When it comes to watering holes, there’s no shortage of them in the Mother City. These are our favourites…
From speakeasy-style dives and boisterous pubs to swanky hotel lounges and rooftop gardens, we’ve rounded up the coolest bars in and around the Mother City, for all tastes and occasions.
Do you have a favourite? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
What type of bar are you looking for?
The Athletic Club & Social
With tasselled, velvet-covered bucket chairs, herringbone wooden floors with layers of Persian rugs, leather booths and marble tabletops, this sophisticated watering hole feels like a dream you can touch. Housed in a restored three-storey heritage building dating back to 1900, it’s home to three bars and a restaurant. Drenched in history, the building once served as an underground speakeasy of sorts where people from all walks could socialise (without being arrested for violating the Group Areas Act during apartheid).
As for the food (Mediterranean-style tapas), it’s excellent, as is the service and ambience.
Good to know Enjoy live jazz on Thursday evenings from 9pm.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 12pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday, 12pm – 2am (kitchen closes at 10pm)
Contact 021 012 533, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 35 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town
Gigi Rooftop at Gorgeous George
Situated on the rooftop of the super-cool Gorgeous George Hotel (one of 300 privately owned hotels in the Design Hotels global stable), this chic 80-seater watering hole has been exquisitely decorated by a curated selection of the city’s hottest design talents, who’ve added their creative mark to the heritage building.
Outside, an emerald-green glass-panelled swimming pool, and views of whitewashed heritage buildings, give the pool deck a slick design edge, but the vibe here is oh so easy, with lots of noise and chatter.
At the bar, in-house mixologist Jody Rahme creates wild, tiki-inspired cocktails that hit the spot. Feeling hungry? The wide array of breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner options are sure to satisfy the pangs from sunrise to sunset.
Opening times Bar: Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11.30pm
Restaurant: Monday – Sunday, 7am – 10pm
Contact 087 898 6000, email@example.com
Where to find it 118 St George’s Mall, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
The Art of Duplicity
Hidden in a former warehouse at the back of an 1894 storefront, this roaring speakeasy in Cape Town’s East City takes its cue from the prohibition Twenties, an era during which illegal establishments thrived on high society’s debaucherous lifestyles. As such, you’ll find Mae West and Al Capone lookalikes enjoying the vibe – and the tipples (dress code is not obligatory).
The drinks Mixology god Brent Perremore is behind some of the best cocktail menus in Cape Town, and has upped the ante with a selection that has as much substance as it has style. Alas, the best does come at a price. Cocktails range between R120 and R160.
If you’re hungry, we recommend the charcuterie and cheese platter. It’s divine.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 12am
Where to find it Now, that would be telling…
The Gin Bar
Tucked neatly behind Honest Chocolate Café in the CBD, this dedicated gin bar is all about quality rather than quantity. The menu consists of five House Remedy Gin & Tonics (Hope, Head, Heart, Ambition and Soul). For the purists, create your own classic G&T with one of the many gins and tonic waters available (the owners believe that the accompanying tonic is just as essential to the mix as the spirit is). Or, go for a dry martini…
There’s a charming central courtyard with two ground-floor bars and extra seating indoors on the mezzanine area of the historical Mortuary building.
Good to know The nearby Melting Pot is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 3pm – late
Sunday, 2pm – late
Contact 071 241 2277, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 64A, Wale Street, Cape Town
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
Located on the third-floor position of a 200-year-old building in Longmarket Street, the rooftop bar at Tjing Tjing is a great spot to watch the world go by. The ice-cool beats and Japanese snacks make this metropolitan locale perfect for a relaxed sundowner or a celebratory drink.
Good to know At street level, you’ll find Tjing Tjing Torii for flavour-popping, Japanese street food. While the first floor is home to reservations-only Momiji Restaurant, where diners can enjoy a multi-course kaiseki menu. Adjacent to Momiji Restaurant is Momiji Lounge, an intimate bar and lounge that seats 20.
