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5 Best Bars in Cape Town

A city along South Africa’s extensive coastline, Cape Town is the second-most populous city in the country (after Johannesburg) and the capital and primate city of the Western Cape Province.  Cape Town is also a popular international tourist destination, drawing millions of visitors each year from around Africa and across the globe.

With several world-class tourist attractions, such as Table Mountain and Cape Point, Cape Town is a beautiful and fun place to visit.  The city also boasts a wonderful and often raucous nightlife scene, represented by hundreds of great bars, lounges, wineries and nightclubs.

To introduce you to Cape Town’s enjoyable party atmosphere, below we have profiled several of the city’s most best known and well-visited bars, and provided a brief description of each locale:  the type of crowd and drinks served at each, and the characteristics, amenities and fun distractions that keep people coming back again and again.

Oblivion

The bar known as Oblivion is a split-level paradise that specializes mostly in fine wine.  Guests at this European-style wine bar, located in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, can choose from over 150 varieties of red and white wine, including sparkling champagnes and sweet dessert wines that are smooth and decadent.

The space in which Oblivion serves its dedicated customer base is welcoming and warm.  In addition to a medium-sized bar area, the room is dotted with several plush leather couches, all surrounding a roaring fire.  Within this atmosphere people are free to relax and chat while sipping on their favorite drink.  Some customers may want to head to the bar’s romantic rooftop garden, while others may be content to sit and watch the games on one of the two giant-screen televisions (one located on each floor)

Oblivion is located at 22 Chichester Road in the Claremont section of Cape Town.

Beerhouse

As you might guess from its name, the Beerhouse in Cape Town is perhaps the best and most popular spot in town for lovers of the frothy brew, as well as for sports lovers looking to catch the big game.  The Beerhouse features 25 draught beers on tap, with selections rotating once or twice a month.  The drinking establishment also carries 99 different varieties of bottled beer, both domestic and imported, including a whole range of craft beer.  According to its owner, 75 percent of the beer sold at the Beerhouse is brewed locally in Cape Town and the surrounding area.

Sports lovers can always catch a game on the Beerhouse’s seven high definition televisions, positioned above the bar and around the room, making every seat in the house a prime viewing destination.  Arcade style games, pool tables and other diversions complete the atmosphere at this fun locale.

The Beerhouse is located at 223 Long Street in Cape Town.

Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar

If gin is your drink of choice, the city of Cape Town definitely has you covered with Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar.  Known as the first (and perhaps only) gin bar in Africa, this unassuming bar is rapidly becoming one of the most chic and trendy hangouts in the city.  Here you can choose from over 140 different varieties of gin, served straight up, on the rocks or mixed as a Martini, Gin and Tonic or any other concoction that pleases your palate.

In addition to the great selection of gin, Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar also offers a limited selection of other spirits (whiskeys, vodkas, etc.) and a restricted but delicious food menu.  Some of the eats at this sleek lounge include their Italian Meat Plate, South African Cheese Tray and a Spanish Charcuterie Platter.

Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar is located at 219 Bree Street in the city of Cape Town.

Banana Jam Café

If you’re looking for something different and unique for your night out on the town, you should definitely check out the Banana Jam Café.  A Caribbean-themed bar, the Banana Jam Café boasts a (very) colorful décor and a large space that is well admired by the bar’s regular local crowd.  The bar is long and straight, able to accommodate roughly 30 partiers; and tall tables with bar stools are dispersed throughout the front half of the lounge.  Towards the back of the room you’ll find a DJ booth and a large wooden dance floor, both of which see plenty of action on the weekend nights.  Outside is a large patio area with a range of comfortable seating options.

The Banana Jam Café features a fully-stocked bar, including an impressive collection of rums from around the world.  30 varieties of beer are available on tap to add to the 80 different bottled varieties of domestic and imported beer, and the food menu is unique and amazing.  The Banana Jam Café offers up dishes such as Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Crazy Goat Curry and Cuban Pizza, all of which go on sale during Happy Hour:  Every day of the week from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

The Banana Jam Café is located at 157 2nd Avenue Kenilworth in Cape Town.

Asoka

Located along one of the main drags in Cape Town known as Kloof Street, Asoka is an Asian-themed bar and eatery that is supremely popular among the local drinking crowd.  And while the food and drinks at this wonderful little oasis are top-notch, the layout and atmosphere just might leave you breathless.  The design of Asoka is modeled after the principles of Fung Shui.  As such, the color-coordinated décor relies heavily on various elements like fire, water, copper and wood, spread out in a way that brings harmony to the whole environment.

The cocktail menu at Asoka, although a bit pricey in comparison to other bars on our list, is original and very yummy.  The well-clad bartenders use only the best spirits in their concoctions, as well as fresh fruit, herbs and house-squeezed juices that make each one of their drinks truly satisfying.

Note: Before leaving Asoka, be sure to take a photo next to the large olive tree—the largest tree of its kind in the city.

Asoka is located at 68 Kloof Street and is open evenings only.

Cape Town and Table Mountain by martinaH79/Pixabay CC0 license

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