50 of the best clubs and bars in Cape Town
So you’re looking for a night out are you? A couple of drinks you say? Maybe you want to cut loose on the dance floor, but aren’t sure where to go? Our handy list of 50 of the most popular clubs and bars in the Mother City will help you on your way then! Enjoy!
Looking for somewhere good to eat before you have a night out on the town? Here are 50 restaurants in Cape Town that locals love.
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
During the day this bistro on the corner of Kloof Nek Road and Burnside Road is a hot dog, pastries and coffee joint, but after 5 pm things move over to the bar, the Black Ram, for drinks and merriment. It’s a place where local creatives and trendsetter get together and the regular crowd is sure to be there.
RICK’S CAFÉ AMERICAIN
The casual and laid-back atmosphere of Rick’s makes it a great spot for cocktails and beers with friends. The loft lounge and cocktail bar leads onto a roof deck and gives patrons a stunning view of Table Mountain.
One of the hippest restaurant/bars on the Cape Town scene, Arcade is a hot spot proven to be super popular with the cool kids. Located on the bustling Bree Street, Arcade has a gritty, urban feel with tables inside and spilling out onto the street. Great vibe, food, a well-stocked bar and a DJ desk make for a great night out.
This Caribbean-themed restaurant in Kenilworth is a favourite with locals for more than its awesome food offerings – everything from jerk chicken to goat curry. With 30 beers on tap and more than 80 bottled, as well as cocktails and one of the best rum collections around, the bar is calling! There is also a cocktail happy hour every day from 5pm to 6pm.
TJING TJING ROOFTOP BAR
This trendy spot is great for get-togethers and is located just off Long Street. With stylish décor and indie tunes playing in the background, it’s perfect for winding down after a long day. The drinks menu is extensive with a wide range of beers on tap. If you get a bit hungry, there’s a tapas bar to see to that.
A well-known boutique hotel in Long Street, the Grand Daddy is quirky and fun with its airstream rooftop trailer park and Sky Bar. From up here, you get great views of the city skyline while sipping drinks off a varied drinks menu under the protection of a Bedouin tent. It’s a favourite with the locals and is open Wednesday to Saturday from 12h00 to 20h30 in summer and 16h00 to 20h30 in winter.
THE VILLAGE IDIOT
It’s hard to say what makes The Village Idiot such an unforgettable place. It could be the life-sized ostrich that eyes you from the bar, the quirky decor complete with a vintage pool table or the menu filled with fusion food that will blow your mind. Add to the mix the wide open balcony with a view of the concrete jungle below, the great drinks and the old-school playlist and you are all set for a night of fun. Did we mention the food is incredible?
ZEPI GRILL & BAR
At home at the Tsogo Sun Square, Zepi is a modern bar and restaurant in the Gardens suburb of Cape Town. Arrive early and grab a drink on the terrace. Follow this up with popular dishes off the menu such as Bazaruto chicken and fillet, rump steak and lamb chops grilled to perfection.
THE HOUSE OF MACHINES
Connoisseurs of good booze and custom bikes will appreciate the meticulous way The House of Machines has been put together. For the rest, there’s the food, live music, coffees and cocktails to keep coming back for.
A Cape Town institution, The Dubliner is a mainstay on one of Cape Town’s busiest streets – Long Street. As you would expect from an Irish pub, the vibe is raucous and welcoming, with music that caters to just about everybody’s tastes. They have wide variety of beer on tap and the food is wholesome and value for money. There is also the added bonus that the kitchen stays open until 2am!
So you like beer do you? Then Beerhouse in Cape Town is your utopia from the grind. There are 99 bottles of beer on the wall and 16 taps to help with the fall… Yep, I made that up, but there are genuinely no less than 99 bottled beers – from 13 different countries – and 20 taps for everything from pints to tasters. If you can’t find the perfect brew at Beerhouse, you obviously just enjoy trying to! There is also a food menu, which ties in nicely with the beery vibe, offering snacks paired with beers in-house and more substantial stomach liners as well.
PARK-INN SUNROOF TERRACE
This trendy rooftop bar is at the top of the Park-Inn hotel on the Cape Town foreshore. It’s the accompanying bar to the hotel’s RBG restaurant and offers up a variety of drinks for all to enjoy while soaking up panoramic views of Table Mountain and Cape Town.
THE WAITING ROOM
Most of the venue is inside, but if you grab a spot on a balcony, you get a cool view of the buzzing long-street and Table Mountain. You can catch some live acts here or listen to the DJ on duty while sipping your drinks. Trendy place for the urban cool kids of the city.
