New York City is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, and one of the best ways to experience it is through live music.
From jazz to rock to indie, there are countless bars and venues throughout the city that offer an unforgettable night out. Whether you're a local or a tourist, checking out the live music scene is a must-do activity.
But with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. That's where this guide comes in.
We've scoured the city to find the best bars with live music, taking into account the quality of the performances, the atmosphere of the venue, and the overall experience.
No matter what type of music you're into, there's a bar in New York City that caters to your taste. Whether you want to catch a big-name act or discover a new up-and-coming band, there are plenty of options available.
And with so many bars located throughout the city, you're sure to find a spot that's convenient for you.
So, get ready to experience the best that New York City has to offer when it comes to live music.
Whether you're looking for a night out with friends or a romantic evening with a significant other, there's a bar with live music that's perfect for you. So, grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy some of the best live music in the world.
1. The Dead Rabbit
The Dead Rabbit is a historic Irish pub and restaurant that has a lively atmosphere with great live music.
The bar has an impressive collection of cocktails that are carefully crafted by skilled bartenders. The food is also delicious and there are plenty of small plates to choose from.
The bar has a cozy feel and is decorated with vintage photos and memorabilia.
The Dead Rabbit is a great place to visit if you want to have a good time with friends and enjoy some great music and drinks.
2. Birdland Jazz Club
Birdland Jazz Club is a long-running Theater District venue that offers a classic jazz experience. The roomy red environs and large bar create an intimate atmosphere for enjoying live music.
The Cajun-influenced food and cocktails are solid, but the real highlight is the incredible talent that takes the stage.
The quiet policy during performances is strictly enforced, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the music.
Whether you're a jazz lover or just looking for a unique night out, Birdland Jazz Club is a must-visit destination for live music in the city.
3. Tomi Jazz
Tomi Jazz is a cozy bar with live jazz music. The small space only allows for about 20 people at a time, so it's best to arrive early.
The atmosphere is intimate and dark, but the music is excellent.
The bartenders are skilled and serve up a great selection of beer, cocktails, wine, and sake.
The food is Japanese comfort food and is highly recommended. The wait can be long, but it's worth it for the music and ambiance.
4. Rockwood Music Hall
Rockwood Music Hall is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for live music in the city. With three stages and a bar, the venue offers a great selection of local bands and artists.
The intimate setting allows for an up-close and personal experience, making it a great place to catch emerging talent.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, adding to the overall positive vibe of the place. Despite the lack of food options, the drinks are reasonably priced and well-made.
Whether you're a music lover or just looking for a fun night out, Rockwood Music Hall won't disappoint.
5. The Flatiron Room NoMad
The Flatiron Room NoMad is a classy nightspot with a vintage vibe. The bar offers a collection of 750+ brown spirits and live jazz shows.
The cozy and intimate atmosphere, combined with the live band, creates a wonderful ambiance. The knowledgeable staff is friendly and always willing to recommend a tasting flight.
The food is delicious, and they serve gluten-free options. The prices are acceptable, considering the luxuriousness of the place. The only downside is that it can get a bit noisy.
Nevertheless, The Flatiron Room NoMad is a must-visit for anyone looking for a great night out with live music and good drinks.
6. Marie's Crisis Cafe
Marie's Crisis Cafe is a cozy piano bar that draws a crowd of musical theater enthusiasts with its lively sing-alongs and talented pianist. The atmosphere is accepting and welcoming, with a $3 happy hour that's a steal by NYC standards.
The bar is small and packed, but that only adds to the fun and bonding experience of singing show tunes shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers.
Proof of vaccination is required at the door, and no pictures or videos are allowed inside to encourage patrons to let loose their vocal skills.
The limited drink selection is not the main draw here, but rather the experience of belting out show tunes with a talented and engaging pianist.
Nublu is a small and intimate bar with live music. The venue has a unique center-of-the-room stage and its own record label.
The sound system has been recently upgraded, making it a great spot for both musicians and listeners. The atmosphere is hip but not pretentious, with a diverse crowd of music lovers.
The bar offers top-shelf liquor at Manhattan prices, and the bartenders are efficient. Although seating is limited, the design makes good use of the space, with a balcony and upstairs bar.
The projection wall decor adds to the ambiance. Nublu is a great place to catch up-and-coming artists and quality music in the NY underground.
8. Brandy's Piano Bar
Brandy's Piano Bar is a must-visit spot for live music lovers. This small, cozy bar features a pianist every night and the entire staff showcases their incredible musical talents.
