Hattie Lloyd 28/01/22

Jazz Bars in London

The Best Jazz Bars in London | Only The High Notes

If you’ve decided to spend a night soaking up music at one of London’s best jazz bars…

…it’s not the sort of thing you want to improvise.

So instead, peruse the following list of tried-and-tested jazz bars in London, from longstanding classics like Ronnie Scott’s and The Jazz Cafe, and (dare we say it) a certain branch of Pizza Express, to venues off the beaten track, order yourself an Old Fashioned, and enjoy the music, safe in the knowledge that you’re in one of the best…

Ronnie Scott’s | Soho

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Bar London

One of London’s longest-standing jazz bars in London. And with good reason. It was the first British club to ever host American bands, and over the past 60 years its welcomed greats including Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Sarah Vaughn and, er, Jeff Goldblum. Nowadays it continues to pull in both big names and excessively talented rising stars, who play in evening and late-night shows, as well as upstairs in the more relaxed bar (with a dance floor) and during the club’s famous Sunday Jazz Lunches. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 47 Frith StreetW1D 4HT Every Night Individually ticketed

Jazzlive at The Crypt | Camberwell

On Friday nights, the crypts below St. Giles’ Church in Camberwell start hopping with the sound of jazz, courtesy of some of the country’s best live musicians. It’s an atmospheric setting (the church above was built by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who also designed the gothic hotel at St. Pancras), with a very reasonably priced bar open ’till late. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: St Giles Church, Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8RB Fridays & Saturdays Individually ticketed

Boulevard | Soho

Boulevard - Jazz bars

Boulevard’s high-tech auditorium isn’t like anything else you’ll find in London. The stage is a real showstopper and has the ability to be both a theatre and a jazz bar within minutes, as it can move up & down and rotate 360-degrees. As for the line ups (currently curated by Soho Live Music Club), they rotate frequently too… SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 6 Walker’s Court, Soho, W1F 0BT | Performance dates vary, but jazz trains are held every weekend | Individually ticketed

Hampstead Jazz Club | Hampstead

Hampstead Jazz Club

You’ll find Hampstead Jazz Club, unsurprisingly, in Hampstead. What is a little surprising is that it’s slung in the cellars of a 300 year old pub, now beautifully done up and home to some A-grade gastropub fare. Have a bite upstairs, then slink down for live jazz most nights towards the end of the week.

Details: 23-25 New End, Hampstead, London, NW3 1JD Generally Thurs-Sat, but check what’s on HERE

Brilliant Corners | Dalston

Brilliant Corners

Inspired by a Japanese izakaya (a relaxed bar serving hot snacks), Brilliant Corners is packed out every night with people enjoying gyoza and vermouth & sodas to a soundtrack of live music and interesting DJ sets. Their Played Twice music night involves a seated playback of a classic jazz record, followed by a live interpretation by top-notch musicians, and it’s magical.

Details: 470 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE Most nights – check ahead for jazz performers

Mu | Dalston


From the team at Brilliant Corners, and just a few yards away on the same street, Mu deals in the same natural wines & Japanese food, only with a far stronger emphasis on live music. As jazz clubs go it’s beautiful, with a modernist bar overlooked by beautiful globe lights, and a striking curved ceiling looking down on the performance area. No, there is no stage: the musicians do their wonderful thing a couple of feet away from the diners surrounding them…

Details: 434 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA | Wednesday to Sunday | Optional £8 cover charge

Nightjar & Nightjar Carnaby

Nightjar live music

London’s paragon of the vintage speakeasy, sequestered away by the Old Street roundabout – and now proud sibling to a sophomore venue in Canaby. Both are located behind almost unmarked doors, and both require you to descend the stairs beyond it, and settle in for award-winning cocktails, flickering candlelight and nightly live jazz running the gamut from gypsy swing to NOLA blues. SEE WHAT’S ON: Shoreditch | Carnaby

Details: 129 City Road, EC1V 1JB | Unit G15, Kingly Court, W1F 9PY  | £6-£10

Servant Jazz Quarters | Dalston

Servant Jazz Quarters London

A glorious, bi-level jazz bar with a monochrome, art deco-styled bar upstairs (serving Mezcal Old Fashioneds, Rye Slings and French 75s), and a cosy downstairs performance space where artists serve up everything from classic blues to alt soul. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 10a Bradbury Street, N16 8JN Most weeknights | Ticket price varies

