Joburg is known for its spectacular sunsets, and the longer evenings and warmer weather is a perfect excuse to relax and kickback with a sundowner. We bring you a list of 10 spots in the city where you can unwind with a cocktail and tasty nibbles, while watching the sun set over Jozi’s skyline.
Where better to watch the sun set than from the 57th floor of Africa’s highest urban bar? At 234 metres tall, The Leonardo is one of the most iconic hotels dotting the Sandton skyline and Alto234, its newest rooftop bar, is the place to be to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city – and of the sunset. For R300 per person, you can “check in” to the top, while sipping on your complimentary glass of Moët & Chandon champagne. With seven different outdoor seating areas to choose from, ranging from intimate dining to larger lounge spaces ideal for groups, plus a Moët & Chandon bar in the centre, Alto234 is the perfect spot to grab a sundowner and stay to watch the city bathed in moonlight. Alto234’s Afternoon Experience can be enjoyed from 12.30 to 3:30pm, the Sunset Experience is from 4 to 6:30pm, and the Night Light Experience is from 7 to 11pm. Patrons can enjoy Moët Mini champagne bottles with golden sippers from the Moët Mini Machine. Additionally, there is an extensive wine menu boasting international and South African wines, as well as an eclectic cocktail list, featuring popular concoctions such as What’s Poppin, Tropic Sours and Flora. To accompany the drinks, guests can enjoy an assortment of bar nibbles such as wagyu beef sliders, wagyu beef biltong, West Coast oysters, pulled pork tacos and mini poke bowls. Alto234 can accommodate 100 patrons outdoors, under current lockdown regulations. For reservations, visit www.alto234.co.za.
Located on the sixth floor of Sandton Sun Hotel, San Deck Bar & Restaurant offers a breathtaking view of the Sandton skyline from the rooftop bar. This is a great spot to soak in the sunset with a sundowner in hand, which can be enjoyed till the bar closes at 10pm. San Deck is currently running a Belvedere promotion, which is available from 11am till closing, in addition to a range of wines, beers and cocktails that include popular ones such as Summer in the City and Violet Martini. To quell the hunger pangs, order the 1kg fried chicken wings or the grilled prawns. From Thursdays to Sundays, you can also enjoy live music with the resident DJ playing from 5 to 9pm.
The rooftop bar with its extensive pool deck at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel is the place to be on Friday afternoons, to enjoy sunset views of the city, drink in hand. From 2 to 10pm on Fridays, guests can enjoy foot-tapping deep house music, courtesy of resident DJ Chase and a guest DJ. Popular thirst-quenchers include cocktails such as the Woodford Old Fashioned, El Jimador margarita, and Hendrick’s original G&T, with sharing platters such as BBQ marinated chicken wings braaied on an open fire and beer-battered fish and chips. For something more substantial, try the Central One Sharing Board for two, featuring grilled beef rump, peri-peri basted half baby chicken with rosemary-garlic buttered baby potatoes, seasonal mixed vegetables and Greek salad, with two glasses of Bayede merlot. For reservations, email email@example.com.
With a spacious outdoor terrace boasting spectacular views of the Johannesburg skyline, Flames is a great spot to rejuvenate with a drink after a long day. Sundowners are served daily from Monday to Sunday from 3 to 6pm, with accompanying live entertainment courtesy of a saxophonist or DJ from Friday to Sunday. The cocktails to try include Violet Daze and One in a Melon, with wagyu sliders and bourbon chicken wings to munch on, among other tasty bites.
The enormous pool deck with captivating rooftop views is what makes Island Bar one of the best sundowner spots in Jozi. Cradle a crafted cocktail while taking a dip, or lounge in a deck chair, watching the orange glow of the setting sun. Drinks are served daily till 10:30pm and include bestselling cocktails the PornStar Martini and Mango Tango, with dunked wings and the braai platter for two being hot-selling bar nibbles. Every Friday and Saturday, guests can enjoy live DJ music.
Located in the heart of Johannesburg, Séjour at The Houghton Hotel offers sweeping views of the city and surrounds from its terrace, overlooking the golf course. This is one of the most relaxing and tranquil spots to enjoy a sundowner while watching the sunset. Patrons can choose from a wide cocktail selection, including bestsellers such as the Cucumber Mamba, Tonka Bean Martini and Glassy AF. The Pioneer menu offers a selection of small plates to go with the drinks, with popular picks being the calamari, fries and chickpea-and-spinach dumplings. Drinks are available from Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 12 to 10pm, and on Sundays from 12 to 4pm. For reservations, call 011 032 5535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arguably boasting one of the best rooftop views of the city, Crafters View Rooftop Bar, which reopened just last month with an all-new look, is definitely one of the best sundowner spots in Joburg. Sundowners are offered daily from 12 to 10pm and can be enjoyed from the 360-degree viewing platform in all-glass surroundings, with a roof that can be opened up. Known for its craft beers on tap including the popular Leffe Blonde, Rogue Pony, Light Lager, Just Beer and Bone Crusher, the bar also offers imported and local beers by the bottle, affordable bespoke wines, and a wide range of shooters, spritzers, gin and cocktails, including popular ones such as the Crafter’s Ginger Dawa, The Hugo, frozen margaritas and negronis. Off the menu, new cocktails make an appearance every week, and on the last weekend of each month, a selection of the most exclusive wines are served by the glass. Popular bar nibbles and small plates to go with the drinks include twice-fried potato chips, labneh with homemade rosemary crisp breads, baked feta and olives, olive tapenade with ciabatta, deep-fried marinated olives, and sliced biltong or dry wors.
Nestled in the leafy neighbourhood of Birdhaven, The Gourmet Grocer (formerly Voodoo Lily) is known for its spacious outdoor seating, boasting beautiful sunset views. Sundowners can be enjoyed from Mondays to Fridays from 3 to 7pm and includes offers such as a 1-for-1 on all cocktails, beers, wines and bubbly, as well as one-litre bubbly cocktail jugs such as the French 75, Peach Prosecco Punch, Bubbly Mojito, Lily Swizzle and Gourmet Flower. Small plates to accompany the drinks include spicy chicken livers with toasted pita, nutty baked spicy chicken wings, olives, hummus and toasted pita, and grilled halloumi fingers. Cheese and charcuterie boards for two are also popular.
With outdoor seating offering enchanting sunset views and the longest happy “hour” in the city, Six Cocktail Bar is not just another watering hole. The bar’s happy hour runs daily from 10:30am to 7pm, with a 2-for-1 cocktail special. With over 75 cocktails to choose from, the must-try ones include The Haka, Absinthe Without Leave (AWOL) and Empire. These can be enjoyed with a wide selection of tapas, pizzas and mains, the bestselling bite being the decadent nachos with a choice of chicken, mince, vegetarian or plain, served with three sauces and topped with jalapeños and cheese. The venue also hosts salsa dancing every Sunday from 3:30 to 8:30pm, which is open to all patrons.
Situated in the bustling environs of Illovo, Hogshead is the place to kick back with a beer or cocktail and watch the sunset from the open-air terrace. The bar offers Sundowner Craft On Tap Specials and cocktail specials that run daily from 4 to 8pm. During this time, all cocktails are available for R59 each, while craft draught and craft blends are available for R35 per 500ml serving. Hogshead’s most popular drink is BrewHogs Craft On Tap #24, a blend of red lager and IPA. To accompany the drinks, guests can partake of the sharing Hogs Board or a variety of other small plates. All special offers are available to Hogs Loyalty App members only, so download the Hogshead mobile app to enjoy these deals. On Sundays, Hogshead showcases live sport in HD on its massive screens.