Where to Get Food and Booze-a Near Comicpalooza
Chuck Cook Photography Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp with garlic, lemon, chili, mild red pepper) at Batanga
Batanga loves cosplayers so much, it's offering a 20% discount off your meal if you dine there in costume. Batanga specializes in Spanish tapas and cocktails.
This funky, two-story joint features infused tequilas (and cocktails made with said tequilas), Tex-Mex and interior Mexican food. They heartily welcome Comicpalooza attendees and are extending their happy hour just for those in costume. Normally it runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., but if you're in costume, Comicpalooza time IS your happy hour. That's right; happy hour pricing applies for those in costume during the entire run of the convention. That's worth getting dressed up for.
To top it off, the extremely talented and fun Jonathan Jones just took over as chef there, so we expect the menu will include comforting, filling and flavorful dishes.
Goro & Gun is an izakaya, which means it has casual, fun, Japanese-inspired dishes. We'd like to see the place filled with anime characters. Cosplayers are welcome, and over the next few days, Goro & Gun is featuring its crawfish ramen. That's right; it's like Cajun-Japanese fusion. That's the way we do it in Houston.
Also, happy hour runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day and features a range of beers and truly excellent cocktails from $3 to $6. We love the "Line Cook" cocktail, with bourbon, house tamarind bitters and ginger beer.
Hot convention? How about a cold beer? The Flying Saucer has dozens both in the bottle and on tap as well as a hearty, bar-friendly menu. They're still deciding what it will be, but you should keep an eye on their Twitter feed for a potential Comicpalooza special on Saturday.
Feeling fancy? Vic & Anthony's might be an upper-scale steakhouse, but they don't turn their noses up at costumed characters. They're normally only open for dinner, but they do offer lunch on Friday, so you can both eat some great food and take advantage of lunchtime pricing.
It's also a known haunt of celebrities, so you might get a glimpse of some of Comicpalooza's special guests while you're there. But don't bug them while they're eating, OK? Be nice. Celebs are people, too.
Quattro and Vinoteca at The Four Seasons
You might spy a few celebs if you chill out in the bars or restaurants at The Four Seasons. We don't know if costumes are allowed at this upscale hotel, but we do know that a glass of wine near a window that overlooks downtown is a great way to relax. At Vinoteca Wine Bar, the "All 4 You" happy hour from means that everything on the bar menu is a mere $4 between 4 and 7 pm.
Reserve 101 is a whiskey bar near The Four Seasons hotel and they serve light bites (mostly in the form of flatbreads). You and your costume are welcome to come drink some of the 300+ whiskey selection, the biggest collection in Houston.
You just aren't living right if you haven't had a margarita in Houston and The Pastry War serves some of the best in town. Or, explore a selection of hard-to-find, small batch mezcals and tequilas. Happy hour is available weekdays (that's today and Monday, for you Comicpalooza attendees) and runs from 4 to 6:30 pm. During happy hour, Mexican beer is $3, margaritas are $5 and games of pool are free.
If you feel guilty about drinking, The Original OKRA Charity Saloon can help. You see, when you buy a drink here, you get a ticket that you can cast as a vote for one of four different charities. At the end of the month, the charity with the most tickets gets a donation of the bar's profits. These donations are not chump change; the charities often receive $10,000 and more. So, rub shoulders with the upwardly-mobile crowd of young professionals and drink for a cause. Try not to get stage makeup on anyone.
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