Life’s a Beach: The Best BEACH BARS in Cape Town

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Image Credit The Grand Africa (Facebook)

Choices, choices, choices … Capetonians and visitors to the Mother City alike have a frustrating dilemma to contend with: there’s simply not enough time to visit the countless beaches and beach bars on offer in and around the city. Two scintillating coastlines – the trendy Atlantic Seaboard and the stunning Northern Atlantic Seaboard – both contain beaches to suit every mood: glamorous ones for sporting designer bodies and bikinis, secluded ones where you can snuggle up in your kikoi and watch the waves, and every conceivable variation in between … On top of that, the way the Cape Peninsula’s geography works, one also has the option to choose an orientation that will either let you watch the sun set, or rise, over the water. The choice is entirely yours!

Then there is a plethora of beach bars on offer, just to complicate things further. Are you after a sunset beach buzzing with glamorous people or a romantic spot with your loved one and a bottle of bubbly? Cocktails and seafood with an ambience? Breakfast on a sandy beach bar before hitting the waves for a surf? Chilled deep house music or just the sound of the waves crashing? Truth is, pristine white sand underfoot, the glorious African sun above, fresh sea air and unobstructed views of the shimmering ocean are guaranteed wherever you choose to find yourself.

I have to admit it was tough to make a selection of just a few of these beauties, and believe me, it was even tougher to try them all out on your behalf. On a serious note (as serious as things ever get in laid-back Cape Town) I hope you enjoy my shortlist of quintessential beach bars in and around the city.

Whichever option tickles your fancy, these beach bars don’t need to transport you to a different world. You’re already there! Honestly – just feel the sand under your feet, let the soft breeze tickle your skin and smell the freshness of the Atlantic Ocean spray …


1. The Grand Africa

The mother of all laid-back glam beach bars, The Grand Africa, sizzles with an endless summer vibe. It’s on this private beach where the free-spirited, the bold and the beautiful congregate, dressed to the hilt in strappy sandals (and even strappier bits-of-nothing) and designer sunglasses, draping themselves over the ruby red lip-shaped couch for a sundowner selfie. White sea sand underfoot, a huge mirrored disco ball for added oomph and self-indulgent Indian day beds to recline on while sipping a Porn Star Martini, lazily savouring the freshly caught Tempura Prawns … A mix of vintage Sade and the sounds of the waves intermingle to let you forget about all the stresses of the real world and let you chill from head to toe … relax … relax …

No need to say more, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

(Do check out the legendary cocktail menu:, Instagram grandafricacollection


Image Credit The Grand Africa | Sun, sea and sand. All that’s missing is you!


Image Credit The Grand Africa (Facebook) | Time to chill!


Image Credit The Grand Africa | Waiters in panama hats dote on you here


Image Credit The Grand Africa (Facebook) | Choices, choices!


Image Credit Haas Collective | The Grand Africa’s famous private beach


Image Credit The Grand Africa (Facebook) | The perfect spot for life’s little (and big) celebrations


Image Credit The Grand Africa (Instagram) | Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails!


2. Cape to Cuba

A ‘Deep South’ (Cape Town speak for 25 min drive from the inner city in the direction of the Peninsula) institution, this Cuban-inspired spot of pure hedonistic fabulousness is an unforgettable experience. Sea sand, Cuban music and an interior so intriguing that guests simply can’t stop photographing themselves against the exotic backdrops and props. You’ll taste Havana in this chandelier-filled beach hut! Hang out with Che Gevarra, drink a Libre cocktail, eat some Cajun food and smoke a Cohiba cigar while enjoying the most spectacular views over the Kalk Bay harbour. (Incidentally, the first Mojito in South Africa was made right here under the watchful gaze of Fidel Castro himself.) More authentic than that you’re not going to get …

Viva Cape to Cuba!, Instagram capetocubarestaurant


Image Credit Cape To Cuba (Facebook) | A view over the harbour at Kalk Bay


Image Credit Cécile Paul | The legendary Cape To Cuba Restaurant


Image Credit Cape To Cuba (Facebook) | The exotic interior of Cape To Cuba


3. Shimmy Beach Club

Want to dance in the sand all day? With its perennial holiday vibe this upmarket, swanky and uber glam destination for fun-seeking Capetonians and visitors alike offers a private beach, gorgeous pool, easy chairs and views across the ocean to Robben Island, with Table Mountain as its backdrop. Sun bathe on the sand, dip your toes in the ocean, order your Jack On The Rocks to wash down your sushi while being treated to live music by one of Cape Town’s legendary DJs. This place is hot, hot, hot! All that’s missing is you., Instagram shimmybeach


Image Credit Shimmy Beach Club (Instagram) | Relax at the infinity pool with views over the V&A Waterfront


Image Credit Shimmy Beach Club (Instagram) | Beautiful people at Shimmy!


