The Best Jazz Bars in London
London might not be the original home of jazz, but it sure has its fair share of great places to listen to some of that sweet, sweet music. Next time you’re in the city, make time to visit one of the best jazz bars in London – you won’t be disappointed.
1. Ronnie Scott’s London
Legendary Soho jazz club opened by British saxophonist Ronnie Scott in 1959
Jazz Club / Night Out / Live Music / Drinks & Cocktails / Dining ££ – £££
We don’t think it’s going too far to say that Ronnie Scott’s in London is one of the most respected jazz clubs in the world. It made its name back in the late 1950’s and early 60’s as the first club to host American jazz musicians in the UK, with Scott regularly hosting many of the club nights himself. If you’re looking for live jazz in London, head to Ronnie Scott’s first.
Many of the greatest names in jazz have performed on Ronnie Scott’s hallowed stage including Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Curtis Mayfield and Nina Simone, to name but a few. They have also welcomed plenty of other respected artists such as Tom Waits, Mark Knopfler and Cream bassist Jack Bruce who, although not strictly jazz musicians, clearly get the Ronnie Scott stamp of approval.
The venue was completely refurbished in 2006, increasing capacity to 250 people. You can catch a variety of up-and-coming more established acts here, all of an excellent calibre. They do serve food at Ronnie Scott’s but we usually like to make a night out of things and pay a visit before the show to a nearby restaurant like the no-frills ‘eat tokyo’ which does great sushi.
Ronnie Scott’s is definitely one of the best jazz bars in London and tickets sell out well in advance. So, if you’re planning to go, get your tickets booked now!
47 Frith St, Soho W1D 4HT
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7439 0747
Opening Monday – Saturday: 6pm – 3am Sunday lunches: 12pm – 4pm Sunday evenings: 6.30pm – 12am Bank Holidays operate Sunday opening
From £30 – £47.50 (varies according to artist)
Image courtesy: idea1.org.uk
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2. The Crazy Coqs at Brasserie Zedel
Intimate art deco style live music and jazz venue attached to Brasserie Zedel Live music / Jazz Club / Cabaret / Dining / Drinks & Cocktails / Night out
££ – £££
If you’re looking for another jazz club in Soho London, you’d do well to pay a visit to The Crazy Coqs. (Don’t worry, it’s not as risqué as it sounds!)
Attached to Parisian-style bar and restaurant Brassxerie Zedel, you can head here to enjoy a great meal out followed by a spot of live jazz or cabaret.
The Crazy Coqs brings a hearty dose of 1930’s glitz and glamour to central London with sumptuous art deco interiors and a cocktail menu worth shouting about. There’s table service too, so you can really settle in and enjoy the show without having to get up to order at the bar.
There’s a show at 7pm and 9.15pm most evenings, with a varied remit of performers including cabaret, musical theatre, comedy and, of course, jazz acts. On Saturday evenings at around Midnight there’s usually a free of charge, late night show for all to enjoy.
Brasserie Zedel 20 Sherwood St, Soho W1F 7ED
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7734 4888
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7pm – 1am (shows begin at either 7pm or 9.15pm)
All ages welcome
Image courtesy: jbgbevents.com
3. Red Rooster Gospel Brunch
Live music / Brunch / Dining / Cocktails & Drinks / Gospel music An all-American brunch accompanied by live spirit-lifting Gospel music
If you’re looking for a jazzy brunch in London, then head to The Red Rooster’s Gospel Brunch. Jazz musicians have long drawn inspiration from church music, taking familiar themes and melodies and adapting them to a jazz band style. Head along to The Red Rooster on a Sunday to hear those gospel roots of jazz performed by The Red Rooster House Choir, along with a hearty helping of Southern soul food.
The original Red Rooster outpost is in New York and allegedly one of Obama’s favourite spots. Their brunch offering includes classics from the American South such as ‘Ol’man Shrimp & Grits’ and ‘Sammy’s Chicken ‘n’ Waffle.’ Gospel performances take place at 12pm, 2pm and 3:30pm. Make sure to book a table as this place fills up quick.
If you’re looking for more live jazz music in East London Red Rooster also have regular music nights with an eclectic mix of artists on the bill.
The Red Rooster 45 Curtain Rd EC2A 3PT, UK PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 3146 4545
Gospel performances take place at 12pm, 2pm and 3:30pm
Monday & Tuesday: 5pm – 12am
Wednesday: 5pm – 1am
Thursday & Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday: 5pm – 2am
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Admissions:£5 cover charge for the Gospel Brunch
All ages welcome for brunch
4. The Jazz Café Camden
Live music / Jazz Club / Dining / Cocktails / Night Out / Club Nights Iconic Camden music venue with live shows, dining and club nights
If the idea of jazz clubs, with their dim lights, head bobbing and table dwelling, sends you to sleep then the Jazz Café in Camden could be just the place for you. Open for over 25 years, the Jazz Café has hosted some of the most respected names in jazz and soul. From Amy Winehouse to D’Angelo and Bobby Womack.
