Big Wave Dave’s has a legendary status among expats and travelers looking to dust off their boots (or the sand off their sandals) in search of a hearty meal and a cold draft beer. The roadhouse has been renovated and re-invented over the years, but the laid back home-away-from-home vibe is authentic.
It’s a place you go to eat turkey dinner for Thanksgiving when you live thousands of miles away from family. It’s a costume party on Halloween and the spot to drink a Guinness on St Patrick Day. It’s the home of the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings during rainy season. It’s where you go to play Bingo on Mondays and to listen to the Blues on Sunday afternoons. And the bar is one place in town where ex-pats can always find company.
Centrally located 25 meters east of El Timon on the main road entering town considered by expats to be the heart of the bar scene in San Juan del Sur. The walls are painted with an almost life size mural that displays the familiar faces of many ‘notoriously famous’ expats in town.
The restaurant is anchored by a bamboo style island bar with circular seating which naturally encourages conversation. A real dart board on the back wall invites those looking for a bar game and a flat screen television displays the most popular sporting events of the season.
Dave’s weekly shopping trips to Managua provide specialty food like Asian pork ribs and a higher quality lettuce than most other restaurants are able to offer. The salads are a healthy serving of fresh meat and fresh vegetables for $4-$6. Entrees range from $8 for a 100% pure beef burger topped with bacon, Wisconsin Cheddar and hand cut fries to $16 for an 8oz Filet Mignon demi-glace paired with mash potatoes and sautéed mixed vegetables.
Dave drove from Edmonton, Alberta to San Juan del Sur with a friend who was planning to retire in Nicaragua. His friend moved on to Panama but Dave put down his roots and opened shop in 2002 at the location that is now Gato Negro. In the fall of 2003 he moved the roadhouse to its current location.
In his previous life he was an academic educator for a telecom company focused on distance learning. He now resides with his family in a house attached to the restaurant.
Fun Trivia Fact
Did you know that Big Wave Dave’s has been visited by Francis Ford Coppola and Matthew Mcconaughey? Yes, this fact has been confirmed by Dave himself. He’s still hoping for a visit from Morgan Freeman pictured in the wall mural and rumored to have recently visited the Mukul Luxury Resort at Guacalito beach.