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Discover 5 Of The Best Bars In Cape Town With This Handy List

Cape Town is a city with heart. As with any city, it can seem daunting at first, especially if you are hunting for a great drinking hole soon after arriving. As we stayed in a central Airbnb, we were lucky enough to receive a bunch of helpful suggestions for places to try, but if you don’t have such a luxury, it’s hard to know where to begin. This list of five of the best bars in Cape Town will get your taste buds tingling. They combine great food, with electric atmosphere, live music and cold beer. Now, that’s the thing of dreams…

prawn salad starter
A starter at Mondiall, one of the best bars in Cape Town

Five of the best bars in Cape Town

Dust and Dynamite, 27 Caledon Street

Dust and Dynamite could win the title of ‘smallest bar in the world‘. Despite being barely large enough to swing a cat, this bar packs a punch. Cowboy memorabilia adorns the walls – a collection of morbid and bizarre curiosities – whilst authentic looking cowboys pull thirst quenching pints behind the bijou bar.

Saddle shaped stools are wedged into little nooks and crannies, and astonishingly there is even a stage, perched precariously on a suspended platform. The bar plays great music and serves cheap beer. What more could you want?

It’s quite difficult to spot, so watch out for Diaz, a Portuguese restaurant on the corner. It is just next door.

Planet at the Mount Nelson, Orange

From sawdust to swank, The Planet is reminiscent of colonial times with swaying palms, tropical foliage and large windows leading to the terrace. It’s elegant and refined, with staff scurrying around in smart uniforms.

Afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson hotel, Cape Town
Afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson hotel, Cape Town

Afternoon tea at the Planet

The Sunday Times voted their afternoon tea ‘the best in the world‘, and with that accolade, it would be rude not to try it. One stormy afternoon, we put on our glad rags and join the crowds who flock to sample its divine selection of petit fours and savoury scones. Unlike any other afternoon tea I’ve experienced, guests receive savoury foods to the table, but can self-select unlimited desserts from the sweet buffet. You sweet toothed monkeys are in for the time of your life!

Scones at one of the best five bars in Cape Town
Scones at the Mount Nelson afternoon tea
Petir Fours at the Mount Nelson afternoon tea
Petir Fours at the Mount Nelson afternoon tea

It is a good idea to fast before your tea, as the temptation to indulge is immense. We gorged on delightful looking meringues, tiny caramel slices, carrot cakes, and so many other mouth-watering creations. We felt so stuffed that we almost rolled down the drive. It is an absolute steal at just 365 Rand (c. £19) for tea and a further 485 Rand for a bottle of sparkling wine (£25).

#afternoontea is served…. #tea #celebration #hightea #elegant #decadent

A post shared by Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel (@belmondmountnelsonhotel) on

Truth coffee roasting company, Buitenkamp

The Truth coffee bar was voted ‘the best coffee house in the world’ and I believe it. Each lovingly decorated coffee is pretty special. The barista allegedly draws the designs on to the coffees by hand! Pretty awesome hey?

But the theme is what steals the show. Mad Max meets the Wild West in this busy bar and coffee shop. Staff wear intriguing costumes to play their part in bringing the steampunk theme to life. There are some pretty hot servers showing off incredible guns too!

The place gets very busy for breakfast, but quietens in the afternoon. Check the opening times before you visit!


Mondiall has a narrow bar and a superb restaurant overlooking Table Mountain and the waterfront. The food is seriously pretty, worthy of any Instagram feed. What’s more, it tastes as delicious as it looks.

We paid just £110 for three courses and drinks for four people. I cannot imagine a restaurant in the UK that would create dishes as delectable as this for anything less than double the price!

Oysters at Mondiall restaurant, one of the five best bars in Cape Town
Oysters at Mondiall restaurant, one of the five best bars in Cape Town
Main course at Mondiall
Main course at Mondiall
Tuna steak
Tuna at Mondiall. I swear I died and went to heaven with this dish

Feeling peckish yet?

Quay Four, Victoria and Albert waterfront

Quay Four is a huge space, directly on the waterfront beneath the Cape Wheel, is a lively drinking and dining hangout. The sign at the door invites women to leave their husbands in ‘day care’ while women take advantage of impressive shopping facilities at the V & A.

The set menu offers scrumptious food at great prices (two courses for less than a tenner) whilst live music plays in the background.

Fish and chips at Quay Four restaurant
Quay Four fish and chips

How to get to the five best bars in Cape Town

This handy little Google map will help you find the five best bars in Cape Town. If you do plan to do a pub crawl, I recommend starting at Truth. From there, walk to Caledon Street and then to the Planet. Then, book an Uber (Use this referral link to get a free ride if you have yet to sign up) to go to the waterfront. The two venues there are within easy walking distance.

You can also download an offline version of this itinerary from GPS My City.

Share your favourites

Maybe you found a place you loved in Cape Town, and if so I’d love to know. I’m sure my lovely readers have some great ideas.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. Pointsmd.com Dad

    Our family took your suggestions to heart, and we visited the Truth Coffee Roasting Company for coffee and croissants this morning, and The Mount Nelson for high tea yesterday. Thank you for the excellent suggestions!
    Pointsmd.com Dad

    • Yay I’m so glad to hear that. How did you find them both? I’m super envious as I miss South Africa so much!!!!! Thanks for letting me know.

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