Savour a simple summer moment with a swirl of soft serve in hand
Happy Hour Specials in Cape Town
Your guide to the when, where and what of after-work drink deals in the Mother City
Your guide to the when, where and what of after-work drink deals in the Mother City
It doesn’t really matter where you’re from, what language you speak or what customs you follow, if there’s one thing that’s as universal as the stars in the sky, it’s happy hour. That magical time just after work when bars, pubs and restaurants around the world offer incredible drink specials, cheap cocktails, 2-for-1 deals and maybe even a few discounted nibbles to loosen the throat.
As devout followers of these sacred hours (fortunately in the Mother City, the deals usually go on for even longer than just one hour), we have searched high and low to bring you a guide to the top spots offering happy hour specials in Cape Town. So, gather the crew, synchronise your watches and collect your spare change, because the bargain boozing starts NOW.
HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS IN CAPE TOWN
This Long Street daytime institution transforms into a lady of the night during the summer months, and in honour, the graceful dame runs an all-night happy hour special and serves up tasty street-style food and chilled-out tunes. The drinks deals extend to everything from cocktails and shooters to bottled beers and draughts, so nearly every thirsty bargain hunter can find something to throw back. And as Lola’s integrates her purist culinary values into the easy-to-eat after-dark grub, you can expect mouth-watering nosh made entirely from scratch (think falafel tacos and authentic bratwurst). Best of all, this madam of Long Street calls on some of the Mother City’s vinyl junkies to spin old-school beats every Thursday – and sometimes a live band will even make an appearance. By the way, just in case you were wondering, entry is completely FREE!
The deal: Cocktail jugs go for R105, El Jimador tequila shots cost R30, a bucket of six Black Label beers rings in at R90 and two 500-mL CBC Pilsner draughts add up to a mere R60 (this last special is only valid between 5pm and 7pm).
The time: Thursday – Friday: 5pm – 2am
228 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 423 0885
Happy hour is traditionally an after work affair, but at the laidback speakeasy-type bar Julep, rules are made to be broken. The good times start to roll between 9pm and 11pm, when the top-notch cocktails go for 25% less than the already Depression era-friendly prices. The watering hole is one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets, and if you can find it in its discreet location in an alley just off Long Street, you’ll score some delightfully delicious drinks made with only the best ingredients and tender loving care. Fans of mixed drinks can enjoy classics like traditionally made old-fashioneds, refreshingly crisp caipirinhas and, of course, mint juleps good enough to be served at the Kentucky Derby. The best part? The cocktails will barely make a dent in the wallet. So stop by next time you’re looking for a sneaky midweek jol or chilled spot to pre-game before a night out on the town.
The deal: All cocktails cost 25% less than the regular price.
The time: Tuesday – Sunday: 9pm – 11pm
2 Vredenberg Lane |Cape Town |+27 (0) 21 423 4276
Jackal & Hide
Motivated by the idea that a 60-minute happy hour simply won’t suffice, this trendy Kloof Street hotspot offers up a drinks specials session that’s three times the fun. From Wednesday to Sunday, those crazy about cocktails but not so mad about shelling out for the colourful creations can get half-price mixes between 4pm and 7pm. The deal applies to select classics, like the mojito and long island iced tea, as well as to more inventive concoctions, like the refreshingly fruity Red Stiletto and the striking Basil’s Not Fawlty. It’s worth mentioning that Jackal & Hide also boasts a vast veranda with a stunning view of Table Mountain and a fireplace that makes the space ideal for happy hour stints during winter. And finally, every Friday some of the Mother City’s best DJs spin deep house from 6pm onwards (there’s no cover charge).
The deal: Select cocktails cost 50% less than the regular price.
The time: Wednesday – Sunday: 4pm – 7pm
108 Kloof Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 1020
Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands Hotel
Being seriously in touch with contemporary times, the state-of-the-art Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands hotel recognises that just one hour of booze specials isn’t enough for millennial men and women, so the sleek property has added extra time to its weekly drinks deal to satiate the modern appetite for discounts. Between 4pm and 7pm on Thursdays, the hotel runs a ‘Slide on By’ special that treats guests to two beers or two fruit ice crushers for the price of one. Options like Black Label, Guinness and Mitchell’s Forester’s Lager are on the cards, and visitors can sip on their brews or smoothies while taking in live music performed by local artists on the lodging’s expansive terrace, which is framed by leafy trees and edged by a glistening swimming pool. When a sports game is on, the inside bar is sure to screen it on its large, flat-screen television too. So, if you’re looking for a new drinks bargain in the Southern Suburbs, diarise ‘Thirstdays’ at the Park Inn Newlands.
