Come on Vaalies, the Cape’s really looking forward to you
Where to eat, drink and be wary in the fairest city
It is almost Easter and many will look to the Cape as their getaway destination. Below are a few of our favourite spots:
CAPE TOWN CENTRAL
Alexander Bar and Lounge
A popular spot in the city centre, Alexander Bar and Lounge boasts interesting decor with old-world charm. The menu is made up of light meals and charcuterie boards, so if you’re looking for a sizeable dinner, this is not the place. It is perfect, however, for post-work or pre-dinner drinks.
Good to know: There is a theatre upstairs where guests can catch a unique show almost every day of the week. Wednesdays are quiz nights.
The Gin Bar
Also known as the secret gin bar, this Cape Town favourite is situated behind (or is that through?) Honest Chocolate. It’s in the courtyard at the back, which makes it feel just that much more exclusive. The space is small and intimate, but the gin selection is vast. You will have to go back a few times to try them all.
Good to know: If you’re a big group, call ahead to book in the upstairs section as no reservations can be taken in the courtyard area.
Tobago’s Bar and Terrace at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront
At this seaside bar, guests can soak up the sun, enjoy the breeze, dine on delicious food and indulge in delectable drinks, all while taking in a spectacular view. Located just on the outskirts of the Waterfront and at the start of the promenade, it’s ideal for sundowners before dinner.
Good to know: During March and April, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for happy hour (from 5pm until 7pm) during which guests can buy a glass of house wine or Striped Horse light or lager and get one free. Enjoy the sushi menu on Wasabi Wednesdays and an eight-piece sushi platter plus a glass of Da Luca Prosecco for R115 a person.
Sitting within the V&A Waterfront vicinity, Mitchell’s is perfect for those wanting to watch a big sports game as the venue has screens dotted around. Arrive thirsty and hungry as both the drinks and food menu are extensive.
Good to know: During all major televised sporting fixtures, you could pick up a Mitchell’s Classic Burger and a Jack Daniel’s Old No 7 with mix for R95.
The Leopard Bar
Based in the 12 Apostles Hotel, the Leopard Bar is for those wanting to splash out a bit and impress their company. The drinks menu has classic cocktails, cognacs and fine wines.
Good to know: There is live music in the evening from Monday to Saturday. Book ahead for one of the unique bar experiences such as the gin and tonic and canape pairing, the gin-making experience, or craft beers and canapes.
Chinchilla rooftop bar
On the Camps Bay strip, this rooftop bar offers views of the Atlantic Ocean in a relaxed setting. The decor is boho-chic, but with an upmarket feel. It’s perfect to catch the last bits of summer.
Good to know: DJs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Situated at the popular Surfer’s Corner, this lively spot is good for dinner and drinks and has stunning views of the Muizenberg area. It can get quite full, so go early or call ahead to get a good table.
Good to know: There’s two-for-one on selected drinks from 4pm to 6pm.
Cape to Cuba
An old favourite among the locals, Cape to Cuba has been going in Kalk Bay for many years. This immersive Cuban experience will surprise and delight newbies with its colourful setting, delicious drinks and filling meals.
Good to know: There’s often live music from 4pm on a Sunday.
It’s no surprise that Banana Jam has been a favourite Cape Town hangout for many years. Having started out in the space on the Kenilworth Station parking lot, Banana Jam soon grew too big and had to move across the road. It has an extensive beer menu with brands from around the world and the food is delicious too.
Good to know: Rum lovers will enjoy the wide variety, and the daily cocktail happy hour is between 5pm and 6pm.
This Claremont Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and gets into quite a party mode after dinner. The inside has leather couches and open fires, while on the roof there’s a garden-like setting for those keen on open-air dining and drinking.
Good to know: There are board games you can play, and every Monday is quiz night. There is a two-for-one pizza special every Wednesday night.
Great for families and friends, Bossa is perfect for dinner, drinks and celebrations. With outlets all across the northern suburbs of Cape Town, Bossa is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Good to know: Burger Mondays (R59 for almost all burgers on the menu), Prime Tuesdays for the steak lovers, kids eat free on Wednesdays, and supper Sundays where a number of meals are marked down after 4pm.
OK, so this one is a little different in that it’s based in a casino, but if you love jazz and live music, try out Hanover Street at Grand West Casino. It’s good for after-dinner drinks and live music.
Good to know: There is a DJ and live entertainment every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Sansibar at Asara
If dining and drinking with views of the Stellenbosch winelands is more your thing, check out Sansibar at Asara wine farm. Open daily from noon, guests can choose to dine inside or outside. The food is bistro style, while the bar is fully stocked with more than 500 gins from around the world. There is also a wide range of whiskies, cognacs, cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails.
Good to know: Those wanting to learn more about gin can indulge in one of four gin tasting experiences. Be sure to book ahead of time.
Pane E Vino food and wine bar
This family-owned and run establishment in Stellenbosch is known for making patrons feel right at home. The little Italian spot is very much for pre-dinner drinks or early dinner as it is open from 10am to 6pm. There is a chalkboard menu that changes daily and is made up of classic Italian dishes. There are a few Italian wines that can be had with dinner or in the tasting room.
Good to know: Those brave enough can try the Grappa tasting menu.