Wizard World: Philadelphia Comic Con is quickly approaching, geeks. It takes over the Pennsylvania Convention Center for four straight days, running Thursday, May 30th through Sunday, June 2nd.
And while it's easy to check out the con's website for a list of celebrities, artists, panels, and events, it isn't all that easy to look up places to eat. And as delicious as Nathan Fillion might be, he isn't on the menu.
So, what's a hungry geek to do?
Well, you could eat the convention food. There's usually misc. stands and kiosks on the convention floor, as well as the various cafeteria options available in the center. But yeah. It's overpriced and not that great, as all convention food is. You're going to want to explore the area a little, and I'm not talking about the McDonald's.
You want to save your money for comics and convention swag, and not waste it on overpriced, non-tasty food. But, if you've already picked up a bunch of gear, you're not going to want to go far. So here are some better dining picks for you convention goers, that are still close enough to the con.
Reading Terminal Market (12th & Arch): A given for us locals. Located next to the Convention Center, it offers ton of options for everyone: DiNic's Roast Pork. Flying Monkey Cupcakes. The Original Turkey. The Rib Stand. The 12th Street Cantina. By George! (that's a pizza place, not me making an anachronistic exclamation). Make sure you take a little extra time to walk around and find a place you like. I wish you luck.
Milkboy (11th & Chestnut Streets): On your way out of the Convention Center, don't slow down when you see the fast food on Market Street. Keep going. This is a great spot for lunch during the convention or dinner afterward. At night, the place becomes an awesome music venue. During the day? Great restaurant and bar. It serves great cocktails (some with coffee!), has an excellent beer selection, and the sandwiches? Fantastic. The meatball grinder and the bacon cheese jalapeno fries are unreal.
Q.T. Vietnamese Sandwich <48 N. 10th St.): Strange name, I know. But I had one of the greatest banh mi sandwiches ever there. There's limited seats in the place, on 10th Street near Arch, but the food is cheap, delicious, and fast. There's also vegetarian options here. Tofu banh mi? You bet.
Nan Zhou Noodle House (1022 Race St): Another excellent, cheap pick in Chinatown. Delicious noodles (there's a BRISKET SOUP, people), and service is surprisingly fast.
Now, if either of these Chinatown picks are swamped... well come on, you're in Chinatown. There are many options all around you that aren't inside the convention center. If you're staying late, hit up Yakitori Boy for dinner.
Smokin' Betty's (11th & Sansom Streets): Great for burgers and wings. If you're looking to sit down for a while, which might considering you'll have been wandering around the convention floor all day, it's a great pick. Relax, order up some BBQ, and devour the amazing hand cut fries.
Jake's Sandwich Board (122 S. 12th St.): I remember when this place was in Liberty Place, and was thrilled when it moved to its own location at 12th and Sansom Streets. The menu of unique sandwiches with hot roasted meats changes constantly.
Eric Smith is author of The Geek's Guide to Dating.