The deal: All beers and ice fruit crushers are on a 2-for-1 special.
The time: Thursday: 4pm – 7pm
10 Hemlock Street | Newlands | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 822 6500
Hudsons: The Burger Joint
With three outlets in the Mother City (one on Somerset Road in Green Point, Kloof Street in Gardens and Protea Road in Claremont), Hudsons is somewhat of an institution in Cape Town. Not only is it known as one of the best burger places in the Mother City, but also as a home to a brilliant happy hour every single weekday. From Monday to Friday between 4:30pm and 6:30pm, Hudsons offers a 2-for-1 deal on all appetisers, beers and cocktails. Our recommendation? The killer cocktails. Why killer? Well, because the colourful creations are served in goblet-style glasses! Options include the usual suspects, such as cosmos, margaritas and bloody marys, while mojitos can be made in mint, granadilla and berry variations and daiquiris come in pineapple, granadilla and strawberry versions.
The deal: All appetisers, beers and cocktails are on a buy-one-get-one free deal.
The time: Monday- Friday: 4:30pm-6:30pm
Shop 1A, 25 Protea Road | Claremont | +27 (0) 21 674 5152
69 A Kloof Street | Gardens | +27 (0) 21 426 5974
Cnr Somerset & Upper Portswood roads | Green Point | + 27 (0) 21 433 1496
Cape Quarter Square
The only thing better than happy hour at one restaurant is a host of specials at various restaurants in the same area. Where can one find a wonderland such as this? The Cape Quarter Square shopping centre in the colourful, cool De Waterkant neighbourhood, where several stylish eateries offer Monday-to-Friday discount drinks for those looking for a post-office hangout. Worker bees can choose to chill at Rocca, Zabad Food Lounge, Voila! (its special only runs from 4pm to 6pm) or Andiamo across the road at the old Cape Quarter Piazza - all the venues are offering half-price cocktails and happy times as part of the deal. It makes for an excellent and affordable bar-hopping opportunity, or you can choose to stick to one spot per day since you have the entire week to keep coming back to this little haven of a shopping centre.
The deal: All cocktails are sold at 50% off the normal price.
The time: Monday – Friday: 4pm – 7pm
27 Somerset Road | De Waterkant |Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 421 1111
Sunroof Terrace at the Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore
The slick, sophisticated Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore is city centre four-star accommodation that’s known for taking service up a level, and thus it comes as no surprise that the property’s raising the bar when it comes to happy hour – to the 11th floor that is. The hotel’s sky-high Sunroof Terrace rooftop bar is a little oasis in Cape Town’s central business district, and aside from offering guests stunning views of Table Mountain, it serves up 2-for-1 cocktails and Castle Draughts daily between 5pm and 6pm. Happy hour misters and mavens can celebrate the end of the week with unique Mother City creations, like a Sunroof Sunrise vodka number or Table Mountain Sunset rum concoction, or sip on classics, like a mojito or cosmopolitan. Not to mention, from 6pm to 8pm, live acts add some backbeat to the occasion. Note: if it’s raining, guests can opt to take advantage of the drink special in the terrace’s adjacent inside area or downstairs at the hotel’s chic in-house lobby bar.
The deal: Buy one cocktail or Castle Draught and get a second one free!
The time: 5pm – 6pm
29 Heerengracht Street | Foreshore | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 427 4800
O’Driscoll’s Irish Pub
It’s a well-established fact that the Irish are better known for their pubs and drinking stamina than most anything else (except for maybe Catholicism and potatoes). So, true to its roots, O’Driscoll’s in the city centre encourages a good bout of affordable boozing and offers a smashing happy hour special to get you loose like a leprechaun. The Celtic watering hole is the type of place that quickly turns patrons into regulars, not just because visitors won’t get judged for double-fisting a pair of pints, but also because the well-priced fare, good music on weekends and TVs showing non-stop sport make it the perfect post-work drinks spot. And the highlight is that the pub’s two-hour happy hour special runs every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. For folks who can’t make it from Monday to Thursday, that’s certainly a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow.
