Ocean Beach Restaurants

  • At the Vine, this table won't be empty for long
    At the Vine, this table won't be empty...
    by Rixie
  • Not quite at the end is the OB Pier Cafe!
    Not quite at the end is the OB Pier...
    by lmkluque
  • I'll have to try those shakes...
    I'll have to try those shakes...
    by Rixie

Most Recent Restaurants in Ocean Beach

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    "Hodad's!! ": A Nostalgic Frame Of Mind

    by lmkluque Updated May 28, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hodad's

    If you don't know or don't remember, "Hodad" is surfer speak for "a surfer wannabee." Anyone who owns a surfboard, takes it to the beach, but never quite makes it into the ocean is a hodad.

    Originally, Hodad's was located on the beach at Saratoga and Abbot Streets in Ocean Beach, but moved up on Newport Avenue and made a few changes. You might not believe it when you see it now, but the Newport Avenue location is a neater and cleaner version. Surfboards hang from the ceiling, the VW microbus is still there and so is the parade of interesting characters.

    This is not a "fine dining" type of restaurant nor is it a typical American fast food place and I know that hamburgers made from real beef are frowned upon by the health conscious members of our society, but let this not keep you from having the experience of eating at Hodad's. It is a blast from the past for those of us who grew-up on the beaches of California during the 60's surfer boon and it could be a bit of California Surfer Culture History for those of you who didn't.

    Warning: Hodad's burgers are big--you can order a "mini"--they are juicey and they are delicious.

    Favorite Dish: Hodad's offer three sizes of burgers, mini, normal, and double. At least on your first visit order a double, everything will come on it unless you specifically request otherwise. The burgers are wrapped in wax paper to keep in everything that will fall out if you tried to eat it without.

    I suggest getting the double bacon cheeseburger basket, fries are included and don't forget to order a "malted" mine is chocolate and better than a "shake."

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    Bar-B-Que House!: For The Barbecue Fix!

    by lmkluque Updated May 28, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bar-B-Que House Entrance

    Barbecue, Barbeque, Bar-B-Que, BBQ all of these mean the same thing and refers to one of the few traditionally American meals we have, or the way in which this meal is traditionally cooked or even where we cook it.

    The fact is that there is great discussion and controversy over the issue of BBQ! The origin is not something that can be locked down because in various parts of this country and at various times, Native Americans, Pioneers and in the west, Cowboys, BBQ-ed. Which means they cooked various types of meat slowly over wood or coals or smoked in smoke houses.

    The meat we grill on the Barbecue in the backyard is called BBQ-ing, but the BBQ aficionados--and let me tell you, BBQ-ing is a fine art with some Americans--would never consider cooking on the barbecue in the backyard anything more than grilling, no matter how delicious the sauce was.

    There are regions of this country that have signature elements to their BBQ, in Texas they use beef brisket, in the Carolinas pork shoulder or the whole pig is used, in Kansas City you find ribs, generally pork ribs but beef is used too, in Kentucky Mutton is most common. The thing all these traditions have in common is low cooking temperatures over a long time with the introduction of smoke to flavor and tenderize.

    Then there is the subject of sauces! Smokey, Spicy, Sweet, more combination of flavors than you can guess. Also thick or thin depending on which part of the country your favorite comes from.

    By tradition, the toughest and meager cuts of beef, pork, mutton even chicken are chosen and slowly cooked until they are tender and falling off the bone.

    With such a wide variety of choices, we each can have fun trying them all out at restaurants such as the Bar-B-Que House which does use the traditional slow cooking method.

    Favorite Dish: As a tester, try the Western Style Sandwich ($5.99) and if you like the flavor then go back and order the beef or pork Roast Dinner Plate ($9.99) You get a lot for your money.

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    Sapporo Japanese Restaurant!: OB Style Fast Food!!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 14, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not as fancy as you might expect
    1 more image

    If you want to get out of the sun and away from the ocean breeze try the quiet and intimate setting at Sapporo. It's small, dimly lite and a great place for conversation.

    I am not a sushi aficionado, but I like the California Roll, so you will have to make your own judgement of the offerings at Sapporo. If sushi is your passion, Sapporo's might be disappointing and I wouldn't know it..

