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San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Ocean Beach

Where to shop, eat, and play in the bohemian beach town
Ocean Beach San Diego neighborhood where Newport Avenue meets the ocean with the OB jetty in the background
Courtesy of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association

Ocean Beach is the quintessential laid-back, free-spirited California beach town. While much of its retro culture has persisted through the decades, OB has also welcomed many modern restaurants, bars, and shops, attracting a new generation of food lovers and sandy surfers

Here’s where to chow down, hang out, and gear up next time you’re wandering Newport Avenue and its nearby streets.

Table full of breakfast foods and drinks from San Diego restaurant Wonderland Ocean Pub located in the Ocean Beach neighborhood
Courtesy of the Wonderland Ocean Pub

Ocean Beach Food & Drink

Mad Munch Grilled Cheezer Co.

If you’re craving some warm, tasty, and cheesy comfort food, stop by Mad Munch Grilled Cheezer Co. Get their original grilled cheese and tomato soup, or mix it up with a breakfast sando, a meaty “cheezer,” or a basket of deep-fried cheddar cubes. 

4871-B Newport Avenue

The Template

Zebra print couches, ivy-covered bird cages hanging from the ceiling, a dinosaur skeleton sculpture… this is not your mama’s coffee shop. The Template offers creative lattés, as well as a kava bar, and hosts live music jam sessions on Monday nights. 

5032 Niagara Avenue

OB Noodle House

OB Noodle House is a popular local spot for Asian-fusion dishes like steak phở and fried rice. It’s also where the Screwball peanut butter whiskey shot originated, and it was featured on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If Guy gives his blessing, you know it’s gotta be good. 

2218 Cable Street


Since opening in 1969, Hodad’s has been a neighborhood staple for a classic burger and fries. Enjoy your meal in a retro-looking space with license plates, colorful stickers, and surfboards covering every inch of the walls and booths. 

5010 Newport Avenue

Kilowatt Brewing

You know the feeling of sitting in a dark, dull bar, looking around, and thinking… Now what? Well, those days of sipping your beer in boredom are over. At Kilowatt Brewing, you can play giant Jenga, participate in weekly trivia, exercise your creativity on a massive Lite-Brite board, and take down your friends in Battleship, all while enjoying craft brews under neon lights. 

1875 Cable Street


For both sweet and savory pastries, visit Azúcar, a Cuban-style patisserie in the heart of OB. There are dozens of options to choose from, but make sure to try the Cubano sandwich, guava and cheese pastry, and meat pies. 

4820 Newport Avenue

Blue Water Seafood

Serving only local fish, Blue Water Seafood is a popular spot for locals to come grab a fun cocktail alongside chipotle butter–doused shrimp tacos or yellowtail sashimi. Added bonus: You can enjoy the catch of the day with a view of the waves.

5083 Santa Monica Avenue, Suite 2B

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

You get the best of both worlds at The 3rd Corner. The spot is half wine shop and half trendy bistro, so you can explore the store’s extensive vino selection before bringing your bottle over for dinner with a mere $5 corkage fee. 

2265 Bacon Street

Lighthouse Ice Cream

Whether you’re 5 or 95, the best way to end a day in the sun is with a massive ice cream cone in hand. Luckily, Lighthouse Ice Cream is only a few steps from the beach and offers a wealth of fun ice cream and sorbet flavors, including a hot waffle ice cream sandwich. 

5059 Newport Avenue, Suite 102

Wonderland Ocean Pub

At Wonderland Ocean Pub, you can enjoy delicious tacos, burgers, and cocktails with a perfect view of the waves. On Mondays, the restaurant lays down local mussels in four different sauces for $10 a pound.

5083 Santa Monica Avenue, Suite 2B

It’s Raw Poke Shop

A no-frills, counter-service shop, It’s Raw Poke Shop has made a name in the community for its fresh, delicious fish and edamame and mac salad sides, all served just steps away from the sand. Don’t expect tons of toppings here: It’s Raw serves poke lightly dressed over rice.

4991 Newport Avenue, Suite A

The Holding Company

Located in a three-story building in the heart of OB, The Holding Company is a music venue, restaurant, and rooftop bar all wrapped up in one, ensuring you don’t need to go anywhere else for your night out on the town. You can even come back the next morning for a bloody mary and eggs benny to cure your hangover. 

5046 Newport Avenue

Raglan Public House

Head over to Raglan Public House for New Zealand–inspired burgers and craft beers and cocktails. Popular dishes include the wagyu smash burger, seared rare ahi tuna burger, and classic NZ meat pies and chips. 

1851 Bacon Street

La Doña

Quality Mexican cuisine? Check. Good vibes? Check. Woman-owned? Check. Head chef and owner Gabby Lopez draws from the flavors of Guadalajara and Baja California. Enjoy a spicy marg and ceviche al fresco on La Doña’s shaded outdoor patio. 

1852 Bacon Street

The Olive Tree Market

If you don’t have enough time for a sit-down meal on your way to the shore, stop at The Olive Tree Market, a local spot for craft beer and wine, basic groceries, and legendary deli sandwiches. Seriously. Your beach picnic will never be the same.