Insider tip From 11 November until 26 November, enter our competition and you could win dinner for two valued at R2 500.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, from 5pm until late
Contact 021 422 4920, email@example.com
Where to find it 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town
Chefs Warehouse Wine Bar
Chefs Warehouse & Canteen is widely known as a gastronomic treasure trove where guests are guaranteed sensational canteen-style fine-dining. But that’s not all… owners Liam and Jan Tomlin recently added a vibey wine bar to the mix that serves, as you’d expect, a selection of top-notch tipples in a laidback yet sophisticated setting. The cherry on top? You can order any of the delectable dishes prepared by head chef Nanda Cardoso to accompany your bottles.
Opening times Monday — Saturday, 12pm— 2:30pm; 4.30pm — 8.30pm
Contact 021 422 0128, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 92 Bree Street, Cape Town
La Parada Bree Street
This original branch of La Parada, which opened its doors in 2013, was one of the Bree Street’s forerunners, tempting passersby with the prospect of cool cocktails and tantalising tapas. Now, six years later, not much has changed.
The bustling interior overflows onto the street, where convivial visitors dot the pavement with shared plates and tipples to wind down the work day.
Good to know While La Parada Bree Street offers the perfect innercity experience, La Parada at Constantia Nek provides spectacular views of Constantia Valley (their Sunday Fundays are an absolute must), while La Parada V&A Waterfront offers a buzzy harbourside vibe, and let’s not forget the recently-introduced (and oh so popular) La Parada at Century City.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 2am
Contact 021 426 0330, email@example.com
Where to find it 107 Bree Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
Yours Truly/ Up Yours
Shrouded in greenery, Yours Truly is a chilled bar-café on ever-buzzy Kloof Street, which allows revellers to truly feel the rhythm and energy of the Mother City. Situated next to a backpackers’ lodge, it’s a popular hangout for locals and international visitors alike – and anyone who enjoys delicious pizzas (the Deluxe is a personal favourite), tasty sandwiches, and cold beer on tap.
As the sun starts setting and the place fills up, move on up to the Up Yours rooftop terrace, where super-cool local and international DJs and live acoustic sessions take things to the next level (pun intended). If you’re lucky, resident bulldog Molly, who is just the cutest, might make a guest appearance.
Insider tip No reservations, so come early.
Opening times Yours Truly Kloof Street: Monday – Sunday, 7am – 12pm
Up Yours: Monday – Sunday 3pm – 10pm
Contact 021 426 2587, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it73 Kloof Street, Cape Town
Tiger’s Milk Kloof Street
This popular Kloof Street hotspot is a firm favourite for its vibey atmosphere, cool cocktails and satisfying snacks. Whether you’re in the mood for a post-work wind-down in the shape of an Aperol Spritz, or are looking for a buzzy spot to share a plate of nachos and a cold beer while watching the rugby with friends, TM won’t disappoint.
Good to know The road-facing Bar Splendido is littered with an intimate number of small tables, offering a more relaxed experience. And then there’s the exciting new Clubhouse section, featuring its own menu and fabulous cocktail offering. Grab a beer, head upstairs and play pool, or hire the venue for a poker and blackjack evening! Or, if you’re less of a town rat and more of scenery-seeker, then visit their Muizenberg branch for the same tasty grub and tipples, but in a surfer-dotted, seaside setting.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 12am
Contact 021 286 2209, email@example.com
Where to find it 55 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
For a lick of grunge and grit
Dust and Dynamite Saloon
Stepping into this rocking, rodeo-style saloon on Caledon Street, you’ll feel like you’ve walked onto the set of a Spaghetti Western. Decorated from head to toe in all kinds of Wild West paraphernalia – cowboy hats dangling from the ceiling, swinging saloon doors, bright-red theatre curtains, an old honky-tonk piano against a wall, and wood panelling everywhere – the bar has been described by La Tête’s Giles Edwards as “the perfect place to sip a cold beer and relax after a long week in the kitchen”.
With a rocking playlist to match the interiors, we recommend you swing open the saloon doors – not just for a beer but for an entire experience.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 3pm – 2am
Saturday, 6pm – 2am
Contact 076 677 2947, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 27 Caledon Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
The House of Machines
THoM or The House, as it’s affectionately known, is a motorbike workshop, café, and men’s apparel shop by day; and a cultishly cool bar by night. And, somehow, added to this eclectic mix, is a much-loved café. It doesn’t get more nonconformist than a speakeasy-themed space selling coffee, café racers, collared shirts and classic cocktails all under one dimly lit roof!
