hodad’s + birthdays

T turned 17 last week. Jake and I remarked profusely about how time passes so quickly. I feel like summer just started and now we’re nearing the final days of summer instead. T will be starting his junior year of high school in a couple of weeks and I’m amazed at how much he’s grown over the years. For his birthday, we went to Hodad’s in Downtown San Diego with Jake’s mom, T, Jake and I all in tow. I hadn’t been to this location before so I was interested to see it fared against the original Hodad’s.


The Downtown location feels a bit more spacious but seems to have about the same amount of seating. In the middle there’s one really long table and a big space between that and another area. They could probably squeeze in more seating if they wanted to, but maybe they didn’t want it too cramped in here. License plates and surfboards adorn the walls here just like the original location in Ocean Beach.



Menu looks pretty much the same, with the same bright yellow paper. 


I didn’t know they had chili. Did you? Now you do.


Craft beers. It seems sad I don’t enjoy craft beers that much living here.


[vanilla milkshake / $5.75]

Birthday boy got a milkshake.


Goodness it’s huge! At least you know they use real ice cream, eh?


While T was opening up his birthday presents, one of the presents (a pin) fell into a glass of water. I was amused watched Jake rescue the pin from the bottom of the glass.


It took about five tries…


But he finally managed to get it to the top! Hooray for dads! 

The pin says “Big Damn Hero” which is from the TV show Firefly in case you didn’t know.


This kid is such a ham.

I forgot he got a different burger than me – The Blue Jay burger (which is like a bacon cheeseburger but with blue cheese added in) – and didn’t snap a photo of just the burger. T really enjoyed it though.


[mini bacon cheeseburger with fries / $9]

I always just get a mini burger when I go to Hodad’s. It’s like the perfect sized burger. You can’t miss out on getting the bacon either which is this lovely crispy concoction of porky goodness.


Everyone got their own basket with fries which seemed really silly in the end since we had a ton of leftover fries. The fries are really more like seasoned potato wedges and I always forget that I’m not totally in love with them. I’d rather have the onion rings but I hadn’t been to Hodad’s in awhile so I forgot. It’s smarter to just share a basket of fries or frings (fries and onion rings) then to get your own pile. 


All in all I think I prefer the original location slightly more than this one. The wait seems less here though and you can park pretty close by. If you don’t manage to get street parking, there’s a lot with $5 parking just a block away.

Woo, Hodad’s! Successful birthday celebration!

945 Broadway
San Diego CA 92101
(619) 234-6323

Click to add a blog post for Hodad's on Zomato


Since I was not feeling well the day before birthday outing, I didn’t finish the cake up until the weekend so T got to really stretch out his celebration. Here’s a “before I added the top layer” photo of the cake which was a vanilla cake with layers of peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache. 


Jake decided that the theme should be baseball and I created a little baseball field on top.


I totally forgot to add the batter’s box at home plate! Grrrr.

It was Jake’s idea to add the baseball coins in. I cringed a little at how crowded it looked on the cake. 


But the birthday boy loved it so who cares what I thought. Hah! 


Here’s a slice of the inside. This was a seriously RICH cake! A tiny slice was all I needed. The cake was very moist and the layers of peanut butter and chocolate were a total hit with the birthday boy. Hooray! Happy birthday to T! 

6 thoughts on “hodad’s + birthdays

  1. Happy birthday T! I haven’t been to Hodad’s in ages. Their OB location was just too cramped so it made the meal a bit off for me. I thought their burgers were ‘ok’ but still think In n Out could throw down with Hodad’s anyday. Don’t they have a Guy F’s pastrami burger now too?

    That peanut butter cake looks so good! Post the recipe!

    1. Hi Faye – One time I got to sit in the partial van at the OB location and it was the BEST. It felt like you were in your own little space bubble away from everyone else. I do really like their bacon cheeseburgers though I do agree with you – In N’ Out is pretty damn tasty as well. I wish In N’ Out had bacon…. sigh. Yeah, Hodad’s has that lame pastrami burger. Jake got it once. IT SUCKED. hahaha

  2. I still haven’t been to Hodad’s, but knowing that you can get a mini burger makes me want to go now!

    And that cake looks absolutely amazing. Happy birthday to T!

    1. Hi Leanne – The “regular” burger is way too big for me, the mini is such a perfect size! If you go to OB ever, the best time to go is in the fall/winter, about an hour before they close. There’s no line! 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday to T!!!!!! 🙂

    Wow, that ‘mini’ burger is pretty darn big still! I like onion rings much better as well. I always end up eating my Hodad’s burger deconstructed. There’s no way I can gracefully bite that big of a burger, haha.

    1. Hi CC – I know, it’s plenty big to me! I can’t finish a regular sized one but a mini I can come close, haha. I don’t know what I was thinking getting the fries instead. Grrrrr!

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