Best Watering Holes In Cape Town (By That We Mean Best Bars, Not Oceans!)

You might think that you have already exhausted your luck by finding the cheapest flights to Cape Town, but wait; there’s more luck in store for you! Cape Town beckons you…Cape Town lures you in to sip on your favourite beverages at one (or many) of her worth-mentioning best bars. Cape Town is about to utterly impress you!

Cape Town seems to have it all when it comes to watering holes.

When you dare to venture into the city, you will find the glitzy hotel roof top bar, the dingy dive where no one seems to go (but seems busy all the time), the poolside casual bar, the ultra-modern shared-space bar collective – you name it, Cape Town has it. You won’t go thirsty when traveling in Cape Town, that’s for sure.

Where to Go for a Drink or Two in Cape Town

Indulging in a few drinks in Cape Town is made easy by the great Uber app service in the area. Gone are the days of pub crawling around a few streets. These days, Uber will get you around the city from one bar to the next, and then safely back to your accommodation once you have had your fill of fun. The service is readily available and surprisingly cheap too.

Cape Town’s bars can be divided up into the type of experience you are looking for. Some bars offer a grungy scene while others are light-hearted and open spaces for anyone to meet. Then there are the sophisticated joints and the trendy place-to-be seen bars too.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best bars in Cape Town and why people love them so much.

The Grunge Scene

If you are looking for a laid back space with good music, laughter, and an upbeat atmosphere, the grunge scene is for you. Here are three top bars to check out:

It’s old, it’s cool, and it’s boho chic! Roxy Late Night is a bar that seems to be perpetually popular. It’s the hangout of local creative types where early evening courtyard drinks seem the norm. There’s a pool table for those looking for some activity and the kitchen stays open until 2am, making this bar the “last stop” for those on a night out.

By day, The House of Machines moonlights as a men’s apparel shop, motorbike workshop, and chilled café. By night, the space comes alive. There’s something speakeasy-esque about The House of Machines. You can expect to find an interesting mix of people “chilling out” in the motorbike themed space, enjoying classic cocktails, coffee and snacks. It’s dimly lit, it’s well-decorated with its wooden beams and exposed brick walls are charming to say the least. What more could you want from a grunge bar?

Swing open the saloon doors and prepare to be fully immersed in an authentic Western experience at the Dust & Dynamite Saloon. The entire venue is themed from an era gone by, where cowboys donned hats and boot spurs, and the community glugged beer to the sound of the local talent whacking out a song on the honky-tonk piano (they have one of those too). It’s the perfect place to experience something new. Spending time at the Dust & Dynamite Saloon is like stepping into another time and place.

Light-Hearted Spaces for Anyone to Meet

If you are looking for an easy-going hangout to meet some friends for a few drinks or simply to chill before heading back to your hotel, light-hearted spaces are for you. We take a look atthree of Cape Town’s best light-hearted easy going bars:

If you watched Tali’s Wedding Diary and wondered where she eventually got married, Shimmy Beach Club is it! The venue is situated alongside the ocean at the V&A Waterfront. It’s a year-round hangout spot, offers exceptional views, two glistening swimming pools, and two floors of interior space to explore. It’s a popular spot for pre-dinner drinks or a long, languid lunch.

Enjoy a good cocktail? If cocktails are your thing, know that The Orphanage is the best place in town to get one (or three). The cocktails are creative, one even features a goldfish (don’t worry, it’s not real) – some are even served in a teacup! If you want to check out the venue, which is beautifully decorated inside, but prefer not to indulge in cocktails, there are also craft beers, champagne, and a variety of wines and snacks to enjoy. This is another late night venue and as such, has become “the place to stop” for just one more on the way home.

Hanks Olde Irish is one of Cape Town’s hidden gems. It’s a whiskey bar which also sellscraft beer, wine, and gin. Talented artists present live music and jazz evenings are popular here too. Hanks Olde Irish has that “cool” factor and many of the regular locals know that with a bit of investigation and exploration, you can find a few secret passageways that lead to neighbouring bars.

Sophisticated Bars & Trendy Place-to-Be Bars

If sophistication is a key element to a great night out for you, or if you like to be where everyone else is, Cape Town’s sophisticated and trendy bars are for you. Here are a few top choices for you to check out:

Chinchilla in Camps Bay is an exclusive rooftop bar aimed at the fine diner and cocktail sundowner appreciator. The venue enjoys a spectacular view and offers diners great food, good music, and a wide selection of cocktails, beers, and wines to choose from.

The Stack Bar is a combination of a bar, restaurant, and private member’s club. It’s a cool, creative space offering fine food, a plethora of drinks to choose from, and a plush, comfortable environment to relax in. The venue is nestled in the Leinster Hall, which has plenty of history attached to it. Whether you want to relax and sip on a beverage to wave the sun goodbye or have a big night out, The Stack Bar seems to be the sophisticated place to be.

If New York style is your “thing” then The Piano Bar in De Waterkant will not disappoint. While this bar has all the appeal of New York in the 1950s, it is also warm and welcoming. The scene is set with its high ceilings, dim lighting, and jazz music. Whether you are there for cocktails, beers, or tapas, prepare to find the joint bustling on any day of the week.

The Mojo Market is the place to be on any given Friday or Saturday night! From the outside, the Mojo Market looks just like another building on the street, but inside you will find a whole new world. The Mojo Market is an open space that is shared by a collective of bars, street food stalls, restaurants, boutiques, and flea market type shops. It is touted as a lifestyle market and is open 7 days a week from early until late. The venue is filled with live music and those strolling around share open seating space, meaning that every time you go, you stand the chance to meet new people and make new friends.

Get the Cheapest Flights to Cape Town and Say Cheers to the City’s Fine Collection of Watering Holes

Cape Town has far too many “best bars” to mention in just one post. From this list, you can already tell that the city has a wide variety of watering hole options for you to choose from. When you visit the city; be prepared to be spoiled for choice.

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