Durban_Night_South Africa by Ian via Flickr Creative Commons

Due to its cosmopolitan influences, South African food is often referred to as rainbow cuisine. Most urban districts have a mix of restaurants where Indian, Japanese, Moroccan, and Chinese dishes are among the menu items. Wimpy is one of the international fast-food chains with a presence here, but there are a number national ones too, with Chicken Licken the most popular. Braai is a South African barbecue. Dried meat known as biltong makes for a good snack. In Cape Town, a perennial favorite is a long stuffed roll called a Gatsby. Pubs and bars abound and can be found in even the remotest of locations ensuring an ice cold beer is never far away.

Bars and Pubbing in South Africa

As is to be expected, Cape Town is home to South Africa’s best selection of nightlife venues. The city is the location of the 200-year old Perseverance Tavern (83 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town), the oldest bar in the nation. Long Street is the hub of the action and features lots of pubs and discos with bands playing jazz and kwaito. Long Street Café (259 Long Street, Cape Town) has been a staple on the street for two decades. Private booths, sidewalk tables and mojitos to die for have garnered the café a loyal clientele. M-Bar & Lounge (38 Long Street, Cape Town) is another street venue with chic décor and prices to match.

Durban is another nightlife hotspot with something for all tastes. Studio 54 (330 Point Road, Durban) is a vibrant place to party the night away. Unity Brasserie & Bar (Silvervause Centre, 117 Vause Road, Durban) serves up craft beers, including the 6.8 percent Darling Bone Crusher. At Cool Runnings (49 Milne Street, Durban) cheap beer, long hours and reggae music keep the atmosphere laid-back.

Johannesburg’s venues are centered in Braamfontein and the student quarter of Melville. The Radium Beer Hall (282 Louis Botha Avenue, Johannesburg) epitomizes the 1920’s era of its founding. Memorabilia adorns the walls, live jazz bands keep patrons tapping their feet and cold beers quench the thirst after a long day of sightseeing. SIX Cocktail Bar (6, 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg) is more upscale, while the Troyeville Hotel (25 Bezuidenhout Street, Johannesburg) is the place to play pool, watch sports and hang out.

Dining and Cuisine in South Africa

The Troyeville Hotel (25 Bezuidenhout Street, Johannesburg) is a good restaurant with steaks, seafood and ethnic gems on the menu. Melville and 7th Street, and the downtown precinct in the environs of the Market Theater, provide diners with a choice of eateries. Twist Restaurant (54 Marshall Street, Johannesburg) has sandwiches, pasta, salads, and a full selection of meat on its a la carte menu.

The Butcher’s Block (44 Newton Street, Port Elizabeth) and The Coachman (103 Cape Road, Port Elizabeth) are two of Port Elizabeth’s most popular restaurants. Franschhoek is reputedly the connoisseur’s capital of the country. La Petite Ferme (Pass Road, Franschhoek) and the Rickety Bridge Restaurant (Main Road, Franschhoek) offer elegant dining and the best of the local wine production.

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town has a huge concentration of dining and fast food. The Sevruga (Unit 4, Quay 5, Cape Town) dishes up sushi, shellfish platters and caviar, while Wang Thai (Shop 261, Victoria Wharf, Cape Town) serves green curries and fiery delicacies straight from Southeast Asia.

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