Big Dean's Ocean Front Cafe

★★★★★
Step in from the sand at this no-fuss alternative to upscale Santa Monica bars.
  • 1615 Ocean Front Walk

    Santa Monica, CA 90401

    Cross street: Windward Avenue

    Map & Directions
  • 310-393-2666

Food

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3
★★★★★

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hey guys i'll be their sat 25 with some friends any special or discount being name DEAN myself

3
★★★★★

hey guys i'll be their sat 25 with some friends any special or discount being name DEAN myself

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This is what you want when you go to the beach....a laid back casual, fun friendly place with great burgers. On a saturday afternoon, I can sit in the front patio of Big Dean's all day eating juicy burgers, drinking beer and just watching the world go by. And I always end up meeting some of the most interesting people from all over the world. Plus the people who work there are like a family....a family that gets along that is!! They are always a great mood talking and joking around with you. If you're looking for a great time at the beach, then Big Dean's is the answer!

2
★★★★★

This is what you want when you go to the beach....a laid back casual, fun friendly place with great burgers. On a saturday afternoon, I can sit in the front patio of Big Dean's all day eating juicy burgers, drinking beer and just watching the world go by. And I always end up meeting some of the most interesting people from all over the world. Plus the people who work there are like a family....a family that gets along that is!! They are always a great mood talking and joking around with you. If you're looking for a great time at the beach, then Big Dean's is the answer!

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I love how you can come back there 6 months later and still see the same hard working staff there. Great base for my holiday in California. Rent a bike right next door. Inexpensive accomadation just a short walk away. The staff obviously enjoy their job and run this place perfectly. Nothing finer than seeing Skate board mam come through that door on her inline skates.Be back soon to get my next tee shirt.

2
★★★★★

I love how you can come back there 6 months later and still see the same hard working staff there. Great base for my holiday in California. Rent a bike right next door. Inexpensive accomadation just a short walk away. The staff obviously enjoy their job and run this place perfectly. Nothing finer than seeing Skate board mam come through that door on her inline skates.Be back soon to get my next tee shirt.

Pros: Great people watching, great fresh food, cheap beer and winn

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I liked the relaxed place, the service was fine, the beer was cold and the burger was great. Nice place. I'll go back. Felt comfortable there.

2
★★★★☆

I liked the relaxed place, the service was fine, the beer was cold and the burger was great. Nice place. I'll go back. Felt comfortable there.

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I blew into Big Dean's from Tennessee looking for a place to have a quick lunch and a cold one. Five hours, a order of awesome fish tacos and many cold ones later, sadly it was time for me to leave.Big Dean's is one of the last true ""dive bars"" to be found. Inside there was colorful memorabilia that adored every space of the walls. The attitude and atmosphere was easy going and casual. Mary, the bartender, was very pleasant and helpful in describing the food selections and drinks. I told her to give me what she would order, no more than 5 minutes later she came back with the best fish tacos I have ever had and very large beer. Wonderful! While eating, I struck up conversations with some of the locals. These easy going and friendly conversations became my gateway into the ""Big Dean's culture."" After a few hours of laughs, big stories, people watching and never ending beverages the ""Dude from Tennessee"" had make his departure. I took some pictures, paid what seemed like very reasonable bar tab, bought the T-shirt (Mary's choice of black) and with great directions to LAX, I waved my goodbyes to my new found friends and left with great memories and a promise to myself to get back next summer. Big Dean's is everything you want in beach side ""dive bar."" Good atmosphere, food, beverages, service and best of all, people. I have great pictures and memories (plus that slick T-shirt) that I share with everyone. I can't wait until the next time I'm in Santa Monica, I'm headed straight for Big Dean's and saying ""Mary, a order of fish tacos and a big cold beer please!"" and then immerse myself into the Big Dean's Culture. Do yourself a favor, go to Santa Monica and get yourself to Big Dean's. Who knows, you might just bump into the ""Dude from Tennessee.""

