11 Best Bars In Cape Town
Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen
Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen, a frequent inclusion in the renowned World's 50 Best Bars lists, celebrates the flavors and culinary heritage of the Cape. Owner Kurt Schlechter and his team of skilled mixologists create a dynamic selection of cocktails that continuously evolve. Expect imaginative twists on classic drinks and unique signature creations, all while maintaining a commitment to sustainability and minimizing waste. The bar also offers guided tastings of exceptional vintage brandies from the region.
Fable is a stylish bar that weaves captivating stories into its cocktails. Each carefully crafted concoction at Fable narrates a local legend, from tales of star-crossed lovers to ghostly ships haunting Cape Point's seas. If you prefer something more straightforward, they also offer an extensive collection of classic cocktails, craft beers, and local wines. Lively DJ sets contribute to the vibrant atmosphere, making it an excellent spot for a night out accompanied by flavorful food and bold drinks.
The House of Machines
Ask a local for the finest negroni in Cape Town, and they're likely to recommend The House of Machines, a cozy bar in the city center. While it attracts remote workers during the day, it transforms into a lively cocktail joint in the evening. The House of Machines focuses on craft beer and properly poured barrel-aged spirits, rather than flashy umbrellas and foam-filled concoctions. With frequent live music and bartenders unafraid to express themselves, it's a bar with character that resonates with the locals.
The Willaston Bar
Prepare for an upscale experience at The Willaston Bar, situated on the sixth floor of The Silo Hotel. Perched atop the renowned Zeitz MOCAA art museum in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, this elegant bar offers breathtaking city views. Sink into plush Italian leather barstools and let the knowledgeable staff surprise you with their drink recommendations or bespoke creations. While they excel at crafting exquisite martinis, the wine list is equally impressive, featuring a superb selection of local and international wines.
Gigi Rooftop, located above Gorgeous George hotel in the city center, is one of Cape Town's most popular rooftop bars. This hidden gem boasts a vibrant space adorned with tropical foliage and bathed in natural light. In-house mixologist Leighton Rathbone shakes up an enticing cocktail menu that encompasses both classic favorites and unique concoctions made with local spirits and indigenous flavors. As the sun sets, the bar comes alive, offering stunning views of the city's rooftops.
The Gin Bar
True to its name, The Gin Bar is a charming establishment set in a small courtyard. It showcases South Africa's exceptional artisanal distillers, boasting a selection of over 80 local gins alongside a few international brands. This presents an excellent opportunity to explore the world of gin and tonic, with friendly bartenders who can impress you with their curated House Remedies — a collection of house G&Ts crafted to address various preferences. The attached Bubbly Bar offers a similar experience, focusing on Cape Classique, South Africa's sparkling wine.
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is a well-kept secret accessible by climbing three flights of narrow stairs. Inspired by Japanese design, this 200-year-old attic space features red-lacquer furniture and embroidered macaque monkeys. The bar offers bespoke cocktails made with Japanese whisky, gin, and sake, along with an extensive wine list showcasing boutique South African producers. It's a truly unique venue, with an izakaya-inspired eatery on the ground floor adding to the overall experience.
The Athletic Club & Social
Cape Town is known for its speakeasies, and The Athletic Club & Social is a prominent player in this scene. Spread across three floors in the city center, it offers a variety of intimate corners and spaces to suit different moods. Whether you prefer a cozy nook for a tête-à-tête or dancing to tunes in the basement, be sure to arrive early to secure a balcony table for a sunset view. The cocktail menu features classic favorites alongside an impressive selection of signature drinks, complemented by an extensive canapé menu.
Una Más Mezcaleria
Una Más Mezcaleria stands out in Cape Town as a destination for premium tequila and mezcal enthusiasts. The bar offers a remarkable menu featuring over 90 agave spirits, including premium imports and top-notch local varieties. While they accommodate requests for salt and lemon, it's recommended to explore the premium sipping tequila served in traditional clay copitas for a more authentic experience.
StrangeLove Cocktail Lounge
Located above the gleaming tanks of Hope Distillery, StrangeLove provides a unique setting where you can enjoy a cocktail while observing the distillation process. The semi-industrial space is enhanced with Scandi-chic furnishings and lush greenery. The bar offers an immersive cocktail experience centered around a small selection of meticulously crafted spirits. Note that it's only open on Thursday and Friday evenings, so advance booking is advisable.
The Art of Duplicity
Visiting The Art of Duplicity involves a touch of intrigue. This trendsetting cocktail bar, reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy, requires a reservation and a password for entry. Nestled in a restored Victorian-era warehouse, it is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur David Donde and award-winning bartender Brent Perremore, known for their attention to detail. The bar pays homage to classic cocktails while introducing their own creations, all served with a generous dash of speakeasy charm.