The 15 Best Wine Bars in Cape Town + Stellenbosch

The 15 Best Wine Bars in Cape Town + Stellenbosch

Chic watering holes for by-the-glass quaffing and top-notch nibbles.

They’re popping up everywhere like champagne corks on New Year’s Eve… Wine bars are having a moment and importantly answering the call to serve great wines by the glass (no more settling for the “house” brand), in stylish and wonderfully sociable settings, with fabulous food to match. It’s where an end-of-day wind-down easily turns into a great night out. These are our favourite wine bars in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

Which are yours? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Wine bars in Cape Town

Culture

Wine Bars: Culture Wine Bar

Adjacent to chef Matt Manning’s popular Grub & Vine bistro on Bree Street is his wine bar stocked with the finest SA wines, including rare gems and cult classics, and globally sourced picks from the “Wanderlist” (a special black-leather-covered menu available on request). The bar is sophisticated, cosy and moody – all leather booths and exposed brickwork – making it a wonderful spot to unwind with friends over a glass or two. Try something new, learn more about wine, and engage with the sommelier and other fundis at their weekly Vine Night, Culture Club and other bespoke wine events – sans the snobbery.
Food pairing The fabulous bistro kitchen serves up gourmet bites to enjoy with your wine.
Good to know There are beers and spirits on offer, plus live music on weekend nights and First Thursdays.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2am
Contact 021 216 0035, wine@culturewinebar.com
Where to find it 103 Bree Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Publik

Wine Bars: Publik

This little bar on Kloofnek Road – with its irresistible row of barstools outside a pavement window-counter – is the stuff (sustainable) vino dreams are made of. With a slew of bottles from local organic farms and small artisans, as well as a few “new wave” European wines, you can be sure of tasting something new and exciting each time you visit. There’s a lively, down-to-earth vibe, with everyone from suits to 20-somethings looking for a place to wet their whistle. If you want to learn while you sip, ask one of the resident connoisseurs for a breakdown of all things tannin-, tone- and nose-related.
Food pairing A great selection of cured meats, cheeses, burgers and small plates (white anchovies, burrata, lamb belly strips) to snack on. Plus the occasional food-and-wine pairing dinner with a guest chef.
Good to know As with any good hipster joint, there’s also a selection of craft beers and spirits.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 4pm – 11pm; Saturday, 3pm – 8pm
Contact winebar@publik.co.za
Where to find it 11D Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town

Openwine

Wine Bars: Openwine

This cosy, sophisticated locale on Wale Street is oenophile heaven. The Italian concept store (or enoteca) was opened by Raphael Paterniti and Marta Gobbo back in 2016, and was the first of its kind in Cape Town. They wanted to serve South African wines “in the French/Italian way”. Not only does it stock an extensive selection of bottles for purchase, but also invites visitors to taste an array of meticulously sourced fine local wines. Sit at the convivial bar, or in a pavement-facing window seat, or cosy up in the plush lounge with a bottle or glass of your choice (from over 200 options!). There’s also a downstairs cellar where you can enjoy an informative tasting, plus live jazz jams on Sunday afternoons.
Food pairing To go with your wine, a fine selection of antipasti, of course! A constantly changing blackboard menu pairs dishes with specific wines, plus there’s a pizza oven.
Good to know Openwine also stocks a range of craft beers, ciders and a selection of spirits.
Opening times Tuesday – Wednesday, 12pm – 11pm; Thursday – Sunday, 2pm – 11pm
Contact 079 944 2754, info@openwineza.co.za
Where to find it 72 Wale Street, Cape Town

Leo’s

Wine Bars: Leos

Come 5pm and with a flicker of the neon sign, Max Bagels in Bree Street transforms into an edgy wine bar, where you’re likely to be lured into sipping on a glass of pét-nat on the streetside terrace or inside (if you can grab one of the 10-or-so seats). The focus is on natural, small-batch, “new wave” wines (although there are higher-end, fancier labels hidden away, too). Around 20 wines are available every evening, and sometimes they play music to match from a winemaker’s playlist.
Food pairing Snack on a pizza bagel, bagel chips or dips and olives – or whatever has popped up for the evening (Leo’s loves collabs – which extends to artwork and merchandise).
Good to know Selected beer and ciders are also available.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – 11pm
Contact 076 042 0224, matthew@leoswinebar.com
Where to find it De Oude Schuur, 120 Bree Street, Cape Town

