Live music has been a part of New York's nightlife for decades. From the golden age of 1920s prohibition to punk in the 70s. from the birth of hip hop in the 80s to indie bands in the 90s, New York continues to be at the forefront of America's live music scene.
And you don't have to visit Madison Square Garden or Radio City Music hall for a great music experience. This is our guide to some of the great live music bars NYC is famed for.
Opened in 1999, Pete's Candy Store is Williamsburg's authentic live music venue. Grandees of the indie rock world, such as Will Oldham and Beth Orton, are amongst those that cut their teeth at Pete's.
The tavern serves excellent drinks while the back room hosts live music performances. The whole experience is a fun night out for those who love to hear singer-songwriters or country music, providing the soundtrack to their beers and delicious cocktails.
This high-class New York City whiskey joint takes you back to the speakeasy era of the 20s. Nightly live performances from blues and jazz bands and a delicious dinner menu to accompany your whiskey sours and cocktails. This is the perfect place to indulge your love of music, drink, and food.
Located in the part of New York of the same name, this great neighborhood bar has a whiskey school. It also curates its own Spotify playlist influenced by the music they play.
Previously called The Leadbelly, this long narrow bar on the Lower East Side has a raw bar, room to stand at the front, and beautiful candlelit tables further back.
Every day sees $1 oysters served as part of Happy Hour, and there's usually live jazz between 10 and 11 pm. For those wanting to stay late, live DJs take you through the later part of the evening, allowing you to party the night away on the dance floor.
At the heart of the energetic scene on the Lower East Side, this temple to live music has multiple stages fully packed with new acts each night.
With two stages upstairs and a smaller third stage in the basement, it's usually easy to pop in and grab your live music fix. Servers come to you to collect your drinks order, meaning you don't have to spend ages queuing for a drink and giving you more time to enjoy the music.
This jazz temple is located in Greenwich Village and plays home to some of New York's finest live jazz performances. Weekly events include their house band, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. They perform every Monday, while regular Miguel Zenon is a virtuoso on the jazz saxophone.
This basement bar has been part of the New York music scene since 1935 and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon. A must-visit for music fans.
Hidden in the West Village, this downstairs bar provides an intimate atmosphere to enjoy award-winning cocktails and, from Thursday through Sunday, live music through to the early hours.
The music often includes Latin jazz, particularly with Brazilian influences. At the same time, the warm decor makes this a special club to enjoy a relaxed evening of good company, excellent music, and even better drinks.
Few can match the rollcall of this Greenwich Village live music bar among the bars and restaurants in NYC.
Home to the Bob Dylan Rolling Thunder Revue during the mid-1970s, the cast of names to have played here include Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, and Joan Baez. Still one of the finest music clubs in NYC. Be aware of the two-drink minimum if you want a table.
Located in the Walker Hotel Tribeca, this hostelry ticks off all of the "secret bar" must-haves.
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This joint has it all with secret entrances, live jazz, and an extensive cocktail list that includes a Bartender's Special. The ideal date location with its plush comfortable booths makes it perfect for snuggling up. Listen to some beautiful music and enjoy their signature Frantic Atlantic cocktail.
This Japanese jazz bar will transport you from NYC to Tokyo Bay. As the waiting staff serve food that bursts with authentic Japanese flavors and servings of sake, musicians ease you through the evening with an easy-listening far-east musical blend.
They only take reservations on Saturday evenings. Tomi's is waiting for you whenever you find yourself in the area during the week and fancy taking yourself away from the Big Apple's hustle and bustle.