The eclectic decor – weathered wooden beams, exposed bricks and a bike theme throughout – pays homage to a bygone era while remaining decidedly contemporary. The service is lively, a little hammed up during cocktail hour, yet always polished. Chill with an Old Fashioned on the paved sidewalk, and soak up the scene.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 7am – late
Saturday, 9am – late
Contact 021 426 1400, email@example.com
Where to find it 84 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
Dark Horse Bar
From the same owners as the popular Black Sheep across the way, this aptly named watering hole serves a selection of tasty tipples (think lemon-drop martinis, gin fizz and classic Manhattans) and delectable tapas-inspired dishes. The interior is plush and moody, with front benches offering the perfect place to people-watch, and an outside deck boasting wonderful views of the mountain.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 4pm – late
Friday – Saturday, 12pm – late
Contact 021 422 0825, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 145 Kloof Street, Cape Town
Roxy Late Night
One of Dunkley Square’s oldest and coolest haunts is the ever-popular Roxy’s. The easygoing boho café – a favourite among local artists and creatives – keeps things real with its down-to-earth vibe and friendly staff. Courtyard drinks in the early evening are always lovely, after which you might feel brave enough to attempt the treacherously steep wooden staircase for a game of pool.
The fact that it’s the only place in Cape Town whose kitchen stays open until 2am makes it our go-to spot for a post-jol snack.
Good to know There’s a two-for-one beer and tequila special daily from 4pm to 6pm.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 2am
Sunday, 9am – 10pm
Contact 021 461 8507, email@example.com
Where to find it 14 Wandel Street, Cape Town
The Power and The Glory
This heaving bistro on Kloof Nek Road is where locals gather to let off steam, down a few ales, and listen to cool tunes. The bar section, which opens at 5pm and pumps till late, is essentially a low-lit chill zone for smokers, but the vibe throughout is boisterously festive – especially in summer, when the sidewalk seating area heaves.
You must try the German-style hot dogs, which go down a treat with the thirst-quenching selection of craft beers.
Insider tip Get here early on Friday evenings if you want a seat.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 8am – 1am
Saturday, 9am – 1am
Where to find it 13D Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
The Striped Horse Bar & Grill
“Gypsy-meets-pirate-shanty” is how the owner of this saloon describes The Striped Horse, where overstaying your welcome is not only recommended, it’s encouraged! The mixture of floral bordello couches and kitsch paraphernalia, coupled with a Haldane Martin-designed bar counter all add to the eclectic vibe.
The food is simple and delicious, while the tequila comes all the way from Mexico, and the cold craft beer on tap is local and lekker. You must try the Striped Horse Lager, which has its own African fable attached: a wild white horse that battled a baboon for control of a fresh watering hole.
Good to know Stop by on Taco Thursdays for two tacos, a pint of beer and tequila for R100. If you’re townside, be sure to check out their second branch on Kloof Street.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 12pm – late
Friday, 12pm – 1am
Saturday, 11am – 1am
Sunday, 11am – 9pm
Contact 072 403 6727, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 12-14 York Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town
With a caravan in the middle of the restaurant that doubles as a DJ booth, this quirky, high-energy hub is right at, er, home in Woodstock. There’s an outdoor area for warm evenings, and a bar serving tasty cocktails. And since it’s open on Sundays, it’s a fun weekend hangout.
Feeling hungry? The menu reflects the District 6 cultural diversity, where butter chicken, 12 different flavoured samoosas (including dessert samoosas!), mini gatsby’s, and burgers are just a few of the available options. It also acts as a great space for birthdays and private events!
Opening times Thursday – Sunday, 3pm – 12am (restaurant and bar from 20 November 2019)
Tuesday & Wednesday, 5pm – 10pm (takeaways only)
Contact 072 616 8703, email@example.com
Where to find it Corner Woodlands and Ravenscraig Roads, Woodstock
For a sophisticated night out
The Planet Bar at The Mount Nelson
Chic, laidback and unfailingly luxe, the Planet Bar is just as suitable for spontaneous after-work drinks with colleagues as it is for special-occasion sundowners. People-watch from the terrace with a glass of champers in summer, soaking up the majestic views of Signal Hill and the beautiful gardens. Or curl up by the fire in one of the plush celestial-themed alcoves in winter.
