Californian | Hamburgers
Worth driving from anywhere!

Hodad’s motto: “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!”

Here is the definitive Southern California beachside burger joint, serving truly amazing hamburgers. Available in three sizes (mini, single, and double), as cheeseburgers or bacon cheeseburgers, solo or as part of a basket with a pile of French fries, these burgers are a sight to behold. The double, which is two good-size patties, is huge beyond belief, piled inside a broad sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup. The menu warns that all burgers come with all condiments “unless you say otherwise”; and frankly, we suggest that unless you are allergic, all the way is the only way to go.

The hamburger is presented partially wrapped in yellow wax paper, which provides a way to hoist it from the table and to keep it relatively together as you try to eat it. “That paper is your burger trough,” proprietor Mike Hardin told us many years ago. (Hardin passed away in 2015.) He said, “We tell people, ‘Do not take the paper off! It is there for a purpose.'” The purpose is to keep the immense thing from disintegrating. Mike pointed around the dining room at veteran customers wolfing down not merely huge hamburgers, but doubles, which are an insanely larger bun, larger patty, and larger larder of toppings all in one package. He noted that experts all eat their Hodad hamburgers the same way. Grasping it by the paper-covered part, they gingerly rotate it around within the wrapper; and most important of all, they never let go of it once they hoist it from the plastic-weave basket in which it is served. “Eat your onion rings and French fries first. Drink your milk shake. Do whatever else you have to do,” Mike explained. “Then, pick up your hamburger.” We did notice that the Big Kahunas of Hodad’s tables – those with literally very large hands – were able to keep a semi-wrapped double bacon cheeseburger secure in one mitt while they plucked French fries with the other. But barneys who don’t focus on keeping it together risk epic burger wipe-out.

Just getting to Hodad’s is a blast. Lined with palm trees, and with a gorgeous ocean view, Newport Avenue is a colorful part of the city. It is occupied by surf shops, alternative hair salons, juice bars, and high-proof bars; and this rockin’ joint fits right in! Its walls are festooned with vanity license plates from around the nation; surfboards are strung above the dining room. Seating includes hard wood booths and a counter along the wall with stools. Each booth is outfitted with a cardboard container that once held a six-pack of beer bottles. The half-dozen compartments are now used to store sugar and sweeteners for coffee.

Special thanks to San Diegan Michael Kawamoto for originally suggesting Hodad’s.

Note: There is a second Hodad’s, at 945 Broadway; and concessions are open in Petco Park during Padres home games.

What to Eat
Hodad’s, Double Bacon Cheeseburger Basket
Double Bacon Cheeseburger Basket
Believe it or not, it IS possible to lift this cheeseburger from its basket. Experienced eaters can do it with one hand.
Hodad’s, Milk Shake
Milk Shake
Thick? You bet! Hodad's shakes defy a straw.
Directions and Hours
Open Today
Sunday11 am - 10 pm
Monday11 am - 10 pm
Tuesday11 am - 10 pm
Wednesday11 am - 10 pm
Thursday11 am - 10 pm
Friday11 am - 10 pm
Saturday11 am - 10 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | 85 MILES | 2 hr 23 min

Starting with refreshing smoothies in Laguna Beach, this Coast Highway drive leads to surfer burgers supreme, tacos by the highway, breakfast of the gods and the quintessential SoCal coffee shop.

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • D.Z. Akins

    San Diego, California

    DZ Akins is San Diego’s archetypal urban deli, home of overstuffed sandwiches, excellent potato pancakes and blintzes, and fresh bakery breads.

  • OB Noodle House & Sake Bar

    San Diego, California

    Fantastic Asian-fusion fare and quick service have made OB Noodle House & Sake Bar Ocean Beach’s favorite noodle spot.

  • Tacos Salceados Ermita

    Tijuana, Baja California

    The most inventive taqueria in Tijuana is known for crispy cheese in tacos and on its Papa Cuadrada, a mind-blowing hash of potatoes & meat.

  • Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas

    Tijuana, Baja California

    In boozy Tijuana, the 24-hour taco alley remains a draw for tourists and locals alike. The tacos are reliable and the experience is memorable. A Tijuana staple since 1960.

  • Tacos Memo’s

    Tijuana, Baja California

    Among the crowd of Tijuana taco trucks, Tacos Memo’s is one of the best, tempting pedestrians with mesquite-grilled steak topped with chicharron cracklings.

  • Bol Corona

    Tijuana, Baja California

    A local mini-chain named after a long-gone bowling alley, Bol Corona burrito stands are best in class, revered by locals, tourists and bowlers since 1934.