606 Club | Chelsea

606 Club chelsea

606 has been going strong for over 40 years, and is focussed on showcasing British talent. Head through the unremarkable-looking archway just off the Kings Road, and you’ll find yourself enveloped in warm interiors set with elegant tables and chairs, a blackboard with today’s menu scrawled on it, and a stage area in the thick of it all, where you’ll find musicians playing nightly sets of latin, jazz and blues. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 90 Lots Road, SW10 0QD | Most nights £10-12 Sun-Thurs, £14 Fri/Sat

Oliver’s Jazz Bar | Greenwich

Oliver's Jazz Club

Oliver’s Jazz Bar is the kind of place you’d like to fortuitously stumble upon on a romantic post-dinner stroll with your date. It pairs up-and-coming jazz musicians with unpretentious, cosy red interiors; candlelit tables; old Bentwood chairs and a roaring fire in the winter months. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 9 Nevada Street, SE10 9JL | Daily from noon | £5/£8 Fri & Sat

Boisdale | Central & East London


Every one of Boisdale’s four resplendent restaurants specialises in Scottish whisky, cigars, and roistering live jazz from a considered line-up of hand-picked house musicians and singers. Ranging from American songbook classics to French jazz, Ella Fitzgerald to Otis Redding – and the occasional appearance from Boisdale’s jazz patron, Jools Holland – there’s a real mix on offer, with great food to boot. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: Across London | Nightly

Dalston Jazz Club | Dalston

Dalston Jazz Club

Dalston Jazz Club is putting jazz back on the menu… alongside buffalo meat balls and the occasional crocodile. A real home-spun eatery, whose walls are lined with old transport posters and eclectic decor, it’s the charmingly rough-around-the-edges neighbour to Servant Jazz Quarters a few doors down.

Details: 4 Bradbury Street, N16 8JN Fri & Sat evenings

Hidden Jazz Club | Across London

Hidden Jazz Club London

An itinerant, shifting jazz collective who takeover unusual spaces – from shipping container villages to tunnels beneath railway stations – and fill them with award-winning jazz musicians from around the world for your listening pleasure. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: Secret Locations Ticket prices vary, book ahead

Vortex | Dalston

Vortex jazz bar London

Dalston, ironically, is anything but a jazz vortex. Rubbing shoulders with both Servant Jazz Quarters and Dalston Jazz Club, Vortex has been recognised not only as one of the best jazz bars in London but also one of the best jazz bars in the world thanks to its personally programmed roster of both established and emerging artists. Going strong for over 25 years, its current home in Gillett Square has a relaxed bar and restaurant alongside the performance space, perfect for a couple of pre-gig shumai dumplings. Or ten. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 11 Gillett Square, N16 8AZ | Every night £10-£15, book ahead

The Crazy Coqs | Soho

crazy coqs jazz club

Nestled within the ’30s subterranean time warp that is Brasserie Zédel, this London jazz bar is an elegant art deco spot with just a smattering of candlelit tables. Book ahead, and you’ll be escorted to yours for a night of performance with unparalleled intimacy – plus, cocktails brought to your table. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED Every night | Individually ticketed

Toulouse Lautrec | Kennington

Tolouse Lautrec Jazz Club

This three storey temple to good food and good music gets the thumbs up from food critic and jazz aficionado, Jay Rayner. Either in their first floor dining room with its glossy white grand piano, or upstairs in their secretive attic-like space, you’ll find romantic cabaret-style seating and top jazz bands and singers playing seven nights a week. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 140 Newington Butts, SE11 4RN Every night Free entry Mon-Thurs, Fri-Sun free when dining, occasional ticketed events

Jazz Café | Camden

Jazz Cafe Camden

A classic for a reason. In the (relatively spacious) surrounds of a former Barclays bank, you’ll bop along to live bands on the dramatically lit dancefloor, or take a pew on the mezzanine dining level for steak and cocktails, any night of the week. In its 30+ years, this London jazz club has played host to big names from Pharoah Sanders to Amy Winehouse, and still boasts one of the widest-ranging live music programmes in the city. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 5 Parkway, NW1 7PG | Every night Ticketed events

Pizza Express | Soho

Pizza Express Live jazz bar London

Turns out, Pizza Express can count itself among the upper crust of London’s jazz scene. Over the past 40 years this Soho branch has hosted the likes of Norah Jones, Gregory Porter and Rick Wakeman, and, as a result, remains a dependable spot for atmospheric surroundings, top quality jazz, and a doughball dish that, frankly, is hard to beat. SEE WHAT’S ON

Details: 10 Dean Street, W1D 3RW Every night | Ticketed events, book ahead


Enjoyed perusing our list of the best jazz bars in London? Then you might enjoy the Best London Restaurants With Live Music too.