There are a number of amazing and beautiful beaches in San Diego from Torrey Pines to La Jolla to Mission Beach. I honestly have never really considered checking out Ocean Beach (OB), mainly because it is a bit far for me compared to all of the other beaches. Unlike the other beaches, OB is home to the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. And when I hear my friends talk about OB it’s usually “Taco Tuesdays” in OB, eat at the original Hodad’s, or dog beach. For my most recent trip to OB, we had lunch at Hodad’s, and made our way to the pier where we were greeted by a surprising amount of Tuna Crabs on the beach.
Since it wasn’t a Tuesday we didn’t get tacos; Hodad’s it is!
Hodad’s has one of the best burgers you can get in San Diego, and what I personally think makes it even better is that it’s a local joint and now run by their second generation. It was actually pretty big news when the original founder Byron Hardin passed way recently (early 2015).
The place really does represent San Diego. The inside is decorated with lots of license plates, surfboards, and interesting paintings on the walls. The place is covered with all of that stuff. If that’s not enough, the place is just packed!
There is (almost always) a long line outside, just to get seated. The good thing is that once you’re seated service is pretty quick. We were seated at a bar looking into the street; a perfect people watching spot. I also loved that servers actually went outside to serve us, that way they can actually see us and not make us turn around.
“All burgers come with: mayo, mustard, onion, ketchup, pickle, tomato, and lettuce unless you say otherwise.” We got our cheese burger with everything. The burger options start from a simple mini burger (pretty much like a regular burger you would get at McDonalds) to pretty fancy Guido Burger (inspired by Triple D’s Guy Fieri, our burger served with Pastrami, ketchup, pickles, swiss cheese, grilled onions and spicy brown mustard) to an All You Can Eat option for $99.25.
We just got a cheese burger for the two of us to share and upgraded our burger to a basket where we get fries on the side. Our server actually made sure our burger was already cut in half for us to share. Extra point to them for doing that for us!
There are also 1.5 other locations. I say 0.5 because their is a seasonal location inside of Petco Park (baseball stadium), and the other located in downtown San Diego.
|Hodad’s Ocean Beach ( Yelp )
5010 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
|Hodad’s Downtown ( Yelp )
San Diego, CA 92101
|Hodad’s Petco Park
San Diego, CA 92101
The Beach, The Pier…and tuna crabs
There is a pretty popular dog beach in OB, but just down the block from Hodad’s is Ocean Beach and the longest concrete pier on the West Coast and possibly the world. Its original purpose was to allow fishermen to fish without having to deal with the kelp along the beach extending 1971 feet into the ocean (source). And it is still a popular destination for fishing with a bait shop/cafe located on the pier.
For me, it’s a good spot to stop at for a few pictures of OB from the end of the pier.
Along the beach there was a little surprise. The beach was lined with these mysterious red things. There were quite a few of them swimming in the ocean as well, but most of them seemed to have been beached.
We had previously seen quite a few of these guys at the Cabrillo Tide Pools but none of them were alive (thanks to the birds). But then again these on the beach may not be that much luckier with people collected them into buckets (to cook?) and others . They were just piled on top of each other and from other pictures I saw online, it was like a sea of crabs. I guess I was at the beach a little too late to see that.
When I finally looked up what was going on, I found out these guys are Tuna Crabs (not some sort of crawfish). There weren’t any concrete answers to why they were showing up on San Diego beaches but many speculated that it was because of the warmer water along our coast.