With a capacity of 440, the Jazz Café feels intimate yet big enough to really let your hair down. Choose the downstairs standing area if you want to get properly stuck into proceedings. Things can get pretty sweaty but there’s always a great energy amongst the crowd. Alternatively, if you’re feeling a little fancier, book a table on the upstairs mezzanine where you can enjoy good food and cocktails along with a guaranteed great view of the acts.
If you’re looking for a jazz club in London’s characterful borough of Camden, then the Jazz Café is a great choice. It’s great atmosphere, an eclectic selection of music and a young and lively crowd will no doubt have you coming back for more.
The Jazz Café Camden 5 Parkway Camden NW1 7PG PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7485 6834
Opening Hours: Live shows: 7pm – 10.30pm Club nights | 10.30pm – 3am
£5 – £30 (depending on artist / club night)
Image courtesy: kentishtowner.co.uk
Live music / Jazz Bar / Cocktails / Special Occasion / Speakeasy Speakeasy style cocktail bar in Shoreditch with live jazz and blues acts seven nights a week
Looking for a jazz bar in Shoreditch? Then we’d highly recommend a visit to Nightjar, a small 1920’s style cocktail bar that hosts top live jazz and blues performers seven nights a week.
Head to Nightjar and you’ll be in for one classy night out. The cocktails are innovative, the service is spot on and there’s a cosy, glamorous feel about the place that’ll make you feel that you’ve stepped into a prohibition era speakeasy.
The cocktails aren’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a charming yet unpretentious jazz bar in East London then Nightjar in Shoreditch gets a big thumbs up from us.
The venue is compact so do make sure you make a reservation in advance of your visit to make sure you have a table. Check out the full events listings to see what’s on.
Nightjar 129 City Rd Hoxton EC1V 1JB
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7253 4101
Monday – Wednesday: 6pm – 1am Thursday: 6pm – 2am Friday & Saturday: 6pm – 3am Sunda: 6pm – 1am
Live Music begins at 9.30pm each night
Monday & Tuesday: Music is free
Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday: £5 cover charge per person
Saturday: £8 cover charge per person (additional £4 pp for late set)
6. 606 Club
Live Music / Jazz Bar / Dining / Drinks & Cocktails Atmospheric basement venue in Chelsea hosting an eclectic mixture of talented musicians
££ – £££
Venture to SW10 and you’ll find one of the best jazz bars in London. The 606 Club (AKA ‘The Six’) is just a few minutes’ walk from the trendy King’s Road in Chelsea and has been swinging since the 60’s. It’s not hard to see why.
Owned and run by musician Stevie Rubie, the venue hosts an eclectic range of acts seven nights a week – from jazz, soul and blues to Latin, funk, gospel and R&B. Many future stars of jazz have taken to the stage here, including Liane Carroll and Jason Rebello to name just a few.
The atmosphere is laid back and relaxed at this jazz bar-come-restaurant and you can happily while away an evening having some drinks, enjoying some tasty food and listening to some very talented musicians.
We’d recommend booking a table for dinner as it can otherwise be tricky to get in for a performance.
606 Club 90 Lots Rd Chelsea SW10 0QD
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7352 5953
Monday – Thursday: 7pm – 11pm Friday & Saturday: 8pm – 12.30am Sunday Lunch 12.30pm – 4pm Sunday Evening 7pm – 11pm
Monday – Thursday: £10 – £12
Friday & Saturday: £14
Sunday lunch: £10
Sunday Evening: £12
Image courtesy: londonplanner.com
Live Music / Jazz Bar / Dining / Drinks / East London Respected East London Jazz Bar with a diverse range of artists taking to the stage
Vortex consistently tops the list as one of London’s best music venues and, in 2013, it took home the much-coveted Live Jazz award. So, if you’re looking to hear some great live music at one best jazz bars in London then look no further than Vortex.
The line-up at Vortex London is pleasingly diverse with traditional, contemporary jazz acts all taking to the stage. Some shows will even cross-over into rock and folk territory, with spoken word and poetry also making the ocassional appearance. Paloma Faith, Stan Tracey, Martin Carthy and Norma Winstone are just a few artists of note to have played here. Vortex even set up its own record label to release the debut album of Mercury Music Prize nominees Portico Quartet. These guys clearly know a good thing when they hear it.
This Dalston venue is small which gives it a nice intimate feel. Try and grab a seat or stand somewhere in the middle of the room as you’re at risk of getting an earful of brass or drum kit if you find yourself too close to the front! The food offering at Vortex is decent, and you’ll get 10% discount with a ticket for a show.
Vortex 11 Gillett Square N16 8AZ, UK PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7254 4097 (Mon-Fri 12-6pm)
Opening Hours Monday – Sunday: 8pm – 12am
Admissions: £10 – £15 (depending on the artist)
8. Oliver’s Jazz Bar
Live Music / Jazz Bar / Jam Sessions / Drinks / BYO Food Hidden gem of a jazz bar in South East London that hosts live music and regular jam sessions Price: ££
Oliver’s Jazz Bar – it’s one of London’s best kept secrets and, coincidently, one of London’s best jazz bars. Well, we think so at least. This simple but characterful little Greenwich music venue ticks all the boxes for us – well stocked and relatively inexpensive bar, great live music every night and three weekly jam sessions where all musicians are welcome to join in the fun.
