Options for cheap eats near the San Diego Convention Center (and Comic-Con) abound, if you know where to look. Most of the spots on 5th, right across from the SDCC aren’t worth your dining dollar, but there are a few gems right on the strip. If you go a little farther north, or east, that’s where you’ll really strike gold. Here are my top picks for cheap eats near the Convention Center (and in downtown SD, in general).

Banh Mi from The District

In 2011, I ate close to 50 burgers for the A Hamburger Today blog on Serious Eats, ranging from new fast food items to cheffy creations, everywhere from Victoria, British Columbia to Fort Myers, Florida. Some were great, others not so much. Here are my top 5 favorites.

Poutine Burger from the Pink Bicycle

Technically, I started covering the San Diego burger beat for the A Hamburger Today blog on Serious Eats in August of 2010, so while there wasn’t a full 12 months of burger exploration, I did uncover some truly noteworthy spots, including a few burgers in San Francisco. Here are my 5 favorite burgers from 2010.

Bruschetta Burger from Nicky Rottens