The city that brought you the Ramones, the Strokes, the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, and many others is still the best place in the country to discover new music. There's no feeling quite like getting in on the ground floor of some groundbreaking music, and we've collected the best live music venues for that purpose.
The Village Vanguard is one of the coolest places to check out jazz in New York City. Always attracting top quality musicians like Geri Allen, the atmosphere is intimate. Check out their own weekly jazz orchestra on Mondays.178 7th Ave S (West 11th Street)
Even though this safari style live music club is called Sounds of Brazil, you can expect to dance to all different types of music here. There’s reggae, hip-hop, R&B, jazz and salsa just to name a few. In a nutshell, S.O.B’s embraces NYC's diversity, and is a quality place to get ...204 Varick St
Known mainly for live music - anything from neo-folk to Jazz. People here take the sound seriously, so do expect some great music, don't expect to talk too much during the sets. Italian small plates to pare with whatever booze you choose. Here is link to their calendar.486 Halsey Street (Lewis Ave)
Regarding the Jazz scene in New York City, one of the Blue Note's managers matter-of-factly told us: "This is it." Indeed, the Blue Note is arguably the world’s most popular jazz club. Although the club only opened their doors in the early 80’s, it has the feel of a longtime vete...131 W 3rd St
Don’t really feel like leaving the comfort of your own living room for the evening, but still want to listen to some great live music? Then transplant yourself to a living room that is probably a hell of a lot bigger than yours, has cocktail waitresses, live music and amazing aco...134 Metropolitan Ave (bet. Berry and Wythe)
Union Hall is a 5,000 square foot bar, restaurant and venue for live music and comedy in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Painstakingly converted from a warehouse, it offers cozy firesides, a stately library, two indoor bocce courts, outdoor garden seating, and a downstairs bar...702 Union Street (at Fifth Ave.)
Rock bar for rockers, expect a lot of black, including the dried roses above the bar, and Sabbath on the Jukebox. Cheep beer as well as craft to fuel the headbanging antics of rock connoisseurs who flock to this joint to catch world-class metal acts. 10 minute walk from the tr...1120 Manhattan Ave
The best dive bar in downtown Brooklyn, with a bathroom that will do as much damage to your brain as the drinks will. A pool table is in-bounds when a concert isn't in the offing, and a smattering of arcade games lay generally dormant, ignored by the clientele who would rather pl...46 3rd Ave (Atlantic Ave.)
The folks behind Lucky Dog strike again with this uncle's-den-cum-dive-bar in Williamsburg, complete with a painting of Willie Nelson, patron saint of grizzle. Popular spot to grab a brew and check out some live music, which skews toward a gruff country style. Click to see ...152 Metropolitan Ave
A cozy little venue tucked into the shy side of Allen Street, with nightly performances by singer-songwriters and bands, although the stage seems fit to burst when the latter goes on. The range of beer is impressive, especially for a live music venue, and the wine list isn't too ...196 Allen Street (bet. Houston & Stanton)
This three-level venue near the Williamsburg bridge offers a variety of atmospheres for the Lower East Side crowd. During summer months, the rooftop is the main draw, given that it is one of Manhattan's most nearly unique rooftop bars.168 Delancey St. (between Clinton and Attorney)
The sibling of local favorites Union Hall and Floyd, the Bell House is an event space that just happens to have a bar, instead of the other way around. Two rooms were carved out of a nearly century-old warehouse in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood to offer a huge space for live mu...149 7th Street (bet. 2nd & 3rd Aves)
The Parkside Lounge has been slowly heating up for the past decade. If you move beyond the bar in the front, you'll see why. The back room hosts up and coming local New York rock bands, DJs, and cabaret shows.317 East Houston Street
One of Williamsburg’s brighter spots, Pete’s Candy Store is always busy. The backroom offers local countryish music and has weekly events like the Quizz-Off, a trivia competition. Get one of the few tables early and enjoy.709 Lorimer St
Great live music in an interesting venue on the Lower East Side's original nightlife capital, Ludlow Street. You never know who (or what) will be playing here, but a good time is guaranteed. Some shows are free, and others usually range from $5 to $10.158 Ludlow St.
Fat Cat is a great pool hall that doesn't scream pool hall when you first walk in. It feels like you are entering a jazz club and the fact of the matter is you are. The eleven tables here are located underground. In addition to the fine tables, Fat Cat also houses a number of pin...75 Christopher Street (Seventh Ave. S.)
Both a characterization and a caricature of the Williamsburg music scene, this well-designed music venue also serves as a bar and as a training ground for the hip-to-be. The quarters are a bit close, but it's a welcome trade-off for the comfortable booths. Besides, with a backyar...484 Union Ave.
The doors of Barbès open out onto the street, spilling jazz into the air like a French film.376 9th Street (6th Ave.)
Located on a forlorn stretch of Varick Street in Western SOHO, City Winery offers a vibrant, interactive space that is about community, creativity and culture. Here you can get involved in wine-making, music, classes and events. Join the club and buy into a share of a wine barre...143 Varick St. (Vandam St.)
This oh-so-Ludlow Street place is like a cliché, a place where you can hear live bands, buy old records, drink coffee, wine or beer, and uh, also buy a cake! True, you might not discover the next Blues Traveler here, but it's a great venue for local music and right in the midst o...152 Ludlow Street (Stanton & Rivington Streets)
A place to get down and hear the deep sounds that only the Lower East Side can offer in an enormous space, often with attitude indoors and outdoors.217 E Houston St (First Ave & Ave A)
The Bitter End is a nice place to go if you’re interested in seeing local bluesy and folk singer-songwriters. Most of the acts are happy just to be standing in the same space where their idol Dylan had been singing songs all those years ago.149 Bleecker Street
Steampunk and Victorian England meet curiously in Prospect Heights. Hence the TARDIS in the front room. Popular music and performance venue with up and coming acts.683 Washington Ave