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The Hottest Live Music Bars NYC Has to Offer

Live music bars are some of my favorite types of bars because they provide a great atmosphere and an awesome way to enjoy some drinks.

NYC live music bars hosting band and drinks

And live music bars in NYC are fantastic for enjoying live bands because there’s always a rotating list of artists hoping to grace the stage in the City of Dreams.

If you’re looking for where to get a drink and listen to live jams, here are some of my favorite spots in New York City that offer live music.

Cellar Dog

75 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 675-6056
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Cellar Dog is another cool, classic bar with pool tables and a relaxed vibe.

I like going to this West Village bar because they regularly have live music, and I always know what to expect from their classic bar drinks.

The Flatiron Room

37 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 725-3860
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The Flatiron Room, near the Jazz Gallery in Chelsea, is a sophisticated bar that offers incredible live jazz music.

I love going here for date night because you and your date can appreciate the music and choose from an extensive list of brown liquor beverages.

Skinny Dennis

152 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (212) 555-1212
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Skinny Dennis, close to the Nitehawk Cinema, is one of the best live music bars in NYC for lovers of honky-tonk. It’s so much fun to go here and jam out to live country music and dance the night away.

And if you’re not into dancing, there are plenty of bar games you can play, or you can just relax and talk to old and new friends over bottled or draft beer.


20 7th Ave S, New York, NY 1001
Phone: (212) 929-4360

If you’re looking for a live music bar in NYC that doesn’t compromise on the craft of the drinks just because people may be coming for other reasons, then check out LB near James J Walker Park.

The live music is quite loud, but I enjoy going here for a drink or two to appreciate the music, the intimate space for dates, and a French 75 cocktail. I’ll talk to whoever I’m with at the next bar!

Apotheke Chinatown

9 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 406-0400
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Apotheke Chinatown, located near the Museum of Chinese in America, is a great place to enjoy some live music while sipping on some expertly crafted cocktails.

I love the cocktail menu at this bar because it’s modeled after a “formula” list with each category of drinks meant to treat specific ailments, such as “stress relievers” with herbal notes, “painkillers” with strong pours, or “stimulants” with mezcal.

The Bitter End

147 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 673-7030
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The Bitter End is one of the most fun places to get drinks in the city because it’s more of a complete live music venue than a simple bar.

Near Fiorello La Guardia Park, this venue has a show every night and has been entertaining the masses since 1961.

Look up the performances ahead of time for the best experience but expect stiff drinks anytime you go.

Cherry on top

379 Suydam St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Phone: (646) 927-4911
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Cherry on top is a small, friendly rooftop bar and is such a gem in Brooklyn, near Maria Hernandez Park.

I like that this bar has a hip, airy rooftop, making it the perfect space to hang out during the day with friends and listen to live tunes. I recommend getting here a bottle of wine and snacks like brown butter ricotta toast or dry-cured chorizo.

Village Vanguard

178 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 255-4037
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Village Vanguard, near Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment in West Village, is a notable jazz club that opened in the 60s and one of the oldest. It has been delivering excellent music and drinks ever since.

I appreciate that the prices aren’t as high as I feel they could be for the area. And no matter where you sit, you get a great view of the performances.


486 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233
Phone: (718) 513-0339
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If you can’t decide whether you want great cocktails, Italian food, or live jazz music, you can get all three at LunÀtico, located close to the Garden Basket Market.

What I like about LunÀtico is how it juxtaposes the classic and contemporary – there’s something for everyone’s taste, whether you’re looking for a more traditional experience or an experimental one.

I recommend “Landing in Vienna,” as it hits the spot every time.

Rockwood Music Hall

196 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 477-4155
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Rockwood Music Hall, near Sara D. Roosevelt Park, is one of the best live music bars in NYC to see up-and-coming singer-songwriters.

There’s no food here, but you probably won’t want to eat while you have a drink in one hand and you’re waving the other hand in the air.

It’s a small venue, but I appreciate that as it provides a closer connection with the performer.

Tomi Jazz

239 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (646) 497-1254
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If you’re into jazz bars, you can’t miss the incredible Tomi Jazz, a relaxing, speakeasy-styled jazz club in Midtown East.

It’s a great setting for a date night or a small group hangout, as you can sip on whiskey, particularly Japanese whiskey, and listen to live music every day of the week.

Just note that there’s a $10 cover alongside the usual $10 minimum spend on the weekends.

Pete’s Candy Store

709 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 302-3770
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You’re in for a real treat if you visit Pete’s Candy Store! It’s not an actual candy store but a fun, lively bar offering all sorts of entertainment, including spelling bees, trivia nights, and live bands.

This bar, near the John Piano Museum, has a very offbeat, quirky vibe that I love, and I always go for the open mic nights on Sundays to hear what people have to say, sing or laugh about.

Nublu Classic

62 Loisaida Ave, New York, NY 10009
Phone: (646) 546-5206
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Nublu Classic is an intimate jazz and world music club near Hamilton Fish Park with a cool vibe and excellent live music.

The drink menu is limited, but just enough to work in combination with the live music performances.

Marie’s Crisis Café

59 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 470-6040
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One West Village gem is called Marie’s Crisis Café, a piano bar where you can sing your heart out with zero judgment and all the support.

This LGBTQ+-friendly establishment is jam-packed with Broadway lovers and die-hard thespians that unite in the love of show tunes.

It gets pretty packed, but that only adds to the fun of the experience.

St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club

345 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 384-4808
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St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club, located in Williamsburg near the Williamsburg Music Center, is a groovy, trendy spot of live music joint with different areas to suit different interests and tastes.

