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Black Cat
Black Cat
Patricia Chang

11 Excellent Restaurants and Bars With Live Jazz

The best places to listen to live jazz any night of the week

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Black Cat
| Patricia Chang

There’s nothing quite like an evening filled with live jazz and well-balanced cocktails to evoke citified vibes. Thankfully, San Francisco is home to a number of venues that host spirited tunes in addition to excellent menus. This list presents 11 excellent bars and restaurants with live jazz, which means that you can listen to the sound of saxophones as you sip your martini any night of the week.

Newcomers like Mr. Tipple's Recording Studio and Black Cat blend sophisticated drinks with bar bites and brassy melodies most nights of the week, while mainstays like Pier 23 Cafe and Club Deluxe offer up more casual alternatives for evening entertainment. And while there's plenty of food (and live tunes) on the menu at jazz-happy staples Zingari and Bix, check out this list of late-night spots in the event that you find yourself out on the town later than expected after an evening listening to the blues.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Leave the modern world behind and enter into Mad Man-era by way of a cramped alley leading up to Bix’s front door. This dimly-lit supper club doles out foie gras and caviar alongside a classic cocktail list of negronis and perfect manhattans, all to the tunes of classic jazz pianists, singers, and trios.When: Sunday through Thursday starting at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Black Cat

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This recent addition to the Tenderloin hosts a jazzy round-up of live music on its swanky, subterranean level nearly every night of the week. There's also a full menu of lasagna, Pacific oysters, and of course, lots of beer, wine, and house-made drinks.When: Most nights of the week, time and cover charges vary.

Burritt Room Tavern

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The tunes of Ellington, Parker, and Davis fill this chandelier-lit, noir-inspired cocktail bar six nights a week when live jazz groups take over the floor. Listen in as you sip on cocktails like the rum-based, cantaloupe-infused H. Belafonte, paired with dishes such as a side of tater tot poutine or sourdough pancakes.When: Monday through Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Club Deluxe

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Don’t be fooled by this Haight Street spot’s unassuming exterior; inside, the retro bar is decked out in wood paneled walls, chrome-and-vinyl chairs, and abstract artwork. Styled after New York City jazz houses of the past, the Deluxe hosts live music every night with an occasional cover. This neighborhood staple has recently transferred ownership, but the new proprietors' vision of the Deluxe remains the same as its previous owners, so that sweet tunes and “Spa" Tom Collinses (a cucumber-infused spin on the traditional) are both still available.When: Daily from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. with a $5 cover charge on Fridays and Saturdays.

Le Colonial

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Listen to live jazz as you snack on Vietnamese-inspired fare in the bamboo-lined interior of Le Colonial’s lounge, which hosts music during most evenings of the week.When: Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mr Tipple's Recording Studio

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Live music is the focal point at Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, where you can dance to pianists, vocalists, and jazz bands every night of the week with an accompanying menu of savory bar snacks and boozy mixed drinks.When: Monday through Saturday; times vary. See the full schedule here.

Pier 23 Cafe

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With a back patio overlooking the bay and an unpretentious menu of hamburgers, fried calamari, draft beer, and stiff drinks, there are plenty of reasons to pay this no-frills restaurant a visit. But the best reason of all may be to catch its live music line-up of cheerful, brassy medleys around sundown.When: Schedule varies. Details here.

Revolution Cafe

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This European-styled Mission cafe channels Bohemian vibes with rickety tables and veranda doors that swing open onto the bustling 22nd street. There’s a packed schedule of live music seven days a week, with tunes often starting as early as 5 p.m. — the ideal time for a $6 glass of sangria.When: Daily with varying times. Check the music calendar here.

The Royal Cuckoo

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There’s a Hammond organ tucked away behind the bar of this eclectic Bernal hideaway, and, for the majority of the week, you’ll discover a rotating lineup of musicians jamming out to the tunes of blues, soul, and jazz. If the bizarro living room vibes, boozy drinks, and comprehensive vinyl collection aren’t enough to lure you in, perhaps a hat tip from the NY Times will entice you. When: Music starts at 7:30 p.m. most nights of the week.