Image Credit Shimmy Beach Club (Instagram) | Forget all your worries here and float away!


Image Credit Shimmy Beach Club (Instagram) | Champagne with desert?


4. Tintswalo Atlantic

Rejuvenate and destress in this idyllic setting – here the days are long and lazy! At the foot of world famous Chapman’s Peak Drive, well within the beautiful Table Mountain National Park and perched above a stunning pebbled beach – water lapping at your feet – lies this gem of a location. To say the panoramic views are simply spectacular doesn’t do justice to this exquisite hideaway. Often described as the most romantic and dramatic location in Southern Africa, Tintswalo Atlantic invites you to you swim in their balmy heated pool (or in the Atlantic Ocean if you’re brave), savour gourmet food and award-winning wine while being doted on and pampered, no end. Enjoy sundowners with the late afternoon sun hanging over the horizon of the majestic Atlantic Ocean … I guarantee you’ll have forgotten all life’s problems within split seconds of setting foot on the pure white sea sand at this extraordinary place – all will be washed away instantly by the sound of the waves lapping on the beach.


Image Credit Tintswalo Atlantic | Dramatic views over the Atlantic Ocean from the deck at Tintswalo


Image Credit Tintswalo Atlantic | Feel the waves lap under the deck while sipping a cocktail


Image Credit Tintswalo Atlantic | Spectacular views, sounds and smells from this private beach


Image Credit Tintswalo Atlantic | Tasting the sea spray – bliss for all the senses!


5. Cafe Caprice

Sitting squarely on Camps Bay’s legendary palm-lined promenade, Café Caprice is where film stars and famous sport stars rub shoulders with gorgeous Capetonians. Here DJs spin chilled deep house music while its glamorous clientele sip their artisan cocktails and plan their weekends. Here old friends meet up, cyclists stop for a bite and surfers pause for lunch before they venture back into the waves. Sitting on the sidewalk or inside the cool interior this is the perfect spot for watching the beautiful people and their pooches stroll on the beach while you wait for yet another dazzling sunset over Camps Bay’s glistening waves. This vibrant café is curiously laid-back and vibrant at the same time, somehow its energy never ceases. Being part of the Caprice crowd doesn’t disappoint either! Dress up and be early – seats are in high demand, always., Instagram CafeCaprice


Image Credit Café Caprice (Instagram) | This place rocks!


Image Credit Café Caprice | The place to be seen!


6. Dunes Restaurant

If you fancy having your Eggs Benedict with uninterrupted views over a gloriously scenic bay flanked by mountains, look no further than this Hout Bay institution that is, in fact, right on the beach. Meet friends for lunch, sit back on the comfy diners and catch up on the week’s happenings while swallowing down your gourmet fish & chipswith a cold craft beer. This place is super relaxed and famous for its crowd of bohemians and earth lovers alike. Kiddies are very welcome – there is a wonderfully secure play patch where they can enjoy themselves while their parents are doing adult-talk! Enjoy the sun rise over the ocean, watch the whales (when in season), the surfers, paddle ski-ers and beautiful beach bodies before you take a stroll just a few yards from your seat to join them on the pristine beach., Instagram duneshoutbay


Image Credit Dunes (Instagram) | Views over spectacular Hout Bay from Dunes Restaurant


Image Credit Dunes (Instagram) | You’re 10 steps away from white sand, sun and sea!


7. Radisson Blu’s Tobago Restaurant

It’s no wonder Tobago Restaurant is named Best Seaside Bar by House and Garden magazine … with sweeping views over Cape Town’s harbour and stunning Table Bay, this elegant and super glamorous venue has achieved legendary status amongst locals and visitors alike. To say the restaurant is literally on the beach is not an exaggeration – you’re so close to the dolphins and seals you’re watching, it feels as if you could reach out and touch them! A designer food menu (how does The Finest Catch topped with nori and black cardamom foam sound?) and the extraordinary drinks menu keep you fed and watered in style while you recline on a deckchair, enjoying the out-of-this-world views. The heated rim-flow pool also needs sampled, so don’t even think about leaving!


Image Credit Radisson Blu | The infinity pool at night


Image Credit Radisson Blu


Image Credit Radisson Blu | Views + sea breeze = pure bliss!

Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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