Joburg nightlife - Bar crawling in Maboneng

12 May 2017

With its many bars laid out among cafés, boutiques, galleries and other attractions and all neatly contained within a handful of city blocks, the downtown precinct of Maboneng is an ideal place for a bar crawl. For maximum atmosphere, Friday and Saturday evenings or Sunday afternoons are the best time to go. Here's a suggested route for bar hopping through the area.

Start with ice-cold jam jar cocktails at the The Hideout, part of the laidback and super-friendly backpackers hostel Curiocity. Curiocity also has its own tour company, MainStreetWalks, that leads underground pub crawls to bars, pubs and shebeens in Maboneng and the surrounding areas, that will take you beyond the simple route outlined here.

Heading down Fox Street stop in at Chalkboard Café, a craft beer bar and pizzeria adjoining Maboneng’s independent cinema The Bioscope. On the rooftop of the same building is Living Room, a veritable garden in the sky that is also an ideal place to watch the sun set. Take a right on Albrecht Street and drop in for a glass of wine at the petite art gallery and bar SoMa. Around the corner try vodka from across the globe at Lenin’s Vodka Bar.

Across the street from Lenin's is The Cosmopolitan, a Victorian era hotel that has been transformed into a wine bar, restaurant, coffee shop, art gallery and boutique shopping space. Two doors down look for the sign leading to Poolside, a small urban courtyard with a swimming pool and poolside bar.

For a grungy antidote to Maboneng’s cool scene head to the zebra-striped building one block over that is home to Zebra Inn (you'll need to ring the bell to get in, the bar is upstairs), a scruffy but memorable destination filled with the owner’s extensive collection of taxidermied animal heads. A five-minute drive up Albertina Sisulu Road is The Troyeville Hotel pub, usually filled with regulars watching sport. The adjoining restaurant is a superb place to end up for delicious Portuguese-style food like peri-peri chicken livers and grilled prawns.

Associated Venues

The Hide Out

 Curiocity Backpackers, 302 Fox St, cnr Auret St, Maboneng, City Centre

Living Room

 20 Kruger St (the Main Change building 5th floor), Maboneng, City Centre


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