The weekend is upon us, and while Cape Town is a fairly queer-inclusive city, there are still spaces its LGBTQIA+ communities prefer over others. Whether these particular spaces have queer owners or are simply more inclusive than most, here are some bars to check out.

The Raptor Room

This proudly queer safe space is located within Cape Town’s CBD and is easily recognizable for its big rainbow painted onto the sidewalk outside.

“The Raptor Room firmly supports the protection of all. We believe in creating a space that is first and foremost a sanctuary for queer community, but also safe place for all patrons & staff At The Raptor Room we practice social distancing, we love a good bedazzled mask and we follow the Covid regulations to ensure everyone not only feels safe but is safe,” its official website reads.

On any given night, you can find a karaoke evening taking place as well as the occasional drag or burlesque show. Keep an eye out for their specials, which include both meals and drinks.

Address: 79 Roeland St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town

Zer021 Rooftop

The Zer021 bar everyone remembers fondly began as a tiny lounge in Green Point in 2012. Since then, it has moved to Zonnebloem and now has a new location in the Foreshore District.

Here, you can be spoiled to regular drag brunches or a lovely cocktail as you look out over the city.

“With the business moving to the new and face changing Zonnebloem area within Cape Town’s CBD, so the massive number of loyal and regular patronage followed. Today, Zer021 Social represents a brand that believes in freedom of expression, fun and love. With regular performances by Drag Performers, music entertainment by resident and guest Deejays the venue has grown in size and status to one of the forefront entertainment venues in Cape Town,” the venue’s website reads.

Address: 160 Sir Lowry Road, Buchanan Square


This resto-bar is known for its regular drag shows, affordable drinks and delicious food with hearty portions. Here, any and everyone is welcomed with open arms and a warm smile, and the owner Roberto can be seen going around to various tables and personally checking that his guests are having a good time.

This is quite a popular spot in Woodstock, and even when there are no drag performers, there are often still live singers or DJs performing, even on a quiet night.

Address: 330 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Café Manhattan

This spot is one of Cape Town’s most established queer bars, and is popular for its delicious bar snacks as well as its welcoming atmosphere.

Keep an eye out for their famous 2-4-1 specials on beers and wines, and while you’re at the bar, make sure to get their bobotie spring rolls.

Address: 74 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant

Picture: Unsplash

Article written by

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.