I like hanging out in the outdoor space during the day but also enjoying the early 20th-century vibes on the inside while listening to the live performances.

Terraza 7

40-19 Gleane St, Queens, NY 11373
Phone: (347) 808-0518
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Literary and film enthusiasts will love Terraza 7 if they haven’t already heard about it.

This live music bar near Linden Court Garden is known for its film screenings, literary events, and live music performances that attract artsy locals every night of the week.

I recommend attending one of their karaoke nights or coming in for a jazz show.

Fine & Rare

9 E 37th St, New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 725-3866
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Fine & Rare, close to The Morgan Library & Museum, is fine dining at its best and liveliest. They have an incredible menu and a list of drinks.

I love all of their signature cocktails, but the blackberry flavor Gimlet drink is my go-to.

Bar Belly

14 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (917) 488-0943
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If you’re between Chinatown and the Lower East Side location, you’d be remiss not to visit Bar Belly for a few cocktails, oysters, and fantastic live music.

Given the sophisticated, upscale-looking atmosphere, I was surprised that they had a $1 oyster happy hour, but I was supremely happy about it! But if you’re going for the live jazz, make sure to visit between Wednesday and Saturday.

The Wolfhound

38-14 30th Ave., Astoria, NY 11103
Phone: (718) 204-2111
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The Wolfhound seems at first like a classic Irish pub, but it has a more modern, updated feel and vibe, perhaps due to its creative cocktails and live music nights.

But similar to most pubs, this Astoria bar has an excellent happy hour, so I recommend going there to get $5 select drafts or $6 beer with a shot before enjoying the live band.

Blue Note Jazz Club

131 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 475-8592
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Blue Note Jazz Club, near Washington Square Park, is intimate and straightforward yet iconic in every sense.

The food and drinks are okay, but what you’re really going for are the incredible jazz concerts. Make sure to get there early if you want a good seat! And be prepared for a minimum spend.

Baby’s All Right

146 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 599-5800
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Baby’s All Right is a fun, hip live music venue, restaurant, and bar in Williamsburg, near the Williamsburg Music Center.

There are many great times of the week to hit up this bar, including weekend brunch for tasty egg dishes and some mimosas, during the week for drink specials, and of course, in the evenings on the weekends for ticketed shows.


503 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 579-3100
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Prohibition, near the Bard Art Gallery located in Manhattan, is a classy jazz supper club with live performances each night and a friendly, vibrant crowd to go with it.

I don’t expect the food to be great at live music bars because that’s not what they’re prioritizing, but Prohibition’s food menu is to die for!

They have seafood, burgers, tacos, quesadillas, and everything in between.


224 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
Phone: (212) 353-3780
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Mona’s is an easygoing bar in East Village near Tompkins Square Park.

When there’s no live music, it’s still a fun bar to hang out at with friends due to the jukebox tunes, skeeball, and pool table.

Canary Club

303 Broome St, New York, NY 10002
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Canary Club is in an artsy neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, near amazing galleries like Spring Studio, Shelter Gallery, and Derek Eller Gallery.

As expected, this bar has an arty feel to it as well, inspired by New Orleans in design, menu items, and musical performances.

The Nines

9 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 421-5575
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If you’d prefer to visit a super-swanky live music bar and appreciate a place with a sophisticated dress code, check out The Nines near NYU.

The bartenders are great, and I usually ask them to surprise me when it comes to the cocktails, but I always order a side of caviar.

Saint Tuesday

24 Cortlandt Alley, New York, NY 10013
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Saint Tuesday is a dim yet delicately decorated bar with a diverse array of live music performances and a concise list of cocktails.

I appreciate not having too many options in this Lower Manhattan speakeasy-style bar so I can make a quicker choice and return to enjoying the jams.


158 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 505-3733
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Pianos is another gorgeously designed Lower Manhattan establishment near the Tenement Museum.

It has an old-school piano bar vibe with a select list of bar bites like red wine burgers and fried calamari.

Saint Vitus Bar

1120 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
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If you’re into heavy metal, check out Saint Vitus Bar located in Greenpoint.

They frequently have live metal sets, and I try to go on those nights for the best time, but either way, I can’t resist their drink specials like the Archbishop.


2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10030
Phone: (212) 690-7807
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Shrine is a multipurpose venue located in Harlem, near the Apollo Theater.

This spot is fantastic for celebrating a special occasion because of its live art performances, funky and dimly-lit interiors, and exceptional atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

You probably already assumed that there are hundreds of fun and popular places to go out in this massive city, but I hope I helped you realize how many live music bars in NYC you might be interested in visiting.

Do you have a favorite live music bar that you’d like to share? Drop its name in the comments below!

Best Live Music Bars in NYC

  1. Cellar Dog
  2. The Flatiron Room
  3. Skinny Dennis
  4. LB
  5. Apotheke Chinatown
  6. The Bitter End
  7. Cherry on top
  8. Village Vanguard
  9. LunÀtico
  10. Rockwood Music Hall
  11. Tomi Jazz
  12. Pete’s Candy Store
  13. Nublu Classic
  14. Marie’s Crisis Café
  15. St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club
  16. Terraza 7
  17. Fine & Rare
  18. Bar Belly
  19. The Wolfhound
  20. Blue Note Jazz Club
  21. Baby’s All Right
  22. Prohibition
  23. Mona’s
  24. Canary Club
  25. The Nines
  26. Saint Tuesday
  27. Pianos
  28. Saint Vitus Bar
  29. Shrine
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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