Some restaurants and cafes are part of the intrinsic fabric of the community of surfers who ride waves nearby. They are safe havens for barefoot warriors, hair still wet, who want substantial portions after a marathon session. While the clientele of these post-surf hangout spots certainly consists of people with water dripping out their nose, we strongly advise you to leave your wetsuit and yeast infections at home to effectively dodge being featured on the next @kook_of_the_day post. Here’s a list of the ten most iconic post surf eateries in California. —Jake Tellkamp
1. Pedro’s Tacos, San Clemente
Pedro’s is a staple for most San Clemente’s surfers diet because it’s cheap, fast and conveniently located a cobblestone’s throw away from Lowers. Nothing feels like summer more than stuffing your face with a California burrito as your wet boardshorts find warmth on the sunlit metal benches.
2. Seaside Market, Cardiff
Just a few cross steps across the tracks from San Elijo campgrounds, Seaside Market is a fixture for San Diego surfers. A typical fave is a slab of Cardiff Crack, local tri-tip that Seaside barbecues every Sunday.
3. Al Cappuccino, Newport Beach
Al Cap, as it’s affectionally known by Newport’s surfing populace, serves up some of the best bagels and coffee combos we have ever feasted on. Tyler Gunter says, “I’ve been going there almost every morning for the last 8 years. Angie and Mr. Lee are the nicest people you will ever meet and they make amazing food”.
4. Hoagies, Pismo Beach
There is a reason to surf the frigid and often blown out walls of Pismo pier and it’s the sandwich spot located 100 yards from the parking lot. The “Dirty Bird” is a preposterous portion of barbecue chicken fingers, melted pepper jack cheese and french fries wrapped perfectly by one of Central California’s natural beauties. Hoagies also boasts a patio where you can sip from their wide variety of brews with your dog.
5. Sugar Shack, Huntington Beach
Many of Huntington Beach’s best talents have bussed tables here to fund their next surf trip, which makes it the go-to hangout spot for Matt Passaquindici and friends. “After a surf, nothing sounds better than The Shack. The food is great and nothing feels more like home. My go to is the Keppler’s Special”.
6. Nick’s Deli, Seal Beach
The breakfast burrito here is the holy ground for cheap eats. For six bucks and change, you’ll get a monstrous portion of fluffy eggs, melted cheddar cheese, sautéed potatoes, chorizo and hot sauce. Local legend Chad Wells says it’s the taste of Seal Beach. “Nick’s is the first place I eat whenever I get back from a trip. It’s easily the best breakfast burrito in the world!”
7. Metropulos, Santa Barbara
When it comes to places to eat after a surf at Rincon, the only person to ask is a Curren. Soft spoken like his dad, Tom, Pat Curren told us that Metropulos is the best sandwich shop in SB. “It’s a local gem, somewhere you probably wouldn’t just stumble upon.” Pay Metropulos a visit and you may just find Pat and Tom talking steeze and cheese.
8. Cliff Cafe, Santa Cruz
Pleasure Point’s long righthanders work up a big appetite. Luckily for Eastsiders like Bud Freitas, Cliff Cafe serves up home cooked food for those with a ravenous appetite. It’s conveniently situated next door to Freeline, the iconic surf shop ran by Pete Mel’s pops.
9. Devils Teeth, San Francisco
You may think that the name Devils Teeth is a oral disease brought on after you gorge yourself on the sweet pastries at this busy bakery, but you’d be wrong. The name derives from the Farallon Islands, which were nicknamed Devil’s Teeth by sailors in 1850 due to the white shark population that calls these creepy waters home.
10. Cafe Habana, Malibu
As the name hints at, Cafe Habana brings you the flavors of Cuba. According to Dillon Perillo, it’s the place for fish tacos — grilled wild caught mahi mahi, avocado, cabbage, pico de gallo and a chipotle crema that will set you back 16 bucks. Go ahead and treat yourself. You probably deserve it after getting roasted by Tosh.0 and Matthew McConaughey.
Did your favorite miss the list? Let us know in the comment section below.