Fantasy Meets Reality with Comic-Con-Inspired Cocktails, Dishes and More | San Diego Businesses Dare to Create a Pop Culture Frenzy For Comic Con International San Diego

July 19, 2014

Comic-Con San Diego’s multi-genre entertainment convention is just around the corner! One of the largest conventions in the United States, Comic Con draws more than 100,000 attendees annually from across the country to share in the celebration of comic books, film, television and other pop culture entertainment. Taking place July 24-27, Comic-Con International 2014 is flying in quickly and downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District is turning up the heat this summer with a wide variety of happenings to celebrate the world's largest pop culture convention. Check out our list of some of the most super offerings in town!

Batman is turning 75, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are celebrating their 30th birthday and Hellboy made it to 20. A celebration is in order! Get into the Comic-Con spirit with the below specials.

Holy Shishito Chicken
It’s time for Comic-Con goers to meet their maki. RA Sushi has tapped into the alter ego of some of their most popular menu items to create six specials that will run during the conference. Guests will find a weakness for rolls like the Scallop Kryponite, a mix of kani kama crab and cream cheese rolled in rice and seaweed, lightly tempura battered and topped with scallops and mushrooms baked in dynamite sauce. A salute to one of pop culture’s most loveable icons, the Tuna Takei is thinly sliced, seared ahi tuna with onion soy vinaigrette. Perfect for late night feasting, the Zombie Roll is a combination of ingredients good enough to wake the dead: spicy salmon, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeño rolled and topped with avocado and sriracha. RA’s special menu will be available from open to close Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27.

ALTITUDE's Superman cocktail
ALTITUDE Sky Lounge, the highest rooftop lounge on the West Coast at the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, is ready to take on Comic-Con by highlighting some amazing comic inspired cocktails. The “Superman” is a treat for an eyes as it is in flavor. Featuring Stoli vanilla, orange and raspberry vodka, white cranberry and pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine, the cocktail has the strength of Superman, but the sweetness of Clark Kent! For those looking for a more traditional shot, “Thor’s Hammer” will be the drink for them. Orange Vodka, Peach Schnapps and a splash of orange juice are mixed and dropped into a glass of red bull. The shot definitely packs a punch!

Tin Roof's special $5 'Pick Up + Go' menu with you available on Thursday, July 24th - Sunday, July 27th from 7am-2pm especially for Comic-Con. As visitors make their way through the Gaslamp, Tin Roof will have all options available and ready to go for pick up - no call ahead ordering needed. Whether you are a first time Comic-Con attendee or a long time veteran, you know a lot of time will be spent waiting in line - Tin Roof can help get you power through those lines and enjoy the day. Tin Roof's Breakfast Burrito will be available from 7am-10am. Lunch will include offerings such as the chicken wrap and chop salad wrap.

In a place where good food triumphs over evil, guests can fuel up before fighting the convention center crowds with specials at Spike Africa’s like the Bruce Wayne Burger with Sterling Silver beef, a pan-seared Blue Crab cake, bacon, aged cheddar and horseradish mayo, or the Anchor Steam battered Aquaman Fish and Chips. Spike’s will also have a costume contest on Friday, July 25 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The top three costumed guests will all receive prizes. First prize is $150.

DJ Wooden Wisdom at work
Located just blocks from the San Diego Convention Center, Bang Bang is kicking off Comic-Con with actor, Elijah Wood (most famous for his roles in Lord of the Rings and Wilfred) aka DJ Wooden Wisdom showing off his disc jockey skills on Thursday, July 24 at 9:30pm. Cover is $10.

Located in the center of downtown San Diego’s vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, the newly opened Don Chido offers a menu of regionally influenced, home-style Mexican cooking featuring locally sourced, fresh ingredients, all cooked on an authentic Santa Maria Argentine Grill. Mere blocks away from the San Diego Convention Center, Don Chido is showcasing some of Mexico’s most popular cartoons and characters with Comic-Con inspired cocktails including El Chapulin Colorado (red grasshopper)  with Reposado tequila lime and jaimaica (hibiscus), and the Chilindrina with roasted pepper infused tequila, cucumber, lime, agave, and tajin.

