If it’s your first time going to SDCC and the first time going to San Diego at all, you might be paralyzed with fear of getting around an unknown city, but never fear! There are more than a few places that will save your butt. From a quick snack between panels to emergency supplies to nighttime outfits, here's a list of 5 places I can walk to with my eyes closed from practice over the years. Know these spots and you too can relax and enjoy your trip without panicking.
Get a taco
Look you’re hungry. And con food sucks. And you don’t have time to hit up a restaurant for a sitdown because there is SO MUCH cool stuff to see! So, head a little north to Lolita’s Taco Shop and get yourself some grub. The food is tasty, fresh, quick, and reasonably priced. Downside? It is near the con so it’s a flip of the coin whether it is empty or is full up out the door.
Get yourself some night clothes
So you’re ready to go out with your friends for a nice night on the town but…you forgot to pack clean clothes. Look, literally no one will care if you go out in your Wicked & Divine t-shirt and shorts, but maybe YOU care, and that’s the important thing. In that case, you can head over to the mall at Westfield Horton Plaza and pick yourself up something nice at like Macy’s or something. I was going to recommend vintage repro shop Tatyana Boutique but guess what? They closed down because we can’t have nice things.
Stock up on actual groceries, you’ll thank yourself in the morning
This goes for the folks in hotels near the con. Save yourself some cash on buying that Starbucks iced coffee every day (the line-ups are too intense anyways) and head over to Grocery Outlet Bargain Market to stock up on supplies before the con begins. Super cheap and when you’re waking up at the break of dawn, you’ll be thankful for that fridge full of caffeine you can stumble to in your room. Note: There’s also an Albertson’s a block away if you are put off by the words outlet or bargain, but that’s silly. Why not save some coin for those SDCC exclusives?
The Marquis is your friend
OK, so you probably didn’t get a hotel at The Marquis, the most competitive hotel at the con, but it does connect directly to the convention centre. So if you need a sit-down meal at a place nearby, they have a pretty spectacular breakfast buffet and some good overall dining at their restaurant (you’re sacrificing cost for location though, so save this for an occasional thing). And even better, go to the Tequila Bar & Grille to enjoy a drink by the pool in between events.
Know your CVS
I can’t think of a single time that I’ve remembered every single thing at a convention. From emergency sunblock, to makeup, shampoo, snacks, drinks, and wine, you best memorize your way to the closest CVS. Luckily there’s one right nearby at Market and 7th.
There you go! As you enjoy your con, you’ll be able to find more spots that will become YOUR go-tos, but this is a good starting off point until you find that magical empty restaurant that always serves your favourite food every year.
For more San Diego Comic-Con tips and tricks, visit our SDCC Prep Week page.