In addition to a superb list of wines, spirits, cocktails and light snacks, there’s also a choice selection of Cuban cigars in the designated smoking area. Service is always warm and professional.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 2am
Contact 021 483 1000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
This cosy, sophisticated locale on Wale Street is oenophile heaven. Not only does it stock an extensive selection of bottles for purchase, the Italian concept store also invites visitors to taste an array of fine local wines and accompanying tidbits to eat. Sit at the convivial bar and snack on a selection of antipasti, or cosy up in the plush lounge with a bottle or glass of your choice (out of 300 options!) and a hearty meal. There’s also a downstairs cellar where you can enjoy an informative tasting.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 422 0800, email@example.com
Where to find it 72 Wale Street, Cape Town
This chic, rambling bar is a buzzy addition to the perfectly manicured gardens and historic architecture of The Alphen Boutique Hotel. The stunning views, lush décor and superb selection of curated cocktails and lip-smacking small bites make it a fab spot for special events, after-work drinks, pre-dinner palate warmers, or sophisticated date nights with an edge.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 4pm –12am
Saturday, 12pm – 12am
Sunday and public holidays, 12pm – 9pm
No under 18’s after 4pm
Contact 021 795 6300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Alphen Drive, Constantia, Cape Town
Kurt Schlechter, and his trusty band of mixologists, have moved their innovative cocktail kitchen (previously located just off Kloof Street) to an exciting new home at the V&A Waterfront. The cocktail crowd can expect the same superb standard of bold, expertly crafted tipples in contemporary surrounds – think copper stools, a stone-clad bar, hefty wooden tables, and lush indoor hanging plants.
The inspired menu at Cause Effect 2.0 turns the traditional on its head, featuring adventurous flavour combinations and interactive cocktail presentations that tell stories about Cape Town – channelling the mountain, ocean, fynbos and vineyards into an experience you won’t soon forget. Sit at the bar, and watch the maestros create liquid magic. A must for cocktail lovers who want to broaden their horizons.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 1am
Contact 021 422 0266, email@example.com
Where to find it The Rocket Shed, 280 Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
This cool and contemporary rooftop bar on the Camps Bay strip is brought to you by The Kove Collection (whose ever-expanding portfolio of restaurants and bars includes Surfshack, Bilboa, Lily’s, Blanko, Paranga, Incognito, Bobo’s and The Bungalow, to name a few). With killer views of the ocean a stone’s throw away, it’s the ideal place to while away the hours sipping on refreshing cocktails and listening to cool beats. A menu of café classics means that you can stay for a light dinner, too.
Insider tip On Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, resident DJs take you on a musical journey, as they spin cool tunes from 5pm to 9pm.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 4pm – 10.30pm
Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 10.30pm
No admission for under 18s after 4pm.
Contact 021 286 5075, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Shop 120, Second Floor, The Promenade Building, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
The Willaston Bar at The Silo Hotel
Boasting one of the most spectacular views of Cape Town, The Willaston Bar on the sixth floor of The Silo Hotel is stylish and chic, and the perfect place to wind down with a digestif after a meal at The Granary Café (on the same floor).
Named after the very first ship to export grain from The Silo building back in 1924, the bar offers a wide selection of classic cocktails, wine, gin and whiskey to be enjoyed with stunning panoramic views out of the Thomas Heatherwick-designed, Instagram-famous geometric windows (and an assortment of delicious bar snacks, of course).
Please note No reservations are possible at The Willaston Bar, but you need to book in advance for The Granary Café.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am to late
Contact 021 670 0500, email@example.com
Where to find it The Silo Hotel, Silo Square, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Hidden behind the courtyards of Patina and Mykonos in the Newlands Quarter, this cosy-cocktail-lounge-slash-secret-gin-bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif before heading off to dinner at one of the neighbouring restaurants.
A dimly lit interior, with plush couches, fireplaces in winter, wooden bar stools, and a ceiling draped in hanging ferns, creates a romantic atmosphere, making it rather inviting for a night cap, too. A first of its kind in the southern suburbs, it’s no wonder this sophisticated spot is gaining traction among locals looking to whet their whistles in style.
