Best pubs and bars for live music in London

If you love listening to live music on a night out, have a browse of our pick of the best bars and pubs for live music in London. Whether it’s a rock band or a house DJ you’re after, our list is sure to have everything you’re looking for. Scroll down to see our selection of all kinds of venues where you can watch musicians in action, drink in hand and snack menu close by (because, you know, we think it’s always time to eat).

Updated on 18 December 2019

There is something about a meal with live music that makes it just that extra bit more special than your average everyday dinner out. Whether it be background music to accompany food and chatter or it is the main portion of the evening, where chatter is definitely not encouraged (and even frowned upon), a meal or drinks with live music is definitely a treat.

For most restaurants and bars, especially the ones featured on this list, jazz and blues tends to be the most popular choice of music to have playing while you eat your meal or enjoy a couple of cocktails. This soulful genre is a favourite in areas like Soho and Camden but in places like Shoreditch rock tends to take centre stage.

When it comes to the types of artists you can expect to see performing while you sip on a glass of something cold we wouldn’t bank on any A-listers, but as an indicator of the kinds of talent on show, the Artic Monkeys and Amy Winehouse were known to frequent a few of these spots in the past (pre massive amounts of fame of course). Instead of headline acts expect to see all the new up and coming talent from all over the city and who knows, maybe one of them will end up being the next big thing.

Picking the right bar or pub with live music to go to is tricky given the sheer volume of them in the city. We’ve put together a list of the best music and food venues to go to depending on the type of thing you want to enjoy. Each pub or bar on this list clicks through to a review as well as everything you need to know about the food and drinks on offer.

The Blues Kitchen Camden

The Blues Kitchen Camden

111-113 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JN

Calling the jazz capital of London - Camden - home, The Blues Kitchen embodies America’s Deep South with a New-Orleans inspired menu, huge collection of Bourbon and regular live music jazz bands and DJs on every night.
£30 - £49
North American
Bars
Lock Tavern

Lock Tavern

35 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AJ

Hearty pub food, live music and a trendy roof terrace make up the skeleton of Camden’s Lock Tavern, this regularly packed pubs serves up the pies, pints, roasts and a healthy portion of live music.
Bars
Cargo

Cargo

Kingsland Viaduct, 83 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY

Living up to the edgy stereotypes a music venue in Shoreditch has, this vaulted brick-clad venue features DJ sets, up and coming artists and lots of booze. This place is regularly packed so plan accordingly.
Bars
£30 - £49
Hideaway

Hideaway

2 Empire Mews, London, SW16 2ED

You’ll have to head a little while out of the city for this jazz club in Streatham, but with live music, comedy nights and a menu filled with hearty dishes, it’s worth the journey.
Bars
The Grand Caffe Concerto at Westfield

The Grand Caffe Concerto at Westfield

su2024, The Village Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, London, London, W12 7GE

As one of the few sites from this chain that offers both dining and live music, head to this mega-shopping centre to listen to jazz soul or funk. Why not pop to the shops before or after too?
Under £30
Afternoon tea
Italian
The Macbeth

The Macbeth

70 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6LP

Named after a Shakespearean tragedy but far from tragic when it comes to food and live performances, this pub has hosted artists like Example and Professor Green.
Pubs
Green Note

Green Note

106 Parkway, London, NW1 7AN

If you’re after some vegetarian grub and live music, head down to Camden Town (where else?). Showcasing everything from folk and blues to jazz and country, enjoy a glass of wine and some live music here.
£30 - £49
Vegetarian
The Nest

The Nest

36 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XJ

The Nest features performances from unknown or up and coming artists. This trendy bar/club serves up some equally as trendy beers and cocktails and they’re cheap too.
Bars
The Lexington

The Lexington

96-98 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB

Claiming to be a ‘London boozer with a hint of Kentucky charm’, head upstairs to The Lexington's music venue for the latest and greatest bands. Open 'till late, you can start and end your night here.
Bars
Savage Garden