One&Only Wine Studio

Wine Bars: One&Only Wine Studio

Known for having one of the largest private collections of wine on the continent, One&Only Cape Town’s sophisticated Wine Studio fittingly treats guests to a singular experience. Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling shelves of bottles, and under the guidance of sommelier Luvo Ntezo, you can taste a range of some of the best the Cape has produced – from exceptional vintages of the past to the very latest discoveries.
Food pairing Canapés and cheese.
Good to know Keep an eye out for monthly wine-related dinners and other events.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 4pm – 7pm
Contact 021 431 5888, reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com
Where to find it One&Only Cape Town, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
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Jazz Pony at One Park

Jazz Pony Restaurant

Like Shrek, this reimagined new face of One Park (just off Kloof Street) has layers. The heritage building is a record store at the front, with Jazz Pony, a cool new wine bar starring natural and low intervention wines downstairs, and a vibey cocktail bar and listening room (with DJ booth) upstairs. Owners Matt Hichens and Mischka Mahomed have riffed on the jazz-improv theme: at Jazz Pony everything is from the heart, and the short menu of punchy Asian-inspired snacks cooked from scratch. A superb fried-chicken burger with house pickles and kewpie mayo (love the naughty sauce too), some moreishly creamy quails eggs marinated in soy, and a delish miso creme caramel will have us coming back for more, along with the beautifully balanced Magna Carta MCC (there’s a different selection of 10 or so wines on the by the glass menu each week).
Good to know Look out for the Thursday winemaker sessions. And the twice a month food takeovers by various chefs.
Opened November 2023
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 6pm – 10pm (kitchen); until 1pm (upstairs bar)
Contact info@onepark.co.za
Where to find it 1 Park Road, Gardens, Cape Town

CellarClub

Wine Bars: CellarClub

It’s something worth celebrating when a 160-year-old harbour tunnel is put to good use – in this case, as a super-atmospheric place to taste the best South African wines. It’s hidden in plain sight at the V&A Waterfront – down an alley beside the Ulundi parking garage, looking out at the busy piazza outside Victoria Wharf. Visitors who are fortunate enough to stumble upon it can settle in at a wine-barrel table (or outside in wicker chairs under brollies) and try the daily tasting of three wines, or enjoy any wine or cap classique of their choice by the glass.
Food pairing Delicious canapés to match the wines.
Good to know The CellarClub offers exclusive masterclasses with winemakers on Thursday nights, limited to just 35 people, so booking is essential. It also offers craft gin cocktails.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 1pm – 8pm
Contact 082 737 9578, info@cellarclub.co.za
Where to find it 9 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Belthazar

Wine Bars Belthazar

Belthazar’s slick New York vibe is amplified when you look up at the warehouse stacking overhead of iconically named wine boxes from the venue’s formidable wine collection. While it’s more a restaurant than a wine bar per se, owner Ian Halfon opened the restaurant with the aim of showcasing the very best of the Cape’s wine. It’s the only place in the world (as far as we know) where up to 250 different wines are available by the glass. And 400 in total on the winelist including sought-after rare vintages, showcased in a temperature-controlled vinoteque. Experienced sommeliers, the latest in tap-wine-dispensing technology from Europe and the USA, and beautiful stemware… it’s a wine-connoisseur’s mecca.
All wines are graciously served in, Riedel stemware by well-informed staff in white jackets and bow ties. Add to that some of the best views of harbour and Table Mountain from the terrace tables where you can dine alfresco, and you can see why it’s become a must-do on the Cape Town dining circuit.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 421 3753, info@slickrestaurants.com
Where to find it Shop 154, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Book through DinePlan

Views by De Grendel

Wine Bars: Views By De Grendel

A special-occasion wine bar (for birthdays, romantic dates or entertaining out-of-town friends and family), this one sits atop Table Mountain – and yes, the views are incredible. Part of the updated refreshment offerings at Cape Town’s most famous tourist stop, Views by De Grendel offers a premium guided wine tasting experience. De Grendel winery is across the city in the Durbanville wine valley, famously boasting a postcard view of Table Mountain; now you can sit at Views and spot De Grendel! The estate makes a variety of wines, including the aptly named Op die Berg (“on the mountain”) range and Proposal Hill cap classique.
Food pairing Choose what you’d like from the deli.
Good to know You’ll need a cable-car ticket to reach this bar – good news is, they’re cheaper in the afternoon (return R340 adult, R110 pensioner), and you get a free ride in the month of your birthday (SA citizens only). Or buy a Cable Card (R1 050 adult) valid for 365 days.
Opening times 9am – 7.30pm (or last cable car down)
Contact functions@tablemountain.net
Where to find it Upper Cableway Station, Table Mountain, Tafelberg Road, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Bouchon

