12 London Jazz Bars You Must Visit Before You Die

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1. The Nightjar, Old Street

Where: 129 City Road
Nearest Station: Old Street
Cost: £££
Why: Because this speakeasy-style subterranean was voted the 3rd best bar in the world in 2014.The Nightjar is inspired by the America’s Prohibition-era bars of the 1920s and early 1930s. It’s great venue to enjoy live jazz and blues in an glamorous setting. One of the best things about this jazz bar is the stunningly crafted themed cocktails set in three different periods of time: pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, and postwar.

2. Jazz After Dark, Bloomsbury

Where: 9 Greek Street
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road
Cost: ££
Why: Because Amy Winehouse LOVED this place. Jazz After Dark is an art gallery during the day and a buzzing jazz bar by night. It may be small and intimate, but it’s well known by music lovers as Soho’s leading restaurant and cocktail bar for late night live jazz, funk, soul and R&B. Both up-and-coming and renowned artists have performed here, including the late Amy Winehouse.

3. Ronnie Scott’s, Soho

Where: 47 Frith Street
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road
Cost: £££
Why: Because Ronnie Scott’s is one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world, and has hosted some of the most iconic names in jazz. The drinks may be pricey, but this legendary venue is the perfect place to soak up world class live jazz. Ronnie Scott’s is extremely popular, so it’s advised to always book in advance.

4. Troy Bar, Hoxton

Where: 10 Hoxton Street
Nearest Station: Hoxton Overground
Cost: £
Why: Because it’s cheap, cheery and chilled out.
If you prefer to hang out with a mature crowd (over 25s) in a cosy, intimate setting, then Troy Bar is the place to be. It’s a hidden gem in the heart of Hoxton, which means it’s hardly ever crowded. They hold live musical performances throughout the week of mostly vintage Soul, Jazz, Funk and Acoustic. They also offer a small selection of Caribbean meals from only £6.50 a plate, such as jerk chicken with rice and peas. And there’s a weekly open mic every Tuesday night, so make sure you check that out.

5. Dalston Jazz Bar, Dalston

Where: 4 Bradbury Street
Nearest Station: Dalston Kingsland Overground
Cost: ££
Why: Because if you haven’t tried kangaroo, crocodile burgers, camel meat and zebra fillets, Dalston Jazz Club is a good place to start. Enjoy live jazz performances every Friday and Saturday up until 11.00pm. After 11.00pm a DJ takes over, so you can party hard till the early hours of the morning.

6. Le QuecumBar, Battersea

Where: 42-44 Battersea High Street
Nearest Station: Clapham Junction
Cost: £££
Why: Because this vintage Django Reinhardt-inspired wine bar hidden down a quiet back-road on Battersea High Street will transport you to the Hot Club Era of 1930s Paris, and make you forget you’re in London. Le QuecumBar is renowned for its gypsy swing and authentic French cuisine. The romantic low-lit interior with candles, wall plants, and fairy lights makes it the perfect jazz bar for a first date.

7. Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston

Where: 10A Bradbury Street
Nearest Station: Dalson Kingsland Overground
Cost: ££
Why: Because the incredible cocktails, artisan ales, and beers on the ground floor are everything! Despite the name, Servant Jazz Quarters is not strictly a jazz club. Their intimate performance space in the basement hosts a range of music genres, not solely jazz. This quirky venue is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy everything from smooth jazz and blues to pop and electronica.

8. Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

Where: 10 Dean Street
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road
Cost: ££
Why: Because pizza is amazing by itself, but it’s even better with a side of the best live jazz music in town. There’s a regular Pizza Express restaurant on the ground floor, but in the basement you can watch some incredible live jazz performances. Although you don’t need to be a member to attend the gigs, make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

9. 606 Club, West Brompton

Where: 90 Lots Road
Nearest Station: Imperial Wharf Overground
Cost: ££
Why: Because 606 Club is literally the hang-out for anyone who is truly passionate about jazz. 606 Club has been around for over 30 years. With dim lighting and tables close to the stage it’s not the best place to sit and chat, but it’s the perfect venue to enjoy British jazz and blues in a relaxing, intimate and fun setting.

10. Vortex , Dalston

Where: 11 Gillett Street
Nearest Station: Dalston Kingsland Overground
Cost: ££
Why: Because Vortex has an incredible music event programme of nearly 400 performances a year. Vortex is one of the UK’s premier jazz venues and also showcases improvised and experimental music. It’s definitely the place to be if you want to enjoy a diverse line up live jazz artists. And the cocktails are pretty cheap, which is always a bonus.

11. Hideaway, Streatham

Where: 225 Streatham High Road
Nearest Station: Streatham Overground.
Cost: ££
Why: Because comedy, a delicious variety of food, and live jazz music is a perfect combination. The Hideaway has a friendly, intimate ambiance. They even have weekly jazz workshops for singers and musicians who want to improve their skills.

12. Boisdale, Canary Wharf

Where: Cabot Place West (Also branches in Bishopsgate and Belgravia)
Nearest Station:
Cost: £££
Why: Because there’s a cigar lounge (if you’re into that sort of thing).
You can listen to live jazz performances while you eat incredible traditional Scottish cuisine. The live music, wonderful variety of whiskies, and the stunning decor are probably the best features. Although the food is a little pricey, it’s definitely worth it if you’ve got the extra cash to spend.


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