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Comicpalooza, Texas’s largest pop culture convention, arrives in Houston the weekend of May 10 to 12, bringing hours of programming for the whole family. Whether you’re into anime, comics, gaming, cosplay or you just want to people watch, this three-day event at the George R. Brown Convention Center has it all. But so much activity can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-timer, so we’re here to give you a quick guide to help you plan your visit. And don’t worry if you’re not a sci-fi or anime fan, there are plenty of activities for everyone.

Where to Eat & Drink Around Comicpalooza

After a full day of geeking out with your favorite comics characters, celebrities, and video games at Comicpalooza, you may want to unwind with a good bite to eat and a drink, followed by some dancing (if you have any energy left). The good news is that the George R. Brown Center in downtown Houston is in close proximity to some of Houston’s top restaurants, nightclubs and bars. Plan your evening with our handy guide.

Phoenicia MKT Bar

A short walk away from the George R. Brown Convention Center, this wine and beer bar serves shareable bites, as well as burgers, and mediterranean specialties. Add to that a great glass of wine or craft beer, and live music, and you’ve got a great spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Comicpalooza. On a Saturday, you may even get a little dancing in.

Neil’s Bahr

Continue geeking out at this self-described “premier nerd/gamer Houstonian hangout.” Neil’s Bahr is a watering hole in East Downtown, just a few minutes away from Comicpalooza. Go for the movie nights, video game tournaments, karaoke, free-play arcades, and good beers. 21 and up only.

Jackson Street BBQ

If you’re here from out of town, you’ll want to get a taste of Texas barbecue while you’re at it. Get a taste of the Texas Trinity – brisket, ribs and sausage – and wash it all down with one of 14 beers on tap. Before you go, keep in mind that Jackson Street BBQ closes at 7 p.m. and at 3 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays.

The Pastry War

Some 15 minutes away from the convention center by foot, you’ll find this gem of a bar, which specializes in mezcal and tequila. Play some pool while you enjoy a perfectly concocted margarita and a bowl of queso, and make sure to explore their well-curated list of agave spirits, some of which you won’t find anywhere else in Houston.

The Dirt Bar

This no-frills, rock-and-roll bar is a popular pre- and post-concert destination in downtown Houston. If you enjoy rock and roll, head on over, choose a song from the jukebox, order one of their well priced drinks, and relax.

Pappasito’s Cantina

In the mood for Tex-Mex? It can’t get more convenient than Pappasito’s Cantina. Located inside the Hilton Americas, a few steps away from the George R. Brown Convention Center, you won’t have to go very far to scarf down some juicy fajitas or tacos.

Etro Night Club

Dance the night away at this popular 80s and electronic music lounge. The industrial space, dotted with pop art and classic 80s arcade games, has different spaces to cater to its eclectic following of punkers, musicians, 80s lovers and artists. Eighties lovers won’t want to miss the nightclub’s “I love the 80s” music video parties on Fridays and Saturdays.


If your friends can’t agree on what they’re craving, try a food hall. Conservatory, Houston’s first food hall, has an array of filling options for you to eat – from pizza to pho to barbecue – from its various vendors. The hall, about a 15 minute walk away from the convention center, has a great selection of beers on tap and drinks. Plus, it’s open late.