Woody’s Breakfast and Burgers is the kind of oceanfront eatery where you’ll likely hear the two guys next to you having a running commentary on the morning surfers in the distance. Even though they look the same to you out on the water in their wetsuits, these guys know each of them by their hair, their boards, and their moves. That’s the definition of a local hang-out. If you’re yearning to be part of SoCal beach culture, Woody’s on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach is your kind of place. If it’s your first time at this casual beachside joint, grab a table upstairs for a bird’s-eye view of all the action.
Woody’s Breakfast & Burgers Ambiance
The only thing separating Woody’s Breakfast and Burgers from the beach is Ocean Front Walk – the boardwalk that connects Pacific and Mission beaches and a short seawall. In fact, don’t stretch your legs out too far from under the front counter, or you may get your toes run over by a bicyclist. The contemporary white exterior with chocolate trim, rainbow stripes, and patio dining on two stories is beach casual. There is an “Order Here” window, a self-serve patio coffee bar, and a large “Pick-up” window.
Small wood-top bistro tables with folding dark wood-slat chairs are scattered about the sandy concrete lower dining area under colorful umbrellas. A long wood breakfast bar with chocolate colored stools runs the length of the restaurant along the edge of the boardwalk. Upstairs is another long counter with casual, shiny metal stools. A U.S. flag is perched atop the restaurant. Woody’s is the perfect place to grab a coffee or latte for your brisk morning walk, or a burger to break up a day of tanning and beach volleyball.
Woody’s Breakfast & Burgers dishes up delectable breakfast plates and scrambles. Carne asada breakfast burrito with house-marinated carne asada, eggs, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, and black beans, served with fragrant rosemary potatoes is a San Diego surfer’s favorite breakfast. Another savory breakfast choice is the Popeye Scramble made with eggs, spinach, mushrooms, red peppers, and feta cheese. For those who prefer their breakfast sweet to savory, Mancakes are fluffy pancakes loaded with sausage bites, and Captain Crunch French Toast speaks for itself!
You’ll be happy to know that breakfast burritos are served all day. Otherwise, for lunch and dinner, choose from their selection of three ground beef burgers – Li’l Woody at one-third pound, Big Woody at one-half pound, and The Buddha Burger with 1 pound of beef piled high with sugar-spiced bacon, grilled onions, avocados, and American cheese. For lighter appetites, try the fish tacos topped with lettuce, cheese, jalapeño white sauce, and house-made mango salsa. Vegetarian items are also available. Acai or yogurt bowls and smoothies provide a refreshing way to start your day.
Woody’s Breakfast and Burgers is open from sunup to sundown. You can’t make reservations, or order delivery here, but they’ll prepare take-out for you. The casual eatery shines best at breakfast with ample coffee and tea choices too. They don’t have wait service; you have to order and pick-up your food yourself, and self-serve condiments for both coffee and food. There are no fancy perks like TV or Wi-Fi; they expect you to talk to people around you, or at a minimum people-watch and enjoy the view. There is nearby street parking, but since they’re right on the boardwalk, there is no bike parking.
Facing the ocean, you’ll see the iconic Crystal Pier to your right. This is where you can either fish, or pretend to fish. There’s a bait and tackle shop on the pier for serious fishermen, but if that’s not you, they also sell sodas, water, candy, and even some local tchotchkes. Crystal Pier is a terrific place to take shoreline and surfer photos. It’s also a nice spot for whale-watching during winter, and of course, it’s always a good location for watching the sunset too.
You can get beach-themed souvenirs at Milton’s Shell and Gift Shop or beachwear from Wahines on the boardwalk next to Crystal Pier. Make sure to check out Garnet Avenue from the pier and explore the eclectic mix of shops, bars, and other beach-themed businesses. Skechers Factory Outlet and Pangaea Outpost are traveler favorites. The Fabulous Rag Boutique has trendy women’s clothes, and Closet Signature has affordable casual wear.
Woody’s prime beachfront location gives diners easy access to Ocean Front boardwalk and the beach. Going to the right on the boardwalk, you’ll pass a plethora of interesting shops all the way to Crystal Pier. Going to the left on the boardwalk will take you past several gorgeous beachfront homes and eventually get you to historic Belmont Park and WaveHouse Beach Club – an entertainment venue featuring SurfPool and FlowBarrel.
Straddling the seawall in front of Woody’s, however, may be the most enjoyable of all with a view of the Pacific Ocean on one side and epic people-watching on the other.