2
★★★★★

I blew into Big Dean's from Tennessee looking for a place to have a quick lunch and a cold one. Five hours, a order of awesome fish tacos and many cold ones later, sadly it was time for me to leave.Big Dean's is one of the last true ""dive bars"" to be found. Inside there was colorful memorabilia that adored every space of the walls. The attitude and atmosphere was easy going and casual. Mary, the bartender, was very pleasant and helpful in describing the food selections and drinks. I told her to give me what she would order, no more than 5 minutes later she came back with the best fish tacos I have ever had and very large beer. Wonderful! While eating, I struck up conversations with some of the locals. These easy going and friendly conversations became my gateway into the ""Big Dean's culture."" After a few hours of laughs, big stories, people watching and never ending beverages the ""Dude from Tennessee"" had make his departure. I took some pictures, paid what seemed like very reasonable bar tab, bought the T-shirt (Mary's choice of black) and with great directions to LAX, I waved my goodbyes to my new found friends and left with great memories and a promise to myself to get back next summer. Big Dean's is everything you want in beach side ""dive bar."" Good atmosphere, food, beverages, service and best of all, people. I have great pictures and memories (plus that slick T-shirt) that I share with everyone. I can't wait until the next time I'm in Santa Monica, I'm headed straight for Big Dean's and saying ""Mary, a order of fish tacos and a big cold beer please!"" and then immerse myself into the Big Dean's Culture. Do yourself a favor, go to Santa Monica and get yourself to Big Dean's. Who knows, you might just bump into the ""Dude from Tennessee.""

Pros: Atmosphere, staff, food, people

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A great place to rest if you are riding your bike along the boardwalk HOWEVER you may not be on your best balance by the time you leave. Fun crowd. A mix of neighborhood 'regulars' with tourists creates an interesting people watching situation. It's a beer/burger joint right next to the Santa Monica pier. \r
It's one of the most unpretentious places in Santa Monica where you can strike up a convo with a 'stranger'. \r
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2
★★★★☆

A great place to rest if you are riding your bike along the boardwalk HOWEVER you may not be on your best balance by the time you leave. Fun crowd. A mix of neighborhood 'regulars' with tourists creates an interesting people watching situation. It's a beer/burger joint right next to the Santa Monica pier. \r
It's one of the most unpretentious places in Santa Monica where you can strike up a convo with a 'stranger'. \r
\r
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Pros: Location is good along boardwalk

Cons: On a sunny weekend place will be packed service may go down

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Big Dean's is everything you want a beach bar to be - cold beer, awesome burgers and the most fun wait staff (JEFF!!)\r
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We love the front patio, but if it's too crowded - the back patio is tons of fun too. And they just redid it with a beautiful bar!\r
\r
Love Love Love Big Deans!!

2
★★★★★

Big Dean's is everything you want a beach bar to be - cold beer, awesome burgers and the most fun wait staff (JEFF!!)\r
\r
We love the front patio, but if it's too crowded - the back patio is tons of fun too. And they just redid it with a beautiful bar!\r
\r
Love Love Love Big Deans!!

Pros: At the beach, staff, burgers, cold beer, wings

Cons: that walk back up the pier afterwards!! lol

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You walk in a feel like you're among old buddies, or potential ones. The laid back atmosphere is perfect for walking right off the beach and enjoying a cold one (small, large, and extra large!) and a burger. My friends and I make it a ritual to go there after volleyball every weekend!

4
★★★★☆

You walk in a feel like you're among old buddies, or potential ones. The laid back atmosphere is perfect for walking right off the beach and enjoying a cold one (small, large, and extra large!) and a burger. My friends and I make it a ritual to go there after volleyball every weekend!

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Big Dean's represents so much of what I like about Santa Monica: good funny people, great scenery, and a chill vibe. I love stopping by here on weekends with friends to get a drink and just chill for an hour!

4
★★★★☆

Big Dean's represents so much of what I like about Santa Monica: good funny people, great scenery, and a chill vibe. I love stopping by here on weekends with friends to get a drink and just chill for an hour!

