At ATL we believe all Connection are Critical—engineer to engineer, capital equipment to medical device; your business to success. But, after a full day of walking the show floor, meeting with industry cohorts and visiting ATL at booth 2397, one of the most important connections we make at a show is the connection to a grand gastronomic experience and excellent entertainment—and Southern California is full of both without ever touching Disneyland.

After years of attending more trade shows in Anaheim than we wish to count, one of the positives is the rolodex full of delectable dining holes. Here is our list of must-try spots close to the Convention Center.

Grub

Anaheim Packing District

A one-stop-shop for an eclectic array of flavors
Seriously though… usually when I hear “there’s something for everyone there” I tend to steer clear because, as the saying goes, “jack of all trades, but master of none.” The Packing House, however, flips that thinking on its head. The smörgåsbord of high-end food vendors, gives a little wide array of tastes: from Indian curries, to English fish ‘n chips, to down-south soul-comforting food, and beyond. For the nightcap, be sure to get a reservation (required) at Anaheim’s only speakeasy, at The Blind Rabbit, only accessible by way of a hidden door within the building.

 

Porto’s Bakery

Fabulous, fresh breakfast with stellar pastries  
This bright and spacious eatery is a great place to start your day. But, unless you get there bright and early, be ready for a decent line. With an excellent selection of baked goods, pastries and other sweets, we recommend the savory breakfast sandwich on a warm, flaky croissant, the numerous fruit-infused strudels, or the delicious empanadas. This Cuban bakery is well worth every second you wait.

 

The Oyster Bar SKC

Southern selections inside a transit hub
Just two and a half miles for the Convention Center, the Oyster Bar SKC operates inside ARTIC: Anaheim’s bus and train terminal. Directly east of the Convention Center on Katella, you’ll know you’re there when you see a fluorescent rainbow airplane. With a classic Cajun/Nawlins’ flare, The Oyster Bar focuses on seafood-oriented pan roasts — made through steam kettle cooking, thus the “SKC” — and a raw seafood bar, stocked with all kinds from seafood every coast.

 

New Moon

Chinese fare with a contemporary twist
For the American love of Chinese food, this ends up being more than just relevant; it feels as if it should be the new flag-bearer of Americanized-Chinese food. There’s sophistication and finesse in its execution, something many others lack. New Moon’s spread seems to be prepared by chefs who abide by the meticulousness of Chinese techniques, even as they’re making General Tso’s Chicken.

 

The Original Pancake House

Timeless breakfast with a classic ambience
The Original Pancake House might have started in the Pacific Northwest, but its Anaheim location has become a breakfast institution for its decades of dedication to the international art of flapjacks. Specializing in sugary and fruit-filled pancake recipes from around the world, TOPH is where you’ll find Danish, Dutch, and Tahitian specialties plus crepes, bacon waffles and enough maple syrup to put you in a sugar coma before lunchtime.

 

The Scratch Room

Fresh, creative modern brunch  
Traditional breakfast mashes up with contemporary SoCal culture at The Scratch Room, where brunchy burgers come on French toast-dipped buns, and the Benedictine eggs are topped with corned beef hash, salmon cakes, carnitas, and more. This family-owned restaurant is everything a modern diner in the southern half of California should be — machaca breakfast burrito and all.

 

Games

Petersen Automotive Museum

Bringing German precision and design to the left coast
Now extended through mid-April, the Petersen Automotive Museum is gifting all comers to what is probably the finest collection of Porsches outside of the its own flagship museum in Stuttgart. Aptly titled “the Porsche Effect,” the exhibition—put on in conjunction with Porsche North America—delves into the cultural significance and influence of the brand’s design, engineering and racing dominance. The Porsche Effect it comprised of 50+ of the marque’s most iconic cars that exemplify its innovation, origins, allure, and performance.

 

FlightDeck

Channel your inner ‘Maverick’ or ‘Goose’ in this flight simulator
For a fully realistic, riveting experience where you and your friends experience and compete flying an F-16 Falcon or a Boeing 737, the likes of which you’ve probably not experienced, come to the FlightDeck. After being fitted for your own flight suit and been briefed on how to take-off, maneuver and land the plane (which a lot more difficult than it may sound), you’ll come as close as most of us will come to experiencing a dogfight. After climbing into your own cockpit (that all feels more realistic than you’d think), one of the best parts is you are competing/dogfighting with you friends—competing for bragging rights. And with everyone on comms, do not forget you trash-talking game.