Top of the Mark

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With one-hundred martinis on the menu, a bird’s eye view of the city’s skyline, and a line-up of jazz and blues groups playing nearly every night of the week, Top of the Mark is a city mainstay that’s become something of a tourist destination. Even despite the $15 cocktails, it’s still the ideal spot to bring friends and family visiting from out of town. When: Wednesday through Sunday. Times vary; view the full line-uphere.

Zingari

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Dine on pappardelle and ossobuco at this Lower Nob Hill Italian white tableclothed restaurant with a view onto Post Street. It’s best to arrive around 8 p.m., when live jazz plays in the dining room nightly. When: Daily starting at 8 p.m.

Bix

Leave the modern world behind and enter into Mad Man-era by way of a cramped alley leading up to Bix’s front door. This dimly-lit supper club doles out foie gras and caviar alongside a classic cocktail list of negronis and perfect manhattans, all to the tunes of classic jazz pianists, singers, and trios.When: Sunday through Thursday starting at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Black Cat

This recent addition to the Tenderloin hosts a jazzy round-up of live music on its swanky, subterranean level nearly every night of the week. There's also a full menu of lasagna, Pacific oysters, and of course, lots of beer, wine, and house-made drinks.When: Most nights of the week, time and cover charges vary.

Burritt Room Tavern

The tunes of Ellington, Parker, and Davis fill this chandelier-lit, noir-inspired cocktail bar six nights a week when live jazz groups take over the floor. Listen in as you sip on cocktails like the rum-based, cantaloupe-infused H. Belafonte, paired with dishes such as a side of tater tot poutine or sourdough pancakes.When: Monday through Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Club Deluxe

Don’t be fooled by this Haight Street spot’s unassuming exterior; inside, the retro bar is decked out in wood paneled walls, chrome-and-vinyl chairs, and abstract artwork. Styled after New York City jazz houses of the past, the Deluxe hosts live music every night with an occasional cover. This neighborhood staple has recently transferred ownership, but the new proprietors' vision of the Deluxe remains the same as its previous owners, so that sweet tunes and “Spa" Tom Collinses (a cucumber-infused spin on the traditional) are both still available.When: Daily from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. with a $5 cover charge on Fridays and Saturdays.

Le Colonial

Listen to live jazz as you snack on Vietnamese-inspired fare in the bamboo-lined interior of Le Colonial’s lounge, which hosts music during most evenings of the week.When: Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mr Tipple's Recording Studio

Live music is the focal point at Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, where you can dance to pianists, vocalists, and jazz bands every night of the week with an accompanying menu of savory bar snacks and boozy mixed drinks.When: Monday through Saturday; times vary. See the full schedule here.

Pier 23 Cafe

With a back patio overlooking the bay and an unpretentious menu of hamburgers, fried calamari, draft beer, and stiff drinks, there are plenty of reasons to pay this no-frills restaurant a visit. But the best reason of all may be to catch its live music line-up of cheerful, brassy medleys around sundown.When: Schedule varies. Details here.

Revolution Cafe

This European-styled Mission cafe channels Bohemian vibes with rickety tables and veranda doors that swing open onto the bustling 22nd street. There’s a packed schedule of live music seven days a week, with tunes often starting as early as 5 p.m. — the ideal time for a $6 glass of sangria.When: Daily with varying times. Check the music calendar here.

The Royal Cuckoo

There’s a Hammond organ tucked away behind the bar of this eclectic Bernal hideaway, and, for the majority of the week, you’ll discover a rotating lineup of musicians jamming out to the tunes of blues, soul, and jazz. If the bizarro living room vibes, boozy drinks, and comprehensive vinyl collection aren’t enough to lure you in, perhaps a hat tip from the NY Times will entice you. When: Music starts at 7:30 p.m. most nights of the week.

Top of the Mark

With one-hundred martinis on the menu, a bird’s eye view of the city’s skyline, and a line-up of jazz and blues groups playing nearly every night of the week, Top of the Mark is a city mainstay that’s become something of a tourist destination. Even despite the $15 cocktails, it’s still the ideal spot to bring friends and family visiting from out of town. When: Wednesday through Sunday. Times vary; view the full line-uphere.

Zingari

Dine on pappardelle and ossobuco at this Lower Nob Hill Italian white tableclothed restaurant with a view onto Post Street. It’s best to arrive around 8 p.m., when live jazz plays in the dining room nightly. When: Daily starting at 8 p.m.

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