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Just a note to say that I really miss the bar and everyone there. (perhaps the only thing in LA that I miss!) Also would like to say (and pardon me if I repeat myself to some of you) I really miss...\r
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T.J. - whom I thought owned the place and whose name was of course Dean, glad he is back working there - just wasn't the same without him his wisecracks and expressive mug\r
\r
Bill- who after my 2 month absence last year remembered my name and favorite brew as soon as he saw me!\r
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Joe - who never remembered my name right for the first year or so, who had the greatest voice (should be in theater) that can cut through the din of any bar noise\r
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Brad - whose name I never remember right (called him Ed for 6 months) glad I got to see him one last time on one of his rare visits\r
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Scott - who shared NASCAR with me on Sundays\r
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Dallas - who I called Scott - also a great guy and very funny\r
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Chef - great cook and tremendously hard worker\r
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Chef's assistant - He seems pretty nice too!\r
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Mary-Frances - my dad always said,""You can take a lady to a bar but you'll never met a lady in a bar."" Glad to say that not only did a I meet a very nice, beautiful lady in the bar but that she was kind, considerate, hard working and I never heard her use coarse language or even utter a single curse word - but boy she could sure drink a beer like a truck driver!! I know she probably puts up with her share of abuse from the male clientele too but you'd never know it from her ever present smile. A real sweetheart\r
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Jeff - the guy that ""adopted"" me one cold night in December of '05. Thanks for introducing me to the rest of the crew \r
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Finally for everyone.I used to work in a place whose logo said""A great little bar in a great big city."" I feel like that describes Dean's exactly. Because what makes the place unique to me is the way all of you interact with each other. You guys put on a show for all of us and made us want to be in on the bar with you\r
\r
Thanks for the memories

2
★★★★★

Just a note to say that I really miss the bar and everyone there. (perhaps the only thing in LA that I miss!) Also would like to say (and pardon me if I repeat myself to some of you) I really miss...\r
\r
T.J. - whom I thought owned the place and whose name was of course Dean, glad he is back working there - just wasn't the same without him his wisecracks and expressive mug\r
\r
Bill- who after my 2 month absence last year remembered my name and favorite brew as soon as he saw me!\r
\r
Joe - who never remembered my name right for the first year or so, who had the greatest voice (should be in theater) that can cut through the din of any bar noise\r
\r
Brad - whose name I never remember right (called him Ed for 6 months) glad I got to see him one last time on one of his rare visits\r
\r
Scott - who shared NASCAR with me on Sundays\r
\r
Dallas - who I called Scott - also a great guy and very funny\r
\r
Chef - great cook and tremendously hard worker\r
\r
Chef's assistant - He seems pretty nice too!\r
\r
Mary-Frances - my dad always said,""You can take a lady to a bar but you'll never met a lady in a bar."" Glad to say that not only did a I meet a very nice, beautiful lady in the bar but that she was kind, considerate, hard working and I never heard her use coarse language or even utter a single curse word - but boy she could sure drink a beer like a truck driver!! I know she probably puts up with her share of abuse from the male clientele too but you'd never know it from her ever present smile. A real sweetheart\r
\r
Jeff - the guy that ""adopted"" me one cold night in December of '05. Thanks for introducing me to the rest of the crew \r
\r
Finally for everyone.I used to work in a place whose logo said""A great little bar in a great big city."" I feel like that describes Dean's exactly. Because what makes the place unique to me is the way all of you interact with each other. You guys put on a show for all of us and made us want to be in on the bar with you\r
\r
Thanks for the memories

Pros: The people and atmosphere

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I adore Big Dean's. A friend & I discovered it about a year & 1/2 ago and try to go there at least once a month as it is consistently awesome. The staff is great and the bartenders regularly dispense free beer and obviously drink along w/ the patrons. As someone else mentioned, some of the regulars can be kind of skeezy, but they are generally harmless. The only issue I've ever had is that the bar staff is so laid-back that they tend to close up whenever they feel is appropriate...which can be quite early & leaves you needing to find somewhere else to hang out (last time last call was at 10:30pm).

2
★★★★★

I adore Big Dean's. A friend & I discovered it about a year & 1/2 ago and try to go there at least once a month as it is consistently awesome. The staff is great and the bartenders regularly dispense free beer and obviously drink along w/ the patrons. As someone else mentioned, some of the regulars can be kind of skeezy, but they are generally harmless. The only issue I've ever had is that the bar staff is so laid-back that they tend to close up whenever they feel is appropriate...which can be quite early & leaves you needing to find somewhere else to hang out (last time last call was at 10:30pm).

