Music, Margaritas and a Meal: Four Live Music Cafes in NYC

If you pride yourself on your good taste in food and even better taste in music, add these four cafes that feature live performances to your list of must-hit New York City spots.

Cornelia Street Cafe

29 Cornelia St.

With two performances every night, the Cornelia Street Cafe, has gained its reputation as one of New York City’s quintessential live music cafes since its opening in 1977. It’s divided into two sections the Restaurant and the Underground. The former quite obviously serves its award-winning food, and the latter offers an early show at 5:45 p.m. for $10, a late show at 8:30 p.m. for $20-25 and a late-late show at 10 p.m. for $25 only on weekends. Presenting jazz, theater, cabaret and even poetry, this spot is one of New York City’s most famous, and rightfully so. For an added bonus, each ticket comes with one free drink for the over-21s.

Victor’s Cafe

236 W 52nd St.

A trip to Victor’s isn’t a commute to Midtown  it’s one to Cuba. This family-owned joint, with decor inspired by Havana’s vibrant streets, gives you a taste of the country here in the city. At its Cuba Lounge, you can nibble on Cuban food, from Tostones ($11) to Empanadas ($10), while sipping on cocktails from its unique menu like the Havana Spice made with Bacardi Oakheart Spiced rum ($16). With food in your belly and a drink in your hand, sit back to enjoy the performance held by the Son de Cuba Band, who perform there nightly. Immerse yourself in the authentic tunes and tapas for an experience certain to make you feel like Manhattan is a plane-ride away.

Sidewalk Bar and Restaurant

94 Avenue A

Enjoy affordable Mediterranean food and funky cocktails all topped with live music at this Alphabet City establishment. Whether you choose to sit at the bar area, the restaurant or the stage section, your experience is guaranteed to be more than satisfactory. Its calendar details when the live music performances will be held, but allow us to recommend its popular Open Mic Night every Monday night. With no cover charge and just a minimum of either an order of food or drinks, it’s a no-brainer. And who said performances always have to be musical? Tuesday is all poetry, so head here for some poetry slams or live readings to get your creative juices flowing.

Jules Bistro

65 St. Marks Pl.

St. Marks is home to a variety of nightly hangouts, and this jazz-playing, French-inspired bistro is on the top of its list. The owner, Georges Forgeois, previously lived in Harlem where the renowned jazz scene inspired him to open Jules, an East Village mesh of the uptown neighborhood and Parisian charm. Enjoy nightly jazz performances at no cover charge while nibbling on a selection of its French fare, from Les Escargots ($14) to the Moules Frites with a wine or cocktail from your choice.

Juleps and jazz, pina coladas and poetry, martinis and music these places have it all. So skip the bar-hopping this weekend, and get your dining, drinking and dancing fixes of the night all in one.

Email Celina Khorma at [email protected]



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