Song requests are honored when possible, and patrons are invited to take the mic.
The service is excellent and drink prices are reasonable, especially since there's no cover. The atmosphere is lively and energetic, making it a great place for a night out with friends or a date.
Whether you're a local or just visiting, Brandy's Piano Bar is a fantastic spot for good music and great drinks.
9. Canary Club
The Canary Club is a funky hangout with a New Orleans-inspired menu and live music.
The dimly lit space has an intimate stage downstairs for music performances.
The bartenders serve up delicious cocktails and the food is highly recommended.
The atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends, and the club is a great spot to dance and enjoy the beats.
10. The Mercury Lounge
The Mercury Lounge is a legendary live music venue that has been drawing in crowds since the 90s.
The small and intimate space allows for a close-up view of the performers, creating an immersive experience for music lovers. The sound system is top-notch, making the music feel like it's vibrating through your body.
The bar is well-stocked with local beers and drinks, and the staff is friendly and attentive. While there isn't much seating, the venue's couches and upholstered benches provide a comfortable place to take a break from standing.
The Mercury Lounge is a must-visit for anyone looking for a great night out with live music.
11. Roxy Bar
Roxy Bar is a lively establishment that offers classic American dishes, hand-crafted cocktails, and live entertainment. The bar has a great atmosphere that transports visitors back to 1930s-40s NYC.
The lounge and dining area are comfortable, and the service is excellent. The musicians who play live jazz music are wonderful, and the ambiance is perfect.
The bartenders are attentive, and the drink options are endless. The menu has drink options for those who need guidance, and they also have various options for customers to request their own concocted drink.
The bar also has a pool table for customers to enjoy while listening to live music. Roxy Bar is a must-visit spot for anyone in NYC.
12. Bemelmans Bar
Bemelmans Bar is a sophisticated and upscale piano bar located in a renowned hotel. The bar is famous for its stunning murals painted by Ludwig Bemelmans.
The cozy and relaxing atmosphere paired with the incredible live jazz music makes for a perfect night out.
Although the drinks are on the pricier side, the portions are generous and the quality is exceptional.
The attentive and friendly service provided by the staff adds to the overall experience. Bemelmans Bar is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a classy and memorable night out.
13. Zinc Bar
Zinc Bar is a hidden gem for live music lovers. With a focus on jazz, the bar offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere for music enthusiasts.
The bartenders are skilled at mixing creative cocktails that complement the music. The interiors are beautiful and add to the ambiance of the place.
The performance space is great, and there's not a bad seat in the house. Although the drinks can be a bit pricey, the overall experience is worth it.
Zinc Bar is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a unique and memorable night out.
Prohibition is a lively bar with a great atmosphere and live music.
The bartenders are skilled and the drinks are well-crafted. The speakeasy in the back is a nice touch.
The main restaurant has decent live music, but it can be difficult to have conversations depending on the artist.
The staff is friendly and remembers customers. It's a fun spot to have in the neighborhood for dinner, drinks, and live music.
15. The Rum House
The Rum House is a cozy bar with live jazz music and a great selection of cocktails. The friendly staff welcomes guests to sit back and enjoy the music while sipping on classic drinks like the Sazerac.
The bar has a nice, old-school ambiance that matches the vibe of the historic hotel it's located in.
The specialty drinks, like the Star Fu**er and the Parisienne, are unique and delicious.
The live music shows are worth the slightly expensive drinks, and the atmosphere is perfect for anyone looking for a classy venue to transport them back to the roaring twenties.
16. The Winslow
The Winslow is a British gastropub with an impressive gin selection and live music.
The bar has a private room for events and a nice atmosphere with candle lighting. They offer happy hour specials on beer, wine, cocktails, and gin.
The gin flights are a must-try for gin lovers. The staff is friendly and attentive, providing helpful recommendations.
The food is delicious, and the duck wings are a customer favorite. The Winslow is a great spot for a night out with friends, a date, or a celebration.
17. Harlem Nights
Harlem Nights is a rustic bar and live music venue that offers a charming, old-timey atmosphere.
The craft cocktails and creative snacks are worth trying while enjoying the live music performances.
The staff is welcoming and friendly, making the experience even more enjoyable. The venue is small but cozy, providing an intimate setting for a night out.
If you're looking for a low-key spot with good drinks and live music, Harlem Nights is definitely worth checking out.