5 Cape Town Bars To Order A Killer Drink At Before You Die

From low-end dives to high-end haunts, Cape Town is rife with brilliant bars. Walk a few blocks and you’ll run into a grungy dive, a pricey cocktail spot, or an overcrowded neighbourhood favourite. Triggered by an ongoing tech boom that has attracted an influx of high-income workers and supported seemingly endless construction, Cape Town has changed dramatically over the last two decades. The growth of the city has enabled a host of great drinking spots to open their doors, some of which aim to center South Africa’s remarkable producers of wine, beer, and spirits, while others express their local roots through the flavours and ingredients they employ.

The drinking scene in Cape Town offers an incredible array of options and locations from which to choose, from some of the finest cocktail bars in Africa to neighbourhood breweries and world-class wineries.

Having so many different options means picking one can be a daunting task. We’ve made things easy for you by rounding up the best bars you absolutely need to drink in before you die or leave Cape Town, whichever comes first.


Where the Pornstar Martinis are always fantastic! Asoka played a crucial role in growing Cape Town’s craft cocktail scene. The edgy cocktail lounge cemented itself as one of the trendiest bars in Cape Town long before many others on this list. Asoka has been the go-to place to show off to friends and visitors from afar. With its roots firmly set on Kloof street, Asoka is home to the Dharma Tree, one of Cape Town’s oldest living olive trees, which grows in the centre of the dining room. Offering consistently great cocktails laced with a sophisticated vibe, the edge tapas bar remains supreme for drinks in the Mother City.

Art of Duplicity

This popular back-alley speakeasy on Buitenkant street is shaking up alchemy and mixology within its industrial warehouse and steampunk den setting. The hush-hush spot asks for a secret password at the door, which makes you feel like you’re part of something just by stepping inside. How to make the cut at Art of Duplicity? Book your seat and you’ll be furnished with an address and password to gain entry. Its prohibition nature, live jazz performances and stiffly priced cocktails make for a one-of-a-kind night out in Cape Town.

Bar 48 at Forty 8

If you can’t take your date to New York for a cocktail, a visit to Bar 48 at Forty 8 on 48 Hout street in the Mother City is the next best thing. With its Manhattan Island ambience bathed in lush cocktails and deep house tunes, you probably think of crowds waiting on the sidewalk and gaggles of girls rehashing their week’s antics over Cosmos. But Bar 48 is a quiet, intimate cocktail lounge with indulgent South African fare served by attentive and attractive bar staff. Compared to many of its cramped Long street counterparts, Bar 48’s space allows you to enjoy its well-balanced elbow-benders without feeling like you are sipping on the crowded dive nearby. The cocktail menu at Bar 48 features all the usual suspects, including the Cosmopolitan, which we believe to be, the best in town!

Perseverance Tavern

If you haven’t set foot inside the oldest pub in South Africa, you haven’t lived! Take a historic stroll up Buitenkant from the District Six Museum and enjoy an ice-cold pint and hearty pub lunch at Percies, located opposite the Rust en Vreudg Museum, one of the few remaining 18th-century buildings in the city. Perseverance Tavern offers a glimpse into Cape Towns’ colourful past while staying true to its name, committed to serving tipplers for centuries to come.

Dust and Dynamite Saloon

Get a taste of the wild west on the east side of town when you order a stiff one at Cape Town’s one and only authentic saloon Dust and Dynamite. Listen to the classic rock tunes in the candle-lit bar, as you sip on a triple pour of something strong while admiring the saloon’s bizarre collection of memorabilia. Located a stone’s throw away from Dias Tavern, Dust and Dynamite is definitely one Cape Town bar to order a killer drink at before you die.