At the end of a long work day, a sip of a refreshing sundowner somehow makes the day’s stress melt away. And in Cape Town, with a few extra hours of sunlight and a warm breeze trickling through the city, cocktail hour is (arguably) the best time of day. Here, we share some of our favourite after-work hang-outs. Cheers!
1. Tjing Tjing
Image Credit: Tjing Tjing
Where: 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town
Who goes there: In-the-know locals, well-informed out-of-towners and the innercity work mob.
Vibe: Just the right mix of street and swank, it’s perfect for an evening out with friends.
Price range: A classic cosmopolitan goes for R45, while the Steenberg sparkling sauvignon blanc costs R45 per glass. The bar food ranges in price from R45 for fish and chips to R120 for a cheese and charcuterie board.
Best for: Watching the world go by – it’s a rooftop bar with great views of the city.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday, 4pm – 2am
Saturday, 6.30pm – 2am
Contact: 021 422 4920, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. El Burro
Image Credit: El Burro
Where: Green Point, Cape Town
Who goes there: Apart from hipsters and Cape town’s glam squad, El Burro is always chockful of regular people who appreciate authentic (and healthy) Mexican grub.
Vibe: Festive, cool, relaxed. For views of the buzzy Green Point strip below (and a bit of quietness), consider sitting on the balcony.
Price range: A glass of house wine (Darling Cellar) goes for R25, and the wide range of margaritas range between R40 and R48 each. Starters range from R50 to R80.
Best for: A festive special-occasion dinner; pre-gig drinks and tapas (Cape Town stadium is across the road)
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 11.30pm
Contact: 0214332364, email@example.com
3. Black Sheep
Image Credit: The Black Sheep
Where: Gardens, Cape Town
Who goes there: Restaurant aficionados, Kloof Street’s cool kids and those looking for comfort grub with a sophisticated and innovative twist.
Vibe: Cool, modern decor, friendly service and a great location have made it the new hip-and-happening hotspot.
Price range: The popular ginger daiquiri goes for R45, while a glass of white wine starts at R35. Starters range from between R40 and R60.
Best for: After-work daiquiris, while you you watch the sun set over Table Mountain.
Opening hours: Monday, 6.30pm – 11.45pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 11.45pm
Contact: 021 426 2661, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Chefs Warehouse
Image Credit: Chefs Warehouse
Where: 92 Bree Street, Cape Town
Who goes there: Cape Town’s top chefs! Franck Dangereux, Luke Dale-Roberts, Rudi Liebenberg and Reuben Riffel rate it among their favourite restaurants in Cape.
Vibe: Chic canteen – think long wooden benches and pull-out stools in an industrial-chic heritage building. Get there by 5.15 to secure the coveted balcony table that overlooks buzzy Bree Street.
Price range: Wines on the superbly curated winelist start from R45 for chardonnay. A six-course tapas platter for two goes for R350.
Best for: The best tapas in town!
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 12pm – 8pm
Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Contact: 021 422 0128, email@example.com
5. PLANET BAR
Image Credit: Planet Bar and Restaurant
Where: Mount Nelson Hotel
Who goes there: Style savants who appreciate tasteful modern-colonial decor and the magnificent garden setting.
Vibe: Chic, relaxed, sophisticated.
Price range: It’s not cheap, but the setting, chilled lounge beats and complimentary gourmet snacks more than make up for the hefty price tag. A glass of sauvignon blanc, from the extensive winelist, starts at R60 per glass and a cosmo costs R70. Starters range from R75 to R140.
Best for: An evening drink with friends and/or colleagues.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Contact: 021 483 1000, firstname.lastname@example.org
6. HARBOUR HOUSE, KALK BAY
Image Credit: Harbour House
Where: Kalk Bay Harbour
Who goes there: Cool coastal creatures who appreciate the best-quality seafood and the soundtrack of crashing waves.
Vibe: Modern, sophisticated, cool, chilled.
Price range: A cosmo goes for R48, while a glass of sauvignon blanc starts at R38. Starters cost between R65 and R120.
Best for: A late lunch with friends, a romantic dinner date with your honey, a long lazy meal with good friends.
Opening hours: 12pm – 10pm
Contact: 021 788 4133, email@example.com
7. BALBOA BALCONY BAR
Image Credit: Balboa Balcony Bar
Where: Balboa Balcony Bar
Who goes there: Students, health-conscious diners seeking real-fruit cocktails rather than sickly sweet artificially flavoured ones.
