Ahead: barcades, rare toy stores, museum exhibits, and more comic books stores than you'll know what to do with.
The New York Comic Con may be sold out, but there are still plenty of ways to make the most of the occasion. From October 8th-11th, people will travel from around the world to celebrate their favorite characters, from the always-classic Bat Man (or the more modern Bat Girl) to characters straight from the movies (think: the line-up from Guardians of the Galaxy). Unsurprisingly, it's also the best time of the year to ride the NYC subways. If you thought you didn't know what to expect from fellow riders the rest of the year, you are in for a sweet surprise come Comic Con time when all of the best cosplay costumes are on full display.
All people watching aside, there are a ton of places to take the Comic Con party to the next level. To mark the occasion, Foursquare and ReedPOP pulled together the "Ultimate Geek Guide to New York" highlighting some of comic-centric and not-so related must-visit spots for extending Comic Con's festivities with a few pro tips from Foursquare users. Things to look forward to: a "Twin Peaks"-themed bathroom, vintage video games with a side of beer, and comic book stores galore.
According to this Williamsburg burger spot, they're the first comic/science fiction-theme restaurant in America. We hear the burgers, shakes, and tots are all must-haves. Foursquare tip: “Free video games while you wait—and it's open late," according to Foursquare user named Carey.
There are multiple Barcade locations around New York City. If you're into old (and new) arcade games, this is the place for you. Foursquare tip: "25 craft beers on tap and 80s style arcade games, what's not to love?! Also: happy hour runs 2-8pm Saturdays and Sundays."
If you're looking to get away from the Manhattan crowds and tourist hot spots, try the Brooklyn Brewery. Not only is the beer delicious, but the tours are not to be missed. Foursquare tip: “Very good beers, nice authentic atmosphere. All you need to meet some friends and have a chat!”
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
If you've ever wanted to be a superhero—at at least stock up on some superhero apparel—you've got to check out Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. All purchases at the store supports 826NYC, a non-profit focused on supporting kids and their creative efforts. Foursquare tip: “Superhero store that poses as a front for a non-profit supporting kids creativity?! This place is just the best. Restock on capes, buy cans of gravity, or follow the trap door to volunteer with kids.”
Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park
The Courtyard Mariott (which shares the location with the Residence Inn) is the official hotel of New York Comic Con. What that means for you: the very best costume spotting and people watching. Foursquare tip: The Bistro inside the hotel will be serving up Comic Con-themed cocktails.
Discovery Times Square
This museum in the heart of Manhattan is full of hands-on activities for all ages. Foursquare tip: “If you are a Hunger Games fan, the exhibit at DTS is a must.”
Gotham City Lounge
This Brooklyn watering hole is completely dedicated to superheroes, from the cocktail list to the decor. Not sold? "$3 PBR and whiskey specials," boasts one Foursquare tip.
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
The Javits Center is no stranger to New York City conventions, trade shows, and events—which makes it the perfect spot for the annual Comic Con. Got tickets? This will be your base. Don't have tickets? Head over anyway to check out the crazy-detailed cosplay outfits. Foursquare tip: "Make sure to bring comfy shoes—this place is huge!"
Madame Tassauds New York
This is a major tourist destination for a reason. Among classic movie stars and other pop culture icons, there are a few gems for comic book fans at Madame Tassauds. Foursquare tip: "The Marvel Super heroes 4D show was amazing. In addition to the show you also get to see all the Marvel Avengers wax figures—Hulk was the best."
Since opening in 1997, Midtown Comics has been leading comic book sales across the U.S. online and at its three NYC locations (Downtown, Times Square, Grand Central). Make sure to venture farther than the first floor. Foursquare tip: “Get upstairs to look at the motherload of toys and statues."
Mission Chinese Food
There isn't much that screams "Comic Con!" in this iconic restaurant—until you get to Mission Chinese Food's bathroom, that is. Foursquare tip: "The twin peaks themed bathroom by itself is worth the trip."
Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA)
This tiny museum showcases comic book history of all genres—make sure to check the website for current exhibitions before visiting. Foursquare tip: “An ever rotating exhibit of amazing pieces of comic book history. A must visit for any comics fans!”
According to one Foursquare user, this is NYC's only SciFi bookshop. Singularity&Co's entire focus is to "Save the SciFi," even more incentive to head over and snag one of their many books. Fun fact: Every month, the store chooses one SciFi book that's no longer in print and publishes it online and as an e-book (with the copyright holder's permission, of course).
The Way Station
This entire bar is themed after the TV hit "Dr. Who." With fantastic live music performance and a great happy hour, The Way Station is the perfect place to wind down after a day at the convention. Foursquare tip: “Great place to enjoy a drink with fellow nerds. The TARDIS bathroom is a sight to see but the friendly bartenders are also just as amazing. They have a drink & draw the second Saturday of every month."
Looking for a souvenir to mark your Comic Con time in NYC? Toy Tokyo's collection of rare trinkets are the way to go. They've also got an awesome stock of vinyl art. Foursquare tip: "Great selection of Japanese/Anime figures/collectables."
Two-Bits Retro Arcade
Pinball, anyone? Two-Bits Retro Arcade mixes craft beer, wine, and sake with some of the best classic arcade games. Foursquare says it best: "Beers and video games. Two of the 5 food groups!”
Stadium seating and popcorn: the perfect break for those tired feet after a day of Comic Con. Expect new releases with the occasional indie film thrown in at Williamsburg Cinemas. Foursquare tip: "Great theater! Check out a weekend matinee for $8.50 and be sure to head around the corner afterwards to see the awesome superhero mural on the side of the building!”
8 Bit & Up
This is the spot for serious gamers. 8 Bit & Up even hosts nights dedicated to preparing for various gaming tournaments. Foursquare tip: "Not only is there a coin-operated Street Fighting 2 Champion Edition machine in the front, but I wandered in late one night and there were 15 people sitting around playing SF4 on Xbox in the back. This place is legit.”
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.