The biggest and best pop culture event of the year is upon us. To make it through Comic Fest, you'll need a boss costume, good walking shoes — and plenty of sustenance. We've got you covered for the latter. Here are 10 of our favorite places to eat and drink, all within walking (and if you're really exhausted, Lyft or Uber) distance of the Phoenix Convention Center.
623 East Adams Street
Pizzeria Bianco is a true Phoenix classic, and you're so close. If there's a wait – and there likely will be – hang out next door at Bar Bianco, where the playlist and the cocktail list are equally curated. When you do make your way to the pizzeria, be sure to order the Rosa, topped with shaved red onion and Arizona-grown pistachios. This is Phoenix food and pizza at its absolute finest.
Cornish Pasty Co.
Pasties at Cornish Pasty downtown.
7 West Monroe Street
Downtown Phoenix waited forever (it seems) for its very own Cornish Pasty location — and it was worth the wait. From classic chicken and vegetables to Indian-inspired and just about everything in between, the pasty menu is big and so is the restaurant, with three floors to choose from. The bar is lovely, and non-pasty items like wings and salads abound. Added bonus: These are easy to enjoy while walking around.
Nobuo at Teeter House
622 East Adams Street
If you're looking for a splurge and are fond of Japanese food, this super-chic, authentic spot is it. Chef Nobuo complements the raw fish selections with grilled meats and buns. His tea selection is massive. He serves some really cool Japanese food of a kind you don't often see beyond Japan, like seafood okonomiyaki. This spot is a lovely respite from the rest of the city.
District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
320 North Third Street
Located inside the downtown Sheraton hotel, District offers happy hour and lunchtime specials. We love to eat chicken wings in the lounge area near the bar – and the mac and cheese is perfect for any little Comic Fest-ers you have along. We've always found the staff to be friendly and accommodating.
Nook Kitchen Downtown
15 East Monroe Street
This little pizzeria packs a lot of flavor and has a cult following in its original digs near Arcadia. Grab a comfy booth and a beer. Order poutine, bruschetta, and maybe a plate of charcuterie. And, of course, you'll have to go for a pizza. Nook has a nice selection of red and white pies, as well as hearty Italian entrees.
Cartel Coffee Lab
1 North First Street
There are several local coffee options downtown – and of course, Starbucks is everywhere – but this weekend a cold brew from Cartel is what will really hit the spot for us. Cartel also pulls a mean espresso if knocking back some liquid caffeine on the go is your thing. Your inner coffee geek, if you have one, will be happy here.
Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails
Phil Clark torches a cinnamon stick for a cold cocktail riff on a chai latte.
2 East Jefferson Street
The restaurant inside the Hotel Palomar has all the markings of a Kimpton Hotel: a whole lot of style and just enough substance to make you happy. Blue Hound has an eclectic, New American menu with small plates and plenty of creative cocktail options. Try mixologist Phil Clark's juicy Junglebird, and, if you want a second drink, spend some time paging through his massive, highly original menu. If it cools off at night, grab a seat outdoors.
Bitter & Twisted
1 West Jefferson Street
One of the most creative cocktail bars in town, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is conveniently located just a few blocks from the convention center, and recently introduced its latest cocktail collection. This includes a take on the grasshopper that includes actual fried grasshoppers. Or you might want to go with a house favorite, owner Ross Simon's bathtub gin (served in a bathtub). Complement your drink choice with a dumpling burger and some of B&T's addictive Hurricane Popcorn, and we promise you'll return to Comic Fest happy.
Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub
18 West Monroe Street
Guinness. Guinness. Guinness. It's always a party at Seamus McCaffrey's, a classic Irish pub in all the right ways. Did we mention they pour a nice Guinness? Down one for us.
40 North First Street
If you're into aesthetics – and we know you are, because you're going to one of the coolest bashes in town – you'll appreciate Hanny's, one of the best looking downtown watering holes. Check out the funky bathrooms and try to glimpse the basement. Here, the martinis are strong and the music's loud.