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Hob Nob Hill Restaurant, San Diego, California…

Posted by on September 20, 2013

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013


I’ve been dining at Hob Nob for more than 40 years!

While still in San Diego for “the last time for a long time” I couldn’t leave without one more meal at Hob Nob Hill. It’s been around for a long while…I had breakfast there for the first time more than forty years ago when I came to San Diego to begin law school!  This restaurant, of all those I’ve mentioned, definitely merits a review and a plug. It’s truly one of the best…a San Diego tradition dating back to 1944. In that year, Dorothy and Harold Hoesch opened a 14-stool lunch counter in town called the Juniper Cafe. Their goal was to provide exceptionally good food at reasonable prices. That goal has been reached and maintained for decades in San Diego as the Cafe morphed into tody’s Hob Nob. I got to know Harold and Dorothy pretty well many years ago and it was in part their influence that instilled in me a love of cooking. For the longest time, I dreamed about owning and directing my own restaurant. I used to chat with Harold about it often. He encouraged me to “stick with law” which of course I did and which was probably pretty good advice for me to have gotten. I’ve never had any formal culinary training and I’d probably have flopped as a restauranteur!


Hob Nob Hill, a dining tradition in San Diego for sixty years! Don’t miss it. Guy Feirei definitely “got it right” with this one…one of his TV “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

Hob Nob has been located at the corner of First and Juniper Streets continuously since 1946, and has claimed the title of being the oldest San Diego restaurant in the same location. The food and service has always been exceptional. The fare is comfort food…American Home Cooking.  There’s a special every day that makes what is already a reasonably priced lunch or dinner even more appealing.   The servers operate as a team. In this unique arrangement, everyone in the dining room works together sharing the responsibility to serve the guests. As a result, you will get super service and your gratuity is  pooled and divided among the waitresses and bus boys.  There’s always someone to warm up your coffee or provide anything table-side you might need. Some of the servers have been working there as long as I’ve been eating there…that pretty well says it all about the place. Just about everything from baking fresh muffins and cakes to curing corned beef is done right on the premises.

Hob Nob is also a great place to watch San Diego’s “players” dine. It’s not uncommon to see  judges, politicians and a dozen attorneys all enjoying breakfast or lunch. I suspect that many political decisions affecting lots of San Diegans are made right here. I know that lots of trial tactics and strategy are discussed and debated withing the walls. It’s a bit like watching San Diego history in the making.


This sign has been posted at the cashier’s desk for as long as I can remember.

Harold and Dorothy sold the restaurant quite some time ago, but the new owners have done everything possible to maintain the momentum. They’d be foolish to fix something not broken like Hob Nob. They must have payed a bloody fortune to purchase! Here’s an example of the lunch menu, which hasn’t changed for decades: Corned Beef and Steamed Cabbage, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Old Fashioned Beef Stew and Dumpling and Braised Lamb Shank with Minted Jardiniere Sauce. Each entree comes with your choice of Soup du Jour, Tossed Green, Fiesta, Caesar, Fresh Spinach, Waldorf or Marinated Bean Salad. Included is a choice of potato, vegetable or warm apple sauce and a table-size loaf of home made bread. I’m getting hungry just writing about this post. Be sure not to miss Hob Nob Hill restaurant when you’re in San Diego. You won’t be disappointed!

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