Vibe: Cool, intimate, unpretentious.
Price range: An exhilarating cosmo with pomegranate and vanilla goes for R45, while a glass of sauvignon blanc is R26. The starters menu ranges from around R55 to R75.
Best for: The fresh-fruit cocktails made with purée – there’s not a syrup in sight.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm – 1.30am
Contact: 021 886 7110
8. HARVEYS AT WINCHESTER MANSIONS
Image Credit: Winchester Mansions Hotel
Where: Winchester Mansions Hotel
Who goes there: Sea Point locals and tourists looking for relief from the boiling promenade; first dates looking for a fun, yet low-key, atmosphere.
Vibe: Laid-back, low-key, plush.
Price range: Starters range from R45 to R95. A cosmopolitan costs R40, while the range of sauvignon blancs start at R30 per glass.
Best for: Cocktails and wine, as well as live jazz and relaxing out on the Mediterranean-themed courtyard
Opening hours: 7am – 10.30pm
Contact: 021 434 2351, firstname.lastname@example.org
9. THE ROSE BAR
Image Credit: Alphen Boutique Hotel
Who goes there: Southern suburbanites who prize chic surrounds and good food and drink; city dwellers looking for a buzz away from the Atlantic seaboard.
Vibe: Laid-back elegance.
Price range: A cosmopolitan goes for R50 and a glass of sauvignon blanc starts at R30. Light meals are between R85 and R120.
Best for: Alfresco dining under the stars overlooking 12 acres of lawns and hydrangeas in full bloom.
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 3pm – 11pm
Saturday and Public Holidays, 12pm – 11pm
Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Contact: 021 795 6300, email@example.com
10. THE GRAND CAFÉ & BEACH
Image Credit: Grand Africa
Where: Granger Bay, V&A Waterfront
Who goes there: Urbane sophisticates, local and international models, tourists, colleagues and friends.
Vibe: Located on a private beach, this setting is elegantly decadent.
Price range: A cosmopolitan or a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc will set you back R45 and R48 respectively. A light meal costs between R65 and R92.
Best for: Sunset drinks on the spacious deck and beach.
Opening hours: 12pm – late (booking essential)
Contact: 021 425 0551, firstname.lastname@example.org
11. CASSIA AT NITIDA
Image Credit: Miss Jones
Where: Nitida Wine Farm
Who goes there: City-weary Capetonians looking for an out-of-the-way venue to enjoy wholesome food and good wine.
Vibe: Upmarket, chilled, modern. The outdoor seating area has picturesque views of the surrounding wine estate.
Price range: A glass of the very popular Nitida sauvignon blanc goes for R30 or you could enjoy a strawberry daiquiri for R32. Starters range from R55 to R85.
Best for: A relaxed after-work drink away from the bustle and noise of city life.
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 12pm – late
Saturday, 8am – late
Sunday, 8am – 2pm
Contact: 021 976 0640, email@example.com
12. BISTRO SIXTEEN82
Image Credit: Steenberg Estate
Where: Steenberg Estate
Who goes there: Design-savvy wine-lovers; foodies; friends and work groups.
Vibe: A modern and sophisticated restaurant that’s also warm and welcoming.
Price range: Though Bistro Sixteen82 doesn’t serve cocktails, its extensive winelist more than makes up for it, with a glass of sauvignon blanc starting from R34. Their tasty tapas range from R35 to R60.
Best for: An evening of fine wine and tapas with an enchanting view of the surrounding golf course and vineyards.
Opening hours: 9am – 8pm
Contact: 021 713 2211, firstname.lastname@example.org
13. NEWS CAFE, TABLE VIEW
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Where: Table View
Who goes there: The kite-boarding set; locals; tourists after spectacular unhindered views of Table Mountain.
Vibe: Casual and comfortable.
Price range: The classic cosmo goes for R48 while a glass of sauvignon blanc is R40. The finger-food menu ranges from R45 to R85.
Best for: Cocktails that taste as good as they look and a breathtaking sunset view of Table Mountain. The Cocktail Special happens from 5pm to 7pm daily.
Opening hours: 8am – late
Contact: 021 557 6336, email@example.com