New York City is home to some of the greatest music venues in the world–Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall may ring a bell–but it also has a bustling nightlife scene that proves a well-known venue is not the only place to enjoy great live music. Whether you like to boogie down to country music or have your main character moment sipping on fancy wine while jazz plays in the background, there’s no shortage of amazing bars and restaurants in NYC that offer great live music.
Here are 18 of the best places to cheers with friends, have a romantic dinner date, or play some games all while being swept away by the sounds of some really great music.
Park Slope’s newest listening bar Honeycomb serves cocktails, spirits, beer, wine, along with the perfect playlist courtesy of a curated vinyl collection. Complete with serious speakeasy vibes, the bar is modeled in the style of traditional Tokyo jazz kissa lounges–cafés that specialize in the playing and appreciation of recorded jazz music–though the music here spans many genres, playing entire albums during the week while local DJ’s take control of the reigns on weekends. Learn more about them here.
Where: 74 Fifth Avenue at St. Marks Ave.
2. WILD BIRDS, Crown Heights
WILD BIRDS is a bar and live music venue that gives a platform to groove-based artists from around the world (think: music that makes you dance and sway). Head over on any given day to be surprised with live Afrobeat, Cumbia, Rocksteady, Balkan brass, Chicha, Soul, Funk, or various Jazz music. Learn more on their website.
Where: 951 Dean St.
3. The Last Word, Astoria
The Last Word is a dimly lit, intimate bar in Astoria offering tons of plates great for sharing such as oysters, empanadas, and charcuterie boards. And, every Sunday you can slurp your oysters while being whisked away by the sounds of live Jazz. Learn more on their website.
Where: 31-30 Ditmars Blvd.
4. Tomi Jazz, Midtown
Tomi Jazz is a Japanese jazz bar that will make you feel like you’ve completely transported out of NYC. Their daily live music typically starts around 6p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays they charge a $10 cover. They have tasty dishes to dig into, and you must order some sake with your meal! Learn more on their website.
Where: 239 E 53rd St.
5. Skinny Dennis, Williamsburg
Skinny Dennis, a self-proclaimed “honky tonk bar” in the heart of Williamsburg, is the place to go if you’re looking to have some good drinks and listen to live country music. Grab your cowboy boots and head on down 7 nights a week for good music and cheap drinks. Learn more on their website.
Where: 152 Metropolitan Ave.
6. The Wolfhound, Astoria
The Wolfhound is a neighborhood Irish bar in Astoria that serves a great selection of rotating craft beers. Their calendar is always filled with live music, from solo acoustic acts and authentic Irish music to tribute bands. Learn more on their website.
Where: 38-14 30th Ave.
7. Cherry On Top, Bushwick
Cherry On Top brings in a lot of great live music like jazz saxophone and string quartets. They have a large rooftop with picnic tables, perfect for warmer weather, and a selection of delicious funky wine to sip on. You can also munch on some tasty, small bites. Learn more on their website.
Where: 379 Suydam St #3B
8. The Flatiron Room, Flatiron
The Flatiron Room has been recognized as a world famous destination for whiskey enthusiasts, jazz lovers, and foodies, and it’s no surprise why. Their relaxing atmosphere is the perfect spot to enjoy intimate jazz and blues and their menu definitely does not disappoint. Learn more on their website.
Where: 37 W 26th St.
9. Cellar Dog, Greenwich Village
Formerly known as Fat Cat, Cellar Dog pairs together great live jazz alongside billiards, ping pong, checkers and chess, and more. This is a great spot to hangout and enjoy live music without being in an uptight, stuffy atmosphere. Learn more on their website.
Where: 75 Christopher St.
10. Baby’s All Right, South Williamsburg
Baby’s All Right is constantly showcasing indie bands throughout the week and they have a great menu, like their frozen cocktail the “Pink Baby,” a tasty grapefruit drink, or their espresso martinis. They also do brunch on the weekends, including a bottomless one! Learn more on their website.
Where: 146 Broadway
11. Apotheke, Chinatown/Little Italy
For a somewhat pricey but overall super romantic, cozy night at a bar, Apotheke is perfect. Their music lineup includes a ton of great pairings, such Hight and Mighty Brass Band every Tuesday night. Learn more on their website.
Where: 9 Doyers St.
12. Saint Tuesday, Tribeca
Nestled in the sub cellar of the Walker Hotel Tribeca, Saint Tuesday offers live music every evening. The music ranges from gypsy jazz to Brazilian choro, and the drinks are too good to pass up, like the Hotel Nacional Special, made with light rum, apricot liqueur, fresh pineapple and lime, and cane syrup. Learn more on their website.
Where: 24 Cortlandt Alley
13. Terraza 7, Elmhurst
Terraza 7 hosts a huge range of performances almost every night, starting at 7 p.m., from flamenco and blues and jazz to salsa and rock. No matter your genre preference there’s something for you, and their drinks are tasty too, like their Café Benitez made with dark rum, cinnamon, cloves, and espresso. Learn more on their website.
Where: 40-19 Gleane St.
14. Marie’s Crisis Café, West Village
If you love show tunes, Marie’s Crisis Café is the place for you. It’s impossible to head to this acoustic sing-along show tunes piano bar without singing along at the top of your lungs, and they have a pretty good drink menu to go along with it. Learn more on their website.
Where: 59 Grove St.
15. Foxtail, SoHo
Transport yourself to the 1950s and 1960s at speakeasy-inspired bar Foxtail located inside the Arlo Hotel. As you enjoy sips from sharable punch bowls, complete with a serving spoon and crystal glasses, listen to live music performances with a variety of pianists, jazz, and swing bands. Learn more on their website.
Where: 231 Hudson St.
16. Eavesdrop, Greenpoint
Eavesdrop serves up craft cocktails, natural wines, small plates, and music in order to bring Brooklyn’s community of listeners, artists, and curators together in a cozy neighborhood environment. The drinks are tasty, the music’s great, and the aesthetic is out of this world. Learn more on their website.
Where: 674 Manhattan Ave.
17. The Nines, NoHo
The Nines is a piano bar in Noho with velvet seats and impeccable cocktails. It has the ultimate vibe of a high-end piano bar lounge without being stuffy and stuck up. Learn more on their website.
Where: 9 Great Jones St.
18. Silver Lining Lounge at Moxy LES
If you’re seeking a seamless blend of live entertainment and handcrafted cocktails, Silver Lining Lounge is the place to be. You’ll feel as if you’ve been whisked away to a dreamlike oasis, with captivating performances by a rotating lineup of local piano players and vocalists, including the acclaimed Grammy-recipient vocalist and songwriter, Tim Young. Learn more here.
Where: 145 Bowery