CAPE ROYALE VIP SKY BAR
Possibly one of the top places for drinks with an ocean view, the VIP Sky Bar on the roof of the Cape Royale is a fantastic place to relax and wind down. There are views of the Atlantic Ocean and an outdoor pool that kids can use – weather permitting.
STRAND TOWER HOTEL
Based in the heart of the CBD in Strand Street, the Strand Tower’s restaurant and bar sits on the pool deck and can be enjoyed with killer views of the city. It’s the perfect spot for some after-work drinks or an afternoon beer and cocktail.
The first thing that will grab you about this trendy little spot on Kloof Street is the décor. Based on Feng Shui design principles, which uses the elements of fire, water, copper and wood to bring harmony to the environment, the Asian-inspired restaurant/bar is also home to Cape Town’s oldest olive tree, which is thriving in the venue’s open-air courtyard. Yep, you guessed it, the vibe is pretty chilled. A favourite with locals, Asoka has an impressive menu and offers everything from jazz to commercial house, depending on the night.
MOTHER’S RUIN GIN BAR IN CAPE TOWN
Opened in December 2014, and touted as Africa’s first-ever gin bar, Mother’s Ruin is quickly becoming one of the hippest places in town. So after centuries of being the opium of the masses and the drink of your grandparents, gin it seems, has found a new following as the sexiest, most interesting, and sought after spirit. The venue stocks 82 types of the spirit, pairing them with unique tonics and garnishes, with classic and reinvented gin-based cocktails on the menu. There is a small menu available, but here the real focus is on the gin!
If you want to see the Cape Town hipsters in their natural habitat, then Yours Truly should be your first port of call. With great food, a mean selection of drinks and welcoming atmosphere it’s no wonder locals and visitors keep falling for Yours Truly. They have four spots around town where you can grab a hot flat white or scrumptious breakfast, but their two-storey branch on Kloof Street is where the party is.
A European-style wine bar in the heart of the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, Oblivion is a mainstay for those looking for a bite to eat and then wanting to cut loose. The addition of an awesome roof-top deck a couple of years ago has only added to its allure. A well-stocked bar and great food, Oblivion is also a favourite for sports fans with two big screens downstairs and two flat screens up top. Grab some food, watch some sport and then stay awhile. Oblivion awaits you.
THE FIREMAN’S ARMS
Established way back in 1864, this unassuming local is still massively popular, particularly on game day with people literally spilling out the doors as Cape Town’s sports fans descend on the venue. With nine 46-inch flat screen TVs and two big screens, you won’t miss a single tackle, pass or boundary hit, just make sure you get there early or you’re going to struggle to get inside, let alone to the bar.
JERRY’S BURGER BAR
Jerry’s Burger Bar has a laid-back, edgy vibe with burgers that mean business with a wide choice of craft beers to wash them down. Intimate and cosy, the restaurant pays homage to Norman Collins (aka Sailor Jerry) the founder of modern-day tattooing, with his classic swallow and monkey designs splashed across the interior. Open till late every night, Jerry’s is a local favourite and has spots in the student heartland of Observatory, in Sea Point, Willowbrigde, Blouberg, and on Kloof Street.
Located on the outskirts of the V&A Waterfront, Casablanca sits below the trendy Buena Vista Social Café and boasts extensive courtyard for good measure. Dance beneath the stars in summer and in winter enjoy a drink under Bedouin tents with a fireplace to keep you cosy. The party here kicks off pretty late with the doors only opening at 10pm, but fortunately, it goes on until the wee hours to maximise your party time.
THE RED HERRING
Another favourite in the Noordhoek Farm Village, the Red Herring is a popular hangout for locals and plenty make the drive in from the other side of the mountain. The newly-renovated Beach Road Bar makes maximum use of the deck that takes in the sea view and there is plenty of beer on tap to help soak it all in. In winter a roaring fireplace keeps you warm and it’s a popular spot to catch the live sport on tv as well.
CAPE TO CUBA
This restaurant/bar/party venue is well-known on the main Kalk Bay strip. It’s been around since 1995 and most nights, all tables are booked. This beach bar is a great place for casual drinks while dinner can be had overlooking the ocean. This is for those who love a vibey atmosphere, good music and some dancing.
You know a bar is serious about the drinks they serve when they call themselves as a “Cocktail Emporium”. This stylish spot on upper Bree Street is where you’ll find artisanal cocktails, great music and a cosy vibe.
STELLA CAFE AND BAR
This is a great addition to the Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel. The décor is Parisian inspired with a relaxed atmosphere for all to enjoy. There is an extensive wine selection and an alfresco lunch menu that can be enjoyed in the bar or on the stunning pool terrace. This pool terrace is also the perfect spot for after-work drinks.
