San Diego’s trendy Hillcrest neighborhood is the original location of the Hash House A Go Go franchise. The restaurant brought good ol’ American Midwest comfort food to Southern California’s hippest neighborhood. Since first opening in 2000, the restaurant has burst onto the culinary breakfast scene moving into select neighborhoods in cities across the country. To see where the magic began, make your way to 5th Avenue near historic Balboa Park.
When a restaurant catches the attention of over 20 national media favorites including the Rachael Ray Show, Spin Magazine, Travel Channel, Man vs. Food, Condé Nast, and Bon Appétit – like Hash House has, it’s almost mandatory to experience it for yourself. Hash House A Go Go consistently ranks high on consumer review sites with thousands of reviews, and has been the recipient of countless awards including another recent Gold Medallion for Best Breakfast/Brunch by the California Restaurant Association.
Hash House A Go Go Ambiance
Hash House A Go Go has a familiar neighborhood ambiance that appeals to locals and tourists alike. The burgundy exterior is a modern twist on the timeless diner theme right down to the neon lighting and Hash House retro font. Inside, tables are crammed together in a sea of neutral colors; gray metal backed chairs surround them. Walls sport framed black-and-white photography. The space feels warm, comfortable, and lived in; guests are casually dressed, relaxed, and noisy, like a big family reunion where you don’t know your relatives, but feel like family anyway. All eyes are on the food here where heaps of “twisted farm food” grab up the attention.
Hash House A Go Go Food
If you’re among those who believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’re in luck, because breakfast is served at Hash House A Go Go from morning to night. Their original Sage Fried Chicken and Waffle Tower is Chef Andy’s creation that put the restaurant on the map. The Sage Fried Chicken Benedict is another of the restaurant’s crowd pleasers; and of course, the house hashes are a hit, including the veggie lovers’ favorite with fresh mushroom, artichoke hearts, sundried tomato, and fresh spinach. Hash House griddled French toast with their signature Amish-style bread dipped in banana cinnamon cream with pecan maple syrup is so thick it’s mind boggling to guess how they still managed to cook it to perfection.
Although Hash House A Go Go is best known for breakfast with giant pancakes, stacks of waffles, sage chicken, and hearty hashes, the menus are packed with “famous” entrées. One such lunch entrée is the one-pound stuffed burger in six different styles; for dinner Andy’s twisted stuffed burgers add three more choices. Other Hash House traditions include chicken pot pie, “famous” meatloaf, and crispy pork tenderloin. You can still order breakfast off the dinner menu, including the Tractor Driver Combo – two eggs with bacon sausage or potatoes and a signature pancake with flavors like blueberry pecan and mango coconut. It’s a challenge for even the heartiest eater to finish one of these generously portioned meals, and nearly everyone leaves with leftovers, just like dining at Grandma’s house.
Hash House A Go Go Details
Hash House A Go Go is an insanely popular San Diego restaurant where there is a wait nearly every day, but especially during summer. For the sake of efficiency, you can leave your phone number with the host and receive a text when your table is ready. The in-demand restaurant does not take reservations, but you can call in for take-out, grab a hearty meal to-go, and head a few blocks to Balboa Park for a relaxing picnic.
Fifth Avenue is on a one-way street going north with street parking. There is also bike parking. The restaurant is ADA accessible. Among their many awards is a Nickelodeon Award for Best Breakfast Parents’ Pick, so bring the kids! Be forewarned that portions are enormous (featured on Man vs. Food), so take that into consideration when ordering and planning your itinerary for the day. Hash House is a high energy, casual restaurant that is often noisy; be ready. There are TVs in the bar, but no Wi-Fi is available. The restaurant is open early mornings to mid-afternoon, closes for late afternoon hours, and reopens for the dinner hour and into the night. They are not open for dinner on Mondays.
Hash House A Go Go Neighborhood
Hillcrest has been dubbed the Greenwich Village of San Diego. The eclectic neighborhood is a symbol of culture and diversity. It’s an urban neighborhood with character, and an inclusive multi-ethnic and gay-friendly vibe. A casual stroll down University Avenue in this trendy neighborhood reveals stylish boutiques, vintage clothing stores, ethnic and themed restaurants, wine bars, and a vibrant nightlife.
Hash House A Go Go is located within two minutes of Balboa Park. When you leave the restaurant, go right on Anderson Place and right on 6th Avenue to Laurel Street/El Prado and turn left into the park. Parking will be on your right. Balboa Park is a must-see in the Hillcrest neighborhood, and it couldn’t be easier to get there from Hash House A Go Go. It is the largest urban park in the country, and sits on over 1,200 acres, sharing space with the famous San Diego Zoo. It is host to 15 museums, lush green spaces, a majestic fountain at the end of El Prado Promenade, Old Globe Shakespearean theater, the Organ Pavillion with one of the largest pipe organs in the world, and the Spanish Village Art Center where you can watch working artists and purchase their work on the spot.
If you make Hillcrest your vacation headquarters, Sommerset Suites Hotel is a best value hotel located at Washington Street and 6th Avenue. The convenient location makes it an easy drive to any of San Diego’s other attractions, and is only one block from the neighborhood’s happening epicenter on University Avenue. Suites can accommodate four or six guests depending on style. There is a flat-bottom swimming pool and heated spa tub on the premises. Best of all, it’s only four blocks from Hash House A Go Go for a fantastic breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner.