The city of Mindelo, Cape Verde's second biggest city, is known as the 'cultural capital' of the country. Mindelo has earned this reputation because of the many events and festivals it hosts each year. It is also the city of Cesaria Evora, the incredible artist responsible for making music genres such as Morna and Coladeira travel the entire world.
Many people visit Mindelo hoping to find a special spot where they can enjoy the music they have heard Cesaria sing on the radio and on her records. The city sure has these places, and to make your search easier we've listed a few of the best nightlife spots around the city.
It's not hard to find a live music event in Mindelo, especially on weekends. A lot of restaurants and hotels will have quality events from Friday to Sunday, some even daily. A few places in the city center with frequent quality events are Restaurant Cocktail, Hotel Royal and Casa Café Mindelo. However, in this list I'm only covering local café's and bars.
Morada, Mindelo's city center
“The best musical, creative and entertainment space in Mindelo”. That's how Nhô Djunga presents itself to its visitors. This spot is a livraria (bookstore) and bar in one. The music events used to be organised in a more spontanous manner, where you could not be sure if the would be people playing or not. Since the beginning of 2019, after a renovation, Nhô Djunga started to work with a agenda for her live music events.
Now, you can enjoy talented groups playing from Thursday to Sunday. Not all these events have free entry. In some cases Nhô Djunga has a cover charge of up to CVE 300 (and this can be higher depending on who's playing). Even without live music this certainly is a must if you're looking to have a cold beer in a great place.
Location: Rua Senador Vera Cruz (just 150m from Praça Nova)
This new 'alternative' spot has turned out to be a real asset for nightlife in Mindelo. The place is run by two artists, which really shows when you enter Bombu Mininu. The design of the bar is unique, and there is something to see everywhere you look.
It's not just about the interior design at Bombu Mininu. The events hosted by 'Bombu' are different from events in other spots in Mindelo. From movie nights to outdoor music and theatre events, this is the place to be for an authentic local Cape Verdean experience.
Location: Rua São João (300m from Rua de Lisboa)
Just a few minutes from Nhô Djunga, located on the Av. Baltasar Lopes in Mindelo's city center. Jazzy Bird can easily be recognised by the beautiful mural with bright colors on the entrance side.
The events are usually outside, on the small side walk terrace. If you happen to pass by Jazzy Bird, and see the equipment being dragged outside, make sure to ask what time the band will start playing.
For the owner, Voo, Jazz is life. He is one of the founders of the Mindelo Jazz Festival, and a true ambassador of the genre on the island. Jazzy Bird is a unique option in Mindelo's nightlife circuit.
Location: Av. Baltasar Lopes
Laginha Beach, Avenida Marginal
From the same owners of the Fund' Mar Pizzeria Restaurant in the city center. Ote Level, located on the other side of Caravela, is a great place where you can have tasty cocktails and good food. It has amazing live music events. The events of Ote Level usually are focused on more modern genres of music, such as reggae.
If you're in Mindelo on weekends head out to Ote Level, because it might not be there for long. It is said that the building will have to dissapear to make room for the Four Points Hotel by Sheraton soon.
Location: Laginha Beach, Av. Marginal
One of Mindelo's most famous spots. Right now, Caravela is practically the only 'Disco' in Mindelo with a regular schedule. Each weekend, hundreds of people visit the Caravela Club to dance the night away on Zouk, Kizomba and Afro House (among others).
During the day you can visit Caravela for a late breakfast, lunch and dinner. With its prefect location right on Laginha Beach, it's also a great place for a nice cold drink. On weekends you can head out to the Esplanada (terrace) of Caravela for live music sessions. These events are usually a warm up for the night as people often go dancing in the Club downstairs.
Location: Laginha Beach, Av. Marginal
Live music in Mindelo is definitely not just about the city center. Other places with great live music events on weekends down at Laginha Beach are Bar Holanda and Bar Laginha. Whatever you decide to do, the city has you covered. Especially on weekends, you have a lot of great options. It's up to you to make the right choice. Enjoy!
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