Big Dean's Oceanfront Cafe

(424) 354-4118 | Email | View Website

1615 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA | Directions   90401

34.010234 -118.495486

Open Hours

Mon 12pm-9pm

Tue-Thu 11am-9pm

Fri-Sun 10am-10pm

Restaurants  more

Neighborhoods: West LA, Downtown

Owner verified business

From The Owners of Big Dean's Oceanfront Cafe

Step in from the sand at this no-fuss alternative to upscale Santa Monica bars.

About Big Dean's Oceanfront Cafe

  • Sun, Fun, Great Food
  • Beer, Wine, Music , Sports TV
  • Outdoor Patios

Sun, Fun, Great Food, Beer, Wine, Music, Sports TV, Outdoor Patios and reasonable prices is what you will find at the world famous Big Dean's Cafe on the Santa Monica Boardwalk. Where nostalgia surrounds you while you relax and sip a beer or have a burger. Bring the children, they are always welcome!

In 1902 Big Dean's Cafe was known as Laring's Lunch Room and was a landmark for years. In 1970's, Big Dean's took over the popular cafe, lifeguards, body builders, bicyclist, jugglers and celebrities such as Cary Grant, Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood, George C. Scott, Wilt Chamberlain, Evel Knievel and California's governor Jerry Brown, not to mention the current governor Arnold Schwarzenegger .


Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Light, Michelob Amber Bock, Coors Light, Heineken, New Castel, Sam Adams, Shock Top, Stella Artois... more

Reviews for Big Dean's Oceanfront Cafe

over a year ago

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

over a year ago

Best beach bar and restaurant in Southern California! – 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!

over a year ago

I come all the way from New Zealand just to visit Big Deans – 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.

over a year ago

I Like the Place – 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.

over a year ago

Great atmosphere, patrons and staff – 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."

over a year ago

Big Dean's – 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.

It's one of the most unpretentious places in Santa Monica where you can strike up a convo with a 'stranger'.

over a year ago

So much fun - and we're locals! – Big Dean's is everything you want a beach bar to be - cold beer, awesome burgers and the most fun wait staff (JEFF!!)

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!

Love Love Love Big Deans!!

over a year ago

missing the old place already!! – 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...

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

Bill- who after my 2 month absence last year remembered my name and favorite brew as soon as he saw me!

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

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

Scott - who shared NASCAR with me on Sundays

Dallas - who I called Scott - also a great guy and very funny

Chef - great cook and tremendously hard worker

Chef's assistant - He seems pretty nice too!

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

Jeff - the guy that "adopted" me one cold night in December of '05. Thanks for introducing me to the rest of the crew

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

Thanks for the memories

over a year ago

My favorite non-music spot in LA – 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).

over a year ago

Perhaps the only reasonably priced food at the Santa Monica Pier – 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!

over a year ago

My name is Terry one of the owners...I think its a great place too...when you come down again ask for me and if im there lunch is on me.....or tell my staf to call me.......Thanks again

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Nominated for:
Beach Bar (2008)
Beach Bar (2007)
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