The deal: Standard beers (Black Label, Hansa and Castle Lager) go for R18 (down from R25), Castle Lite is priced at R22 (instead of R27) and double brandy or vodka and coke goes for R25 (usually R30). There are a few deals on other drinks too and various food specials.
The time: Monday – Sunday: 5pm – 7pm
38 Hout Street (corner of Hout and Burg streets) | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 7453
The Foreign Exchange
West meets East meets South meets North at The Foreign Exchange bar, an Observatory-based United Nations-like drinking spot where expats, exchange students and extra-friendly locals go to mix and mingle. Known by its regulars as Forex, the bar is popular for its beer pong tournaments and is considered as the go-to venue for any big foreign national occasion, like Saint Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July or Bastille Day. Not to mention, the already pocket-friendly drinks prices are slashed during the daily happy hour session, which feels as good as any holiday. With a laidback, hostel-type vibe and an abundance of interesting accents to be heard alongside cheap dops, Forex will make any local feel like they’re in a different country and any foreign traveller feel right at home.
The deal: During happy hour,ALL the delicious cocktails go for R20 (usually R35 to R45), Castle and Hansa draughts cost R17 and craft beer draughts are priced at R20. Look out for the wings and fries special too.
The time: Monday – Sunday: 5pm – 7pm
92 –95 Station Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 448 0083
Whether it’s in the dead heat of summer or in the cold heart of another wet winter, Cafe Mojito in the city centre provides a refreshing, tropical escape from the elements within its Cuban-inspired walls. With an island-style corner bar, streetside seating, colourful cocktails and friendly barfolk, this Long Street institution doesn’t even need a happy hour special to draw the crowds. But still, daily, in the spirit of fun and fiesta, the funky haunt invites after-work locals and early party-starters to visit for a wallet-friendly drinks deal session. If you stay a little later on a Monday night, you can catch upbeat reggae tunes played live by Bob Marley cover band, the Rivertones. Though, an even better reason to linger longer any evening of the week is that the bar also runs a late-night happy hour session from 11pm to midnight for those who missed the earlier one.
The deal: House cocktails cost R26 and a double vodka, rum, whisky, gin or brandy and mix goes for a sweet R20.
The time: Monday – Sunday: 5pm – 7pm; 11pm – midnight
265 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 1095
Rick’s Café Américain
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, Rick’s Café Américain is one of the best when it comes to sweet happy hour deals. The Casablanca-themed bar, which is housed in a century-old converted Victorian house in Gardens, has a sun-soaked rooftop deck on which to enjoy a summery drink during the warmer months and a comfy inside area perfect for when the weather is wet and grey. It’s quite likely that happy hour drinks will turn into a whole evening, with tasty tapas and hearty North African fare to line the stomach, seasonal specials (think Glühwein in winter) to warm the heart and friendly owner Per Menkö to keep the crowd happy. But even if dops do extend into dinner, that’s okay, because when you’re sitting at one of the Mother City’s most storied bars, there’s no rush at all.
The deal: During happy hour, cocktails cost R32, cocktail jugs are priced at between R135 and R185 and Jack Black lager and pale ale draughts go for R17 for 330mL and R25 for 500mL. What’s more, Rick’s has a selection of 28 different tequilas and a buy-one-get-one-free deal applies to all of them during the special hours. Finally, for the hungry, there’s a tapas platter on offer for R135, which comes with half a litre of sangria.
The time: Monday – Saturday: 3pm – 7pm
2 Park Road | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 1100
African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa
For a swankier, more decadent happy hour that puts a lavish spin on the regular after-work drinks session, look no further than the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa. On Thursdays, the Century City property serves up half-price sushi on its spectacular pool deck, which also happens to feature breathtaking panoramic views of Table Mountain. Whether it’s in the heart of summer when a dip in the shimmering pool is a must or in wintertime when patrons can get warm and cosy in the stylish indoor area or on the wind-protected deck’s comfy loungers, the hotel offers a sophisticated, sparkly good time and a simply unforgettable happy hour experience.
The deal: A 50% discount applies to the entire sushi menu (expect to pay between R20 and R122.50).
The time: Thursday: 4:30pm – 7pm. Booking is advised as space tends to fill up quickly, especially in summer.
Century Boulevard | Century City | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 525 3888
If happy hour drinks get you in a party mood, pop into one of these top dance clubs in Cape Town to jam it out.
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