    This is a place for the casual sushi fan. It is opened seven days a week for lunch and dinner and they take credit cards.

    Favorite Dish: You are on your own as to what to order here. Though I haven't tried it yet, I have heard that the OB Roll is wonderful.

    Related to:
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    Espresso Pizza Ristorante Italiano!: Fine Dining in OB!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 14, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fine Dining OB Style

    What a dilemma! Do you run across the street from the beach to grab a pizza or do you go to your hotel and change into something more presentable to have a meal at Espresso? Well, you can choose either of those or you can order from your hotel room and have the food delivered.

    Family owned and operated--not a surprise in OB--for more than twenty years this is still an OB favorite. There are curtains in the windows, but they are pulled together to give great view of the ocean. Table linens and flowers give a romantic feel in the dining room and on Thursdays nights the guitarist adds to the atmosphere.

    The prices are higher and if that is a consideration for your budget, go on a Tuesday night and have the "all-you-can-eat" Spaghetti Special ($4.99) including salad.

    Favorite Dish: Budget meal:
    Appetizer: Side of Sausage ($1.75)
    Sandwich: Veal and Peppers ($6.50)
    Pasta: Spaghetti in Garlic and Oil ($4.75- $6.50) Served with salad or soup.

    If you're not on a budget enjoy! Order everything on the menu you like, including, of course, pizza, but be sure to make room for their homemade Tiramisu ($5.75)

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Jungle Java!: You'd NEVER Guess!!!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 14, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This building is NOT a building!

    Well to set things straight from the beginning it is Jungle Java, not Java Jungle as I seem to keep calling it.

    Sorry.

    I've walked past Jungle Java many times since it opened in '93, I think it was and not until I entered Jungle Java did I discover it's secret. Okay, maybe it's not really a secret, rather something You'd NEVER Guess!!!

    Until you enter Jungle Java you'd never guess that it was not actually a building. All this time I thought it was similar to the BBQ House, with a recessed patio section in front. Cleverly, the owners cleaned up an area between two buildings and created a tropical jungle atmosphere to serve their coffee from. So, if you want a break from the grainy sand, or the hot sun, just walk half a block east from the beach and have a cuppa Java in the concrete jungle.

    Along with the coffee, they also sell international garden ornaments, local artisans created gift items and of course plants.

    Favorite Dish: The menu is pretty simple for a coffee house and depending on my mood, I'd choose any of the following:
    Espresso
    Cafe Mocha
    Quiche, Spinach & Mushroom
    StuffedCroissant, Spinach & Cheese
    Pain au Chocolat
    Biscotti

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    Your Mama's Mug!: Also Independently Owned!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 14, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Next to the Hostel

    There are at least ten coffee houses to choose from in OB and many are on Newport Avenue. Pick the ones that appeal to you and enjoy. This is one I've chosen and suggest it for your consideration. There is a small outdoor seating section for anyone not staying at the Hostel. It is situated in a perfect location, especially for those who are staying at the OB International Hostel and who might not want to make their own coffee first thing in the morning!

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    Starbucks!: Winds of Change?

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 14, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Never Thought I'd see the day!

    Starbucks--a CHAIN coffeehouse--in Ocean Beach--the CAPITAL of Independently Owned--is somenthing the OB'ceans have fought against for many years. I haven't discovered how this came about but will be interested to find out.

    Starbucks is located right on Newport Avenue, but down towards the end. It didn't seem to be very busy when I was there and one employee told me that since it's opening in September of 2001 studies have shown that other businesses, including other coffeehouses have had at least a 10% increase in profits. I wonder if that is actually due to Starbucks arrival or to the tendency we had, after 9-11-01, to stay home?

    He also said that the community has been very welcoming. That too I question, especially after seeing the Starbucks logo at the bottom of this OB Page.

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    Theo's Restaurant!: In The Mood For Greek?

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 14, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Right next door to the OB International Hostel

    Like many Greek restaurants in San Diego, Theo's is pretty casual, but the food is good and the prices are reasonable. What I like most about it is the recessed entrance with room for a few tables outside.

