The 2023 Emerald City Comic Convention is here, so it’s time to prepare for your big day(s)! Conventions can get overwhelming, and we all know how easy it is to forget to eat when you’re entranced by the celebrities, events, and merch at your fingertips. But there are a lot of great restaurants near the convention center, so I’ve compiled a list of places you can grab a bite to eat and rest your feet between those panels you’re going to.

The convention center itself does have a few places to grab food, including cafes providing basic items like sandwiches and wraps. There are also some restaurants on the first floor, but we know those are always super packed. So here are some restaurants further away from that building that may have shorter wait times!

ECCC via Facebook

Dough Zone Dumpling House

Let’s be real, Dough Zone is always a hit with convention fans. With affordable prices and delicious dumplings, you can enjoy the con with light fare; those soup dumplings will also help you warm up after you walk around Seattle in March! Items like buns, noodles, and vegetables are also great foods to fill your belly on a cold day. If you’re looking for a swankier option or want to avoid the crowds, Din Tai Fung is also in a great dim sum restaurant in the area!

The Cheesecake Factory

Your safe American food bet is always going to be The Cheesecake Factory. Burgers, brews, steaks, and more are available to refuel you. And if you’re looking for some lighter options on a cosplay day, they also have some SkinnyLicious dishes. So get some grub and follow up with a slice of cheesecake to get the sugar rush you need to finish your convention day strong!

Chan Seattle

Chan Seattle features Korean food ranging from small plates to Sot Bap. They have plenty of protein and veggie options to keep everyone in your group satisfied. If you’re in looking to rest up between 4 pm-6 pm, you can also take advantage of their Happiest Hour for food and drinks!

MOD Pizza

In my experience, MOD Pizza has been one of the fastest options in the area and has indoor and outdoor seating available. Plus, you get to personalize your pizza as you want it, and gluten-free crust is available! Pizza is always a good familiar option for children, so I highly recommend this spot for parents who need to get some food in their kid’s bellies before a mid-day meltdown.

The Yard House

The Yard House features American and fusion fare along with its extensive list of beer on tap (sometimes you need a drink to relax from the overstimulation that comes with any convention, and that’s okay!). My favorite dish is the Beer Battered Fish & Chips, but they also have plenty of steak, chicken, and burger options available. Head in from 3 pm-6 pm for Happy Hour!

In 2022, my partner and I decided to stop at The Yard House before we went to the convention center on the day I was cosplaying Blackfire from the Teen Titans animated series. At first, being the only cosplayer in the restaurant was a little embarrassing. But the staff had a great start to their day when I brought back the nostalgia of a childhood show. My point is that going further out to get your lunch can bring light into someone’s life when they see your cosplay. The Yard House is my recommendation based on my experience, but anywhere will do! So rock your cosplay with pride wherever you are. Just don’t forget to take care of your body while you’re out and about!