Enjoying the perfect sundowner involves a lot more than simply what’s in your glass. You need a view that could melt the ice in your glass, smells of salt and sea to make your mouth water, and the feel of late afternoon on your shoulders as the sun slips slowly behind a mountain or slides into the sea in a show of mango, peach and juicy lemon. We’ve picked five of Cape Town’s best spots to get your sundowner juices flowing this summer. Enjoy!
#1 Cape to Cuba (Kalk Bay)
Kalk Bay, recently named one of the vibiest neighbourhoods in the world, is where the best of sexy Cape Town and sultry Cuba meet. The restaurant’s Cuban cool is thanks to authentic Cuban décor, its Cuban cigars on sale, and delicious Latino-inspired menu. No need to head off to Havana for a Cuban cocktail. Pop in to the Hemingway Bar, sip a cocktail in the sandbar, looking out across colourful Kalk Bay Harbour.
The restaurant’s atmosphere is super laidback and the cocktail menu extensive, with the old familiars as well as a selection you’ve probably never tried, like the chocolate cake mojito. If you’re feeling peckish, you can order a sharing platter, tapas or a pizza prepared in the outside pizza oven.
Cape to Cuba | Kalk Bay | Mon to Sun 11am – 11pm
#2 The Red Herring (Noordhoek)
The Red Herring is an institution amongst locals in Cape Town’s far-south peninsula. If you still have beach sand on your toes and you’re looking for a place to watch the sun go down, this is it.
The restaurant is famous for its homemade, thin-based pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, and there is a selection of other dishes to choose from, from seafood and steak, to several vegetarian dishes and low carb options.
The courtyard area, decorated with mosaics and surrounded by indigenous milkwood trees, is the ideal place to wind down the day on a long couch, sipping locally brewed beer.
Head up to the sunset deck on the top floor. The deck has been constructed to give you a perfect view of the setting sun over Chapman’s Peak, across Noordhoek beach to Kommetjie lighthouse and on to Slangkop Mountain. If you’d planned to stop for a quick cocktail, now’s about the time you’ll want to reach for a menu.
The Red Herring | Noordhoek | Mon to Sun 12 – 11:30pm
#3 The Lookout Deck (Hout Bay)
The Lookout Deck places you at the water’s edge overlooking Hout Bay’s harbour with views of local fisherman weighing in their catch of the day and Cape fur seals soaking up the last of the day’s rays. Watching the sun’s pyrotechnic display of tangerine and purple across Chapman’s Peak and the southern Atlantic Ocean is a truly unforgettable experience.
Unsurprisingly, the restaurant specialises in premier seafood, freshly caught line fish from Hout Bay’s local fisherman, live Cape rock lobster, succulent LM prawns, juicy black tiger prawns and fresh steamed black mussels. If you have a craving for sushi, then head to the deck where you’ll find the Sushi Bar to satisfy your carvings. Fancy chucked oysters and Champagne? Then the Oyster Bar has you covered. The drinks menu is extensive with everything from local and international beers, to a wine list honouring the Cape wine growing regions. And then there are sundowners and cocktails, of course.
The Lookout Deck | Hout Bay | Mon to Fri 10am – 10pm, Sat & Sun 9am – 10:30pm
#4 The Bungalow (Clifton)
If you don’t think a day at the beach should compromise your quest for going five star all the way, then The Bungalow Restaurant & Lounge is the place to end off the day. You’re at the ocean’s edge – any closer and you’d be able to dip your toes in the cold Atlantic.
If you were to ask the restaurant to describe their décor, here’s what they’d say: “Imagine Donna Karan marooned on an island with nothing but a chandelier and an axe.”
At The Bungalow, how you sip your cocktail or where you choose to relax is up to you. You can curl up on a wide cushioned bench or get the best views from the sun drenched deck. It doesn’t matter which way you go, the vibe is cool and the view’s hot.
If you plan to pair your cocktail with some tasty cuisine, you can expect a selection of seafood and sushi, or beef Carpaccio, loads of vegetables, chunks of bread and piles of prawns. All prepared with a fresh chic spin.
The Bungalow | Clifton | Mon to Fri 12 – 10pm
#5 The Grand Africa Café & Beach (Granger Bay)
Does your idea of the ultimate sundowner experience include the sun on your shoulders, your bum on a plush seat and a waiter serving you thin-crust gourmet pizza and a tall cocktail? At The Grand Africa Café & Beach you get all this and then some.
This beach café, set on a private beach, extends all the way to the shoreline, and gives you magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island. You’ll completely forget you’re in the heart of Cape Town’s social mile.
In an effort to deliver the very best sundowner experience, the Grand offers its patrons a choice of five bars, ocean view decks and nine private function venue areas. On-beach dining with tables and chairs on the sand gives you uninterrupted views of the cobalt blue sea lapping at confectioner’s sugar sand.
Grand Africa Café & Beach | Granger Bay | Mon to Fri 12 – 11pm
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