Cape Town is one of those cities that’s famed for its hospitality, glorious beaches, enchanting vineyards and iconic mountain backdrops. The people are open-minded and relaxed and with the lingering hours of summer sunlight there is plenty of time to celebrate one of the Cape’s finest traditions – “sundowners”. This is something entirely satisfying about ending your day with colourful cool cocktail in hand while a magnificent sunset dips into the ocean in front of you.
Cape Point Route has compiled a subjective list of the best beach bars and restaurants in the south peninsula of Cape Town. . As always we acknowledge this list is not entirely comprehensive and does not cover other areas of Cape Town so don’t be mad with us… it’s our list and our ‘hood – this is where we work, live and play and this is what we do and where we go! All establishments are on or near the beach or the rocky coastline, but steps away from the sea.
Tiger’s Milk: Muizenberg
A hip new vibey hang out on the beach front at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg. The casual dining (dude food!) complements the raw brick and rough wood decor which feels a bit like a converted barn, with a relaxed atmosphere that fits the style, food and price. The main difference is the floor-to-ceiling glass door and ocean views, that make this a true beach bar. Good cocktail selection, 9 craft beers on tap, good burgers and pizza and anyone is welcome straight off the beach. A great addition to the Muizenberg Beach Front.
Tel: 021 788 1860
Knead Bakery: Muizenberg
A little more bakery and restaurant than beach bar, Knead is extremely popular with surfers who pop in for breakfast, coffee and hot chocolate. Families, swimmers, runners all frequent Knead and it becomes the perfect place to people watch as windows run the length of the store front for good visibility. A decent selection of craft beer, wines and cocktails still give it a beach bar classification in our humble opinion.
Tel: 021 788 2909
Blonde and Beard: Muizenberg
“Sandwiches, Beverages, Happiness” is stated on the exterior wall of Blonde and Beard. This beach coffee bar is 50 metres from Muizenberg beach, but removed from the hustle and bustle of the beachfront. Free Wifi, craft beers and some live music, some excellent breakfast and damn fine coffee and cake! Situated in one of the historical buildings of Muizenberg, it’s truly is a relaxing experience. We love this funky little joint by the sea.
Tel: 021 788 1569
Casa Labia Cafe: Muizenberg
This 50-seater cafe located in the reception area of Count & Countess Natale Labia’s former residence. This national monument functions as a multi-functional cultural centre with an art gallery, design boutique and the cafe, as well as playing host to numerous private functions. On offer are some classic cocktails, a good selection of wines and a stylish opulence for a beach bar. The chandeliers, period hand-made Italian furniture, gilded ceilings, Italian paintings and the views of the ocean makes you feel like you are walking into an old villa in Italy not a beach bar!
Tel: 021 788 6062
Octopus Garden: St James
Think ‘Alice in Wonderland’; think ‘Under the Sea’. Think a mad collection of knick knacks filling a brightly painted and fairy lit intimate little living room complete with wooden floor & a piano – that’s The Octopus’ Garden in St James. Lazy summer Saturdays and Sundays, live music, burlesque. Beautiful garden for the children to play on the organic jungle gym and treehouse while parents eat and drink. Home of the silent disco! So a true bar to hit when you come off the beach!
Tel: 021 788 5646
Cape to Cuba: Kalk Bay
Set on the water’s edge at Kalk Bay– Cape to Cuba is a Cuban inspired bar and restaurant with an exceptional cocktail menu – mojitos and Classic Cuban cocktails are specialities! Pick a table on the terrace overlooking the ocean or hang out at the colourful Che Bar with sea views and sand between your toes. A Caribbean inspired beach bar with offbeat decor, a laidback ambience and yes a little Cuba Libra and Cuban Sunrise!
Tel: 021 788 1566
The Brass Bell: Kalk Bay
The Brass Bell is a well-loved Cape Town institution with 7 different sections and levels of dining space with views over the ocean across False Bay and of the harbour. All the spaces are right on the ocean edge, in fact you should watch out for the changing tide, else you could end up with extra salt in your cocktail. The Waters Edge Terrace and Bikini deck in particular are ideal for long sundowner sessions with a classic pina colada or strawberry daiquiri or the popular and sizeable Jam Jars if you are really thirsty! The Beach zone a firm favourite for families. They often have live music in summer making it one of the ultimate beach bars on the Cape Point Route
Tel: 021 788 5455
It’s not every day the waves come into the restaurant… but it is not uncommon at the Beachcomber Bistro which is part of Fish Hoek Galley, which is quite literally on Fish Hoek Beach. Everyone is welcome at this beach bar and restaurant, which has 3 sections: Drifters Take-away, Beachcomber Bistro and Fish Hoek Galley. Step out of the door onto the beach, fresh air, sea-sand, seagulls and the restaurant is adjacent to a kids playground.
Tel: 021 782 3354
Dixie’s Restaurant and Bar: Glencairn
This beach bar has a laid-back atmosphere and has become famous with locals and tourists. The ocean views make it popular for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drink! Good pub grub and there’s always the chance to spot a pod of dolphins or a whale in season.