Pros: Amazing staff, right on the beach, relaxed atmosphere

Cons: Early closing time

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For being a bar right across the street from one of the biggest tourist attractions in Los Angeles, Big Dean's houses one of the largest bunch of regular customers of any bar I've visited. Dean's is essentially a shack on the boardwalk with an often happening patio our front, a limited inside space, and a more quite and calm sit down area in the back. This isn't one of your bars full of the beautiful people. In fact, the Big Dean's crowd is often some of the least attractive in town, but the staff is friendly, the beers are cold, and the burgers are good and by far and away the cheapest in the area. Be aware that this place gets packed during warm weekends or during the Pier's summer Twilight Dance Series, but that's also when it's the most fun!

2
★★★★☆

For being a bar right across the street from one of the biggest tourist attractions in Los Angeles, Big Dean's houses one of the largest bunch of regular customers of any bar I've visited. Dean's is essentially a shack on the boardwalk with an often happening patio our front, a limited inside space, and a more quite and calm sit down area in the back. This isn't one of your bars full of the beautiful people. In fact, the Big Dean's crowd is often some of the least attractive in town, but the staff is friendly, the beers are cold, and the burgers are good and by far and away the cheapest in the area. Be aware that this place gets packed during warm weekends or during the Pier's summer Twilight Dance Series, but that's also when it's the most fun!

Pros: A friendly place to enjoy a beer and a burger at the beach

Cons: Single girls lookout! There are a fair share of sleazballs around

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been to the pier more than once and noticed the outdoor bar. tried the cheese quesadilla w/ chicken. got my money worth for the taste and customer service. enjoyed myself as this was a cool kick back place to sip on some cold brews and people watch. definetly returning to this spot again for some fun, fun, fun.

2
★★★★★

been to the pier more than once and noticed the outdoor bar. tried the cheese quesadilla w/ chicken. got my money worth for the taste and customer service. enjoyed myself as this was a cool kick back place to sip on some cold brews and people watch. definetly returning to this spot again for some fun, fun, fun.

Pros: customer service

Cons: restrooms

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Cheap big macrobrews. Outdoor seating. Friendly waiters. Easy walk from home. Interesting mix of patrons. Enjoyable cheeseburger.

2
★★★★☆

Cheap big macrobrews. Outdoor seating. Friendly waiters. Easy walk from home. Interesting mix of patrons. Enjoyable cheeseburger.

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Big Dean's is a fun local joint, very small but with an outside patio, perfect for having a beer and watching the sunset or the activity on the pier. It's located right below Santa Monica pier near the Hot Dog on a Stick. They make their own chips and they are delcious. Cheap beers at happy hour.

PROS: Chips and cheap beer
CONS: Not enough seats out front

4
★★★★☆

Big Dean's is a fun local joint, very small but with an outside patio, perfect for having a beer and watching the sunset or the activity on the pier. It's located right below Santa Monica pier near the Hot Dog on a Stick. They make their own chips and they are delcious. Cheap beers at happy hour.

PROS: Chips and cheap beer
CONS: Not enough seats out front

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Just out to enjoy the day I noticed it was open and serving beer at 11:30, I'm from Texas where you start drinking at noon in public so this was a plus! Beers came in small medium and large, the staff is amazingly friendly, people gather outside, sit beside you if they don't know you, they ask first so that is nice. I didnt get to taste the food but I saw many people ording, bar food, it all looked good. I plan on making it my weekend spot! Highly recommend!

2
★★★★★

Just out to enjoy the day I noticed it was open and serving beer at 11:30, I'm from Texas where you start drinking at noon in public so this was a plus! Beers came in small medium and large, the staff is amazingly friendly, people gather outside, sit beside you if they don't know you, they ask first so that is nice. I didnt get to taste the food but I saw many people ording, bar food, it all looked good. I plan on making it my weekend spot! Highly recommend!

Pros: Close to parking, Close to boardwalk, Outside patio

Cons: One toilet, Got crowded later on

 

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