Savage Garden

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London, 7 Pepys Street , London, EC3N 4AF

With views overlooking the London Skyline and live music from upcoming talent all over the City, this glamourous spot makes the perfect place for after work cocktails if you fancy a boogie on the dance floor.
Bars
Ronnie Scott

Ronnie Scott's

47 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4HT

This is one for the hard-core jazz fans, and isn’t the place to go if you are after a chat. Enjoy dishes from the modern European menu and take in the sounds of the jazz band.
£30 - £49
Bars
International
G-A-Y

G-A-Y

30 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UR

Having become a somewhat iconic venue for the LGBT community over the years, expect drag queens, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears impersonators galore at G-A-Y. Drinks and cocktails are super cheap too.
Bars
The Bedford

The Bedford

77 Bedford Hill, London, London, SW12 9HD

Screaming 1930s art-deco, this music venue has played host to Ed Sheeran and Jorja Smith. From Tuesday to Thursday expect up and coming artists performances, and from Friday to Saturday the DJs take over.
£30 - £49
Pubs
Gastropub
The Gladstone

The Gladstone

64 Lant Street, London, SE1 1QN

This old-school tavern has undergone a few refurbs in its time, but live music has always been king. From jazz and folk music to world class artists, it’s had every type of artist perform here.
Pubs
Ain

Ain't Nothin' But... The Blues Bar

20 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PZ

Filled with Southern Charm, old-school cocktails and blues artists performing you’ll feel like you’ve walked into the 1920s after stepping foot in here. Order a Jim Bean to fully immerse yourself.
Bars
Jazz After Dark

Jazz After Dark

9 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DQ

Art gallery by day, jazz club by night and once a favourite of Amy Winehouse, Jazz After Dark is open 'till late most nights. If you're stopping by for dinner expect filling dishes alongside a hearty side of Jazz and soul music.
Bars
The Half Moon Putney

The Half Moon Putney

93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 1EU

This iconic music venue has hosted the likes of U2 and Kate Bush. Serving up comfort food, you might not get to see world famous talents every night but it’s bound to impress for an entertaining meal regardless.
Pubs
606 Club

606 Club

90 Lots Road, London, SW10 0QD

Claiming to be one of the busiest jazz clubs in Europe - which interestingly offers up a number of different music genres - expect to find live performances and an international menu seven nights a week.
Bars
The Vortex Jazz Club

The Vortex Jazz Club

11 Gillett Square, Dalston, London, N16 8AZ

With live music on 365 days of the year, this club takes things seriously. From new talent to established artists, head to the bar/café for some food before heading upstairs to enjoy some jazz.
Bars
The Old Blue Last

The Old Blue Last

38 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3ES

Having hosted many of the UK's biggest artists before they got big (think, The Arctic Monkeys), this Shoreditch music venue has become legendary. Head down for edgy bands and cool DJ sets.
Pubs
The Spice of Life

The Spice of Life

6 Moor Street, London, W1D 5NA

Having gone through as many name changes as it has headlining bands, this pub has seen Bob Dylan and Paul Simon walk through its doors. It now offers karaoke Mondays for hopeful stars too.
Pubs
Park Chinois

Park Chinois

17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8EA

The definition of opulence and decadence, this high-end Chinese restaurant in Mayfair supplies soulful live music to suitable accompany your meal. Head to Club Chinois for something a little more upbeat late into the evening.
Over £80
Chinese
Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Cabot Place West, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QT

Don’t let the suits and gloss of Canary Wharf put you off heading to this traditional jazz club. With all the music overseen by Jools Holland, both the music and food are bound to impress.
£50 - £79
British
Le Caprice

Le Caprice

20 Arlington Street, London, London, SW1A 1RJ

Le Caprice is a classic on the London restaurant scene, a soulful piano player will be the backdrop to your meal. Head down on Sundays evenings for its Jazz sessions from 7pm till 10:30pm.
£50 - £79
Modern European
£30 - £49

If you care more about the history of the place you’re eating in, check out our list of the oldest pubs in London