When the golden hour hits, it can only mean one thing: it’s rooftop time in the Mother City! Perched high above the sweltering, traffic-infested streets, these sky-high watering holes provide vertical respite from the world below, offering fresh air, stellar views, a lively atmosphere, and a selection of crafty cocktails, to boot.
Have you been to a hot rooftop bar you think we should know about? Please tell us about it in the comments below.
1. Up Yours at Yours Truly Café
Buzzy Kloof Street has no shortage of cool venues, but this one takes things to another level (pun totally intended). Situated next to a backpackers’ lodge, it’s a popular hangout for student travellers, the beard-and-tattoo brigade, and those who enjoy sizzling summer beats. Downstairs is a café that serves coffee, gourmet sandwiches and tasty pizzas.
Insider tip From 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, enjoy live DJ sessions.
Good to know The bar does not take reservations on weekends (reservations can only be made from Monday to Thursday).
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 3pm – 10pm
Contact 021 426 2587, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Yours Truly Café and Bar, 73 Kloof Street, Cape Town
This cool and contemporary rooftop bar is a hot attraction on the Camps Bay strip (courtesy of The Kove Collection, whose ever-expanding portfolio of restaurants and bars includes Bilboa, Lily’s, Blanko, Paranga, Incognito, La Belle, Firefish, and the brand-new Bobo’s, 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 gloriously refreshing cocktails and listening to the coolest beats spun by Cape Town’s finest DJs. A menu of seaside café classics means that you can stay for a light dinner, too…
Insider tip On Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, resident DJs will take you on a musical journey, as they spin cool tunes from 6pm to 10pm.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 4pm – 10pm
Contact 021 286 5075, email@example.com
Location Shop 120, Second Floor, The Promenade Building, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
3. Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar
On one of the hottest corners in Cape Town, you’ll find at the Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar atop a boutique hotel of the same name. With jaw-dropping 360-degree panoramas of Cape Town and an utterly Instrgrammable shot of Table Mountain, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy refreshing cocktails and a scrumptious sourdough pizza.
Insider tip The sparkling blue plunge pool is the perfect cool-down spot on a hot summer afternoon.
Good to knowThe venue can be hired out for private functions.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 1pm – 11pm; Sunday, 1pm – 10pm
Contact 021 424 0291, firstname.lastname@example.org
LocationCloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa, 12 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town
4. RED Roof at the Radisson Red Hotel
No hotel is complete without a good bar – but we’re don’t mean those stuffy 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 bar – and it sits atop the Radisson RED Hotel in the trendy and 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, South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
5. Sky Bar at The Grey Boutique Hotel
Conveniently located on top of The Grey Boutique Hotel, The Skybar is a comfortable yet sophisticated space boasting panoramic views of the mountain and the city. The fact that it’s a stone’s throw from The Piano Bar, one of our favourites for delicious food and live jazz in the city, makes it a handy choice for pre- or post-dinner cocktails.
Good to know There are some fabulous restaurants in the area: Shio for lip-smacking Asian, Osteria Tarantino for moreish Italian; Riva (across Somerset Road) for seafood; and Skinny Legs at Maison Mara just down the road for fresh breakfasts and lunch.
Need to know For tables bigger than 12 people, booking is required.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 418 1096, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location The Grey Boutique Hotel, 49 Napier Street, De Waterkant, Green Point
6. The Ghibli Bar and Pool Terrace
With stunning urban panoramas, plush decor, and the most inviting sun loungers, The Ghibli Bar and Pool Terrace at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence is every cocktail-lover’s dream. Chaises longues surround the sparkling swimming pool, creating the perfect summertime invitation to arrive, recline, and sip exotic cocktails, while nibbling on delicious snacks.
Good to know The food service runs daily from 12pm to 5pm, while the bar service runs daily from 11pm – 10.30pm.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 11pm
Contact 021 467 4000, email@example.com
Location Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, 22 Riebeek Street, Cape Town
7. Cartel Rooftop Venue
This one is simply too cool not to mention, but it’s only available for private functions! The good news is, if you’re looking for a view-drenched, stylish, and all-encompassing hotspot to host your next event, you needn’t look further! Dubbed the largest rooftop space in Cape Town, the semi-covered outdoor area is able to accommodate up to 220 people, and boasts a spacious bar stocked with everything! There’s also a spacious kitchen, and sweeping views of the city and Table Mountain beyond.
The space is yours to do with as you please, with ample seating, tables, and a stretch tent marquee can be organised on request.
Contact 071 263 3999, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town
8. Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
Located on the third level of a 200-year-old building in the city centre’s Longmarket Street, the rooftop bar at Tjing Tjing is a great spot to watch the world below go by. The moody interiors, top-drawer tipples, ice-cool beats and Japanese snacks make this metropolitan locale perfect for a relaxed sundowner or a celebratory drink.
Insider tip At street level, you’ll find Tjing Tjing Torii, where the pulsating pace, ultra-cool electro-indie beats, Harajuku-inspired decor and on-the-ball service are the perfect backdrop for flavour-popping, Japanese street food.
The first floor is home to the low-slung, reservations-only Momiji Lounge & Bar, and the cool and composed Momiji restaurant, where diners can enjoy a multiple-course menu that pays homage to the seasons.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 4pm – 2am
Saturday, 6.30pm – 2am
Contact 021 422 4920, email@example.com
Where to find it 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town
9. Rick’s Café Américain Rooftop Bar
Taking inspiration from the piano bar of the same name that featured in the classic movie Casablanca, this popular spot is housed in a 100-year-old Victorian building. The decor and setting hark back to a bygone era, and there’s even a live jazz band to add to the colonial-era ambience. The loft lounge and cocktail bar leads onto a roof deck with amazing views of Table Mountain and surrounds.
Good to know Happy Hour is everyday from 3pm to 7pm – with up to 30% off all cocktails and beers on tap. You can also get two-for-one El Jimador tequilas for R29, a margarita jug for R290, and a 1 litre mojito jug for R220, as well as a selection of daily lunch specials for R75.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 11am – 2am
Contact 021 424 1100 or 021 822 1100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Ricks Café Américain, 2 Park Road, Gardens, Cape Town
10. 14 Stories Rooftop Bar at SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl Hotel
Towering over the city centre, this beautifully decked out rooftop bar on the 14th floor of the SunSquare hotel is a cool place to soak up the last rays, while enjoying finger food, tasty cocktails, and stunning mountain and sea views.
Need to know The pool is, sadly, only for the use of hotel guests.
Opening times Daily, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 492 9999, SunSquareCityBowl.Reservations@tsogosun.com
Location SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl, 23 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town City Centre
11. The Sky Bar at The Grand Daddy Hotel
The refurbished 1895 Grand Daddy Hotel on Long Street was one of the first rooftop bars to open in Cape Town. The Sky Bar is situated among the vintage Airstream trailers (which double as hotel rooms) to give you an otherworldly feel while you enjoy a drink and the amazing view on the wooden deck. And since the installation of a permanent tented roof, not even the southeaster will put a dampener on your plans.
Good to know The rooftop can be booked for private events and movie screenings.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 021 424 7247, email@example.com
Location The Grand Daddy Hotel, 38 Long Street, Cape Town
Research by Kent Cloete, Nikki Benatar, and Michelle de Bruin
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