The East Village hotspot, Jsix, is known for service with a smile, but during Comic-Con service will also be faster than a speeding bullet. Conceived in the mind of Nate Howell, The Alter Ego boilermaker is a shot of Jsix’s signature Woodford Reserve bourbon paired with a draft of their IPA made by Hess Brewing. Served Mr. Freeze style, each component comes in a glass made of ice. The pair will be sold for $12 during the conference, from Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, July 27.

Just a few blocks away from the thrills, costumes and adventures of Comic-Con International, Andaz San Diego is offering crafty cocktails for the thousands of pop-culture aficionados attending the convention. They will enjoy the sweeping views of Downtown San Diego from the iconic RoofTop600 at the hotel while sipping on beverages inspired by the famous gaming and science fiction world. The Treky inspired “Beam Me Up Scotty” shot mixes coffee liqueur, crème de banana and Bailey’s, which creates a smooth and creamy beverage. For those feeling a little tired from their adventure, the Mario Bros. themed, “Power Up” cocktail with orange flavored vodka, peach schnapps and Red Bull will give them a much needed boost to continue their 4-day journey at Comic-Con.

Heroes Brew Fest mixes costumes with craft beer on Saturday, July 26 from 3-7pm. This superhero-themed craft brew fest offer tastes from over 80 craft breweries, as well as a costume contest and a live performance by Vokab Kompany on a solar-powered stage. Tickets are $50-$60 and the event takes place at the Embarcadero Park North, located at 500 Kettner Blvd.

Situated in the heart of downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, The Commons Bar is celebrating Comic-Con with the Captain America special, consisting of their signature chicken wings and Captain America cocktail, a blend of citrus and sweet tea vodka, grenadine, curacao and topped off with delicious frozen lemonade. Guests can belly up to the bar and enjoy the Comic-Con inspired offerings while catching the sights and sounds of the event. 

With Comic-Con International 2014 just days away, Marina Kitchen adds extra KAPOW to their traditional cocktail menu. Mere minutes from the San Diego Convention Center, guests can leave their cape at home and walk directly to Marina Kitchen for specialty cocktails themed to pop culture fan favorites, including The Hobbit (Dragon Fire- Fireball cinnamon whiskey with orange and cranberry juice) and Game of Thrones (Winter Wind-Vodka- white crème de mint and cream). In addition, during Comic-Con festivities Marina Kitchen will serve Ommegang's limited edition “Game of Thrones” themed Fire and Blood Red Ale and the Take the Black Stout. Tickling the fairytale fantasies of Game of Thrones fans (or just beer lovers in general), these brews are designed to look and taste like they came directly out of the hit HBO show. A watering hole for super heros, sidekicks and the entire Comic-Con gang, Marina Kitchen serves as the neighborhood hot-spot during Comic-Con festivities.

THE US GRANT Hotel, host to the first Comic-Con in 1970, will celebrate this year’s convention with culinary art with a twist. In partnership with The Cravory, hotel guests will be gifted the exclusive opportunity to enjoy four Comic-Con inspired Cravory cookies, delivered fresh to their guest rooms and suites. On Friday, July 25, the hotel’s signature nightly turndown service will be enhanced with the ultimate cookie experience, featuring a box of four new Cravory flavors created with comic fans in mind. The four signature Cravory Comic-Con cookies include the Hulkinator (Green birthday cake dough and green sprinkles with a thicker than normal cookie size), Kryptonite (Decadent chocolate dough with semi-sweet chocolate chips, stuffed with Rolos chocolate and caramel candies), Chewbacca Treat (Original Cravory dough with milk chocolate chunks, thick caramel ribbon, and marshmallows) and inspired by the hotel’s “Captain Grant” custom cartoon for Comic-Con 2014, the fourth cookie featured will be Captain Grant (The Cravory's Red Velvet cookie made with Guittard white and semi-sweet chocolate chips and light cocoa flavor, drizzled with blue and white chocolate).

Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room will introduce superhero-themed cocktails to celebrate Comic-Con International. Encore will also open early at noon on Thursday, July 24, and Friday, July, 25, to welcome convention attendees. Priced at $8 each the menu includes The Hammered Hulk, a powerful blend of Malibu Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Midori, pineapple juice and a dash of Sprite; Kryptonite, a festive mix of Blue Curacao, tequila, lime and simple syrup and garnished with a Cherry Pop Rocks rim; and Joker Juice, made with Giffard Crème de Cassis, Russian Standard Vodka, lemon juice, soda and topped off with a pour of Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee Champagne, all served in a sour apple candy-rimmed glass. To complement the festive drinks, Encore will offer a menu of signature favorites starting at noon on Thursday and Friday. Specialty dishes will include a Chicken Liver Mousse with currant and brandy gelée, house pickles, tapenade and crostini for $8; Smoked Salmon Tartare with crème fraîche, fine herbs, capers and crostini for $15; and an Angus Beef Burger with manchego cheese, onion jam, arugula, roasted tomatoes and a special house sauce, priced at $14; among others.

For those who want a seaside break from all the Comic‐Con madness, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is just far enough from the hustle and bustle yet still just a couple-minute shuttle ride away. Boasting glistening views of the San Diego bay, the Sheraton San Diego will be offering the Captain America: The Winter Soldier cocktail which is a twist on a Pina Colada boasting red and white colors, just like Captain America himself.

Even the toughest super hero needs fuel to take on the craziness of Comic-Con. BiCE San Diego has created a special happy hour menu full of traditional Italian bites with a contemporary spin, each based on the cinema's favorite protectors. Offered daily from 5-7pm and all day on Sunday, $5 happy hour dishes will include the Hulk’s Green Beans (fried green beans with a gorgonzola truffle sauce), Spiderman's Webbed Cheese (BiCE's famous blue cheese "cotton candy"), and Batman vs. Superman Focaccia (jalapeño and cheddar focaccia sandwich with prosciutto and melted provolone). Guests can wash it all down with the Comic-Con inspired Katniss Cocktail, which will include whiskey, ginger beer, simple syrup, mint and freshly squeezed lemon.

Experience Comic-Con 2014 on grand scale at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. The property will celebrate all things Comic-Con with a trio of cocktails honoring the best of Marvel Comics. Guests can raise a glass & sip in style with a spectacular view 40 stories above San Diego Bay atop the tallest waterfront hotel at the iconic Top of the Hyatt. First among the extraordinary trio, Top of the Hyatt will offer the heavy hitting "Thor's Hammer(ed)," a fun spin on the classic Long Island Ice Tea. Paying homage to the big, mean green, the Grand Lobby Bar will offer "The Hulkito" a perfect refresher after a long day of fighting crime. Finishing off the trio, Redfield's Sports Bar, an ideal place to hang with old friends and maybe meet a couple of new ones, is offering comic fans the "Marvelrita," highlighting Marvel Comics' signature red color. Be sure to swing into the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego during Comic-Con 2014 and toast with a trio of festive sips fit for the finest superheroes.

Grab a phaser, dust off your Gunstar, fire up the Batmobile and join Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego for Hop-Con 2.0: The w00tstout Launch Festival on July 23 from 7-10pm at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station. Join Stone CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch, actor and overall geek idol Wil Wheaton, and creator Drew Curtis for a release party to celebrate this year's massive yet seductive imperial stout collaboration dubbed w00tstout 2.0. Admission to the celebratory fest is $62.06 and may be purchased online.

Come make a toast to kick-off Comic-Con weekend at the newly renovated Westin San Diego. The hotel's signature restaurant, Coast, and their modernized lobby bar, The Bar, will be offering a Super Hero Smash cocktail infused with vodka, fresh strawberries, a squeeze of lime, and a light floater of Blue Curacao served in a rocks glass. The fun doesn't stop there. Keep an eye out for celebs during the comic convention, as past VIP's that have stayed at The Westin San Diego include Seth McFarland, Sandra Bullock, Stacy Kiebler, and TPain.

Located just blocks from the San Diego Convention Center and in the center of all the hustle and bustle from Comic-Con, Side Bar will kick off Comic‐Con in full force with a Super Hero party on Wednesday, July 23 where partygoers and Comic-Con fans who come dressed up in costume get in free! Side Bar staff will also be dressed to theme and per usual, for anyone who orders a high-ticket bottle service item, a Super Hero of their choice will deliver bottles to the table.  Popular choices include Iron Man (the most popular), Darth Vadar, Captain America and R