The burgers at Hodad's were legendary among locals even before Guy Fieri put it on the national map by featuring the eatery several times on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives". Now, tourists and San Diegans line up on Newport Avenue to squeeze into Hodad's sticker-covered dining room to feast on juicy burgers, towering baskets of "frings" (onion rings and fries) and creamy milkshakes. Fieri inspired the Guido burger, topped with pastrami, swiss and grilled onions, but the signature burger here is the bacon cheeseburger, crowned with woven patty of bacon; Hodad's estimates that it sells between 1,200 and 1,500 burgers every day.
The iconic restaurant, which moved into its current Ocean Beach digs 23 year ago, lost its incomparable Bossman, owner Mike Hardin, when he passed away suddenly in February. Hardin's son Shane and daughter Lexi now co-own the chainlet, which has another downtown location and an outpost in Petco Park, with Shane stepping in to fill his father's shoes at public events.