Newport Avenue isn’t just an iconic beach street filled with colorful buildings and equally colorful people—it’s also filled with almost exclusively independent eateries. Azúcar is a little Cuban-style patisserie with coffee and morning bites like guava cheese puff pastries and coconut blueberry scones, plus desserts like mini cakes and flan. Down the street is Mad Munch Grilled Cheezer, which started as a food truck and moved into its own retail space last summer. Fans watch their Instagram page, where they announce new creations each month.
OB Beans Coffee Roasters and Wailua Shave Ice are two separate businesses that share one hangout-friendly retail space. The pho at OB Noodle House is so good that Guy Fieri took a trip there (he’s immortalized in paint on the wall) but they’re equally famous for their peanut-butter-and-Jameson shot. If you’re looking for a classic, juicy burger served in a punk environment by punks, get in line at Hodad’s, a pillar of the OB community since 1969. The freshest, top-notch seafood is at the beachside Blue Water, owned by two native “OBecian” brothers and lifelong fishermen whose first shop, in Mission Hills, is a city staple.
Tucked next to the area’s main park, Robb Field, is The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro, which functions as both a restaurant and retail wine shop without the heavy price markup. You pick up your favorite bottle and pay just a $5 corkage fee to drink it (outdoor dining and takeout is currently offered). Kilowatt Brewing Ocean Beach on Cable Street is lit up in neon and black lights to create a psychedelic feel, and has outdoor seating—the perfect space to enjoy your Passion Fruit Green Tea Ale.
And every night, the nonalcoholic crowd lines up at Lighthouse Ice Cream for their famous hot waffle ice cream sammies.
Just a block from Kilowatt is Good Worth, a boutique selling everything marijuana-themed, from T-shirts to keys. (If you’re not looking for weed-leaf accessories, they also sell products with middle finger or Playboy bunny designs—so really, there’s something for everyone.) Can’t decide on just one thing to eat or buy? Stop by the OB Farmers Market, which happens every Wednesday night from 4 to 8 p.m. Paraná Empanadas Argentinas has hot, fresh empanadas for you to eat as you browse through the pickles, flowers, and crystals. If you love shopping for antiques and want to fall into a time warp, the Ocean Beach Antique Mall is not to be missed.
If you have your furry friend with you, OB Dog Beach is a great place to swim and run with them—no leashes required. At sunset, head for OB Pier. There’s a café serving up fresh fish and chips takeout that goes great with a beer and the killer view. Or swim out past the buoy, named, in perfect OB fashion, “David Buoy.”