LIVELY NIGHTS… AND PEACEFUL MORNINGS
Cape Town knows how to party. Long Street is the epicentre of the city’s vibrant after dark activities – one glittering procession of bars, clubs, cafes and entertainment venues. But hunt out the city centre’s sociable spaces, Green Point’s swanky bars, clubs and restaurants and the bo-ho, feel-good buzz of The Obs – a suburb of cool clubs, cocktail bars and trendy live music venues.
Cape Town hasn’t escaped the craft beer revolution. Beer House is frothy proof of that. Try any of up to 99 bottles and 20 taps from 13 different countries. There’s great food pairing too – should you need something to set off your Mozambique Pale Ale.
223 Long St
Overlooking the sublime Camps Bay Beach, this is the ultimate sunset viewing spot – it’s the closest the city gets to Balearic bliss. And the soundtrack’s equally deep, chilled and seductive. A bit like the cocktails, come to think of it.
37 Victoria Rd
The Village Idiot
Quirky is the watchword here. And a bit of hipster, and a dash of chutzpah and you’ve got the Village Idiot’s confident DNA bottled up. It’s a bar with a definite mañana vibe about it, or, as they say in Afrikaans, môre. And when places are this welcoming, we want more, too. There’s an English country pub feel to the decor – all snug fires, leather armchairs and threadbare rugs, but the food’s very definitely a melting pot of all that’s great about South African cuisine right now. Beers are craft and carefully curated, the pool table’s a good spot for a friendly game with the locals and, all in all, the Village Idiot is no fool.
32 Loop Street
Designed to encourage ‘conversation and creativity’ we can definitely confirm the former – this place is buzzing with locals and visitors seemingly putting the world to rights over a glass of South African Chenin Blanc or a cocktail or two. Whether they’re concocting anything creative is hard to say, but Alexander Bar is definitely the sort of place that encourages you to stop the world and savour a different life (and great food) for a while. With its in-house theater, its antique telephones allowing you to chat to strangers at the bar (if you dare!), and its cool jazz soundtrack, the real world does actually seem very far away. The excellent cocktails might have something to do with that, too.
76 Strand Street
Situated 31 floors above Cape Town’s city center, 31 is a stylish retreat from the bustle and heat below. The views are sensational – over the V&A Waterfront to one side, and Table Mountain to the other. Expect a dressy, cocktail-sipping crowd.
2 Riebeek Street
Touch of Madness
This hundred-year-old Victorian lodging house is a welcome retreat from the frenzy of the Obs. Within, you’ll enjoy fine wines, cocktails (dining if you’re after it) and an elegant, homely, atmosphere. Curious, but utterly delightful.
12 Nuttal Rd
The Piano Bar
Have a guess what’s the star of the show at this popular joint at the corner of Jarvis and Napier streets in downtown Cape Town? Yes, there’s a polished baby grand, and it’s played by some of the country’s best jazz musicians, but that’s just for starters. This New-York inspired speakeasy/revue bar prides itself on its roster of brilliant young Cape Town talent, from gypsy-punk collectives to mellow folk singer songwriters via garage and blues. Add a fabulous wraparound terrace with terrific views of De Waterkant village, pitch-perfect cocktails, tapas-inspired bar meals and an easygoing, cultural crowd and you’ve got a beautifully orchestrated night out.
47 Napier Street
Aces n Spades
Run by the same people behind The Village Idiot, but a wildly different beast, Ace n Spades is a shrine to rock’n’roll and blues, which you’ll sort of ‘get’ as soon as you enter: thanks to the wall to wall portraits of Dylan, The Ramones and co, the stained glass skull windows and the lovingly bashed up decor. Smart and sophisticated it ain’t. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. The music’s reassuringly gritty and gravelly, and the craft beer and South African wine is enough to keep any hellraiser happily hydrated. Rock’n’Roll DJs every weekend. Live bands Thursdays.
62 Hout Street
Big, brash and colorful, Deco Dance is summer, squared. Playing the best music from the 70’s 80’s and 90s, a grin-inducing head-rush of anthems, party classics and old skool favorites is the order of the evening here. There’s no denying this is one of the city’s most enjoyable Big Nights Out – Deco Dance even encourages fancy-dress, should you be travelling with your favorite 80’s fluorescent leg warmers and neon fanny packs. Frankly, we never leave the house without them. Expect lots of Madonna, Kool and the Gang and impromptu karaoke sessions with your new best friends. Thur-Sun. Cash only, no under 22’s.
120 Main Road
One of the coolest spots in the city right now, Tjing specializes in indie tunes, craft beers and good times. That’s a recipe that sees harassed office workers and students alike beat a path to its door most evenings. Great tapas too.
165 Longmarket St