    Whether or not you're staying at the OB International Hostel, stop at Theo's anytime between ten in the morning and ten at night any day of the week and enjoy a great meal with friendly service and watch the activity along Newport Avenue.

    Favorite Dish: Theo's menu isn't limited to Greek food, you can have pizza, pasta or sandwiches, but why pass up an opportunity to have some hummus, a gyro and a big fresh Greek salad?

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    • School Holidays
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    Ocean Beach Pier Cafe: Come As You Are!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 14, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not quite at the end is the OB Pier Cafe!
    3 more images

    The Ocean Beach Pier Cafe looks like a great place to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with a fantastic panoramic view along this portion of the California coastline.

    However, when I tried it out I was a bit disappointed. Pretty much on the same lines as at the Tin Fish in Imperial Beach, the prices were too high for what they served at such a casual place in the midst of fishermen and all the strong oders that are floating in the breeze.

    The open, nautical decor of the cafe, was not entirely the most pleasing to the eye nor was it necessarily kept spotless. It depends on where you sit. My direct view happened to be the waitress station and to my left, the windows were so dirty that I couldn't even see the surfers down below. I did take a picture of the best interior view, so you see it wasn't really terrible.

    It was the prices at this family-owned cafe that I was disappointed in. I had been lead to expect a more affordable meal. The price of the "fish & chips" was $8.95 and we recieved only two small pieces of fish with a huge amount of fries. Even at Anthony's Fishette it was $7.97 for four pieces and that is smack in the middle of the tourist path.

    The waitress was welcoming, friendly and accommodating. She stayed just as nice, even after my friend made a complaint. The fish seemed very fresh to me but my friend said it had been frozen. Unforgivable to her way of thinking.

    Favorite Dish: The Cafe is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    They offer things like lobster omelet for breakfast, fish tacos for lunch, lobster tacos for dinner and clam chowder, but my suggestion is to just order a soda--not coffee, it was awful--sit outside, watch the people and activity on the pier or below the pier and enjoy the ocean breeze.

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    Hodad's: The best Burgers

    by bren1125 Updated Mar 1, 2010

    The best burgers so be hungry because they are not the size of happy meal burgers. A local neighborhood restaurant with beach charm.

    They get busy so go before you are starving. There is always a line after 11:00 am but worth the wait. You only need to get one order of fries to share.

    An eclectic atmoshpere with good service and friendly people.

    Favorite Dish: Burger and fries with an old fashion root beer.

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    • Travel with Pets

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    Lighthouse Ice Cream and Yogurt: Take an Ice Cream Break

    by Rixie Updated Aug 26, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I'll have to try those shakes...

    Lighthouse Ice Cream and Yogurt features Bud's ice cream from San Francisco, which is one of my favorites. I treated myself to a waffle bowl with scoops of Kona chip and black cherry -- a delicious (albeit calorie-laden) break on a hot Southern California day. My husband had the chocolate peanut butter.

    They also sell pies and waffle ice cream sandwiches, although the latter is a step backward in dessert evolution. The ice cream cone was invented because waffle sandwiches dripped in the summer heat.

    When I go back, I'd like to try their milkshakes.

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    The Vine Wine Bar and Cafe: Wine, Beer, and More

    by Rixie Updated Aug 26, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the Vine, this table won't be empty for long

    This delightful and popular little place is known as a wine bar, but I was more interested in their extensive beer list -- both domestic and imported. The bartender was very knowledgeable and took a lot of time helping us decide what drinks to order. There were so many Belgian beers on the menu that I didn't know where to start. After hearing that I liked dark, sweet beers, he suggested that I try a Brasserie des Rocs, which was exactly what I wanted.

    We got there at 7:00 on a Friday night, just before the rush, and sipped our drinks at the bar while we waited for a table. The Vine does not accept dinner reservations, so you can expect a wait during peak hours.

    Favorite Dish: I had the seared salmon, which was drizzled with an exquisite sherry-Dijon sauce and served on a bed of their special garlic mashed potatoes: a mixture of Yukon gold and sweet potatoes. Perfection!

    A sample menu is posted on their website.

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    • Beer Tasting
    • Wine Tasting

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