Top 10 Best Jazz Bars In New York City

Top 10 Best Jazz Bars In New York City - a close up picture of a man holding a saxophone and a mic inside a Jazz bar

As the birthplace of jazz, New York City teems with soul-stirring establishments just waiting to lure you in with the irresistible lure of live music. The city’s jazz scene, pulsating with talent and history, serves as a playground for jazz lovers seeking to experience the magical performances up close. From old-school jazz bars still alive with the spirit of past music legends to modern venues serving up innovative renditions, NYC’s jazz bars offer a fine blend of tradition and modernity.

Walking into these jazz bars allows you to feel the city’s heartbeat, underneath the rushing metro, the crowded delis, and towering skyscrapers. Therein lies the truly authentic NYC experience, bathed in dim light, filled with soft chatter over clinking glasses, and underscored by the soulful notes of a saxophone. So, let’s take a trip down the bustling lanes of New York City, delving deeper into its vibrant heart, by exploring the top ten best jazz bars that the city has to offer.

Best Jazz Bars In New York City

1. Birdland Jazz Club

Birdland Jazz Club isn’t just a venue; it’s a pulsating heart in the body of New York’s jazz scene, steeped in a rich tapestry of musical history. Here, the echoes of jazz legends resonate through the air, offering a timeless journey through the genre’s storied past and vibrant present, all within the bustling vibrancy of Manhattan.

2. The Village Vanguard

Nestling in the heart of Greenwich Village, The Village Vanguard is more than just a club; it’s a sanctum where the ghosts of jazz’s yesteryears mingle with today’s virtuosos, creating an atmosphere that’s as electrifying as it is intimate, making every performance a historical moment in its own right.

  • Address: Not provided
  • Phone: Not provided
  • Website: The Village Vanguard
  • Unique Features: A crucible of jazz history with an intimate aura
  • Best Seller or Highlights: Historic live recordings and a magnet for jazz’s finest

3. Smoke Jazz & Supper Club

At Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, the air is thick with the aroma of gourmet dishes and the sound of sizzling jazz, creating a synesthetic experience that tantalizes both the palate and the ears. This venue is a celebration of New York’s jazz culture, offering a space where music and culinary arts dance in perfect harmony.

4. Smalls Jazz Club

Smalls Jazz Club is a bastion of jazz authenticity, a cozy cellar where every note tells a story, and every performance is an intimate conversation. It’s a place where jazz aficionados gather, seeking the raw, unfiltered essence of the music they love, in an environment that feels like the living room of a devoted jazz lover.

  • Address: Not provided
  • Phone: Not provided
  • Website: Smalls Jazz Club
  • Unique Features: A haven for purists of jazz in an authentically intimate setting
  • Best Seller or Highlights: Dedication to the true essence of jazz

5. Bill’s Place

Bill’s Place offers a journey back in time to the golden age of Harlem’s jazz scene, where the spirit of the Prohibition era is alive and well. In this intimate setting, the music feels personal, like a secret shared among friends, making each performance a unique treasure in the heart of one of jazz’s historic neighborhoods.

6. Zinc Bar

Zinc Bar is a subterranean jewel in New York’s jazz crown, a place where the past and present of jazz intermingle. The venue’s rich history as a gathering spot for music lovers is palpable, and its eclectic lineup ensures that every visit offers a new auditory adventure, set against the backdrop of its storied walls.

  • Address: Not provided
  • Phone: Not provided
  • Website: Zinc Bar
  • Unique Features: A historical nexus of jazz in New York City
  • Best Seller or Highlights: A kaleidoscope of jazz and global music traditions

7. Dizzy’s Club

Dizzy’s Club offers an upscale jazz experience that transcends the ordinary, where the city’s skyline provides a stunning backdrop to performances by jazz’s elite. This venue is not just about the music; it’s an immersive experience where the elegance of the setting matches the quality of the sound, creating unforgettable nights.

8. Mezzrow Jazz Club

In the heart of the West Village lies Mezzrow Jazz Club, a sanctuary for those who crave jazz in its most intimate form. Here, the piano takes center stage, creating a dialogue between artist and audience that’s as personal as it is profound, all within a space that exudes sophistication and a deep respect for the music’s legacy.

9. Jazz at Kitano

Jazz at Kitano is not just a venue; it’s an experience, where the finesse of fine dining meets the passion of jazz. It’s a place where every performance is an invitation to indulge in the finer things in life, set against a backdrop of elegance and attentive service, offering a night of sophistication that lingers in memory.

10. The Flatiron Room NoMad

The Flatiron Room NoMad is a temple for the connoisseur of spirits and sounds, where an impressive array of whiskeys complements the soul-stirring melodies of jazz. This venue is a tribute to the timelessness of good music and fine drink, offering a sanctuary where both can be savored in an ambiance that whispers of a bygone era.


Without a doubt, New York City’s jazz bar scene is unparalleled, offering both locals and tourists the ultimate jazz experience. Each of these top 10 best jazz bars brings a unique blend of talent, ambiance, and signature drinks that caters to various guest preferences. Immersing oneself in these musical havens is not just about enjoying jazz but also relishing the city’s rich cultural heritage. So, whether being a long-time jazz aficionado or a curious newcomer, exploring these spots will undeniably lead to magical, memorable nights in the heart of the Big Apple.

Scott is the editor-in-chief of Spice Market New York. He is also an author and publisher of his own craft.