Live music usually starts at around 9pm each night but this cellar bar has a lovely cosy and buzzy atmosphere (with a gorgeous fire lit during the winter months) so it’s also a nice spot to enjoy a drink earlier on in the evening.
Oliver’s showcases a mixture of emerging artists along with some of the international jazz scene’s most critically acclaimed artists. The staff here are friendly and welcoming helping to ensure Oliver’s is always a great place to hang out and enjoy some of the best music in London.
Oliver’s Jazz Bar 9 Nevada St East Greenwich SE10 9JL
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 8858 3693
Monday – Sunday: 4pm – 12pm
£5 – £8 (Occasionally a little more depending on the artist)
9. The Blues Kitchen
Live Music / Dancing / Dining / Cocktails / Night Out Restaurant and live music venue serving up food and tunes from the deep South
Price: ££ – £££
The Blues Kitchen, as its name suggests, isn’t really a jazz bar. But it is a whole lot of fun. And plenty of jazz acts that find their way onto the bill here, so we thought it was deserving of a mention on this list of the best jazz bars in London.
Pay a visit to this lively Shoreditch hangout and you’ll be transported to the deep American South. With Texan BBQ food, whiskey-inspired cocktails and live music galore, The Blues Kitchen is the place to dine in the day and dance through the night.
Housed in an old Victorian Warehouse and sprawling across its three floors (find Moonshine Minnie’s Speakeasy in the basement) there’s a lively atmosphere at The Blues Kitchen every day of the week. The live music programme starts in the early evening and continues until the wee small hours.
Head along for dinner and try some of the Hot Buffalo Wings or Pan Fried Catfish and then get on your dancing shoes, order a cocktail and let your hair down for the night!
The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch 134-146 Curtain Rd EC2A 3AR
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7729 7216
Thursday 12pm-1am Friday 12pm – 2.30am Saturday 11am – 3am Sunday 11am – 10.30pm
Monday – Thursday: Free Entry
Fridays: Free before 8pm. £5 between 8pm – 9 pm. £7 after 9pm
Saturdays: Free before 8 pm, £7 between 8pm – 9pm and £10 after 9 pm
Under 18s welcome until 7pm
10. The Spice of Life
Live Music / Jazz Bar / Dining / Drinks & Cocktails / Night Out Iconic pub and live music venue that offers not only a relaxing atmosphere but also vegetarian and gluten-free food options
Price: ££ – £££
If you like music venues with a rich history, look no further, The Spice of Life in Soho is THE jazz bar for you! Built in 1898, the building – which is a listed building by the way – survived the two world wars and became a popular stage for folk musicians in the 60’s and 70’s. It saw world famous acts including Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens. For real! In the late 90’s, the place turned into a jazz venue and had the privilege to host Jamie Callum and Soweto Kinch to name just a few. Check their upcoming musical events!
The Spice of Life is ideal if you’re looking to relax with a group of friends (or people you’ve just met at our hostel) around tasty pub food (we highly recommend their burgers!) and Hertfordshire craft ales. You can then just continue the night downstairs at the Backstage Bar where the jazz magic happens and where you can choose from a selection of cocktails. What more can you ask?
The Spice of Life
6 Moor Street
Tel: +44 207 437 7013
Monday – Thursday 12pm – 11:30pm
Friday – Saturday 12pm – 12am
Sunday 12pm – 10:30pm
Admission: Usually around £7-8 but depending on the artist
11. Pizza Express Jazz Club (Soho)
Live Music / Jazz Club / Dining / Cocktails & Drinks / Night Out Casual British pizzeria and award-winning jazz club all-in-one
We bet we had you at pizza, and it gets better! At the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, not only will you be able to have a bite of the famous Sloppy Giuseppe (your taste buds haven’t spent enough time in London if you’ve never heard about it), but you will do so in front of a jazz gig. They have vegetarian and gluten-free options too.
This award-winning venue hosted the legendary Amy Winehouse as well as world famous acts like Norah Jones and Gregory Porter. Keep an eye on their calendar and maybe you’ll come across one of your favourite jazz musicians!
Jazz (just like pizza) shouldn’t be reserved for the weekend (you agree with us, right?). The venue is open at weekends and week days too. Perfect for whenever you feel like listening to that sweet sweet music. The place is popular so think about calling in advance to book a table.
PizzaExpress Jazz Club
10 Dean Street
Tel (box office): 020 7439 4962
Monday – Wednesday: 12pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 11:30am – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 10pm
Admission: Usually from £15 to £35 but depending on the artist
Planning to visit one of the best jazz bars in London? Book your stay at Clink78 Backpackers Youth Hostel in Kings Cross now, or speak to one of our friendly team on live chat.