‘The Toad’ as it is affectionately known has a solid rugby pedigree with former Springbok Bob Skinstad one of its founders. The Toad, of course, is a popular hangout come match-day with a number of big screens to make sure you don’t miss a thing. There are also eight different beers on tap to go along with a menu with a variety of food on offer. You can find The Toad in Noordhoek, Lakeside and Newlands.
This stylish bar on the Camps Strip has prime location and a classic beach vibe to thank for its popularity. Wile away the summer days, chilling out on one of the couches or hang by the bar while soaking up the vibes. It doesn’t slow down in winter either with a big sports crowd jamming into the venue to catch the latest sports action on the big screen tv sets.
THE BLAH BLAH BAR
Housed beneath a contemporary art gallery, this venue was founded on the premise of providing a sophisticated, yet unpretentious space, for art lovers to sit and chat about art. The bar provides a space for up-and-coming artists to show their work, while it also hosts poetry readings, comedy shows and live music.
THE BULLION BAR
Bringing new meaning to the term ‘underground club’, the Bullion Bar is quite literally underground. Found deep in a basement in Burg Street in the CBD, the venue specialises electronic music and is open Wednesday to Saturday from 4pm till late. On the drinks list, you will find your usual culprits as well as some speciality cocktails.
LONG STREET CAFÉ
Found on the vibey Long Street stretch, Long Street Café is an institution and a great place for dinner or sundowners or both. Sporting the original Victorian facade and combining it with an open setting and relaxed décor, the venue attracts everybody from tourists to artists to lawyers and students.
THE PIANO BAR
This trendy, New York-inspired Revue Bar is something unique and the perfect spot to relax at with cocktail in hand. The venue prides itself on its large and varied wine menu and it also has a number commercial and craft beers on tap, along with a wide range of spirits and Cuban cigars for your pleasure. Open Monday to Sunday, the Piano Bar offers an intimate live music setting, with a great food menu to enjoy as well.
If you’re looking for a big night – and spending most of it on the dance floor – chances are you will find it at Decodance in Sea Point. The music is what makes Decodance so popular – well, that and the non-stop party vibe – with DJs playing a mix of pop, rock and dance music that is just asking to be sung along to.
One of many successful venues from the Harbour’s House Group, Tiger’s Milk is quickly becoming one of the most popular spots to hang your coat at for the night in Muizenberg. Their offering of top-notch ‘dude food’, pizzas, burgers, ribs and craft beer is so popular they opened a second venue the CBD.
OUTRAGE OF MODESTY
This classy and cool spot on Shortmarket Street aims to redefine Cape Town’s cocktail culture one class at a time. Think work of art in a glass and you’re almost there. With a tantalising menu to match their experimental cocktails, your taste buds are sure to have the time of their life.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE BAR
Just like the neighbourhood that it calls home, Forex is unpretentious and always ready for a big night. Every night has something happening, from Trivia competitions to beer pong, and happy hours abound. The bar has plenty of cocktail and loads of beer on tap, while Ivy’s Kitchen serves up some great dishes, from samoosa starters to burgers and prego rolls if you’re looking for something more.
Peddlar’s has been an institution for decades and while it has undergone a facelift and a name change recently, it is as popular as ever, if not even more so. Its bar, The Local is described as “the valley’s amiable, vibrant, local pub. Real beer, great food, the place to meet friends.” So while Peddlar’s may have undergone something of a transformation, it is still a top spot to sink a couple with mates.
THE STATION ON BREE
There’s only one place in town where you can sit beneath an enormous tree dotted with fairy lights on the hip and happening Bree Street – The Station on Bree. Inspired by the London Underground, they also have an underground dancefloor, many drink specials, events and bar food for when hunger calls. It’s a pit stop you definitely don’t want to miss.
An elegant cocktail lounge at the V&A Waterfront, Alba Lounge provides you with a perfect location to relax, soak in the vibes and just kick back with friends as you sample their extensive cocktail menu. The Peroni deck on the water side if a favourite spot for locals with superb views of the harbour throughout the day, and particularly at night.
Forrie’s is an institution in Cape Town and an absolute favourite amongst the Southern Suburbs crowd. It is always busy… always. You have been warned. Just a couple of kilometres away from the Newlands Rugby Stadium, this perennially busy spot is always packed for the rugger. There are big screens situated all over the venue. Get there early or you may not get a good vantage point for the games… or even the bar.
