During the evenings the CBD is a bustling scene of tourists and Capetonians alike, enjoying the many clubs, bars and eateries. The music industry here is pumping, with garage rock, rap, and jazz bands playing into the night at various venues.
One of your first stops should be at the Shimmy Beach Club in the Waterfront. As a bar, restaurant, club and private beach, this venue is often alive with live music and DJs. Pay them a visit early on in the evening to enjoy sundowners before dancing on the sand to live music.
Leaving the Waterfront and heading up Buitengracht will take you to The Fireman’s Arms, One of the oldest pubs in Cape Town. A favorite amongst locals, it was first opened in 1864, and is still in its original conditions even with a few renovations. With excellent pub grub and multiple big screens for watching any sports match or final, as well as quizzes on Thursdays, it’s a must-see for anyone with a taste for classic pub fun.
Your next stop practically oozes sophistication and comfort. Accessed through a Chocolate Café, in an old heritage that used to be a morgue, is the Gin Bar, home to timeless and hip new gins. Your bartender will take you on an adventure with a selection of local and international gins; learning to identify a myriad of botanical flavours.
If you’re looking to party it up, then you’re going to want to pay Reset a visit. A nightclub on Loop Street, they specialise in deep house, techno and electronic music, inviting you to experience the spectrum of dance music with laser light displays and affordable drinks. The dance floor is spacious and intimate, so you can dance the night away to the DJs great tunes.
For a more chic, energetic night out, Cocoon Night Club in the ABSA building offers two different club experiences with unique West and East wings, each with their own category of music played by international DJs, style, and partying experience. Guests can have a private dining experience in a glass booth, or rub shoulders with models and celebrities on the dancefloor and general seating area.
Did that venue tickle your fancy? Then you’ll probably enjoy the Jade Lounge and Champagne Bar, an experience for the upper echelon. With French Boutique style and refined chic, the lounge is a warm, intimate place to see and be seen. There is a dress code and age restriction, ensuring the atmosphere is maintained for guests.
The last two venues may be too expensive or refined for some. If you’re looking for a good rowdy evening, then The Village Idiot is a hotspot you won’t want to miss out on. With
Another lively, hip and happening haunt is the Decodance Nightclub, where the partygoers sing and dance along to the music. So it’s not just a nightclub, it’s makeshift group karaoke! If this isn’t enough fun, the venue also hosts monthly Fancy dress parties, where guests can come and dress up in the outfits of their choosing.
Obviously Cape Town has a bubbling, exciting Night life scene. And to top it all off, every first Thursday of the month is First Thursday, an opportunity to shop late and take a look at the amazing art galleries and museums open to the public for free and, more often than not, a free drink to go with your tour of the gallery. South Africa is home to some amazingly talented artists, and you won’t have to think much as to why a festival is held in their honor. You can purchase some of these art pieces, or take a stroll through the open shops and street markets for other treats that catch your fancy.
Not only that, but on First Thursday’s the bars, clubs and restaurants will offer exclusive specials on food and drinks to celebrate and bring in more customers. Even the clubs will offer free or discounted entry. The streets of Long, Bree, and Loop, just to name a few, are often packed with people enjoying the festivities, especially in Summer and Spring when the evenings are still warm. If it’s Winter, retreat into the galleries, museums, and theatres for a cultural experience.
Just make sure that while you’re out enjoying the evening air you keep your valuables close at hand, or better yet, don’t bring too much with you from your hotel. Keep your phone and wallet secure, and avoid the less busy/quiet side streets, especially in the wee hours of the morning.
Long Street Nightlife
On first Thursdays, or any evening of the week, Longstreet and its sister streets on either side are the most exciting streets in the Mother City. With art galleries, museums, eateries, bars and clubs, there’s plenty of opportunities for a fantastic evening no matter what you’re after.
Walking up Longstreet with the harbour to your back, you’ll soon come across a number of pumping venues. Tiger’s Milk and the Grand Daddy Hotel are your first stops, with the latter featuring the The Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema, an open air cinema flanked by seven vintage Airstream trailers that have been turned into cozy caravans. There is a bar to order drinks, and if you’re hungry there is an eatery in the hotel below.
Despite being just off LongStreet on Longmarket Street, we feel this venue deserves a visit and a mention! At Tjing Tjing Japanese Restaurant and Bar you can find amazing flaming cocktails, authentic Japanese liquor, and delicious cuisine that includes traditional dishes like ramen, octopus balls, dango, and other sweet and savoury treats.
After heading further upwards, passing other bars and eateries along the way, you’ll come across Bob’s Bar, famous for its lively atmosphere and affordable shots and drinks. A lively dance floor, popular music and gleaming lights make it a fun venue to pop into for a range of colourful shots. The venue is always super packed, so try to come early to get a spot at a table or at the bar.
