Hodad's / San Diego, CA


Some people probably think it’s unnecessarily surly, but they are likely to be idiots.

Nestled in a typically laid-back corner of Ocean Beach (next to the aptly-named Bacon Street), Hodad’s is the epitome of what you could call surf-shack-chic.

It’s plastered with license plates that look like they coaxed drunk people into donating, there are longboards for tables, and there’s half a VW camper van plonked in the middle as a crazy take on the ‘romantic’ table for two.

Their burgers, like the place and the staff, have a ‘take no shit’ attitude about them. It’s easy going, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin stuff. It’s like they literally think ‘You want a burger, right, here’s a fucking burger’, not in a bad way, but in a ‘we get it done’ one. Some people probably think it’s unnecessarily surly, but they are likely to be idiots.

Firstly, the burgers are huge. Bloody huge. Like ‘we’re gonna need a bigger boat’ huge.

The slice of tomato? Huge.

The grilled onions? Guess what, HUGE.

My compadre passed me his double cheeseburger and it was that-could-be-a-bowling-ball weighty. My choice of the bacon cheeseburger, influenced largely by the fact that Yianni, of MEATliquor / #MEATEASY / Meatwagon fame, once told us that his bacon ‘patty’ was partly inspired by Hodad’s. Intrigued was an understatement.

This is a classic, greasy, chock-full-o’-stuff burger. They semi-wrap them in waxed paper, In-n-Out stylee, which is integral in keeping them together when eating, because these behemoths would be nigh-on impossible to eat comfortably without it.

The star of the show is, predictably, the bacon. It looks like it’s cooked, then chopped up, then smashed into a patty-sized lump and throw in, even getting its own slice of cheese. It’s chewy, salty and substantially porky. Definitely a top-billing as opposed to a bit part player. It’s a shame that they didn’t melt the cheese into the bacon like they had with the burger, but hey-ho.

The heft of the burger and hog patty aside, it’s pretty standard fare for this region of SoCal, packed with all you’d expect. It’s not the best burger you’ll ever eat, but it’s definitely an experience I’d recommend you try.

Sit in the VW booth and get a picture.

  • Rob.

hodadies.com

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