New York may be the media capital of the world, but live music bars in NYC are among the best on the planet. Having long been a haven for ambitious singers and musicians, New York provides a smorgasbord of delectable live music offerings.
Much of the musical talent in NYC is up and coming, so you’ll often find it in the unlikeliest of places. If you happen to be in the New York area and you’re in the mood to witness musical greatness in the making, here are some places you should visit:
5) Cleopatra’s Needle
One of Manhattan’s up-and-coming jazz bars, Cleopatra’s Needle is located on the Upper West Side. It opens daily from 3:30 pm to 2:00 am and offers a full dinner and drink menu.
The nightly jam session is the best aspect of an evening at Cleopatra’s Needle. If you go on the right night, you might have the opportunity to witness a once-in-a-lifetime team-up of gifted musicians. In addition to the jam sessions, there are open mic nights and scheduled shows with established entertainers.
The intimate floorspace creates an engaging experience, and you’ll feel as though you are part of the performance.
Cleopatra’s Needle is one of the hidden gems of the Manhattan music scene. Go for the food, but stay for the music.
4) The Flatiron Room
Currently one of the best jazz bars in New York City, The Flatiron Room has an immersive vintage atmosphere that will make you forget what year it is. You’ll fall in love with the massive whiskey list, the acclaimed food menu, and the classic design.
The Flatiron Room also has a whiskey school geared towards the whiskey-enthusiast who wants to improve their palette and education.
The music isn’t overpowering, so you won’t have to scream to converse with your companion. The nightly jazz music and romantic atmosphere are sure to leave a lasting impression, so if you’re looking for sophistication and class, you should go to The Flatiron Room.
3) Victor’s Cafe
Victor’s Cafe is a Cuban-themed restaurant that is well-known for its delightful cuisine and its authentic Cuban atmosphere. The interior is covered with Cuban-inspired art, and its bright colors help promote an upbeat atmosphere. You will feel as though you’ve instantly teleported to tropical Cuba.
The Cuba lounge is where the magic happens. The lounge provides a space to dance while you listen to live music and get swept away in a sea of Caribbean vibes. If you’re in the mood for some Cuban flavor, you can’t do much better than Victor’s Cafe.
2) The Groove NYC
If you’re searching for live music and a sultry yet festive atmosphere, Groove NYC is where you need to be. Featuring one of the best house bands in New York City, The Black Soul Experience, Groove NYC boasts an excellent weekly lineup of bands and musicians.
Aside from being one of my personal favorites, this funky bar has quite an eclectic crowd, and you’ll feel right at feel at home while you’re there. Groove NYC specializes in funk, soul, and r&b music.
The drink menu is pretty good, and most of the food and drink options are moderately priced. You will find pricier establishments in the area, so the cost isn’t too bad considering the neighborhood.
Groove NYC has options for all types of consumers. If you just want to sit and enjoy the show, there is ample seating throughout the venue. For those dancers among us who feel the need to cut loose, there is a dancefloor by the bar where you’ll likely dance the night away with friends and like-minded strangers.
1) Cafe Wha?
This iconic establishment is known as a former hangout of musical legends Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Open seven days a week, Cafe Wha? tops the list of live music bars in the Greenwich Village section of NYC. Every night has a different theme, and there’s even an open mic after midnight on Tuesdays. Entry usually costs $10, but if you perform during the open mic session, you don’t have to pay a cover charge.
The house band is incredibly talented, so you’re sure to be treated to an energetic display of musical brilliance. Cafe Wha? is a relatively small venue, and it is immensely popular in New York’s live music community, so tickets to events can go quickly. Your best bet is to either arrive early or buy tickets ahead of time.
Every visit to Cafe Wha? is a memorable experience. You’ll be dancing in the isles as you give yourself over to the music.
Nightlife in New York has endless possibilities, and the live music scene is second-to-none. Whether you’re in the mood to dance until sunrise or you prefer to keep it mellow and casual, New York has something for you. As with any major metropolitan area, New York’s bar scene is constantly evolving, so the go-to spots for great entertainment are ever-changing.
Are there any incredible live music bars in the NYC area that you feel should be added to the list? Tell us about it in the comments section. Sharing is caring.