Pretty much next door, you’ll find one of Longstreet’s gems; Beerhouse. With 25 beers on tap and their famous 99 bottles on the wall, you’ll have no trouble quenching your thirst. You can even order your own keg in advance, or go on a beer tasting adventure. Beerhouse also has a delicious menu of burgers, steaks, and other comfort and bar foods, if you happen to be hungry. We highly recommend their snacks menu! If you’re looking to party it up there’s a dancefloor next door for your enjoyment.
The next stop you have to make is at The Dubliner, a warm and welcoming Irish Pub with its wooden floors and polished wooden bars. Murals, pictures, and banners on the walls add to its charming character, and there are live bands performing every night from 10pm for the party goers on the dance floor. There’s also a kitchen for some classic pub grub, and multiple big screens across the venue for the sports days.
Right across the road you’ll find Fiction Music Bar, one of the most popular nightclubs in Cape Town. With frequent themed nights, live music and parties, the venue is never quiet, and guests will be pleased to find two outside area and a spacious but intimate dancefloor. Upstairs in a gaming themed lounge and bar, with geeky and edgy decor and themed drinks.
Lastly, your walk up Longstreet ends with The Waiting Room, an urban bar where guests can dress up or down for the occasion. It boasts a rooftop seating area that’s great for sundowners and cocktails, a dancefloor, and a chill lounge playing music like downtempo, funk, hip hop, dub, jazz, reggae, breaks and soul. Blonde wood makes up the floor, and the ceiling is decorated with fairy lights.
Once you’ve concluded your walk up Longstreet, we recommend you take to the neighbouring streets such as Loop, Kloof and Bree for more fantastic clubs, bars, and art galleries.
Late Night Eateries
When you’re out partying late at night on the town, you’re going to get more than a little peckish. Perhaps you and your friends haven’t had dinner yet since you’ve been caught up in all the fun. You’ll be delighted to know that you don’t have to stop at the local Mcdonalds or KFC for a late night meal; Cape Town is home to numerous fantastic eateries that are open till the early hours of the morning, for your convenience!
The first place deserving of a mention is out in Greenpoint, but worth the drive from the CBD if you can catch an Uber there. Frankies is an American style diner that is open all night, serving to-die-for fully loaded milkshakes in more flavours than you can count, from candied apple flavour to gingerbread flavor! They also sell American dinner foods, like their burgers, wings, corndogs, and fish and chips. It’s a great experience to have with friends after a night out.
If you’re looking for something closer to home, in the CBD you can find NYC Pizza, which as the name suggests, serves authentic New York Style pizza slices, with all the best traditional ingredients. These slices are pretty big, but you can also order a whole pizza if you really mean business. They also sell massive pies, and other snacks and alcoholic drinks for those not ready to end the party.
When you’ve had plenty of fun and drinks on Longstreet and you and your friends are hungry for a big, cheap meal, head down the road to the Food Inn India. This cafeteria-esque eatery specialises in halaal Asian and Indian cuisine, offering big portions for a competitive price. You just put in your order before dishing up your choice of curry, bunny chow, or shawarma. They also sell typical Cape Town takeaways, such as Gatsby’s, burgers, chip rolls, hot dogs, and sandwiches.
If you and your friends want to take the scenic trip along the peninsula, make a stop at The Café Grill at the Twelve Apostles in Camps Bay. Open 24 hours, you can take in the great views all around the restaurant while enjoying a relaxing late night dinner. The dishes are Californian in style, with burgers, sandwiches, fried/grilled fresh fish, salads, and an all day breakfast for you to enjoy at 3 AM! To top it off, in Summer they offer a fresh fruit and ice cream dessert section to satisfy your sweet tooth.
In Seapoint, you’ll be happy to find a Shawarma Express! Although only open till Midnight, this classic joint offers for you to build your own Shawarma, with XL options available for the super hungry. The food is comforting and delicious, as well as halaal and vegetarian friendly. You can choose between chicken schnitzel, falafel, or lamb filling for a wrap or shawarma, with fries on the side.
For the hungry vegans out on the town or really just anyone looking to try a ‘healthy’ fast food alternative, Lekker Vegan offers awesome vegan fast food, in all those dishes you know and love; it’s just cruelty free! You have nuggets, burgers, fries, hot dogs, pizzas, and most importantly, whopping Gatsby’s! Take in the juicy, saucy, fried goodness, and the good news is they’re open till late!
With an extensive list of eateries at your disposal, you’re definitely not going to go hungry while out on the town! Enjoy some to-die-for shakes, or dig into the biggest, juiciest burger you can find. The choice is yours!