Start with dinner and end with a dance at these restaurants

Plan your night on the town to move seamlessly from dining to dancing. Bianca Coleman took multiple shots in the dark to find the grooviest gigs in town. Only fools would miss this  The Village Idiot, for example. You’ll find it on Loop Street, a couple of blocks down from Strand. It’s been there since 2015, a true survivor of... Read more → The post Start with dinner and end with a dance at these restaurants appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

Start with dinner and end with a dance at these restaurants

Plan your night on the town to move seamlessly from dining to dancing. Bianca Coleman took multiple shots in the dark to find the grooviest gigs in town.

Only fools would miss this 

The Village Idiot, for example. You’ll find it on Loop Street, a couple of blocks down from Strand. It’s been there since 2015, a true survivor of the Cape Town nightlife scene in which places can be notoriously short-lived. On top of that, it’s as popular as it’s ever been, if not more.

Village Idiot. Picture: Supplied

Doors open at 6pm, and it’s strictly for over 21s. Also, men may not wear flip-flops, which we found out the hard way. It’s an understandable rule, though, to keep things classy (until the shooters anyway).

Sit inside at a leather upholstered booth where you’ll be watched over by the legendary Oskar the ostrich who, according to the website where you can read more about him, was hatched in the backyard of a Durban shebeen in the decadent 1980s.

‘Hand raised and bottle-fed a diet of mampoer and whisky by the local spirit distillers, Oskar naturally grew into a raging bar fly, whose antics are still revered and spoken about fondly to this day.’ You simply cannot let Oskar down.

Alternatively, there is a huge wrap-around balcony with pretty coloured fairy lights from which you can watch the antics on the street below. Inside or out, arrive early to secure a place to sit, whether it’s to get a head start on the drinking or to have something to eat. The menu is perfectly designed, offering exactly the kind of things you’ll want to scoff in this environment. 

Begin with a snack basket to share or keep to yourself. It has salt and vinegar halloumi, samoosas with your choice of filling, olives and pumpkin fritters. That halloumi, strongly seasoned, is an absolute winner, and the basket is basically a mini meal with those sugar-dusted fritters as dessert. Other choices include a biltong and local charcuterie board with cashew nuts, cranberry jam and roosterkoek; Tata Ma Chance pork ribs with sticky brandy basting; chicken wings (hot or not) and Cajun calamari – all of which can be ordered as main courses. Keep it healthy with a salad or smash a burger or pizza, both excellent drinking food choices.

On the subject of drinking, there are of course wines, beers (on tap and bottled) and shooters, lots of shooters, as well as loads of sexy cocktails, some of which you can get by the jug. This is not a bad idea because from around 8pm, the place is going to be pumping. Be prepared. The rest of your night is going to be noisy fun.

  • 32 Loop Street, Cape Town, Wednesdays to Saturdays 6pm till late, happy hour 6pm to 8pm, 021 418 1548,,

‘The busier nights are definitely all about dancing’

Save the feast for last 

Way up at the other end of town, on the outskirts of Tamboerskloof really, is The Moveable Feast. That’s on the corner of Kloof and Kloof New, above The Power And The Glory, and close to Soi Bar (which we had in our previous issue) and Publik Wine Bar, all of which make this a super cool corner of the City Bowl to have a rocking night out.

The Moveable Feast. Picture: Supplied

To reminisce a little, The Moveable Feast used to be a place called Rafiki’s, which to be fair, was somewhat downmarket from what it’s like now. It wasn’t sleazy or dodgy like, for example, Stags Head or Crowbar (which we love for exactly those reasons) but it was definitely casual. There might have been live bands if memory serves. Then it became The Moveable Feast but not the way we know it now: It was quite posh and pricey with fancy French cuisine. Today it is somewhere in between those two incarnations, opening in the late afternoon/early evening for dining; Thursdays to Saturdays, DJs pull in from 10pm until closing time.

‘The space then gets opened up and a dance floor becomes available as well as two fully operational bars, so it gets quite busy and the busier nights are definitely all about dancing,’ a spokesperson for the venue told us.

There are various interleading rooms inside the venue, and like The Village Idiot, a large wrap-around balcony with windows overlooking the busy intersection outside. If you’re really of an age, you’ll recall that there used to be a bottle store at the bottom of Kloof Nek into which trucks would frequently plough until they finally decided to close shop before anyone died.

No cocktails here but plenty of wine, beer and spirits to fuel the party spirit. The menu ranges from starters and salads to decent main courses like burgers and pizzas, and a couple of desserts. It’s all quite reasonably priced but if you’re on a budget (who the heck isn’t these days) and you want to save your rands for drinks later, there is a specials menu and most things are half price Mondays to Wednesdays.

Vegans are catered for with gnocchi with shiitake mushrooms, cashew cream sauce and mange tout, and a scrumptious burger with sweet chilli-basted plant-based patty, cashew nut cream, avo and fries. There’s plenty for vegetarians, too and, for the rest, try a steak or a sticky rib basket with fries.

