Drinking and nightlife in Cape Town

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 East City, District Six, Woodstock & Observatory

    Truth

    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.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in City Bowl, Foreshore, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant

    Orphanage

    Named after the nearby lane, the mixologists here prepare some tempting artisanal libations with curious names including Knicker-Dropper Glory, Dollymop and Daylight Daisy, using ingredients as varied as peanut butter, kumquat compote and 'goldfish'! It's dark, sophisticated and stylish, with outdoor seating beneath the trees on Bree St.

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

    Espressolab Microroasters

    Geek out about coffee at this lab staffed with passionate roasters and baristas. Their beans, which come from single farms, estates and co-ops from around the world, are packaged with tasting notes such as those for fine wines.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    Bascule

    Over 480 varieties of whisky are served at the Grace’s sophisticated, nautical-themed bar, with a few slugs of the 50-year-old Glenfiddich still available (at just R18,000 a tot). Outdoor tables facing the marina are a superb spot for drinks and tasty tapas.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Southern Suburbs

    Martini Bar

    The magnificent pink, lemon, burgundy and teal lounge at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel specialises in martinis such as the sweet and spicy white-chocolate-and-chilli flavour, with many other cocktails on offer, as well as single-origin coffees and Constantia wines. You can take high tea here (R225 per person) or retire to another part of the grounds wandered by peacocks.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Simon's Town & Southern Peninsula

    Tiger's Milk

    There's a panoramic view of Muizenberg Beach through the floor-to-ceiling window of this hangar-like bar and restaurant. It's open all day for food (good pizza and steaks; mains R110), but is more of a sundowner venue and nightspot with its long bar, stools and exposed-brick walls hung with quirky decor, including a motorbike.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Southern Suburbs

    Banana Jam

    Real beer lovers rejoice – this convivial Caribbean restaurant and bar is like manna from heaven, with over 30 beers on draught (including Banana Jam's own brews) and bottled ales from all the top local microbrewers, including Jack Black, Devil's Peak and CBC.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Sea Point to Hout Bay

    Leopard Bar

    With a dress-circle view over the Atlantic, the Twelve Apostles Hotel's bar is an ideal spot to escape the hoi polloi of nearby Camps Bay for a classy cocktail or – better yet – a deliciously decadent afternoon tea (R295; served from 10am to 4pm).

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in City Bowl, Foreshore, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant

    Lady Bonin's Tea Bar

    A charmingly decorated, relaxing place in which to sample organic and sustainable artisanal teas, fruity and herbal brews, and vegan baked treats. At front is the shop selling all their blends, while the tea room is a through the vine-covered courtyard to the rear.

  • Nightlife in Southern Suburbs

    Aegir Project Ale House

    The popular Noordhoek-based brewery has opened a delightful taproom at Constantia Uitsig's Heritage Market. There's always something experimental on tap – grab a pint of pale ale and enjoy the views of Table Mountain as you sip.

  • Nightlife in Southern Suburbs

    Jack Black's Brewery

    One of the pioneers of South Africa's craft-beer culture, Jack Black's is a cavernous space with beer-hall-style seating. The brewery takes pride of place and tours can be arranged. Otherwise, grab a tasting tray of its pilsner, pale ale, IPA and flagship lager to sip at leisure. The menu features charcuterie boards, tempting salads and excellent fries.

  • Nightlife in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    Den Anker

    This old V&A stalwart is as popular as ever, with an impressive range of Belgian beers, including ales from five Trappist breweries. Enjoy a crisp witbier or a warming strong ale while gazing at the postcard-worthy view of Table Mountain.The food also takes its cues from Belgium and includes rabbit simmered in beer and of course, mussels with chips.

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

    The Electric

    With a menu that features pressed juices, activated charcoal shots and a range of nut milks, The Electric attracts a hip and healthy crowd. The high-ceilinged cafe screams industrial-chic, with lots of bare brick and iron rafters on show. On the food menu (mains R45-60) you'll find sandwiches, flat breads, soup and the ubiquitous avo on toast.

  • Nightlife in City Bowl, Foreshore, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant

    Nitro Brew

    This small cafe, stylish in its simplicity, serves nitro coffee – iced coffee poured from a draught tap. The nitrogen lends the appearance of a pint of Guinness and adds a smooth, velvety texture. Also on tap are various flavours of kombucha, all brewed on site. There are salads, sandwiches and a couple of heartier meals on the menu.

  • Nightlife in Cape Flats & Northern Suburbs

    Kaffa Hoist

    Cheery owner Chris Bangira serves homemade ginger beer, herbal teas and a range of caffeinated options at this open-air cafe tucked behind the cultural centre. Light meals are also served and a roastery is on the cards. Opening hours are slightly shorter from June to November.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in City Bowl, Foreshore, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant

    Beerhouse

    With 99 brands of bottled beer, both local and international, and several more brews on tap, this brightly designed and spacious joint in the heart of Long St will have beer lovers thinking they've died and gone to heaven. The balcony is a great spot from which to watch the world go by.

  • Nightlife in City Bowl, Foreshore, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant

    Bean There

    Not much other than Fair Trade coffees from across Africa and a few sweet snacks are served in this chic cafe, which has space to spread out and a relaxed vibe despite all the caffeine.