Big Dean's Ocean Front Cafe
The Santa Monica classic beach bar is weird and rowdy and exactly what your want after a day of not wearing as much sunscreen as your doctor recommends. And despite a prime location adjacent to the pier, the little strip of businesses Big Dean’s is located on is largely bypassed by the mouth-breathing tourists trickling down from the promenade. Meaning this mostly-outdoor bar stays surprisingly local. Drinks are cheap, the bar food is solid, and the people-watching is second to none.