Brasserie Zédel


Hattie Lloyd 08/02/24

The Best London Restaurants With Live Music

The Best London Restaurants with Live Music | They’ve Got A Lot Of Soul

Back in the day, a little jazz with your meal was only to be expected.

Sadly, it seems a lot of restaurants have dropped their standards.

But if you’re set on a little musical accompaniment to your meal, fear not – you won’t be forced to sing for your supper. Because London is still home to a number of excellent dining establishments where you can score a samba with your sambal. So behold; the best London restaurants with live music – from jazz, to classical, to 1940s gypsy folk…

Brasserie Zédel | Soho

Brasserie Zedel - London restaurants with live music

Not content with hosting one of the West End’s ritziest cabaret and music venues, The Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zédel’s musical offerings spill into their grand, marble-clad dining room where live musicians play every night of the week. The bands come in for week-long residencies and blast out everything from Parisian folk music to vintage tango.

When to catch it: Mon-Wed from 7pm; Thurs, Fri & Sat from 8pm; Fri, Sat & Sun 12.30-3.30pm; Sun from 6pm Cover charge? No | Book here

Dishoom | Kensington

Dishoom kensington

Inspired by the art deco style of 1940s Bombay, Dishoom’s elegant Kensington branch goes all out with the music to match. Playing up on the mezzanine from Wednesday – Friday evenings, lively jazz trio The Marine Liners keep the place swinging while you feast on Dishoom classics like gunpowder potatoes and the inimitable house black daal (plus a couple of Chai Punches, just like the good old days).

When to catch it: Thurs-Fri evenings from 7.15pm Cover charge? None | Book here (lunch only)

J. Sheekey | Leicester Square

j sheekey live band

Sheekey’s is a glamorously old-school seafood restaurant hiding down the alleyways of London’s Theatreland. In a land of crisp tablecloths, smartly jacketed waiters and conviviality emanating from every corner, a little live jazz fits in like a fish takes to water. Find the musicians in residence every Sunday afternoon – during which time you can also take advantage of Sheekey’s highly reasonable set lunch menu.

When to catch it: Sundays 1-4pm Cover charge? None | Book here

The Blues Kitchen | Brixton, Camden & Shoreditch

Image credit: Sophia J Carey

The Blues Kitchen does exactly what it says on the tin, delivering live R’n’B, blues and soul alongside excellent Southern BBQ fixings. Which means you no longer have to visit three different places for the world’s strongest beer (a sociable 67.5%), pan-fried catfish, and live music seven nights a week.

When to catch it: Every night plus weekend brunches, check HERE for listings Cover charge? Free entry but often ticketed Fri/Sat | Book here

The Tent (at the End of the Universe) | Fitzrovia

If you’ve ever wondered what sort of food they serve at the end of the universe, London has the answer: weekly-changing Middle-Eastern fare from ex-Noma chef John Javier. If you’re also curious about the kind restaurant they serve the food in, well, it’s a sci-fi style bedouin tent set to the tune of live DJ sets. Imagine you’ve just stumbled into the VIP section at Coachella…

When to catch it: Tues-Sat | Cover charge? No | Book here

Quaglino’s | St James’s


Quaglino’s has sat in St James’s since 1929. So it has an Art Deco look because it was built in the Art Deco era. And it feels like restaurant royalty because it literally entertained royalty. But they’ve moved with the times, keeping the good bits from their storied history (the glamour) and updating the stuff that ought to be updated (the menu). And part of that old school vibe is the live music, which fills their centrepiece stage every night. You’ll find upbeat brass bands, toe-tapping jazz, catchy swing music and more from an array of top-shelf acts. And being a D&D restaurant, they’ve made sure the food & the cocktails are its equal in every way too…

When to catch it: Seven days a week, typically from 7pm | Cover charge? No | See what’s on and book here

Voodoo Ray’s | Peckham

voodoo rays live jazz

Patrick Gunning

Live jazz and pizza? Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It’s great news then that this extremely appealing combination exists at Voodoo Ray’s Peckham branch where, on a Sunday evening, you can come for a slice or two of some of the best pizza in London, and stay for live music from The Rachael Cohen Quartet. And then maybe for more pizza.

When to catch it: Every Sunday from 6-9pm | Cover charge? No | Book here

28-50 By Night | Marylebone

28-50 By Night

28-50 By Night made a name for themselves in the restaurant game thanks to their top-shelf wine list – the place is even named after the latitudes that grow the best wine grapes – but now they’ve added another string to their bow: live music. Their moody dining space plays host to high-calibre live jazz acts every night… and the wine is absolutely stellar.

When to catch it: Tue-Sat, 8pm-2am – check HERE for listings | Cover charge? No | Book here

Manzi’s | Soho

manzis live music

Nobody can accuse a restaurant with giant mermen emerging from the walls of being boring. So it’s no surprise that Manzi’s – the gloriously kitsch palace of seafood hidden on the backstreets of Soho – dials things up another notch with a little live music. Every Wednesday night a lively trio takes to the upper floor to serenade diners as they tuck into monkfish wellington and dinky prawn cocktails.

