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 

Admission:
From £30 – £47.50 (varies according to artist)
18+

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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.

Book a table at Brasserie Zedel

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)

Admissions:
From £20
All ages welcome

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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. Check out their event schedule here.

Book a table

The Red Rooster
45 Curtain Rd
EC2A 3PT, UK
PLAN YOUR ROUTE

Tel: +44 20 3146 4545

Opening Hours:
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.

Book a table

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

Admissions:
£5 – £30 (depending on artist / club night)
18+

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5. Nightjar

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.

Book a table

Nightjar
129 City Rd
Hoxton
EC1V 1JB

PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Tel: +44 20 7253 4101

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Wednesday: 6pm – 1am
Thursday: 6pm – 2am
Friday & Saturday: 6pm – 3am
Sunda: 6pm – 1am

Live Music begins at 9.30pm each night

Admission:

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)

18+

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.

Book a table

606 Club
90 Lots Rd
Chelsea
SW10 0QD

PLAN YOUR ROUTE

Tel: +44 20 7352 5953

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Thursday: 7pm – 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 8pm – 12.30am
Sunday Lunch 12.30pm – 4pm
Sunday Evening 7pm – 11pm

Admissions:

Monday – Thursday: £10 – £12
Friday & Saturday: £14
Sunday lunch: £10
Sunday Evening: £12

18+

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7. Vortex

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)

 18+

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.

Book a table

Oliver’s Jazz Bar
9 Nevada St
East Greenwich
SE10 9JL

PLAN YOUR ROUTE

Tel: +44 20 8858 3693
Opening Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 4pm – 12pm

Admission:
£5 – £8 (Occasionally a little more depending on the artist)
18 +

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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! Check out their upcoming event schedule here.

Book a table

The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch
134-146 Curtain Rd
EC2A 3AR

PLAN YOUR ROUTE

Tel: +44 20 7729 7216

Opening Hours:

Monday-Wednesday: 12pm-12am
Thursday 12pm-1am
Friday 12pm – 2.30am
Saturday 11am – 3am
Sunday 11am – 10.30pm

Admission:

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

Image courtesy: www.fluidlondon.com

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