From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
Live, Local and Lekker Music Venues Around the City
Cape Town's top places to listen to live music in the city's centre
Last updated: Monday, 22 May 2023
In terms of performance spaces, the Mother City has it all, from speakeasy-style jazz clubs and grungy dive bars with dilapidated stages to swish lounges and large-scale concert halls. And, truth be told, you don’t even need to venture outside of the CBD to catch a solid session of righteous tunes. So, without further ado, here’s our overview of Cape Town city centre’s live music venues.
ROCK OUT IN A BREWERY BEERHALL
Woodstock Brewery, the guys who turned sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll into really cool beer names, has become a beacon in the live music sphere for its epic gigs. Major names like Arno Cartens and Prime Circle have performed in the Beerhall, while the odd tribute show or Halloween bash is hosted there, too. And what’s a party without a cold craft beer in your hand?
252 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | 021 203 3045 | @woodstockbrewery | Image: Woodstock Brewery
FEAST ON AFRICAN FLAVOURS FROM CAPE TOWN TO CAIRO
Eating at this restaurant is a rich sensory experience. You’ll be greeted by Malian puppets, be invited to join a djembe drumming session (you can just appreciate the expertise of the artists), be taken on a taste safari with dishes from 14 African countries, and you’ll hear traditional praise singing and African songs, and be entertained by dancers. Another bonus is that all the halaal meat meals have vegetarian alternatives at Gold Restaurant.
THERE’S SOMETHING HAPPENING EVERY SINGLE NIGHT
A moody De Waterkant musical revue joint,The Piano Bar is the place to go for easy listening funk, soul and blues. The sophisticated venue features live music every night of the week. While Sundays to Wednesdays are low-key, featuring performances by solo artists, the tempo picks up on Thursday through Saturday with gigs by bigger bands and DJs. What’s more, the upmarket venue is as committed to serving up innovative cocktails and Spanish-style cuisine as it is to giving passionate artists a much-needed platform. The music starts at 7:30pm most nights at The Piano Bar.
47 Napier Street | De Waterkant | +27 (0)21 418 1096 | email@example.com
ROCK THE NIGHT AWAY IN LONG STREET
Live music at this Cape Town rock haunt is the cure for any bad-day-blues. A pearl of a jam awaits, with top tunes, legendary pizzas, and a vibey venue – the perfect formula for a good time. On Thursdays, you can take advantage of their two-for-one burger special and catch a live acoustic performance while you’re there. On most nights, when the sun goes down and the balcony lights twinkle on, Sgt Pepper’s resident DJ takes over and the dance floor officially opens. Read more about Sgt Pepper on Long Street.
194 Long Street | Cape Town | +27(0)21 424 5608 | firstname.lastname@example.org
LIVE BANDS AND THE SEASONAL MENU ON THE DECK IN THE WINELANDS
A courtyard ringed by ancient oaks and 17th-century farm buildings. The deck strung with fairy lights and lanterns spilling out from the bistro loved by Franschhoek chefs. Live music outdoors and the delightful din of conversation. The vibe is electric, and the food is exceptional farm-to-table fare from the chef’s speciality menu. Discover an entirely new winelands experience with live music Fridays at La Paris Bistro in Franschhoek.
R301, Wemmershoek Road, Franschhoek | +27 (21) 8670171 | email@example.com
JAM OUT BY THE SEA
This easy, breezy Mouille Point Mediterranean eatery treats visitors to a heady dose of The Rivertones, a Bob Marley tribute band, every Sunday from 3pm to 6pm. With a casual outdoor area that looks out onto a bustling greenway and the vast ocean beyond and a slightly more formal interior that comes complete with a fireplace, the restaurant beckons to those looking for a groovy sundowner session in either summer or winter. The laidback venue specialises in wine – it has nearly 80 reds and whites by the bottle and almost 40 by the glass – and is devoted to the concept of simple, fresh fare prepared well: think Spanish-style tapas, seafood-heavy mains and seasonal salads. The performance is free of charge when paired with the purchase of anything off the restaurant’s food and drinks menu.
121 Beach Road | Mouille Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 433 1757
DINNER AND A SHOW
Famed for its theatrical dining experience, the restaurant gives a stage to talented Mother City performers who tackle hits made famous by the likes of Etta James, Miriam Makeba and Adele. The charismatic and energetic entertainment (which often results in patrons dancing on tables) is complemented by a North African and Mediterranean-inspired menu and makes for a top-class dinner and show celebration. Performances start at 8pm every night and continue well past midnight. Bookings are essential, and it is possible to book for 180-200 guests, if you book far enough in advance. They are open Tuesday - Saturday, with the bar opening at 7pm and shows kicking off at 8pm.
118 Sir Lowry Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 462 7777
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