Where to drink one of the world’s oldest cocktails + a recipe
Special and Hidden Rooftop Bars In the City: Great Views, Sleek Looks and Winning Vibes
Views and delicious drinks are a given, but these rooftop bars have a little something extra to offer
Last updated: 22 November 2021
It’s summer and we’re all trying to remember where the top rooftop bars are in the city for that superb sundowner experience with a view. Well, here’s the quintessential collection – plan your next drink or dinner with a view now (and save this list).
CLAREMONT’S BEST-KEPT SECRET
For a laidback setting that’s perfect for day or night, Oblivion Bar & Kitchen in southern suburb Claremont fits the bill. It serves pizza and burgers, Barking Dog craft beer and cocktails, and you can eat and drink in the open air with amazing views of Table Mountain. On Mondays you can book tickets for Quiz Night with your team and test your wits at general knowledge. The food and views are worth a trip to Oblivion Bar & Kitchen.
The vibe: Chilled
Operating hours: Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 10pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8am - 10pm.
Must try: The Jamming on Brie burger has either a beef patty or grilled chicken breast (your choice) and is topped with chilli plum jam, bacon and brie. Or opt for a pizza, such as the Diablo, topped with beef, chorizo, peppadews, onion and fresh chilli. Pair it with a refreshing glass of Barking Dog Beer.
22 Chichester Rd | Claremont | 021 671 8522 | www.oblivion.co.za
HARBOUR VIEWS + LIVE MUSIC
From its perch on the sky-high 11th floor of the Park Inn Cape Town Foreshore, the Harald’s Bar and Terrace boasts an impressive 180-degree view of the Mother City in all her glory: to the one side, there’s Table Mountain rising above the skyscrapers; to the other, you have an uninterrupted view of the harbour and the sea beyond. Every Friday there’s live music, and a selection of top DJs keeping partygoers buzzing with house and urban beats at Harald’s Bar & Terrace.
The vibe: It’s a sharing kinda place: tuck into a snack basket with friends, together with a signature cocktail, as you lounge on the sprawling couches or comfy deck chairs.
Operating hours: Daily, 10:30am–11pm
Must-try: The fresh citrus flavour of the popsicle, a signature cocktail designed by Harald’s Bar and Terrace’s staff, is perfect for a summer’s day.
The Park Inn Hotel | 29 Heerengracht Street | Foreshore | +27 (0)21 427 4800
A POOLSIDE VIEW OF THE CITY
Laze by the long pool while sipping a delicious cocktail at the ultra-stylish Ghibli Bar and Pool Terrace at the Radisson Blu Hotel. With its unique decor and welcoming feel, the Ghibli Bar is where you can stop for a casual drink or to catch up with friends. Enjoy a warm summer’s day by the pool with the hubbub of the city at your feet and a cold drink in your hand. The restaurant also provides light meals, burgers and pizzas (amongst other things) until 5pm.
The vibe: It’s a casual, relaxing, poolside summer scene
Operating hours: Friday - Sunday, 11am - 10:30pm
Must-try: The blue mojito is a refreshing citrus-flavoured drink that matches the colour of the pool.
22 Riebeek Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 467 4000 | email@example.com
360° VIEWS + SOCIAL VIBE
Tucked at the top of Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa’s magical staircase is its gorgeous, colourful and characterful rooftop bar, Mountain Club. There you’ll get 360° views of Table Mountain and the city. The restaurant is split across two levels, one has a plunge pool and there’s also an open-air upper level, where there’s maximum ventilation and covid protocols are followed strictly. The bar serves a variety of cocktails and other drinks, which the menu compliments with mouth-watering tapas and sushi dishes. It’s also open for delicious breakfasts. Kick-off the summer at Cloud 9’s Mountain Club.
The vibe: It’s open to the public, who come to sip on the bar’s selection of signature cocktails.
Operating hours: Daily, 12pm - 9pm
Must-try: It does a good whisky sours, and a mojito made with Japanese Roku gin.
12 Kloof Nek Road | Tamboerskloof | +27 (0)21 424 1133
A SEXY SUNSET AND INTERNATIONAL DJS
The sleek and sexy rooftop cafe and bar at Chinchilla is a hot addition to Camps Bay’s strip of sensational sundowner spots. The beach is right across the road, so you’ll always feel like you’re on holiday - and let’s not forget about Camps Bay’s one-of-a-kind sunsets. Chinchilla hosts a rotation of local and international DJs to keep guests in a party mood, including the two resident DJs: American Tess Prins and Charles Webster from the United Kingdom. Chinchilla also offers cafe classics like toasted sandwiches, seafood and a scrumptious beef burger (amongst other things) with their extensive drinks menu.
The vibe: Chinchilla offers a laid-back vibe with music and decor that says sexy, but easy-going.
Operating hours: Monday–Friday: 4pm–10:30pm; Saturday and Sunday: 12pm–10:30pm
Must-try: Bring your friends and share Chinchilla’s signature summery Peach Rosé Sangria that serves four.
The Promenade Building | Victoria Road | Camps Bay | +27 (0)21 286 5075 | firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL HANDS ON DECK
The Deck, formerly known as Batstone Pool, is a local favourite for scorching summer days when nothing but a poolside bar will do. It’s situated on the fourth floor in Cape Quarter, a buzzing lifestyle centre in De Waterkant, and has quickly become a haven in the city. The backdrop is Table Mountain, so just think of all the Instagram-worthy selfies. For R50, you can get a sun lounger and towel.
The vibe: It’s the perfect spot to enjoy cocktails, take a dip and lounge around in the sun.
Operating hours: Wednesday–Sunday: 11am–9pm
Must-try: Cool off with an ice cold Rooftop Margarita with El Jimador Blanco blended with triple sec and fresh lime juice.
Fourth Floor |Cape Quarter | 27 Somerset Road | De Waterkant | +27 (0)76 643 0287
CINEMA, TRAILERS AND A GORGEOUS VIEW OF CAPE TOWN
Grab a snack from the food truck downstairs then head up to Sky Bar at the top of The Grand Daddy Hotel, which shares its space with a rooftop airstream trailer park (seven vintage Airstream trailers hauled from the States, then popped onto the hotel’s roof), which makes it a pretty unique venue, we’d say. Sky Bar also shares space with the Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema, where you’ll find classics like Grease and The Lion King playing. Enjoy an unbridled view of Cape Town’s skyline at Sky Bar.
The vibe: The wooden deck is intimate and perfect for a sundowner of cocktails, craft beer or champagne.
Operating hours: Daily: 12pm–9pm (weather-dependent)
Must-try: The Trailer Park Happiness is their gin and vodka based cocktail, with raspberry pureé, fresh lemon juice and lemonade or soda water.
38 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 7247
A PARTY ABOVE LONG STREET
At the top of Long Street is Royale Eatery, and on top of Royale Eatery is The Waiting Room. The upstairs lounge is chic but chilled, and it features an eclectic mix of live music and DJs. The fairy light-lined rooftop offers a unique view of Long Street, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, Cape Town’s favourites. There is live music (DJs and live bands) every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (sometimes Monday, too), plus a variety of DJs on Saturday nights.
The vibe: Traditionally a favourite hangout of art students at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, the space is now frequented by locals looking for a good dance or a late-night drink.
Operating hours: Monday–Saturday: 9pm–2am
Must-try: Keep an eye out for one of the Waiting Rooms many specials. You can often get 2 for 1 beers or ciders before 10pm.
273 Long Street | Cape Town City Centre | +27 (0)21 422 4536 | email@example.com
A HOTSPOT FOR ROOFTOP SUNDOWNERS
Up Yours is the rooftop café and bar above Yours Truly that feels like an urban jungle with flowers, vines and potted trees everywhere. The beer garden is frequented by young travellers (there is a backpackers downstairs) has an extensive drinks menu and live music every weekend. There are always DJs, bands and solo acts, international and local, playing everything from hip hop to vinyl rock for a day-to-night party.
The vibe: It draws a crowd of creatives and city slickers – it’s become one of the ultimate spots for after-work drinks and weekend sundowners with friends.
Operating hours: Daily: 3pm–10pm
Must-try: The Blitz is a zingy tequila-based cocktail with fresh lime, ginger ale, and bitters.
73 Kloof Street | Gardens | +27 (0)21 426 2587 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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