More places to move and groove 

Start with dinner and drinks and end with a dance. At these restaurants, your evening is set to be revolutionary:

Utterly gorgeous and sexy in a retro style, the Trapezaria (noun: dining room) is the heart and soul of Athletic Club & Social, serving traditional Greek food in a modern setting. Begin by sharing pita breads and dips, or small plates, tuck into delicious mains and finish with baklava cigars before a night of live music and Instagram opportunities.

  • Athletic Club & Social, 35 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town, Mondays to Wednesdays 12pm to 11pm, Thursdays to Saturdays 12pm to 2am, 084 087 5566,, 

Athletic Club & Social. Picture: Supplied

Currently ranked 75 in the world (The World’s 50 Best Bars is an annual list that celebrates the best of the international drinks industry) Cause|Effect Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy bar is inspired by Cape Town’s oceans, mountains, fynbos, and vineyards with branches at the V&A Waterfront, Newlands, Stellenbosch and Camps Bay. Small plate food service is fresh, flavoursome, and delicate and complements the array of exceptional cocktails. Insanely popular on the nights with live music.

  • Cause|Effect, The Rocket Shed, 280 Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, Fridays to Thursdays 10am to 1am, Saturdays and Sundays 9am to 1am, 021 422 0266,

Cause|Effect. Picture: Supplied

Rated by Time Out Chicago as Top 5 in the Top 25 Best Rooftop Bars in the World, Chinchilla encompasses the perfect Cape Town lifestyle. A menu featuring cafe classics has been tailored to its unique location, while world-class cocktails are created by in-house mixologists. Over the weekends, the music comes alive as resident DJs are on the decks from late afternoon until sunset.

  • Chinchilla, The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, 12pm–10pm daily, 021 286 5075,,

Chinchilla. Picture: Supplied

Grub & Vine by chef Matt Manning serves refined bistro-style fare, in a relaxed, contemporary space. The Blue Room live music and cocktail lounge pays homage to the soulful sounds of jazz and the blues, open Wednesdays to Saturdays for live jazz and pre-show dinner from 6pm till late. Culture Wine Bar offers a curated selection of exciting wines for everyone from geeks to newbies. Chef Matt brings his signature flair to the snacks with modern takes on classics – who needs peanuts when you have parfait?

  • Grub & Vine, Culture Wine Bar and The Blue Room, 103 Bree Street, Cape Town, Mondays to Fridays 12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 9.30pm, Saturdays 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 9.30pm, 087 153 5244,,

Grub & Vine. Picture: Supplied

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful gardens, Incognito’s striking steel framework and modern interiors cater to local and international guests. Understatedly stylish, it makes for picturesque and vibrant cocktail parties or other events. Sliders or small plates, cocktails or champagne, you can have it all plus DJs on the weekends.

  • Incognito, The Alphen Boutique Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia, Mondays to Fridays 4pm to 11pm, Saturdays 12pm to 11pm, 021 795 6300,,

Incognito. Picture: Supplied

Chef Liam Tomlin moved his famous Chefs Warehouse across Bree Street to The Bailey, where it complements the classic French cuisine in the Brasserie. For light meals in the afternoon and early evening, head up to The Old Bailey Lounge Bar and stay for delectable cocktails and live jazz in a luxurious setting.

  • The Bailey, 91 Bree Street, Cape Town, Mondays to Saturdays Chefs Warehouse 12pm to 11.30pm, Brasserie 6pm–9.30pm, The Old Bailey Lounge Bar 3pm till late, 021 773 0440,,

The Bailey. Picture: Supplied

One of Cape Town’s most sought-after locations plays host to some of the finest sunsets in the world. The Bungalow is situated in the heart of Clifton, with uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Arrive straight from the beach for cocktails and Mediterranean-style cuisine – barefoot luxury at its best. DJs provide the ultimate sundowner experience on weekends.

  • The Bungalow, Glen Country Club, 3 Victoria Road, Clifton, 12pm to 11pm daily, 021 438 2018,,

‘It is a happy talent to know how to play.’  Ralph Waldo Emerson

For a place that really does do it all, you can’t go wrong at The House of Machines. It opens early for the coffee people, sticks around through the day with more coffee (and top shelf cocktails) supplemented by burgers, dogs, wings, fries and sides – and a burger salad – from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants upstairs. There’s live music every night, from open mics to some of South Africa’s top bands.

  • The House Of Machines, 84 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, Mondays to Fridays 7am to 2am, Saturdays 9am to 2am, 021 426 1400,,

The House Of Machines. Picture: Supplied

If you know Cape Town, you know that finding parking near where you want to go is challenging. Call an uber; have a drink; stay for a dance. 

Also read:

10 weird and wonderful cocktails to try in Cape Town

Picture: Supplied

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