Drinking and nightlife in Africa

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Gueliz & Ville Nouvelle

    Barometre Marrakech

    Step into a mad professor’s underground lab where apothecary jars and brewery piping line the dimly lit bar. Barometre is a first for Marrakesh: an experimental cocktail bar that wouldn't look out of place in Paris or New York. Eschew the classics for a house special; try the Marrakesh Market with whisky, cinnamon, orange and saffron, or a Moorish Coffee with honey, cinnamon and nutmeg.

  • Nightlife in Cape Flats & Northern Suburbs

    Devil's Peak Brewing Company

    One of South Africa's most innovative breweries has moved to colossal premises outside the city. It's a somewhat unlikely location, on a large industrial estate, but once you're inside the diner-inspired taproom, you quickly forget the surrounds. There are experimental brews on draught alongside the core range, and a small menu featuring truffle mac 'n' cheese and a legendary cheeseburger.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Johannesburg

    Mad Giant

    A superlative addition to Jozi's inner city, Mad Giant offers excellent craft beers (brewed on-site) paired with delectable Asian-inspired tapas dishes at its classy restaurant Urbanologi. The spectacular steampunk-style space has an award-winning design that seems partly fashioned from a giant Meccano set.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Medina


    There's no shortage of characterful cafes and restaurants in the medina, but this one tops them all. The downstairs space with its arches, rug-adorned platform seating and painted columns may initially present as a Orientalist cliché, but its charm quickly overrides such judgments. A capacious two-tiered rear terrace with view of the Zitouna Mosque's minaret is equally alluring.

  • Nightlife in Gueliz & Ville Nouvelle


    Want to hang out with the Marrakshi cool kids? Head straight to the covered rooftop bar at Kechmara after sunset and watch it pack out with a buzzing young crowd who lounge on sofas sipping wine and cocktails. Quirky installations, a riot of foliage and flickering candles create a memorable garden-in-the-sky feel. Drinks come with complimentary extras like tapas and spicy juice shots.

  • Nightlife in East City, District Six, Woodstock & Observatory

    Hope on Hopkins

    As the boutique gin wave washes over South Africa, Hope on Hopkins remains one of the country's most progressive micro-distilleries. Occupying a disused warehouse in a yet-to-be-gentrified part of town, it's a real locals' haunt. The convivial tasting space overlooks the distillery and offers a relaxed way to sample the gins – ask about the latest special releases.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Cairo


    Probably the oldest ahwa in the city, and certainly the most celebrated, Fishawi’s has been a great place to watch the world go by since 1773. It's all clouded mirrors and copper tabletops that ooze old-world ambience. Although swamped by foreign tourists and equally wide-eyed out-of-town Egyptians, it is a regular ahwa, serving tea and shisha to stallholders and shoppers alike.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Nairobi

    Connect Coffee

    One of Nairobi's best and coolest cafes, Connect brings coffee sourced directly from farmers in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to your table, and the barista-prepared offerings range from pour-over filter coffee to a popular cold brew or simply a long black. It's worth asking what's good on the day and then pondering your choices on the rather long menu.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Johannesburg


    Mooteebar – a play on the Zulu word muthi – serves upscale cocktails inspired by South African traditional medicine. The hand-drawn menu describes the feelings each cocktail evokes, rather than the actual ingredients. Each drink is a work of art: one served in a paper bag emits steam when opened, another in a worm-shaped ceramic cup. Mooteebar also offers an innovative food menu.

  • Nightlife in Sea Point to Hout Bay

    Coco Safar

    The attention to detail at this stylish, bustling cafe is magnificent. Beans are roasted in house and the coffee menu features everything from espressos to nitro-poured cold brew infused with citrus rind. There's also cold-brewed rooibos on tap, decadent pastries and a menu that tips its hat to its South African roots with options like bobotie croissant and bunny chow brioche.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Addis Ababa


    Ahh, if only all cafes were like this! Coffee is serious business at this great high-stooled Italian cafe (around since 1953) in Piazza. The beans are roasted on-site (you can literally smell them from a block away) and Tomoca serves some of the capital’s best coffee. Beans are also sold by the half-kilo and there's an Ethiopian coffee map on the wall.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Nairobi

    Alchemist Bar

    One of Westlands' best nights out, Alchemist is an all-encompassing take on the Nairobi night, with the city's best DJs, terrific food (including a food truck outside) and mixologists adept at creating perfect cocktails. There's an outdoor lounge area for when the dancing gets too hot and sweaty. Check the website for theme nights and events.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in East City, District Six, Woodstock & Observatory


    This self-described ‘steampunk roastery and coffee bar’, with pressed-tin ceilings, naked hanging bulbs and mad-inventor-style metalwork, is an awe-inspiring space in which to mingle with city slickers. Apart from coffee, craft beers, quality baked goods (including fresh croissants) and various sandwiches are on the menu.

  • Nightlife in Tangier

    Number One

    Inside an apartment building, left after the entrance, this bar is perennially popular with expats. The decor is adorably funky, as is the bar's CD collection. The bar's owner, Karim, whose quotes hang above the tables, is lovable and hilarious. Cold beer, decent wine, spirits and tapas are on offer. Women are welcome.

  • Nightlife in Accra

    Rockstone's Office

    Owned by hiplife legend Reggie Rockstone. There's a lounge bar decked out with white leather sofas, an outdoor terrace and regular live music. At the weekend an energetic crowd parties till dawn to hiplife (a highlife/hip-hop hybrid) and hip-hop. It's near the police headquarters, behind the Japanese embassy.

  • Nightlife in Johannesburg

    Blind Tiger Cafe

    There's a cool 1920s prohibition feel to this welcoming space with a long wooden bar and outdoor tables right on the Tryone Ave shopping strip. It's hard to resist their inventive cocktails – or as their menu would have it, 'giggle water'. From their food menu the hot chorizo and bean dip is recommended.

  • Nightlife in Tangier

    TangerInn Pub

    The former hang-out for Beat writers William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg has been renovated to suit the next generation, and now teems with expats and young Moroccans. On weekends, house and R&B music blasts from the speakers. As in the 1950s, it remains a great place to drink beer.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Tangier

    Gran Café de Paris

    Gravity weighs upon the grand letters of the Gran Café de Paris, reminding us of its age at the crossroads of Tangier. Facing Place de France for almost a century, this is the most famous of the cafes along Blvd Pasteur and was a prime gathering spot for the Tangier literati.

  • Nightlife in Tangier

    Nord Pinus Tanger

    On the top floor of this kasbah guesthouse is a bar and terrace, with fabulous views across to Spain. Sip a cocktail in the retro-chic lounge full of quirky chairs, Moroccan cushions and contemporary photography. A great place for a chilled-out drink.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Mouassine & Central Souqs

    Bacha Coffee

    Tucked within the chambers of the Dar El Bacha museum, this fancy salon cafe intends to bring coffee connoisseurship back to Marrakesh. Prepare to scrape your jaw off the floor when you see the opulent rooms (a throwback to the early 20th-century French-protectorate era), the 23-page menu of 100% arabica coffees and the prices (pot of coffee from Dh40).