We love our neighbors to the south. Our families love San Diego and visit often. MaryAnne recently posted a fabulous overview of the Westin Hotel and nearby restaurants. We will continue to add to this because San Diego is such an ideal getaway for us OC folks. Also, I lived in San Diego for several years since I did my undergrad there, so I would love to share some of my favorite local hangouts!
Best burger in San Diego: Hodad’s. Go there! Seriously. Although there are a couple of locations, including one in Pet Co Park (there are so many good food and drink options-and yes, we will definitely share a post of this fabulous ball park). There is one in the East Village, an up and coming neighborhood just east of Gaslamp District and Horton Plaza. However, my favorite spot for a Hodad’s burger experience is in Ocean Beach, or as the locals fondly call OB. It is just south of Pacific Beach, which is the more popular beach frequented by lots of rowdy frat boys and tourists. Don’t get me wrong, PB is a fun hangout and eating destination, but OB is my kind of beach town. Many moons ago when I was a San Diego local, OB was the quieter, local beach community with that boho, hippy vibe. Although it has gotten more populated with touristy bars and souvenir shops, it still retains a bit of that hippy charm.
Located on Newport Ave., a busy street lined with other bars that lead directly to the beach, you will find Hodad’s by the long ass line out the door. Don’t be turned away because the long line goes fast. And really, you can enjoy the always picture perfect San Diego day and people watch while you wait to be let in. I like that you are given a table after standing in line, before you make your way to the counter to order your grub. I am not a fan of balancing trays of food while waiting for a table to open up with children hanging off me. So wait in line, grab a table, order your food, get a number and have a seat!
Let’s talk about the menu: order a burger and order some fries. I could just end here. Oh alright, we can talk about the variations. They are known for their bacon burger – so damned good! Hubby and I always get the bacon cheeseburger with everything – mayo, mustard, onion, ketchup, pickle, tomato with choice of cheese. Hubby has done the double, but it’s just too much even for him – and he is a midwestern meat eater!
We get the basket which comes with either fries or onion rings – we like to do one of each. I am usually a shoe string fries gal, but Hodad’s wedge cut fries are perfectly seasoned crispy on the outside, fluffy and soft on the inside. And I’ve not met an onion ring that I didn’t love – and these are good, crispy, but not overly greasy. The mini burgers the perfect portion for the kiddos, and probably even sufficient for a smaller adult portion (just so we’re clear, that is not me).
The shakes are killer, huge portion and creamy and delicious. One order is plenty for our family of four. Don’t forget to grab a beer!
Nothing like sitting in the open air funky spot with an ice cold beer in hand. If you can grab the counter seats that face out into the sidewalk with the bar stools, you can do some fun people watching. This is one of hubby’s favorite spots in San Diego, perfect with or without the kids. But they love it too.
Depending on if it is a family day, you can go next door to the candy store, and the kids can load up on some treats before you take a walk out to the beach. They also love browsing the souvenir shops nearby, I know, kinda cheesy, but also fun for them to explore and pick up a little trinket. If you are not with kids, walk over towards the beach and cross the street. Head to South Beach Bar & Grill to the rooftop bar to enjoy the the ocean view. You can’t go wrong when you’re in OB.
5010 Newport Ave.
San Diego, CA. 92107