Tel: 021 786 2105
Bertha’s Restaurant: Simon’s Town
It’s neighbours are whales, seals and penguins and a lot of birdlife. Bertha’s Restaurant is set in Simon’s Town harbour on the water’s edge. Needless to say, seafood is a speciality and sea views are almost obligatory. Open all day, they have a reasonably priced wine list and also offer cocktails from the bar. A great spot to while away a summer’s day, watching the harbour action.
Tel: 021 786 2138
Seaforth Restaurant: Simon’s Town
Set on the white sands of Seaforth Beach, this restaurant also has a spectacular setting on the water’s edge, with a few penguins for entertainment, especially as the sun goes down. The outside deck area is just a few metres above the sea at high tide so it’s wonderful spot for a sundowner or meal. Look out for their summer cocktails too! Beach bar!
Tel: 021 786 4810
Black Marlin Restaurant: Miller’s Point, Simon’s Town
Black Marlin is nestled unobtrusively on one of the most scenic coastlines in the Cape, en-route to Cape Point Nature Reserve. Established as a restaurant since the mid 1960’s, the Black Marlin has earned a reputation for its stunning seafood, varied wine list, friendly service and incredible views – a truly idyllic lunch of dinner setting by the beach.
Tel: 021 786 1621
The Red Herring Restaurant: Noordhoek
A Noordhoek favourite, the Red Herring Restaurant is a popular hangout for locals and plenty of Capetonians will happily make the drive from “the-other-side-of-the- mountain”. The newly-renovated Beach Road Bar and Sunset Deck makes maximum use of the deck that takes in the sea view and there is plenty of beer (craft beer included) on tap to help soak it all in. Although not on the beach itself, you don’t get much more of a beach vibe than the Herring!
Tel: 021 789 1783
The setting at Monkey Valley Resort takes a lot of beating! Tucked within a milkwood forest at the foot of Chapman’s Peak Drive and overlooking the expanse of Noordhoek beach – it really is tough to find a more secluded and spectacular spot for a cocktail sundowner or a chilled glass of wine. The location really is a beach paradise and having a chilled chardonnay on the wooden deck as the sun sinks is a must!
Tel: 021 789 8000
This stalwart at the foot of Chapman’s Peak is a popular sundowner spot for good reason – it gazes across Hout Bay Beach with the sun sinking behind the mountains and casting a glow over the sky. Patrons are bathed in the late summer rays, as they sip an evening cocktail and watch the joggers, cyclists, beach walkers, dog-walkers, horses, kayakers, SUP-ers and surf skiers enjoy the beach in front of their dining table. Beach bar proper!
Tel: 021 790 1036
Crayclub at Wharfside Grill: Hout Bay
Situated upstairs with panoramic views of Hout Bay harbour and Hout Bay beach, The Crayclub Bar also has a 60-seater sundeck which is part of the Wharfside Grill. The Crayclub serves speciality drinks themed to the sea, making it the most unique of our beach bars! The Merry Mermaid is a champagne based beverage and the local Mariner’s Wharf Mojito is called the Wayward Wench! Be careful of Bosun’s Blunder – a vodka based cocktail which may make you forget the way home. Be sure to take a cab.
Tel: 021 790 1100
The Lookout Deck: Hout Bay
Another gorgeous location with a view of the working Hout Bay Harbour and the beauty of this picturesque fishing village. This beach bar incorporates a sushi bar, an oyster bar and a champagne bar in addition to the outdoor wooden deck and inside restaurant. There are local and international beers, regular quiz nights and live sporting action, live gigs & it’s just an easy place to hang out with friendly staff and lots of harbour activity as you gaze across the ocean to the slopes of Chapman’s Peak.
Tel: 021 790 0900
Pakalolo Restaurant and Bar: Hout Bay
This is a beach bar with Happy Hour for 2 hours, where draft beer is cheap and cocktails are half price! The decor is all palm tree, surfboard with board shorts for a relaxed vibe. They have weekly specials, regular stand up comedy evenings, live local bands and Sundowner Sundays. 3 big screen TV’s for live sport in the bistro area, a chill out lounge and 2 outside terraces make it a true beach bar opposite Hout Bay Beach.
Tel: 021 790 0700
Dunes Beach Restaurant: Hout Bay
Directly opposite Hout Bay Beach, this beach bar and restaurant has lovely views, inside and outside tables and is perfect for the whole family. A kiddies playground keeps the kids busy, the parents happy and it’s no surprise that local families are regular visitors. The mega gin and tonic off the cocktail list comes highly recommended.
Tel: 021 790 1876
In the working harbour of Hout Bay, is an old fish factory that’s been coverted to a weekend market. The old warehouse is alive with local traders, creative energy, vibrancy and a festive spirit. People of all ages and cultures gather for food, shopping, live music and entertainment. A little bit more than a beach bar, a little bit more than a beach restaurant- Bay Harbour Market is that beach market.
Tel: 082 570 5997
Cape Point Route loves Beach Bars (& Penguins)
Cape Point Route offers day tours, packages, accommodation, activities and car hire in Cape Town’s south peninsula in addition to teambuilding events in Cape Town. Call 021 789 0093 or visit www.capepointroute.co.za