When to catch it: Wednesdays from 7pm Cover charge? No Book here

Cafe KOKO | Camden

cafe koko

Cafe KOKO was made for music. As in, the building it’s in was literally a piano factory, and as in it’s attached to the KOKO, you know, the same KOKO that’s over a 120 years old, and which has been host to the greatest names in entertainment throughout its entire tenure, from Charlie Chaplin, to Ed Sheeran, to everyone else in between. So, in short, they take their live acts relatively seriously. You’ll find them playing almost every day of the week, and you can score an excellent pizza & some cocktails while you listen.

When to catch it: Most nights | Cover charge? No, but occasionally you need to book tickets or a table

Mu | Dalston


Mu is from the folk at Brilliant Corners, who know their music thanks to the vast back-catalogue of vinyl that soundtracks their cocktail bar & Japanese eatery. So they’re not the worst people in the world to transfer all that knowledge to a second branch a few doors down, specialising in cocktails, Japanese food… and live music.

When to catch it: Wed-Sun at 7.30pm & 9pmCover charge? Recommended £8 | Book here

Darby’s | Vauxhall


Darby’s is named after chef-owner Robin Gill’s father, who played the jazz clubs of Manhattan in the 50s and 60s. So it almost feels necessary for this restaurant to have a little live music too. You can catch live bands alongside your roast every Sunday afternoon, or swing by for a nightcap when the restaurant hosts late night blues alongside a happy hour when you actually want it – 9-11pm.

When to catch it: Sunday afternoons & Saturday nights Cover charge? NoBook here

100 Wardour St | Soho

100 Wardour St - best London restaurants with live music

Built on the very site where the Rolling Stones played their first gig, 100 Wardour St hopes that you can always get what you want, with a nightly changing line-up of live music. Plus, there’s a full dinner menu available until 11pm.

When to catch it: Tues-Sun evenings Cover charge? No | Book here

Sarastro | Covent Garden


The fact that almost every surface is swathed in gold isn’t the most unusual thing about this restaurant – and neither is the fact that some of the seating is arranged in theatre-style boxes. If anything, it all starts to make sense in the evening when performers – from Thursday to Sunday – start belting out anything from Motown to opera. It’s a hoot.

When to catch it: Thursday – Sunday evenings, check HERE Cover charge? No | Book here

Café Bohème | Soho

Cafe Boheme restaurants with live music

A Soho institution, Café Bohème has all the great hallmarks of French authenticity (despite actually being owned by Soho House) – cosy, Belle Epoque décor; a menu of hearty French fare; and live jazz every afternoon that seems to make the seafood taste that bit better.

Maybe it’s a mussel relaxant.

When to catch it: Daily 3-5.30pm Cover charge? No | Book here

The Ned | The City

The Ned - London restaurants with live music

Soho House’s grandest opening yet, The Ned makes its home in a former bank building in, well, Bank. And inside the majestic, marble clad ground-floor atrium, you’ll find no fewer than seven restaurants, a cocktail bar, and a central bandstand, from which you’ll be treated to live music daily – from roaring jazz to acoustic sets from up-and-coming artists.

When to catch it: Daily Cover charge? No | Book here

The Parlour | The City

The Parlour, restaurants with live music

They say intimate live jazz and five-piece bands are best enjoyed with caviar, lobster thermidor and racks of well-sourced lamb (‘they’ being ‘us’), and such a pairing can be actualised nightly at The Ned’s subterranean velvety lair of luxury, The Parlour. Expect live jazz, soul and Motown on weeknights, and on Saturdays, the stage is reserved for Black Cat Cabaret’s sensational High Society show where singers, comics and dancers provide your dinner entertainment. 

When to catch it: Tuesday – Saturday nights | Cover charge? £20pp Book here

Sketch | Mayfair

sketch restaurant with string quartet

Edmund Dabney

If live music’s your cup of tea, you can combine it with an actual cup of tea in the flamboyantly eclectic Gallery at Sketch. You won’t find a more beautiful afternoon tea in London, one where string quartets will bow their way through classical pieces and the occasional pop arrangement as you plunder the Victorian sponge trolley…

When to catch it: During afternoon tea, daily | Cover charge? No | Book here

Le Café du Marché | Smithfield

cafe du marche french restaurant with live jazz

If a child drew a (very accomplished) picture of a French restaurant, this is how it would look – hidden down a cobbled alleyway, with vintage posters on the walls, candlelight and tablecloths, little curtains at the windows, and a nonchalant pair of musicians providing a little background jazz on double bass and piano.

When to catch it: Tuesday – Saturday evenings Cover charge? No | Book here

Toulouse Lautrec | Kennington

toulouse lautrec restaurant with live music

This attic jazz bar is like something out of a film – crooners and quartets take to the stage at the back, while lovers share steak tartares and crème brûlées at marble-topped, cabaret-style tables with Bentwood chairs. The atmosphere’s romantic, the music’s great and the food is classically, fantastically French.

When to catch it: Every night, around 7-9pm Cover charge? Upstairs Jazz Club events are ticketed – book here


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