Wine Bars: Bouchon

The Mother City boasts its own little innercity winery, hidden away on Hout Street. Expat Frenchman Christophe Durand began as a wine-barrel supplier, then started importing wines and eventually producing his own under the Dorrance Wines label. Simple tastings are available in his charming cellar; however, we’d recommend the wonderfully atmospheric tapas-and-wine experience at the adjoining Bouchon Wine Bar & Bistro, amid the wine-soaked barrels and gold-flecked wallpaper. It’s a place to get your fill of good vino and la belle vie.
Food pairing There’s a changing selection of small plates such as pulled duck and artichoke risotto, West Coast mussels in red curry sauce, crispy squid and twice-cooked pork belly.
Good to know There’s also a gin trolley that gets rolled up to your table, to design your own perfect G&T.
Opening times Monday + Tuesday, 6pm – 11pm; Wednesday – Saturday, 4pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 0695, info@bouchon.co.za
Where to find it 95 Hout Street, Cape Town

Bo-Vine

Wine Bars: Bo-Vine

The Camps Bay strip may seem all about cool cocktails or cold beers at sunset, but there is an option for wine lovers. Amid moody, edgy, graffitied decor (or at a pavement table for that sundowner view), they can sip on their choice from a hand-picked wine list that covers all the bases – including a few surprises from boutique wineries. Many are offered by the glass, and you can view the cellar if you so wish. Bo-Vine is a collaboration between two celebrated SA chefs, so you know what’s in the glass is top class.
Food pairing You should know that Bo-Vine is also a grillhouse, and the aromas wafting from the kitchen will tempt you. Fortunately, steak and wine is a match made in heaven.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 12am
Contact 063 712 6310, bovine@cbkitchens.com
Where to find it The Promenade, 85 Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Book through DinePlan

Wine bars in Stellenbosch

Le Grand Domaine Enoteca

Wine Bars: Le Grand Domaine Enoteca

As an urban alternative to a farm visit, this Devon Valley estate’s stylish emporium on buzzing Church Street is an atmospheric spot for aficionados (and novices) to indulge their passion, with more than 30 wines available by tasting portion, glass or bottle. It’s a beautifully adorned space, with copper, leather, decorative tiles and dark wood detailing – and a wine-library of shelves showcasing the boutique Le Grand Vin de Stellenbosch range and Stellenview portfolio. Look out for the “secret magnums” on offer every now and then. On Thursday evenings, you can sip your chosen vino to a soundtrack of chilled singer-songwriters.
Food pairing A seasonal bistro-style menu features bold classics with a twist: fillet cafe de Paris, Patagonian squid served two ways, and burrata, peach and heirloom tomato salad. There are also platters of local artisanal cheese and charcuterie, and a plat du jour. Or simply order fresh oysters and a glass of bubbly to enjoy at a sidewalk table under the oaks.
Good to know There’s also coffee (espresso, cappuccino, latte, etc), and a daily happy hour featuring the “Vin de Maison” white wine from 12pm – 2pm and 4pm – 6pm.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Contact 021 300 3279, enoteca@granddomaine.co.za
Where to find it 7 Church Street, Stellenbosch

The Wine Glass

Wine Bars 2023: The Wine Glass Stellenbosch

The Stellies sibling of the highly rated wine bar in Hermanus offers a taste of (just about) all of this region’s nectar – by glass, bottle or a themed tasting flight of six – in one convenient location on Ryneveld Street. It’s an elegant, modern space in a heritage building, with suede banquette seating and fireside tables, a bar-lounge called The Jungle Room and a cool courtyard – home to a statue called Lady Temptation. Indeed, with over 130 choices of wine, repeat visits will be essential.
Food pairing The local-global food menu (including signature Oriental linefish, North African prawns and Indonesian beef fillet) sings with the wines, plus there’s tapas (firecracker duck, chimichurri ostrich koftas, Asian BBQ pork spring rolls) and cheese and charcuterie platters.
Good to know Craft beers, spirits, cocktails and coffees also get a nod on the menu.
Opening times Sunday – Friday, 11am – 10.30pm
Saturday, 8am – 10.30pm
Contact 082 555 2332, foh@twgstellies.co.za
Where to find it 13 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch Wine Bar

