Where to find cheap eats at Dragon Con in less than 10 minutes walk from a hotel.
For a con that draws well over 85,000 attendees both domestic and international, finding a good place to eat can be a challenge.
So, I set out this year with a focus in finding recommendations from locals, veteran attendees and happenstance while wandering between panels.
Here’s a tiny, but mighty list of go-to eateries to try during the next Dragon Con.
Finding Gibney’s Pub just a two-minute walk from Atlanta Marriot Marquis was a happy accident. My original intentions were to find another Burger Joint but this was a pleasant switch.
A cozy, Irish pub with windows facing the parking garage across the street served up some wallet-friendly dishes. The most expensive dish for the weekend happened to be $20.
I had the shepherd’s pie ($9.95)and a glass of Powerade ($1.45) to wash it down. Added a house salad (lunch special, $4.75) to top it off. Remember to show your D*Con badge for a discount.
The following day, I asked around for other go to places. As I’m also alternating my meals with vegan options, I figured asking some veterans would be great.
Panbury’s Pie Café
Panbury’s pie cafe had vegan-friendly options. However, do read the ingredients as some dishes may contain eggs or dairy. You can find them just a 1 minute walk from the Atlanta Marriot Marquis.
While I did not eat a full lunch here, I did stop in for a cup of coffee ($1.75) and a couple mini pies (per $2.57). The most expensive, one person meal of a pie, a drink and a side would run about $10-12.
Panbury’s specialty pies have won awards for the last few years and with good reason.
If I had to choose a ”must-try” pie, or would be the Spinach and Feta pie and the chicken and bacon pie.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken was another surprise stumble upon, just another step or so down Peachtree street.
Despite the name, I actually went out on a limb to try the fried catfish ( the Dinner $6.50) by the piece ($1-2)with a side of okra as suggested by a local.
The crunch of flaky flesh was satisfying for another lunch in. To bad, I didn’t take any pictures of that marvelous dish.
Anytime you find yourself in Atlanta, have a tasty of that soul food.
Then there’s the famously known, but often overlooked grocery store with a mini food court, Publix.
Publix Supermarket at the Plaza Midtown is the equivalent of any Kroger or go-to grocery store for a hot, and ready to carry home meal. Who says, you can’t still cook while on vacation? Also, the Hilton Atlanta offers kitchenette rooms.
This one is a bit further, as in a 9-minute Lyft ride to downtown, however…Still on W. Peachtree Street. You can also order groceries and have them delivered to the hotel, if you wish.
Having the option to make meals is perfect for dietary restrictions.
For lunch time on the third day, Amafli Pizza. Just a minutes walk from the Westin or two blocks down from the Marriot Marquis.
Serving up a variety of pasta, pizzas, seafood and vegan-friendly dishes. The object of my hunger that day, the Calamari Fritti ($13.50).
I loved the house-made sauce and seasonings used for this dish.
Pitty Pat’s Porch
Now, we come to the end of the con foodie finds with another Southern Dish at Pitty Pat’s Porch.
Round the corner from the Westin and there you can find the best, old-fashioned cocktails. While I didn’t have time to try an entree, I can say for $11 a large mason jar of mint julep can be yours.
Pitty Pat’s restaurant serves the classic comfort dishes with a slap of Atlanta flare. Just looking at the menu again, the prices may be pushing over $20. The trade off, harty meal, sweet treats and less time waiting to sit down in a two story, house styled restaurant.
Looking at the buffet options alone, it maybe worth a night out and away from the hustle of the con crowd.
And there you have it; Suggested eateries around the Dragon Con that are almost worth the walk.
May this mini-guide help you the next time you’re looking for a good sit down or a brief recharge before that next event.