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February 25, 2014

Top 5 Places to Watch the Rugby in Cape Town

Mitchell's Brewery, photo courtesy of mikkelz

Watching the rugby with a passion bordering on religious fervour (the ref naturally being Satan-spawn should he call against your team) is a beloved ritual for many a Capetonian. Many a visitor has reached the shores of Cape Town to be told they haven’t experienced South African culture until they’ve watched a game. Here are the best 5 pubs to go to:    

Foresters Arms

Boasting Guinness World Record for the most beer sold in the Southern Hemisphere, Foresters Arms’ is probably helped by the fact that people have been slugging back a cold one for over 162 years. Known affectionately as ‘Forries’, Foresters Arms is on the doorstep of Newlands cricket and rugby stadium - you can practically feel the energy of the crowds nearby. The smoky history in the wood fires and festive atmosphere makes you feel included in the passionate mayhem that is game day in Cape Town.

Recent redesigns to the beer garden have improved seating for rugby zealots, with large screen TVs prominently located throughout the building. Wood-fired pizza and pub chow combine with good vibes and serious gees when the Boks are playing. You can hear the national anthem from the parking lot.    

Contact Foresters Arms: 021 689 5949

The Fireman’s Arms

The Fireman’s Arms, established in 1864, is uniformed from bar to ceiling in the proud history of the South African sport. In case you weren’t convinced of the deep-routed reverence, there are 9 46” flat screen TVs and 2 big screens ensuring you don’t miss a single crunching tackle.

Hugely popular on game day, you’ll have to arrive substantially early to route the obsessive Capetonian supporters. There’s a sense of character and atmosphere – it’s a tradition to climb a pole and sign the ceiling! It’s almost always packed with passionate supporters, ensuring you’ll be swept along in emotions of the match. The food’s also great and has its own loyal following.

Contact The Fireman's Arms: 021 419 1513


Recognisable for its 35m sun balcony, colourful crowds and chilled, upbeat friendliness, Rafiki's offers 6 big screens throughout the venue, always pretty merry on game day. The Rafiki's staff come from South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Israel – it’s that kind of place – where rhastas and bankers alike tuck into tasty food, cocktails and trendy vibes. Rafiki's offers an unpretentious venue you can relax at, meeting people during and after the game, without needing a big group of friends to ensure your social status. 

Contact Rafiki's: 021 426 4731


This European-style wine bar with leather couches and a fabulous roof-top deck is always buzzing during the rugby, attracting a crowd of over 23s for a slightly classier and more expensive experience. They offer a number of rugby-centric specials (think breakfast and beer!) with two large screens downstairs and two flat screens on the deck. The crowd is energetic and the wine flows abundantly although don’t expect it to get too raucous. 

Contact Oblivion: 021 671 8522

Mitchell’s Scottish Ale House

Mitchell’s Scottish Ale House at the V&A Waterfront provides a lively atmosphere with three ales on tap, a stout and a lager brewed by the local establishment. You can form your own conclusions about the place based on the brew names, which include Old Wobbly, Forester Draught, Bosun’s Bitter, Mitchell’s 90 Shilling, Raven Stout and Milk & Honey. Milk and honey! We reckon there’s a certain veneration going on there. Mitchell’s always features number of large TVs, solid food, umbrellas under the sun and buoyant crowds and is a great spot to soak up the gees.

Contact Mitchell's Scottish Ale House: 021 419 5074

Are you a rugby fanatic? You should check out the South African Rugby Museum at the V&A or enjoy 5 awesome facts about Newlands Stadium. Enjoy our snapshots of Cape Town? You should follow us on twitter here.

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