It’s Comic-Con weekend, after 10 p.m. and you’re hungry for something other than Gaslamp Quarter tourist-trap fare. Howl at the moon all you want; quality grub isn’t going to come crawling to you, so use this handy guide to find the goods downtown and beyond with our top picks for best joints slinging food till midnight and after.
Without leaving downtown...
Food Shop by Sovereign Vietnamese Kitchen and Bar
Just next door to Michelin-starred chef Michael Bao Huynh’s sit-down Vietnamese restaurant is his street-food inspired café with limited seating and a whole lot of take out options served till 2 a.m. From classic bahn mi to pho with tender brisket, bao buns and vermicelli noodle dishes, don’t forget to try refreshing jalapeno lemonade. 467 Fifth Ave. sovereignkitchen.com
Late night happy hour at this “higher learning” through beer institution offers up insane deals on food and drink. Items like smoked mac n’ cheese ($4) and ancho brisket flautas ($5) pair perfectly with $4 drafts and well drinks Monday through Thursday from 10:30 to midnight, and from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 868 Fifth Ave. quadalehouse.com.
La Puerta’s carnitas pancakes are so wrong, they’re right. Preying on our inhibitions, this naughty menu item is served till 1 a.m. with its two, fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with roasted pork, plus sides of maple syrup and clarified butter for good measure. Speaking of: Wash it all down with a margarita, because you’re in a tequila bar for crying out loud. 560 Fourth Ave. lapuertasd.com.
Catch a lift out of downtown with more tasty late night picks...
Tacos El Paisa
Open till 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday and midnight Sunday through Thursday, this casual Mexican restaurant is home to the tastiest carne asada fries in the area and equally pleasurable al pastor - also available on fries, nachos or as tacos. 2494 Imperial Ave., Sherman Heights.
This newbie by the owners of neighboring Sycamore Den serves serious sandwiches and sides - like French fries with gravy and “porchetta scraps” - till 1 a.m. Friday through Sunday. 3375 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. burnsidesd.com.
Besides the Starlite Mule, this stylish lounge is a haven for the hungry after the moon comes out, with a seasonally updated menu served till midnight. 3175 India St., Middletown. starlitesandiego.com.
Soda & Swine
Dig in on killer meatball sandwiches, apple pies and old-fashioned soda floats at this all-American hit, where counter service is on till 1:30 a.m. nightly. 2934 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. sodaandswine.com.
San Diego’s first all-sustainable sushi bar, known for its inventive rolls and DJ-spun tunes, stays open till midnight seven days a week. 3964 Harney St., Old Town. harneysushi.com.
Tsuruhashi Japanese BBQ
With built-in tabletop grills, guests cook their own Kobe beef and Berkshire pork morsels while sipping icy cold beer. Open till midnight daily. 3904 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa. tsuruhashibbq.com
85°C Bakery & Café
Get loaded on iced sea salt coffee and hot-out-of-the-oven baked goods at this Asian bakery with a cult-like following. Open till midnight Fridays and Saturdays. 5575 Balboa Ave., Clairemont. 85cafe.us.
If a fried food and pizza bonanza is what your late night hunger calls for, head to the beach where this chill hang-out boasts 20 taps, a full bar and a menu of quality, cheap eats that’ll surprise your taste buds. 1014 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach. sandboxsd.com.
Amy T. Granite is a dauntless eater who has written about food in San Diego since 2006. You can follow Granite and her tasty adventures on Twitter and Instagram @saysgranite. Send your mouth-watering ideas to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.