Monday, 4pm – 11pm
Tuesday – Thursday, 1pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday, 1pm – 12am
Contact 021 823 9739, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Newlands Quarter, Corner of Dean and Main Street, Newlands, Cape Town
Publik Wine Bar
This dedicated winebar on Kloof Nek Road is the stuff (sustainable) vino dreams are made of. Boasting a slew of bottles from local, organic farms and vineyards, you can be sure you’re getting top-notch booze for your buck, and something new and exciting each time you visit.
The vibe is lively, with everyone from suits and connoisseurs to 20-something locals looking for a place to whet their whistle.
And, if you’re hungry, there’s a great selection of local and imported cured meats and cheeses, as well as some gourmet small plates (such as meatballs, white anchovies in olive oil, burrata, and Frankie Fenner lamb belly strips) to fill the gap.
Good to know If you want to learn while you sip, ask one of the resident connoisseurs for a breakdown of all things tanin-, tone- and fragrance-related.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 4pm – 11pm
Saturday, 3pm – 8pm
Where to find it 11D Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town
Harringtons Cocktail Lounge
If Bogart and Bacall were to go for pre-theatre drinks, this swanky cocktail lounge in Cape Town’s East City is certainly where they’d go! Draped velvet curtains and velvet-covered booths give the venue a decidedly glam feel. The striking L-shaped bar that wraps around half the venue, bares exposed brick behind rows of spirits. Order a cocktail, and a plate of tapas to share, then sit back and enjoy the surrounds.
Good to know Happy Hour is from 5pm till 7pm daily, and features selected half-price drinks.
You can also choose any four tapas for R200, every Wednesday to Saturday, from 5pm to 8pm!
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 3pm until late
Contact 021 461 2276, email@example.com
Where to find it 0061b Harrington Street, Cape Town
Part restaurant and bar, part private members’ club, The Stack is where you’ll find the city’s cool creatives enjoying good food and excellent drinks in the comfort of this plush, double-decker venue, housed in the historic Leinster Hall. The sumptuous bar and deep verandah are perfect for sunset G&Ts, big nights out or chilled light bites with friends. Problem is… you may never want to leave.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 8am – 11pm
Saturday, 10am – 11pm
Sunday, 11pm – 8pm
Contact 021 286 0187, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Leinster Hall, 7 Weltevreden Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
Frogitt & Vonkel
Set in a 200-year-old heritage building that drips with character, this Bree Street bar is an absolute must-visit for anyone who’s serious about good-quality, limited-edition, small-batch wines. With over 30 boutique wines available by the glass, and a selection of local artisanal spirits and Striped Horse draft beers, passionate and knowledgeable owner John Woodward will tantalise your taste buds with some absolute pearlers.
We love The neighbourly Cheers vibe. John greets his customers by name, and they, in turn, leave with a proposed return date: “See you on Friday.” A pool table, dartboard and board games cabinet means you can settle in for the evening.
Good to know If you’re peckish, order a cheese and charcuterie board to accompany your tipples. If you’re more than peckish, pop across the corridor to Grub & Vine, a fabulous bistro that serves honest, made-to-perfection dishes.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 12am
Sunday, 2pm – 8pm (live music from 3pm)
Contact 087 898 2206, email@example.com
Where to find it 103 Bree Street, Cape Town
On a private quay, uniquely poised between Cape Town’s vibrant V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina, Cape Grace Hotel is a decidedly genteel location from which to soak in the natural splendour of the Mother City. Rare-whisky enthusiasts will be in their element as they sample from one of the largest whisky collections in the southern hemisphere. With a selection of over 400 whiskies and fine wines available, this is a connoisseur’s paradise, to be sure.
Good to know The one-hour whisky tasting experience (Saturday –Thursday at 6pm), is a great way to sample premium malts from the Bascule collection.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 12am
Contact 021 410 7100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Cape Grace Hotel, West Quay Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
The Piano Bar
From the moment you walk into this New York-inspired joint in De Waterkant, you feel like you’ve arrived. Not in an arrogant or pretentious way, but in a warm and homely kind of way. High Cape Dutch ceilings, dark-wood floors, dim lighting and live jazz set the mood for an evening of wonderful cocktails and moreish tapas. Tiny round tables dotted here and there conjure scenes of 1950s New York martini bars, while the alcove bar sports an elite selection of spirits, with passionate mixologists putting on a show.
