Nightlife - The City's Best Live Music Venues
New York City has long been known for great jazz -- from the early days of swing and bebop to touchstone jazz clubs like the Village Vanguard and Birdland -- and that tradition continues at many venues throughout the city.
If you want to go where New Yorkers go for great food and live jazz, head uptown to Broadway and 92nd Street. That’s where you’ll find Cleopatra’s Needle (named after the legendary monument in Central Park), a hot spot specializing in cool jazz and casual Mediterranean food. Happy hour runs every day from 4 to 7:30pm, with half-price martinis and glasses of wine, and reduced prices on all other drinks. Live performances begin every evening at 8pm; check their website for the upcoming schedule. 2485 Broadway at 92nd St., 212-769-6969; www.cleopatrasneedleny.com.
Located in Greenwich Village, Garage Restaurant and Café has it all -- great food, an outdoor cafe, two-story fireplace, and live jazz all night. Multi-level dining allows everyone to have the best seat in the house, whether you relax on richly upholstered banquettes or overlook the entire scene from a cozy booth on the balcony. You can enjoy live jazz seven nights a week, as well as during their Jazz Brunches every Saturday and Sunday until 4pm. With 17 draught beers, an incomparable live entertainment schedule, fine seafood and steaks, and great people-watching, a visit to Garage a must when visiting the West Village. 99 Seventh Ave. So. (Christopher St.), 212-645-0600; www.garagerest.com.
A throwback to the fabled days of New York nightclubs, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill features top-caliber music stars and an American Continental menu with a Southern flair. The Showcase Room has video screens and state-of-the-art sound, table seating, a bar where you can snack and listen, and a dance floor. Upcoming shows include the Robert Cray Band (3/19), Ledisi (3/28), and the Beatles Brunch offered every Saturday afternoon at noon (doors open at 11am). Lucille’s Grill (named after B.B.’s famed guitar), located next door, features the full menu and free live music every night at 8pm. Visit www.bbkingblues.com for a list of upcoming shows at both venues. 237 W. 42nd St. btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves., 212-997-4144.