Wine Bars: Stellenbosch Wine Bar

Do you drink Afrikaans? Well, you can – it’s the name of a wine at this wine bar focusing on the Stellenbosch Collection wines (from high-end Rust en Vrede to easy-drinking Guardian Peak and Donkiesbaai wines inspired by the West Coast). Also available is the Stellenbosch Reserve range, a love letter to these Winelands and representing all seven main varietals. This means there’s something for everyone here, by the glass or bottle. Take a seat in the casual, minimalist interior, or under the oaks on the long stoep to watch the world (and fellow wine-bar hoppers) go by.
Food pairing Rust en Vrede’s celebrated chef Fabio Daniel channels his heritage in the small Mediterranean menu, featuring the likes of beef tartare bruschetta with Parmesan, herb arancini, salt-and-pepper squid and Angus steak.
Good to know You can order wine at cellar-door prices for delivery countrywide.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 11am – 10pm
Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Contact 063 646 3207, winebar@thestellenboschcollection.com
Where to find it Corner of Andringa and Church Streets, Stellenbosch

Le Chant Wine Bar

Wine Bars: Le Chant Wine Bar

The newest wine bar in town, Le Chant estate itself is also a recent collaboration between the French winemaking Oddo family and fifth-generation South African Joubert family. The estate is not open to the public, but you can taste their Old World/New World wines here (along with bottles from their other Stellies estates, Taaibosch and rosé specialist Pink Valley). Expect a suitably stylish spot in which to sip on your favourite tipple – deep leather couches, chandeliers, a gallery wall of black-and-white framed photographs and the iconic French rooster symbol standing tall.
Food pairing A menu of upscale platters and snacks all cooked on hibachi grills (think sweet potato vetkoek, whitebait or tempura sweetcorn), curated by chef Monché Muller.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Sunday, 12pm – 8pm
Contact 073 332 7138, info@lechant.wine
Where to find it Oude Bank Building, 7 Church Street (corner Bird Street), Stellenbosch

Qbar

Wine Bars: Qbar

Shaded by plane trees and canvas umbrellas, the sophisticated yet relaxed Qbar evokes the grand style of Quoin Rock wine estate on a smaller scale. Marble-topped tables and green-and-gold velvet banquettes take centre stage in the small but perfectly elegant interior, with comfy raw-wood chairs spreading out into the hidden courtyard. Here you can sample all their wines (and take them home at cellar-door prices), accompanied by utterly delicious fine-dining tapas by chef Paul Prinsloo. Don’t leave before you’ve had a glass of the Black Series cap classique or the grappa-esque Husk Spirit.
Food pairing Appetising bar snacks (think crispy tempura shimeji mushrooms), plus a menu that might include trout gravadlax, pea risotto or seared wildebeest topped with chimichurri.
Good to know Knorhoek’s range of small-batch gins shine in Qbar’s seven signature cocktails. Guided wine tastings are available until 5pm.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 888 4740, info@quoinrock.co.za
Where to find it De Wet Centre Courtyard, Church Street, Stellenbosch

Bartinney Wine & Champagne Bar

Wine Bars: Bartinney

Tucked away on Bird Street, the first, original wine bar in Stellenbosch serves the award-winning small-batch Bartinney wines and Plaisir Grand Brut cap classique. It’s a cosy, earthy showcase of the estate, with a marvellous chandelier made from old vines, repurposed oak-barrel wood panelling, vintage armchairs and touches of fynbos. Enjoy your glass – perhaps the “Sexy Sip of the Day” (R30) – with nibbles at the old wooden bar counter, at a table next to the log fire or out on the terrace.
Food pairing Cheese or meat boards (with a gourmet combo version), plus tapas such as buttermilk chicken bites, falafel with lemon yoghurt and bobotie spring rolls.
Good to know Glam sibling Plaisir Lounge next door offers wine, gin cocktails and fabulous tapas sharing plates. Tastings available on request.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 1pm – 10pm
Contact 076 348 5374, winebar@bartinney.co.za
Where to find it 5 Bird Street, Stellenbosch

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 05 April 2023

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2 Responses to “The 15 Best Wine Bars in Cape Town + Stellenbosch”

  1. matty Schmid

    Interest in different new places as I often get Overseas visitors.

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    • The Inside Guide

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