hodad’s / ocean beach – san diego, ca

I haven’t been to Hodad’s in forever. The last time I went was when Alyssa (my good friend and long ago writer for this blog) actually lived here, and it’s been many moons since she moved away. I remember we sat in the “van” seat and felt like we were in our own bubble away from the rest of the crowd. I’ve been wanting to revisit it lately and already had a failed attempt at going to the Downtown location. After some suggestions from fellow bloggers, Jake, T and I visited late on a Tuesday evening and found easy parking, no line and quick seating. Success!


[license plates and dollar bills adorn the walls]

Hodad’s walls are lined with old license plates and signed dollar bills. We spent a few amusing moments trying to figure out what some of the license plates meant while we waited for our food to arrive.


[full order of frings / onion rings & french fries – $5.75]

When this arrived to the table I immediately thought, “Whoa. That is a lot of frings.” This is the full order – in the future we really probably only need half. The onion rings are quite large and tasty. They have that “almost bread crumb” like texture on them, making them a little crumbly and a little messy. I’m pretty sure a few bits and pieces fell down my shirt, per the usual.

We gobbled up the onion rings fairly quickly but when we got to the fries, they were a little disappointing. A lot of the larger “wedge” pieces just tasted like undercooked potatoes. Jake managed to tell one of the servers about this and our fries were quickly replaced with no fuss.


[crispier version of the fries]

This is the “well done” batch which was much, much better than the first. And also really, really hot! I kind of like getting my food super duper hot though, even if I have to wait a minute on my own for it to cool down. It tastes better to me that way. Lukewarm food is totally gross (unless it’s supposed to be that way, of course).

The skinnier the fry, the better it tasted to me. Overall though, even the larger pieces were a little fluffier on the inside. The wedges have got a bit of a coating/seasoning to them. Jake thought they were a little bland and nothing really special. I liked them.


[guido burger – inspired by guy fieri – pastrami burger with ketchup, pickles, swiss cheese, grilled onions and spicy brown mustard – $6.75]

Jake and T shared the Guido Burger, a burger inspired by Guy Fieri after he visited for his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He’s one of the reasons that it’s so hard to visit Hodad’s original location during the height of tourist season. I wish he would wear less jewelry. And stop bleaching his hair. And stop wearing his sunglasses on the back of his neck. And stop saying stupid things like “we’re going to Flavortown!”.

Um. I digress.

I thought the burger was okay. I’ve had better pastrami and overall it was just kind of “eh” to me. Especially after I had a bite of my own cheeseburger…


[mini bacon cheeseburger – $5.75]

I love that the thing really standing out in this photo is the BACON. Because the bacon is GLORIOUS.

Every single bite had a bit of bacon in it and the bacon was perfectly crisp. Not overdone, not overcrisp, but glorious and wonderful. It almost made me want to weep with sheer joy. This is how a bacon cheeseburger should be done. Bacon. In. Every. Single. Bite.

The mini bacon cheeseburger was almost too much for me. That thing was HEFTY. I did my best though and gave my last little bit to Jake to finish off for me before I cried uncle.


Oh, Hodad’s. I hope we don’t part for so long this time. I hope to see you again soon. Can I have some bacon to go?

5010 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107

Hodad's on Urbanspoon

10 thoughts on “hodad’s / ocean beach – san diego, ca

  1. I haven’t been to Hodad’s either for years. And I agree, it’s the tourist crowds that have kept me away and the combination of other hamburger places popping up. After reading this, I might have to check it out again. Do they still over stack the burger with thick tomato and onion slices?

    1. There was a good amount of onion and tomato on the very bottom of my burger. I think they put two tomatoes on the bottom, so yeah, I’d call that a stack! I hadn’t thought much about Hodad’s in years either. For whatever reason it just sounded like a really good idea to try it again. I think mostly I wanted Jake to try it, since he hadn’t been before this visit.

  2. What? You no like Guy Fieri? You also forgot his lovely lobster tan and his never ending succession of mid-life crisis cars.

    I end up taking the onions and tomatoes out of my burger so I can eat it otherwise everything falls out. Yeah, night time is the time to go when it’s not crowded.

  3. Hi Mary, I’m actually a Hodad’s convert. I admit not caring for it much in the past. I’m not sure if it’s my dwindling metabolism but I actually enjoy all the veggies in it, cold and crisp. I agree the bacon is a must. Never cared for pastrami (or gyro meat) in any of my burgers. But who knows, that might change someday too. 😉

    1. Hi Dennis – I feel like I didn’t think it was that great in the past, but I have since forgotten my previous opinion on the matter. In any case, I know I like it for sure now! My favorite pastrami so far is from The Hat up in LA.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.