JADE CHAMPAGNE BAR & LOUNGE
Situated in Green Point, Jade Champagne Bar & Lounge is an uber-stylish venue that offers patrons a bar, club and lounge feel. You can dance the night away on the dance floor or relax on the semi-enclosed balcony that provides gorgeous views of Green Point main road.
Those who have been partying in Cape Town for years will know of Vacca Matta. It’s one of Edward Street’s most popular clubs and continues to deliver a great party to all who walk through its doors. This club will keep you dancing until the early hours of the morning with R&B, hip-hop and house music.
A sophisticated club in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, Living Room is where you go if you feel for dressing up for a night of dancing. It has a stylish Cocktail bar, VIP lounge, restaurant, cigar lounge and dance arena. Frequented by popular local DJ’s Living Room has become known for its good music and great weekend parties.
This bar/lounge/club is located on Loop Street and offers up everything from deep house to commercial music to hip-hop. Coco frequently has popular guest DJs on the decks with a packed stylish crowd on the dance floor. The regular events such as CocoFridays and CocoSaturdays keep the regulars coming back for more.
A popular Long Street club, Fiction has been around for seven years and continues to entertain patrons with all the alternative music that you can imagine. It sits in an old building that dates back to 1856. The interior, however, is anything but old with modern and minimalist décor. There’s even an upstairs daytime bar.
JACK BLACK’S BREWING CO. TAPROOM
The geniuses behind the local craft beer Jack Black’s Brewing Co. have created a welcoming space at their brewery for people to enjoy their beers, the vibrant atmosphere and some seriously delicious food. We can highly recommend their beer tour and tasting to discover the magic, love and science that goes into making their beer. Their Food Truck Fridays on the last Friday of every month are super popular and they also host quiz nights, live music, open mic nights and wine and food pairing evenings.
Many Capetonians plus their parents have at some point partied at Club Galaxy. Galaxy is as popular on Thursday nights as it is over weekends. Local Cape Town DJ’s take to the decks and keep the crowd going until the early hours of the morning.
Know for their amazing cocktails, delectable burgers and charming waiters, Cafe Manhattan in De Waterkant Village is one of Cape Town’s favourite gay bars. As part of the Madame Zingara stable, you know you’re guaranteed good food, eccentric decor and just “a hint of mischief”.
SHIMMY BEACH CLUB
Shimmy offers an extensive variety of food and beverages to satisfy your every need. This restaurant turns into a vibey spot as the nights go on with great music and an extensive drinks menu to keep patrons hydrated. It doesn’t hurt that the view from Shimmy is breath-taking.
ACES ‘N’ SPADES
As the name might suggest, “Aces” caters to all lovers of good old rock ‘n roll. The entire place essentially turns into a dance floor when the DJ starts playing old school rock and the club also hosts live music. If you like beer and rock ‘n roll, you definitely need to rock out in Hout Street in the CBD.
THE TWANKEY BAR
Opposite the historic Company Gardens in town, you’ll find the luxurious Taj Hotel with accompanying Twankey Bar. This sophisticated bar has been a hotspot for ages and serves incredible and exciting cocktails, finger foods and a great selection of wines. It’s a great place to wind down with a chilled craft beer, or to kick start your night out with a spice-infused cocktail.
This New Orleans style cocktail bar is known for its live jazz music most nights of the week. Jackson Hall’s bar is fully stocked with everything you can think of so you will undoubtedly find your favourite cocktail somewhere on the menu.
This Greenpoint-based bar/club is popular with the LGBT crowd. Beaulah Bar is famous for amazing happy hours, great DJ’s and a dance floor that’s always pumping.
This is a popular local pool hall and bar that quickly turns into something that resembles a club later in the night. The drinks at Stones are known to be easy on the pocket, while a few rounds of pool is a great way to hang out with friends and wind down. There are branches all over Cape Town – Durbanville, Claremont, Long Street, Observatory, Stellenbosch and Tygervalley.
Always packed on the weekend Jo’Burgs is a very popular spot on the busy Long Street strip. Its main attraction is the dance floor right next to the bar with some booths nearby when you need to rest your feet. If it gets too crowded, head to Pretoria (the second dance floor) for some more dancing.
Cubana Latino Café is essentially a restaurant-come-bar, but it turns into a pumping nightclub over weekends as the night goes on. The Greenpoint branch is a favourite with out-of-towners while the other branches around Cape Town are popular with the locals. They have a great cocktail menu with delicious food also available. DJs hit the decks later in the night to keep the crowd dancing.
On a budget but still want to get out and have fun? Here are 50 things to do in Cape Town for under R50.