Good to know Did we mention that Shio is next door? There’s also Osteria Tarantino for tasty Italian food, and the Sky Bar for rooftop tipples and sweeping city views.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 11pm
Contact 027 79 028 4628, email@example.com
Where to find it 47 Napier Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town
Good time guaranteed
Love Thy Neighbour
In the space previously occupied by the wildly popular &Union, this relaxed space on Bree Street has attracted its own legion of fans, who flock to the lovely courtyard, lit up by fairy lights, for delicious Mediterranean-style food, beer and live music.
Inside is less rowdy, but both are great for after-work drinks, a casual dinner, or a fun evening out.
Insider tip A shared corridor leads to Hanks Olde Irish, where Tuesday-night jazz sessions are a riot.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 2770, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 110 Bree Street, Cape Town
Shimmy Beach Club
This oceanside restaurant, bar and events venue at the V&A Waterfront is a popular all-season hangout for city slickers seeking a scenic spot to unwind in style. The sophisticated two-storey interior flows onto a view-drenched deck and sand-covered “beach”, where two sparkling pools and chilled harbour views set the scene for seaside sundowners, vibey pre-dinner drinks, or a laidback tipple during a long lunch.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 11pm
Night club open until 4am on Friday & Saturday
Contact 021 200 7778, email@example.com
Where to find it 12 South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Aces n Spades
A veritable Cape Town institution since its opening in 2012, this rock ’n roll bar in the centre of the city is where locals either begin their night, spend their night, or end their night! Forever packed to the brim with crowds of music enthusiasts, groups of friends looking to catch up over a cold beer, and night owls in the mood to dance away their troubles, this famed bar is the obvious answer to any “‘where should we go next?” whispers.
Good to know Happy Hour is from 4pm to 8pm daily: half-price on selected drinks. Songbirds, don’t miss Rock ’n Roll Karaoke Wednesdays. Friday Night Live means live music (free entry) and tequila and beer for just R30!.
Opening times Wednesday – Friday, 1pm until late
Saturday, 8pm to late
Contact 021 424 1620, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 62 Hout Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
Catholic (with a lowercase c) is the best way to describe this hidden bar – once a slave prison – that perches above the courtyard inside a gallery space on Heritage Square. Inspired by a prohibition-era speakeasy, the decor is a delicious mix of owner Shay Davis’s, varied, extensive and impressive art collection; think junk shop trinkets, vintage decor and cool collectables – all of which are for sale. So, the space is ever-changing.
As for the drinks, Shay claims to make the best martini in the mother city (she uses a secret French ingredient) and has a wonderful wine selection; 48 varieties of gin; cocktails; whisky; teas, and much more, suited to all tastes and occasions. There are also snacks available on request.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 4.30pm – late
Saturday & Sunday by prior arrangement for functions or private gatherings
Contact 071 191 5034, email@example.com
Where to find it Heritage Square, Mezzanine Level, 100 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
This eclectic bar and grill in De Waterkant is a favourite among sports fans (there are big-screen TVs for live events), the cocktail set (there’s a rooftop deck) and late-night revellers (there are rows of pool tables available until 2am). Though it boasts a boisterous pub atmosphere, it distinguishes itself from your usual watering hole with its menu of intercontinental flavours.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 2am, Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Contact 082 429 9123 / 021 461 4920, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 10-12 Cobern Street, De Waterkant, An-De-Waterkant, Cape Town
With its plethora of street-side cafés, bars and restaurants, Kloof Street is a favourite for a festive night out. One of the street’s most popular haunts is Asoka, where superb cocktails, top-drawer jazz and tasty sharing plates are the order of the day. Sit at one of the tables around the fairy-lit olive tree – which is 150 years old – and soak up the delicious vibe (with a side of deep-house beats every Tuesday to Saturday).
Good to know Asoka hosts live jazz every Tuesday and Sunday evening, with the kitchen open until midnight!
