Cape Town is not only the LGBT capital of South Africa but the whole of Africa. South Africa was the first country to state in their constitution that you may not discriminate over sexuality and was the 5th country to legalise gay marriage. With all this, it’s no surprise the whole of the Waterkant district in Cape Town is known as the Pink District, where the LGBT community can enjoy a liberal community with pride.
One of the most inclusive venues in Cape Town, patrons from far and wide are encouraged to find a safe place to express themselves at Zer021 Lounge. With frequent drag shows and musical performances at this entertainment lounge, bar and eatery there is plenty of fun to be had, and an opportunity to be welcomed by others into this inclusive scene. Popular acts that take to the stage include the fabulous queen Manila Von Teez, Maxine Wild, Belinda Qaqamba Fassie, and many other soaring stars.
If you’re a fan of Madame Zingara you’ll be delighted to find that Café Manhattan is part of her family. As the longest standing venue in the heart of De Waterkant, Café Manhattan is a lively eatery with funky decor (with a hint of the Wild West), amazing drinks and tasty dishes, it’s a bouncing hotspot in the evenings. Welcoming people from all walks of life, gay or mixed, it’s definitely worth a visit on a Summer evening.
For some steamy fun, you have to pay a visit to Hot House Baths and Spa, an upmarket European-style bathhouse in the heart of the gay village. Rated the best spa in South Africa, there are plenty of fun activities to take part in here. Spa baths, video lounges, maze, showers and private rooms and cabins make the Hot House more than just a spa, it’s a playground for men to enjoy. And with an adult store just outside the spa, there’s an opportunity to purchase a few goodies before you play.
When you’re out on the Pink District looking for some crazy, hunky fun, pay a visit to the 50’s style American diner oozing with pink chic and manly sex appeal. At Beefcakes everyone is welcome, and their shirtless waiters will certainly make you feel at home. The drag scene is prominent here, and you’ll often see some drag queens and shirtless hunks performing on stage. It’s a fun, mad vibe, and with food to die for it’s no surprise that it’s a hotspot in Greenpoint. Oh, and don’t forget to order shots off your beefy waiter when you’re there!
For a less frivolous evening out on the town, you can mingle with other connoisseurs of swank and the styles of yesteryear at Alexander’s Bar on Strand Street. With ancient rotary phones throughout the venue, it’s encouraged to dial the other tables and talk to other guests, and dialling 9 puts you straight through to the bartender. On the second floor, you’ll find an intimate theatre showcasing various dramas, cabaret, comedy performances, acoustic sessions and much more. Many of which are liberal LGBT performances or dramas.
At Crew Bar you’ll be delighted to find that all the waiters and bar staff are shirtless men, wearing very little! This establishment is welcome to all, boasting an upstairs and downstairs dance floor and a bar full of great beers and cocktails. They have an outside balcony area at the front and back, as well as a VIP section, all of which can be hired for private functions. The venue is sure to be busy over the weekends.
If you’re looking for some raunchy fun, you’ll be glad to know that every night is a themed night at Barcode, a strictly-male only gay bar on Cobern Street. Underwear only, leather, uniform, or even stark naked, you’re sure to have plenty of fun! It’s respectful to confirm to the theme of the night, so if you don’t want to get nude on stark naked night you may not want to attend that night. Otherwise, inside you’ll find sexy barmen, slings, a maze and an accessory store, along with heaps of naughty fun!
Now that you have the low down on all the hottest LGBT venues in Cape Town, it’s time to get out on the town and explore all the fabulous venues on offer. From the steamy spas to the crazy stages, there’s fun for everyone!