“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” chose Hodad’s for a darn good reason, and we invite you to taste that reason for yourself. Byron and Virginia Hardin opened the first Hodad’s in 1969 on the beach at the end of Santa Monica Avenue in Ocean Beach. They named it Hodad after the term for a non-surfer who spends time at the beach masquerading as a surfer.
Today, Hodad’s has two locations and operates multiple concession stands in Petco Park. It’s run by Byron and Virginia’s grandchildren, Shane and Lexi Hardin. Shane is the son of the late Mike “Bossman” Hardin, who made the restaurant famous. Business boomed once Mike Hardin took over and moved it to its current location on Newport in 1991. Hardin gave the joint its funky, slightly punky vibe, decorating it with funny vanity license plates, bumper stickers and surfboards. Hardin, who had “Bossman!” tattooed on his knuckles, was a famous San Diego figure. He was known for his support of his community, his energy and his passion for the family business.
Today, Hodad’s is an iconic restaurant known for its massive, sloppy, delicious burgers. The buns are grilled, the beef patties are big and juicy, and the toppings are piled high. Mike Hardin called these “sloppy, old fashioned, run-down-your-arms burgers.” And he wasn’t kidding!
Try the Blue Jay Burger, which has bleu cheese and grilled onions. After Guy Fieri brought “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” to Hodad’s in 2007, the burger joint came out with the Guido Burger, a masterpiece piled with pastrami, pickles, ketchup, swiss cheese, grilled onions and spicy brown mustard.
Hodad’s burgers are made with fresh ground beef, never frozen. Hodad’s also serves grilled cheese, chicken strips, chicken burgers, veggie burgers and tuna sandwiches. But let’s be real: that’s not why you come to Hodad’s!