Where to eat during SPX

You’re now all set to go to SPX, but buying — and selling — comics will make you hungry. So when you wander out of the North Bethesda Marriott in search of food, you’re going to want to know where to go.

And at first glance, there’s not much in the area, but with the help of SPX veteran Rusty Rowley of Full Sanction and SPX steering committee member Michael David Thomas, I’ve compiled a list, that while probably not definitive, will guarantee you won’t starve during your stay at Small Press Expo.

(All Google Maps links are for walking directions — if you have a car, I imagine you can find other places to eat.)

If you ask me, you should just go to The Vegetable Garden (map and directions) and be done with it, but understandably, no matter how good it is, vegetarian Asian food isn’t going to be everyone’s tastes.

The White Flint Mall (map and directions, about a mile away), has a Cheesecake Factory and a Dave & Buster’s among other places. In the opposite direction along Rockville Pike, there is also a Ruby Tuesday’s (map and directions, less than a mile) and a Silver Diner (map and directions, less than a half-mile). Note, though, I’m not recommending these places. I’m just telling you they are there. You will also find a good assortment of fast food restaurants nearby, as well as a 7-Eleven and a few grocery stores.

While I’m sure all the New Yorkers would laugh, Ize’s Deli and Bagelry has provided many a tasty breakfast and lunch to attendees of SPX. (It’s in the same shopping center as Vegetable Garden, map and directions). Regional chain Tara Thai (map and directions, a little more than a half-mile) has also won praise, as has Taipei Tokyo (map and directions, not even a half-mile away).

If you want to get on the Red Line, you can stop in Bethesda to go to former SPX haunts like Tel-Aviv Cafe and The Original Pancake House.

And yes, if you have plenty of time, there are cool places in DC to go. I take all out-of-town guests to Busboys & Poets because it’s a crowd-pleaser. But I also kind of figure if you’re venturing into DC, you can do your own research on where you want to go.

(Still, I think everyone should just go eat at Vegetable Garden.)

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9 comments

  1. aj michel says:

    THANK you so much for this. This is my first SPX as an “overnighter” (and volunteer) and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to just eat at the hotel bar. The Vegetable Garden and Ige’s Deli look to be fine picks!

  2. Bully says:

    Great list, thank you! You’re fast becoming the Tom Spurgeon useful guide to SPX.

    And hey, don’t forget about Arby’s around the corner! Which I only mention because of those punch-out JLA figures you can get with kid’s meals.

  3. […] of which, the Comicsgirl blog has posted some restaurant recommendations within walking distance as well as a must-read set of advice on enjoying the show. I would add to […]

  4. Rob Ullman says:

    There’s a great little Greek place in the same strip mall as The Vegetable Garden that’s well worth checking out…there’s also a Chipotle in the strip mall behind the Silver Diner (just across Old Georgetown Rd.), if you like big fat burritos

  5. comicsgirl says:

    Rob: I thought about the Greek place, but I wasn’t sure if it was still there and I couldn’t find the name of it when I was compiling this post. I did eat there one year.

    I also figured people would find the Chipotle and other fast food. If there had been a California Tortilla nearby, however…

    Bully: It’s my hometown (er, “hometown” meaning “home metropolitan area” …) show so I have to make sure people have a good time.

  6. nick says:

    Joe’s Noodle House and Spice Xing are both worth a trip!

  7. […] regarding what to buy and what to see. I also heartily recommend checking out Comicsgirl's SPX dining guide and her general survival guide to the show. Reding them will save you a lot of time and […]

  8. […] Comicsgirl’s excellent (and much needed) dining guide. And her also excellent Survival […]

  9. Zach says:

    I respectfully submit, as a Rockville local, that Yuan Fu is the BEST vegan Chinese in the area. (From what I understand they started as a Vegetable Garden splinter group.) The food is amazing. The people are super friendly. Check it out: http://www.happycow.net/reviews.php?id=2059

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