When in Cape Town and Durban, your option for sundowners usually includes a beautiful coastal view to gaze upon as you leisurely sip your beverage of choice.  Though Johannesburg is too far inland to enjoy the same sunset splendors, it does offer plenty of class, glamour, and glitz when it comes to bonding with friends over cocktails or a beer with mates.

So if you’re wondering where to go on a Friday night, check out these bars and beer gardens, scattered throughout the city of gold.

A gorgeous cocktail. By Kerstin Wellekotter (Flickr)

  1. Cosy – Six Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, Melville

Six is a cosy bar come restaurant that only comes alive after twilight falls, but it certainly deserves a visit if you’re in the area during the day, as they have a 2-for-1 cocktail special running from 12:00pm – 19:00pm daily. With soft upbeat tunes playing, a diverse crowd who consider it their local hangout, and over 60 drinks on the menu, you’ll definitely lose track of time in the friendly, laid back atmosphere. They have large, plush sofas, soft red accents, and eclectic art on the walls, which compliments their rather diverse menu that includes dishes from around the world such as nachos and springrolls. To book a table, call: 083-623-7950.

Steak and wedges. (C) TravelGround

  1. European Chic – Beach Blanket Bohemia, Sunninghill

With eclectic décor, a trendy European atmosphere, and quite an elegant indoor dining area with crystal chandeliers and a fireplace, Beach Blanket Bohemia is the ideal place to enjoy good cocktails, and incredible Mediterranean foods. Live music is offered throughout the week, and if you’re only after cocktails and a chat, then a drink on the terrace, as you bathe in the fading golden sunlight, is a must! Menu items range from fried camembert, beef carpaccio and lamb kebabs, to tiger prawns, New York sirloin, and crème brulee.  To book a table, call: 011-234-2714.

Michelangelo Hotel cocktails. (C) TravelGround

  1. Luxurious – Il Ritrovo Lounge and Bar, Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton

If you’re looking to impress your family or work colleagues, look no further than the elegant Il Ritrovo, set within the 5-star Michelangelo hotel. With a lush interior that includes leather couches, Italian artworks, piano music, and plenty of distinguished patrons, this is the perfect place to spend an unforgettable, classy evening. Light snacks, canapés, and pastries are available, as are incredible milkshakes with flavours such as nougat and lemon meringue. Cocktails include classic favourites such as martinis and cosmopolitans. To book a table, call: 011-282-7000.

Steak sandwich prego roll. By Katherine Lim (Flickr)

  1. Homey – Stanley Beer Yard, Stanley Avenue

With an unpretentious attitude, reflected in the shabby-chic tables, rustic décor, and friendly service, Stanley Beer Yard is one of the top spots to go to for some good conversation with friends, while sipping on some truly great craft beers! They offer live music from Thursday – Saturdays, with the talented Dave Ferguson and Sannie Fox often gracing their stage. Craft beers to look out for are Spruce Tip Stout, Steph Weiss, and Brewers & Union, while foods include mushroom and halloumi burgers, as well as prego rolls. Those after cocktails should consider going elsewhere, as the only spirits onsite are vodka, whiskey, and tequila. To book a table, call: 011-482-5791.

The perfect Martini. By Will Keightley (Flickr)

  1. Trendy – Cafe Della Salute, Sandton

Cafe Della Salute is a little Italian restaurant that serves amazing traditional Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta, alongside South African steaks. They are situated along the perimeter of the vibrant Nelson Mandela Square, and they have become quite the place to see and be seen . Their build-your-own breakfasts are immensely popular, and when evening falls, the rich interior décor is beautifully complimented by their long list of gem-like house cocktails, including the earthy Thyme and Time again and the Vanilla Granadilla & Candyfloss Martini. The barmen are friendly, the atmosphere is fun, and the food is delightful. To book a table, call 011-784-2145.

Which other bars and beer gardens in Joburg do you think should be on this list?

Main image credited to Nico Roets (Flickr)