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May 25, 2010

Cape Town’s Top 20 Nightlife Venues

cape to cuba

Cape to Cuba. Photo courtesy benti.namibia

Cape Town’s party scene heats up as the sun sets and locals head out for sundowners along the Atlantic Seaboard.

In summer, the Camps Bay strip is the ultimate venue for cocktails, but is also an ideal spot to enjoy a glass of red wine on a cold winter afternoon. Cape Town City is one of the main nightlife hubs on the Peninsula and offers a real mix of entertainment from restaurants and pubs to live music venues, clubs and bars clustered around Long and Kloof streets. Green Point, Sea Point and Bantry Bay also have their fair share of watering holes, ranging from ultra-chic to quirky.

The V&A Waterfront has an international feel, with pubs and bars inspired by cultures across the globe,  while Lower Main Road in Observatory and Edward Street in Bellville boast young and funky nightlife spots, featuring creative décor and many regular patrons.

Kommetjie, Noordhoek and the Southern Suburbs have plenty to offer in the way of neighbourhood pubs and quietly sophisticated lounge bars.

Out in the winelands – it’s all about wine and many bars are extensions of popular restaurants that patrons just can’t find a good reason to leave.

Here we’ve put together 20 of Cape Town’s hottest and coolest night-time venues, guaranteed to give you a fantastic time out on the town!

Paulaner Brauhaus
German (or local) beer and traditional eats such as bratwurst and sauerkraut make this pub a truly continental experience.
Clock Tower Precinct, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
+27 (0) 21 418 9999

Bascule Wine and Whisky Bar
This is the perfect setting in which to take in the sights and sounds of the busy Waterfront harbour while sipping on some of the finest – and rarest – whisky in the world.
Cape Grace Hotel, West Quay Road, V&A Waterfront
+27 (0) 21 410 7100

Caveau at Heritage Square
Stop in for a glass of the fine wines on this spot’s extensive wine list. Look out for Caveau in Newlands too!
Heritage Square, 92 Bree Street, Cape Town
+27 (0) 21 422 1367

Alba Lounge
Featuring a bird’s eye view of the Waterfront with a cosy two-way fire, this is a great place to wile away the afternoon, or take in a live music performance.
Above the Hildebrand Restaurant at Pierhead, V& A Waterfront
+27 (0) 21 425 3385

Watch the girls (and boys) go by at this stylish sidewalk city spot.
70 Loop Street, Cape Town
+27 (0) 21 426 1001

Boer ‘n Brit
As its name suggests, this old pub heralds the skirmishes and spats between these old rivals.
A roaring log fire complements the weathered red leather banquettes inside.
The Alphen Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia
+27 (0) 21 794 5011

Perseverance Tavern
Cape Town’s oldest bar is known to locals as Percy’s.
83 Buitenkant Street, Gardens
+27 (0) 21 461 2440

A popular spot – this was one of the first bars in the newly developed V&A Waterfront.  Enjoy matches here in the British ambience, along with an international clientele.
Cnr East Pier and Dock roads, Ground Floor, Market Square Area, V&A Waterfront
+27 (0) 21 419 7748

The Toad in the Village
A village local, this lovely pub is tucked into a homely loft with thatched eves and wooden outdoor decks amidst green surrounds.
16 Noordhoek Farm Village, Village Lane, Noordhoek
+27 (0) 21 789 2973

Forrester’s Arms
Featuring a Sunday carvery, Forries is also a perfect outdoor garden pub and is child-friendly.
52 Newlands Ave, Newlands
+27 (0) 21 689 5949

Dubliner at Kennedy’s
Cape Town’s authentic Irish pub sports a block-long queue on St Patrick’s night!
251 Long Street, City Centre
+27 (0) 21 424 1212

Boo Radley’s
Inspired by the New York bistro-bar and the old fashioned cocktails of the ’30s, this stylish bar is a popular after-work spot and hosts regular live music nights with a swing, blues and jazz focus.
62 Hout Street, Cape Town
+27 (0) 21 424 3040

Green Dolphin
This charming restaurant also offers patrons live jazz sessions.
Victoria and Alfred Hotel Pier, V&A Waterfront
+27 (0) 21 421 7471

Cape to Cuba
Excellent mojitos and more in this quaint indoor-outdoor bar featuring genuine Cuban décor.
Main Road, Kalk Bay
+27 (0) 21 788 1566

Buena Vista Social Cafe
Cuba comes to Cape Town in the Stadium precinct! Enjoy good mood-inspiring music as you celebrate your country’s victory!
1st Floor Exhibition House, 81 Main Road, Green Point
+27 (0) 21 433 0611

Dias Portuguese Restaurant
This Portuguese-themed tavern inspired by Bartholomew Dias welcomes all. Sports-lovers will appreciate the big-screen games.
15 Caledon Street, Cape Town
+27 (0) 21 465 7547‎

Polana Restaurant
You can’t get closer to the waves than here! Polana is one of the best places from which to watch a winter storm head in across the sea while cosying up to a warm fire. 
Kalk Bay Harbour, Kalk Bay
+27 (0) 21 788 4133

Vista Lounge
This dynamic lobby lounge and bar features captivating views of Table Mountain.
The One & Only, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
+27 (0) 21 431 5888

Planet Champagne and Cocktail Bar
A “Sex and the City”-style venue offering an extensive cocktail, champagne and wine menu. Your drink is served with bar snacks beneath the twinkling stars of the venue’s faux night sky.

Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange Street, Gardens
+27 (0) 21 483 1000

Bronx Action Bar
Bronx is one of Cape Town’s best know gay bars – it’s open till late!
22 Somerset Road, Green Point
+27 (0) 21 419 9216

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