Winters in Cape Town are cold and often wet, often ample amounts of both, but do not let that fool you. With the flood of tourists not due for another few months, and the plethora of city-sanctuaries with delicious food and roaring fires, winter in Cape Town is a local’s delight.
Want to know where we hang out to stay warm and well fed? We have put together a list of our favourite ‘’hot’’ spots to while away those rainy days and freezing nights, Cape Town style.
A personal favourite, the Piano bar is a New York inspired music revue bar hosting live music acts from Jazz to Afro-Pop to Electro-Swing. With a scrumptious menu boasting indulgent snacks and meals and a beautiful wooden back bar stocked with single-malt whiskeys, tasty cognacs, a great wine selection and craft beer on tap, this discerning venue is the perfect place to while away those winter nights.
With a few roaring fires, fantastic food and a large wine list, this bistro in a restored, 200year old Georgian-Style house, Society Bistro is a stylish, comfortable and homely hide-away. Enjoy a beautiful meal with friends before heading over to the Labia theatre for an evening show or making your way to Long street, which is only a block away, for a night on the town.
Rafiki’s location on the corner of Kloof street makes this a local favourite with students and the young at heart. With an indoor fire place, heaters on the balcony and half price cocktails daily until 6pm, this vibey hub is the perfect place to mingle with local Capetonians, especially on Burger Tuesdays, half price pizza Mondays, Mexican Wednesday (or, let’s be honest, any other day of the week!)
Here’s looking at you, kid. The inspiration for Rick’s is undoubtedly Cassablanca, with the classic film playing on repeat in the bar. With three fires crackling away downstairs and a vibey loft lounge, you can be sure to find a lively, relaxing ambiance with a wide variety of comfort food and an ever bigger selection of drinks – from wine to cocktails, a huge selection of beers and an impressive tequila range.
Aimed at foreign students and backpackers, this little bar in the hippie and hipster hub of Observatory has become a firm favourite. With activities like trivia nights and beer pong every night from Monday to Thursday a visit to the FOREX bar will most definitely be an interactive experience. There is beer on tap, wine for all sorts, cocktails and of course Jager-bombs as well as a good food and snack menu.
Looking to warm up after your cruise from the V&A Waterfront or your trip to Robben Island? This stylish, up-market restaurant with a toasty fireplace is the answer. With views over the harbour, friendly professional staff, and a great selection of wine and superb winter menu (especially the seafood!), you can be assured of a sophisticated and relaxing experience.
This favourite summer hang-out transforms itself into the perfect winter hang-out. Whether you are snuggling up in the intimate inside space with a blazing hearth or braving the large outdoor area (with ample heating and free-to-use comfy blankets) with views of Table Mountain, you will not be disappointed. A hearty winter menu and a ample drinks selection, as well as a perfect location on Kloof street has made Jackal & Hide is a firm local favourite come rain or shine.
Situated inside the National Botanical Gardens, this is the perfect fire-side escape to break up a day spent exploring these majestically expansive gardens. The staff at Moyo, meaning ”heart” in Swahili, will ensure you feel the true African hospitality, complete with beautiful traditional face painting (not just for the kids!) With floor to ceiling glass doors you can stay inside, sampling the food and drink from the deli or restaurant area, while still enjoying the natural beauty of Kirstenbosch.
So come rain or shine, snow, blizzard or clear blue skies – winter in Cape Town can be any of these – you can always find a cosy, fire-side corner to while away your down time.
Written by Sophia Vos