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 6pm – 2am
Contact 021 422 0909, email@example.com
Where to find it 68 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Grand Africa Café & Beach
There’s hardly a better place on Earth to watch the sun being swallowed by the sea (delicious cocktail in hand, of course) than at Grand Africa Café & Beach, whose private beach sets it apart from other ocean-facing venues.
Inside, the vibe is a combination of old-world romanticism and laidback glamour, while outdoors you feel like you’ve stepped into Robinson Crusoe’s backyard. Palm trees, daybeds, private bars and a dedicated DJ booth set the scene, so order a glass of fizzy stuff and a plate of oysters and forget about the world outside.
Good to know There are five bars to choose from: a Pongracz bubbly bar, an Ernest Hemingway-inspired craft beer bar, the Corona Bar, the Café Society Bar (for a sneaky G&T), and the Ibiza Beach Bar on the beach. So, pick your poison, and don’t waste any time queueing for something you don’t feel like drinking.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 071 382 7044, firstname.lastname@example.org
Good to know You can reserve a table via WhatsApp
Where to find it Granger Bay Road, Granger Bay, Cape Town
Hanks Olde Irish
This Irish-inspired bar and pub on Bree Street boasts a decidedly moody, underground feel, with the lure and style of a laidback speakeasy. Surrounded by exposed stone walls and laced in secret passageways leading to neighbouring bars (you didn’t hear it from us!), this popular watering hole is known not only for its cool scene, but also for its extensive selection of fine whiskeys and top-class jazz musicians. In addition to malts and bourbons, the bar also offers various craft beer and wine to sip while you take in the smooth live jazz, or feel the vibe of the DJ ringing in the evening.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – 2am
Contact 071 549 8452, email@example.com
Where to find it 110 Bree Street, Cape Town
Orphanage Cocktail Emporium
Some tall, some short, and some served in a teacup, the unique and delicious cocktails at Orphanage Cocktail Emporium are widely accepted as some of the best in town. Let the slick sounds of chilled lounge beats wash over you as you watch skilled barmen concoct tasty tipples. Champagne, good wine, craft beers, and an assortment of spirits and tasty snacks are also available at this vibey, low-lit joint that stays open until the wee hours.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 5pm – 2am
Contact 071 534 0266, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 227 Bree Street, Corner of Bree and Orphan Street, Cape Town
The Jagger Lounge
This pumping live-music venue, bar and restaurant on Shortmarket Street offers guests a vibey atmosphere in which to enjoy live performances from talented local artists. Along with an Italian-inspired lunch and dinner menu, including pizza, pasta and salads, the hotspot also has an extensive selection of wine and cocktails. Add The Jagger Lounge’s signature coffee (from 7am for the early birds), and it’s no wonder it’s already a hit around the clock.
Opening times Monday & Tuesday, 7am – 3pm
Wednesday & Thursday, 7am – 12am
Friday – Saturday, 7am – 2am
Please note Closing times may vary depending on the live performances
Where to find it 74 Shortmarket Street, Central Business District, Cape Town
RED Roof at the Radisson Red Hotel
No hotel is complete without a good bar – but not those stuffy/seedy places where suits gather for a drink before going to bed – we’re talking about a red-hot venue where some of the best parties in town go down! It’s called the RED Roof – and it sits atop the Radisson RED Hotel in the buzzed-about Silo District. More than just a bar, this rooftop sun terrace and pool deck boasts killer views – of the sea and Table Mountain – making it the perfect place for sunset cocktails.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 10.30am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 12am
Contact 087 086 1578, email@example.com
Where to find it Radisson RED Hotel, Silo 6, South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
After being crowned Bartender of the Year and Most Influential Cocktail Personality in 2019, Travis Kuhn set out to open the first tiki bar in the Mother City – which he did, on Wale Street, with co-owners Leah van Deventer and Kelby Schnetler. The trio has brought Polynesian-inspired and rum-heavy cocktails to the Mama City. We love the Vicious Virgin, made with two kinds of rum, Cointreau, Falernum (spiced syrup) and fresh lime juice.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 11am –2am
Contact 062 728 9341
Where to find it 53 Wale Street, Cape Town
Researched by Kent Cloete, Nikki Benatar, Michelle de Bruin, Hannah Littlewood
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