4805 Narragansett Avenue 

Ocean Beach pier located in San Diego

Explore Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Farmers Market

If you’re in OB on a Wednesday evening, chances are you will stumble upon the Ocean Beach Farmers Market, a buzzing ensemble of hot food, produce, clothing, and unique handmade goods. It’s nearly impossible to make it through without succumbing to the symphony of seductive smells coming from the food booths, so come hungry. 

4900 Newport Avenue

Dog Beach

As one of the country’s first off-leash dog beaches, OB’s Dog Beach is a classic San Diego stop if you have a furry friend (or if you just want to be surrounded by tons of cute, salt water–loving pups).

5156 West Point Loma Blvd & Voltaire Street

OB Pier

The OB Pier is a great place to watch the sunset or even set up a fishing rod. You can also grab fish and chips at the café at the end of the pier, catching views of the ocean as far as the eye can see. 

5091 Niagara Avenue

Ocean Beach Tide Pools

To get a glimpse into life under the sea, head to the Ocean Beach Tide Pools, where you can see crabs, anemones, starfish, and other critters at low tide. Once the tide comes back in, you can sit back on the rocks and enjoy the crashing waves and setting sun.

1779 Ocean Front Street

Robb Athletic Field

If you’re into skateboarding, basketball, tennis, soccer, baseball, running, or walks with a view, you’ll enjoy spending an afternoon at OB’s Robb Athletic Field. It’s a staple community gathering place where you can meet up with friends or bring the kids to play at the playground. 

2525 Bacon Street

Casablanca Cove & Bear Cove

Down a flight of stairs on the edge of the Santa Cruz Cliffs in Ocean Beach, you’ll find two coves carved into the sandstone, providing a peaceful backdrop to watch the waves roll in. It’s an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of town.

5039 Santa Cruz Avenue 

Murals of OB

Ocean Beach is a colorful community, not only because of the eclectic people and funky eateries, but also thanks to the countless murals painted throughout the streets. The mural project began in 1999, and various local artists have since added their own flair, emphasizing the history and identity of OB.

Bacon, Newport, and Cable Streets 

Front of vintage thrift store and boutique called Sunshine Daydreams in Ocean Beach San Diego
Courtesy of Sunshine Daydreams OB

Ocean Beach Shops & Boutiques

South Coast Wahines

Worried your wardrobe isn’t beachy enough for SD? Stop by South Coast Wahines, and you’ll be stoke-ified in no time. From sundresses and sandals to surf gear, this shop is stocked to the brim with sunny day essentials.

5037 Newport Avenue

Bernie’s Bike Shop

Owner Roger Lovett deems Bernie’s the last “real old-time bike shop” in the area. Vending everything from mountain bikes to cruisers, the shop has been equipping riders since the 1960s, and the staff offers affordable tune-up services to ensure your gear is in tip-top shape. 

1911 Cable Street

Good Worth & Co.

There’s something for everyone at Good Worth, a San Diego clothing and accessory brand with a boutique in the heart of Ocean Beach. Expect giftable kitsch here: keys shaped like a hand flipping the bird, cowboy hat ashtrays, mushroom rugs. 

1859 Cable Street

Ocean Beach Antique Mall

If you’re an antiquing addict, pass several happy hours searching for treasure at the Ocean Beach Antique Mall, which has spent years accumulating hundreds of vintage jewelry pieces, décor items, and trinkets. 

4926 Newport Avenue

SunShine Daydreams

The 1970s called; it likes your outfit. Deck yourself out in the signature bohemian OB look at SunShine Daydreams, a boutique slinging clothing, accessories, jewelry, and shoes in a range of funky colors and patterns. 

4979 Newport Avenue

Family Business Tattoo

In case you’ve had such a great time in OB that you want to commemorate it with ink, get a fresh tattoo at Family Business. You can also book an appointment for a new piercing or permanent makeup.

4843 Voltaire Street, Suite B

Solid Surfboards

Visit Solid Surfboards for eco-friendly boards made with recyclable cores and reinforced with organic hemp fibers. If you want something ultra-customized, talk to an in-house shaper to design your dream board from scratch. 

1926 Bacon Street

Crystal Visions

Whether you’re new to the world of crystals or you already have an impressive collection at home, check out Crystal Visions, a shop offering gems, jewelry, and holistic healing tools. After you’ve found your sparkles of choice, chat with owner Phillip Berry, an intuitive healer and crystal expert, about the metaphysical properties of crystals and the energy they hold. 

4966 Santa Monica Avenue, Suite K

Botanica Home and Garden

Calling all green thumbs! Bring the outdoors into your home with a plant from Botanica Home and Garden. Nestle your new friend into one of the shop’s locally handmade ceramic pots, or sign up for a pottery workshop onsite to create a one-of-a-kind vessel for your monstera. 

1909 Cable Street


When OBecians first heard that a Target would be moving into the neighborhood, they immediately formed petitions, took to social media, and fought to keep it out of their beach town. Today, you’ll likely see them there buying last-minute ingredients for their entry in the chili cook-off or stocking up on holiday lights for the annual Christmas parade. If you can’t beat ’em…

4864 Newport Avenue

By Lili Kim

Lili Kim is an editorial intern at San Diego Magazine. She plans to graduate from the University of San Diego in 2024 with a degree in Communication and serves as the Assistant News Editor at the USD Vista. A few of her goals in life include becoming a full time writer, building her travel photography portfolio, and finding the best taco in SD.

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