkin’ just opened in the Marina District. Your cookie dough swirl coffee and maple crumb cake doughnut are a brisk five-minute walk away and just a couple of bucks. 601 Pacific Highway. dunkindonuts.com.

Cafe 222: Gourmet Magazine spotlighted this sunny sit-down eatery’s hearty pumpkin waffle ($6.50) and kids’ pancake breakfasts are just $2.95. 222 Island Ave. cafe222.com.

Cine Market & Cafe: If you don’t mind “soup Nazi” service (according to some critics), this no-frills bodega makes killer breakfast sandwiches for $4.50, and its oversize sandwiches are $7. Late-night snackers can grab takeout until 2 a.m. 420 K St. (619) 595-1929.

Lunch/dinner

Pizza on 5th: Grab a slice for $3, or a prosciutto crudo panini for $7. Streetside tables make for ideal Con costume-watching. Open until 3 a.m. on weekends and delivery’s available in the Gaslamp. 734 Fifth Ave. pizzon5th.com.

Senor El Taquero: Want Tijuana-style tacos and burritos? The $5 takeout treats are worth the trek. 435 Broadway.

Gaslamp Pizza: The top-rated shop has served up slices ($3.50) for 12 years. 505 Fifth Ave. gaslamppizza.com.

Doner Mediterranean Grill: This just-opened Turkish/Lebanese cafe has racked up rave reviews for its wraps, bowls and salads, priced from $5 to $9. 823 Fifth Ave. mydonergrill.com.

Lucky’s Lunch Counter: Another spot for nostalgic Nor’easterners. Not the cheapest, but authentic as it gets. Fire dogs on poppy seed buns are $4.75 and overstuffed sandwiches are $9.75. 338 Seventh Ave. luckyslunchcounter.com.

Ralphs: Feeding a crowd? The supermarket’s huge deli counter has whole rotisserie chickens, eight-piece fried chicken samplers and half-racks of BBQ park ribs for $8-$9. Deli sandwiches are made with Boar’s Head meat, and there’s nice patio seating on G Street. First and G streets. ralphs.com.

Tin Fish: San Diego original fish-taco maker, Rubio’s doesn’t have a downtown shop, but this outlet across the street from Comic-Con offers a good alternative for $4. 170 Sixth Ave. tinfishgaslamp.com. 

Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cantina: Or head north a few blocks for $3.50 fish tacos at Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cantina. 301 Fifth Ave. rockinbaja.com.

Old Spaghetti Factory: Huge pasta portions and meals under $7 that include unlimited bread, soup and salad make this a popular stop with families and big eaters. Add a soft drink or ice cream for a buck. 275 Fifth Ave. osf.com.

Happy hour

McCormick & Schmick’s: The ultra-close steakhouse has killer deals from 4-6:30 p.m. weekdays, including $7 martinis and filling appetizers for $3 to $6. 675 L St. mccormickandschmicks.com.

Tivoli Bar & Grill: Downtown’s oldest bar (opened in 1885) serves $10 pitchers and $3 drafts from noon to 7 p.m. daily. 505 Sixth Ave. tivolibargrill.com.

Funky Garcia’s: From 3 p.m. to midnight, load up on $2.50 Tecate beer. $4 rolled tacos, $5 quesadillas and $8 carne asada fries. 421 Market St. funkygarcias.com.

Taste & Thirst: Half off all drinks and select appetizers like wings, tots and rings from 3-8 p.m. weekdays. 715 Fourth Ave. tasteandthirst.com.

pam.kragen@utsandiego.com

 
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