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Fanáticos is the latest entry on the sports bar scene in Managua, and where many other bars struggle to pull of the concept, Fanáticos seems to understand there are only three essential things a good sports bar needs: big TV’s, good food and cold beer.

K-50 Sports Bar (Managua)

By Jonathan Jackson, Photography Oliver Best

As I walked into K 50 for a big fútbol game between the US and Brazil, the bartender handed my friend and I two ice cold beers before we could even get to a table. Now that’s service! I didn’t forget it and although K 50, aka the best sports bar in Managua, can be a little hard to find the first time, once you do, you won’t forget it either. Located in a residential neighborhood in Linda Vista, K 50 has a comfortable open-air rancho environment, great food, ice cold beers and all the major sports on big screens.

The name comes from a kilometer marker stuck in the ground next to the building, a “souvenir” of one of the owner’s trips to the beach. “I just stuck it in there because I liked it and people started calling the bar K 50,“ he says.

The bar has a great sports-themed environment with jerseys and memorabilia covering the walls and roof. It is also impeccably clean and the service is great, although at times when they are busy you may have to be a little patient for your food. Besides the usual line-up of grilled meats, K50 offers some of the best micheladas and tostones con queso I’ve had in Nicaragua.

Address: Linda Vista Norte, de donde fue la Tienda 3B, 6 cuatros al lago, hasta el tope, Managua
Tel: (505) 2266-8177

The Reef (Managua)

By Jonathan Jackson, Photography Chris Sataua.

The Reef, located in Zona Viva in Las Galerias Santo Domingo in Managua, is a great place to relax after a long day or get down to great music in the evening. Owner Yann Lacayo has been adamant about featuring a wide range of established and up-and-coming local bands and DJ’s weekly – covering genres from rock to electronic and everything in between.

Low lighting and soft colors lend themselves nicely to The Reef’s ‘Surf Bar & Lounge’ atmosphere and enhance the laid back experience. The two outdoor seating areas are perfect for enjoying a warm Managua night. The bar features a full line-up, with any mixed drink you can think of, plus a few you never could. The food is no joke either, hot chicken wings, delicious ribs and plates full of mini jalapeno steaks keep even the most picky carnivore satiated. For the veg-heads, there’s fresh tasting fries and of course, beer.

Weekends, Reef is where the party starts. Concerts and drink promotions are the norm. The newly remodeled interior features an improved stage area and the dance floor has been expanded. When the place is full and the music is bumping the vibe can be infectious and you’ll likely find yourself grooving right along.

Address: Zona Viva, Galerías Santo Domingo, Managua
Tel: (505) 2276-5289

Fussion Bar (Managua)

By Jonathan Jackson, Photography Chris Sataua

On the other side of the nondescript white wall with the large, rusty iron gate are barrels, empty beer crates, and wood ironing boards…and these are just some of the objects living a second life, reincarnated as tables in the outdoor area of Managua’s Bar Fussion.

Inside, the lounge gives off a bohemian vibe, where the furnishings are possibly the only things more eclectic than the music. Antique cameras and even a door hang from the ceiling. Masks, murals and paintings cover the walls. The warm atmosphere is reminiscent of a San Francisco coffee shop, but with cold beer playing the role of hot coffee.

At night Fussion comes alive, though you might not know it from the outside. There are no neon lights, no giant inflatable beer bottles, there’s not even a sign out front. If the metal door is open, so is the bar.

Typically open after 7pm Thursday through Sunday, Fussion is a great place to relax and chill. Concerts on the weekends attract bigger crowds and it isn’t uncommon on a busy night to see musicians such as Clara Grün or Perrozompopo behind the bar helping owner Atahuallpa Mejia bartend. This unique venue has become one of the best places in Nicaragua to see and hear the country’s most cutting edge and creative music.

Address: Los Robles, de la Funeraria Monte de los Olivos 1 cuadra y 10 metros al norte, frente a La Hora del Taco, Managua
Tel: (505) 8476 6125

Bambu Beach Club (San Juan del Sur)

By Jonathan Jackson, Photography by Silvio Balladares

The San Juan del Sur beachfront is lined with restaurants and bars, and while the names are different, the menus and ambiance are for the most part interchangeable. Bambu Beach Club is a notable exception. Opened just over a year ago, the restaurant/lounge brings a touch of South Beach to San Juan.

The menu features internationally and locally inspired cuisine that is always fresh and delicious with first class presentation. Some of the more delectible menu items include the grilled chicken sandwich on homemade bread with cilantro almond dressing; shrimp ceviche served on a banana leaf; cold rice salad with spiced beef and mango orange chutney and for desert, the house crepes filled with chocolate and ice cream are outstanding.

The laidback vibe of San Juan is reflected perfectly in Bambu’s tranquil and stylish environment. Sip on one of the many drink specials next to the pool or relax on one of the recliners and take in a beautiful San Juan sunset.

Not everyone who ventures to San Juan is looking for what Bambu offers, and for those who aren’t there are a multitude of other options, but for the traveler looking for a classy, upscale oceanfront experience, Bambu is the best game in town.

Bambu Beach Club is open daily from noon to 1 am.

Address: North end of the beach, San Juan del Sur
Tel: (505) 2568-2101