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Family-friendlySan Diego County

Bite into a burger by the beach at Hodad's in San Diego

Hodad's on Newport Avenue in San Diego is a classic burger joint, a block from the beach. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Hodad's on Newport Avenue in San Diego is a classic burger joint, a block from the beach. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Why: Is it the onions? The beef? The thrill of waiting in line among the wayward beach people of Ocean Beach in San Diego? It's impossible to say. But Hodad's, born in 1969, has won a reputation as a classic burger joint, a block from the beach.

What: The walls are covered with license plates.The best table is a truncated surfer van. The people-watching on Newport Avenue will be a revelation to anybody who thinks San Diego, with all its military and Republican history, has no scruffy lefties.

Non-surfers are welcome at Hodad's in San Diego. None
Non-surfers are welcome at Hodad's in San Diego.

To avoid waiting in line, get there a few minutes before the 11 a.m. opening time. Or go to one of the restaurant's newer locations: one downtown, and one in Petco Park, where the Padres play.

By the way, as the beach culture authorities at Merriam-Webster note, a hodad is "a non-surfer who frequents surfing beaches and pretends to be a surfer."

Where: 5100 Newport Ave., San Diego, 123 miles southeast of downtown L.A.

How much: Double cheeseburger with fries, $10.75.

Info: Hodad's

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