The best sundowner spots in Cape Town
There’s something magical about summer sunsets: the vibrant colours, the warm glow, and that unshakeable sense that – for a moment – all is right with the world. They ought to be celebrated properly, and these Cape Town spots make it easy to do just that!
The Vue Sky Bar Lounge
This rooftop bar in De Waterkant has a magnificent view of the city, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and Table Mountain. Here you can enjoy a sundowner as the sky turns from blue to pink and the city lights start to twinkle. They have an extensive drinks menu to choose from as well as a wide selection of food for when hunger strikes. The open-plan layout is also perfect for an impromptu photo shoot with a view if you’d like to make everyone in the world jealous of your fine location.
14 Stories Rooftop Bar
Cape Town is lucky enough to welcome a hot new rooftop bar right to the centre of town with the 14 Stories Rooftop Bar at the new Tsogo Sun SunSquare in the CBD. Open daily from 4-11 pm, it’s a great place to wait out traffic, sip on a sundowner, and get the party started as you fall in love with Cape Town all over again.
Situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, The Bungalow does a good job of living up to its name. We’re not talking about an itty bitty cottage here; we’re talking relaxed summer home of a ridiculously wealthy friend. The blue-and-white theme and stained timber give it a fresh nautical feel, but the chandeliers, white table linen, and gilded mirrors are by no means out of place.
Think sushi, crayfish, or oysters served with sweet melon, chilli, and vodka salsa, paired with a chilled glass of chardonnay or a flute of your favourite champagne. If that wealthy friend is buying, there’s a bottle of Armand de Brignac Brut Rose on the menu, but otherwise, we’d recommend the watermelon mojito.
Harringtons Cocktail Lounge
If you’re more concerned with epic drinks than a stellar view, then Harringtons Cocktail Lounge in the city centre might be right up your alley. This cocktail lounge, boutique bar, and eatery still has a pretty good view of the city and the DJ or live act will give you plenty of reason to linger. It’s perfect for after work drinks and then some.
The Leopard Bar
If it’s romance you’re after, The Leopard Bar at the Twelve Apostles Hotel offers up the kind of sunsets that’ll make anyone go gooey on the inside. With the Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles mountain range behind you and the Atlantic Ocean stretching out in front of you, you’ll feel like you belong on the set of an epic movie. If you don’t fancy any of the cocktails on the menu – the Vanilla Chocatini looks delish – the bartenders can whip up something from your favourite ingredients. In addition to a craft beer menu, the bar also has a cigar menu for those special occasions.
The Cape Grace‘s Bascule Bar, which is situated on the edge of the V&A Waterfront‘s international yacht marina, offers up spectacular views of Table Mountain. Primarily about whisky – there are over 500 whiskies to choose from – the bar also serves wine and cocktails. Not surprisingly (given that you’re looking out over yachts), this spot, with its warm wood interior and stylish furnishings, is glamorous in an understated sort of way.
CASA at the Ritz
Enjoying a cool and colourful drink while lounging next to a sparkling blue pool has to be one of our favourite summer activities in Cape Town (bonus points for inflatables). The newly renovated Ritz Hotel is a summer favourite with their pool and tempting food and drinks at CASA. Think thin-based pizzas, sushi, signature cocktails, local spirits, and wine. The restaurant’s pineapple print-covered walls certainly set the tone for a great sundowner session.
Grand Café & Beach
Set in a restored warehouse on a private beach in Granger Bay, the Grand offers up a beach area, two beach bars, and a deck for alfresco dining. With Table Bay in front of you and Signal Hill in the background, it’s easy to forget that you are just a few minutes from the CBD. Try the Frozen Mexican Milkshake or the Grand Pink Gin.
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
Head into the city and the sunsets are no less spectacular. Situated at the top of a restored heritage building in Longmarket Street, Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is all kinds of sexy. The interior – with its dark wood, red leather, gleaming copper, and quirky nods to Japanese culture – complements the new indie and electronica music nicely. Gaze out over the cityscape whilst sipping on a Ginger Ninja and nibbling on some drool-worthy tapas.
The Radisson Red Rooftop Bar
The uber cool Radisson Red has a rooftop bar with incredible views, a bright red drinks van, and tasty bar food. The hip mix of people and the cosmopolitan setting of the Silo District means you’re definitely in for a good time. The hotel is aimed at creatives and especially lovers of music, fashion and art, so you’ll be in excellent company.
Rick’s Café Americain
Decorated in a style that hints at the movie Casablanca, the restaurant has a cocktail bar that spills out onto a sunny deck with views of Table Mountain. With a drinks menu that spans five pages and a selection of over 60 beers and 30 tequilas, you might have some difficulty settling on just one drink. Luckily, with a daily cocktail special that runs from 3-7 pm, you won’t have to. Go on, have that Two Oceans Orgasm or A Bloody Good Time.
Café Caprice has been making it onto lists such as these since it opened in 1999, and for good reason. Long the haunt of models, actors, and celebrities, Café Caprice is pretty much perfectly placed. If you get bored of watching the glorious sunset, dabble in a little celeb-spotting instead. Try the signature Granadilla Lolly cocktail – Absolut Citron Vodka muddled with granadilla, lemon, pineapple, and crushed ice – and, if you’ve worked up an appetite, the triple-decker Caprice Club Sandwich.
Sky Bar at the Grand Daddy Hotel
It’s hard to imagine that you’ll find a great spot to watch the sun go down in Long Street, but the Grand Daddy Hotel manages to pull it off. The hotel has a vintage airstream trailer park on its rooftop and along with it a stylish bar. The bar, which is only open when the weather is sunny, offers up beer, wine, and cocktails. You’ll want to try the signature Trailer Park Happiness, which is made with premium gin, Cruz vodka, raspberry and lemon juice, and topped with lemonade. If you’re feeling peckish, you can order tapas from the restaurant downstairs, Thirty Ate.
Lord Charles Somerset was onto something when he made the Roundhouse his hunting lodge – the sweeping views of Camps Bay are simply spectacular. While the Roundhouse itself is pretty swanky, the terraces – known as The Rumbullion – are the ideal place to kick back and relax. During the summer season, from 4 pm to sunset you can enjoy pizzas and drinks on the lawns.
If it’s wine you’re after then you’ll meet your match in De Grendel in the picturesque Durbanville Wine Valley. This wine estate has that magical effect of making you feel like you’re a million miles away from a city, while it’s only a 40-minute drive away. Expect excellent wine and world-class food as you see the sunset over Table Mountain and the city lights in the distance.
On the Rocks
This lovely restaurant in Blouberg Strand is a favourite for locals and visitors and it’s easy to see why. On a clear day, their view of Table Mountain is postcard perfect and the sea breeze offers the perfect companion to a long colourful cocktail, G&T or glass of wine. Once you glance at a menu you’ll definitely be tempted to eat too: the seafood, mains, and desserts are worth salivating over.