If you’re lucky enough that your time in Cape Town falls on the first Thursday of the month, then there is only one place to be from 5pm that evening onwards – and that is anywhere on the map of First Thursday locations.
First Thursdays is a global phenomenon. It started in London and now happens in many cities around the world, including Cape Town and more recently Johannesburg. Cape Town has a particularly vibrant art scene. From upcoming township artists to the more traditional works of established creatives, there is a colour for every art enthusiast.
The main objective of First Thursdays is to make all this art more accessible and so you’ll find most galleries open until 9pm (some may close at 8), and the streets full of people taking it all in.
What starts with viewing of art and enjoying some street music usually carries over into a dinner at one of the great restaurants nearby and even a late-night party at one of the great dance spots around the corner.
Restaurants can get really full on First Thursdays. Some don’t take bookings but run waiting lists that can cause hours-long delays in getting to a table. Ask Germán for advice here and let us book somewhere suitable, because you definitely want to experience everything that this social-calendarhighlight has to offer.
What we like to do is start our evening off at Open Wine, a small, cute wine shop at 72 Wale Street. From there we work our way downtown, criss-crossing up and down the narrow side streets. Our favourite galleries are Ebony, Smith Studio, The Cape Gallery, 99 on Loop and Chandler House. We also love ending up at La Parada after going to the galleries, for some tasty tapas, great drinks and an amazing vibe. HQ is another favourite eatery too – they often have a DJ playing and the best sirloin in Cape Town.
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