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Musicians performing at DC9.
Adrienne S./Yelp

12 D.C. Restaurants and Bars With Live Music

Where to eat and drink alongside multi-talented performers

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Musicians performing at DC9.
| Adrienne S./Yelp

Washington attracts some of the most sought-after musical acts in the business, and well-known bands pack D.C.’s music venues on a nightly basis. And while places such as The Anthem, 9:30 Club, and Capitol One Arena are popular with touring performers and fans, the food and beverage options tend to be average.

Rather than hastily scarfing down fries and spilling beer while standing shoulder-to-shoulder, consider catching a show at a more dining-friendly location. A handful of local bars and restaurants host regular shows along with menus that offer something a bit more satisfying to eat a drink. The Wharf alone brought the city two new destinations, and Adams Morgan has several to choose from as well.

Here are some of the top spots around D.C. to grab a bite or a cocktail while listening to live music.

Note: The featured bars and restaurants are not ranked. The map is arranged geographically from north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Songbyrd

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Songbyrd offers a combination of a coffee house, cafe, and music space. While some shows do sell out in advance, many are conducive to last-minute plans. In addition to the normal menu, there are weekly food and drink specials, including half-priced burgers on Sundays, “Tinder Tuesdays,” and wing Wednesdays.

Performers playing live at Songbyrd.
Songbyrd/Facebook

Madam's Organ

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Blues takes top billing at this Adams Morgan mainstay, which bills itself as the place “where the beautiful people go to get ugly.” Find cheese fries, Buffalo shrimp, jalapeno poppers, and other bar fare on the menu. There’s a fairly consistent pool of musicians, making it easy to return to see a favorite performer.

A singer on stage at Madam’s Organ.
Madam’s Organ/Facebook

Columbia Station

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Columbia Station hosts live jazz music on Tuesday through Sunday with no cover charge. Hungry spectators can order from the Italian-leaning menu of pastas and pizzas or choose from American-style entree such as meatloaf or roasted chicken. There’s a lengthy list of martinis and specilaty cocktails, too.

Jazz musicians playing inside Columbia Station.
Dee M./Yelp

Since opening in 2003, Jojo has been providing Washingtonians with regular (and free) jazz, funk and soul concerts on U Street NW. Its menu trends Southern with plenty of Creole and Cajun flavors. Most cocktails are under $10 and there are two happy hours nightly — one from from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and another from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Jazz musicians performing at Jojo.
Jojo/Facebook

This multi-level Shaw club is known for its high-quality musical acts and DJ-led parties. It’s also got a kitchen turning out items like burgers, sandwiches, and fried pickles until the late hours (especially on Fridays and Saturdays). The rooftop bar is a good location to grab a craft beer or mixed drink with views of U Street and the surrounding area.

Gypsy Sally's

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This hidden gem in Georgetown radiates feel-good vibes with its slate of jam bands, folk-rock reformers, and regular Grateful Dead tribute bands. Its menu of dips, flatbreads, appetizers, and sandwiches rotates seasonally. The main concert area has great sightlines as well as table service. Or, opt to hang out for a beer or snack in the adjacent vinyl lounge before or after a show.

Musicians performing at Gypsy Sally’s.
Gypsy Sally’s/Facebook

Rock and Roll Hotel

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Despite its name, there are no guest rooms at this Atlas District dive bar. Instead, expect lively acts from D.C. and around the world along with pub grub and craft beer. The small stage is an excellent showcase for the up-and-coming talent that plays here.

Musician Father John Misty performing at Rock and Roll Hotel.
Rock and Roll Hotel/Facebook

The Hamilton

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In addition to ticketed concerts at subterranean Hamilton Live, this multi-purpose restaurant brings in free late-night music in its loft on most Fridays and Saturdays. The kitchen offers snacks ranging from charcuterie boards to chicken wings with mumbo sauce. There’s always the option to dine in the main restaurant before heading up for a cocktail and tunes.

Musicians playing at Hamilton Live.
Hamilton/Facebook

Hill Country

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The Texas-style barbecue remains the main draw at this Penn Quarter hangout. But the packed music calendar, which is often free (not to mention local), is an added bonus. Stop in for some brisket with a side of folk, blues or live band karaoke.

Live band karaoke packs ‘em in at Hill Country.
Hill Country/Facebook

Pearl Street Warehouse

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A new addition at the Wharf, Pearl Street Warehouse serves food all day long, including breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Find burgers, loaded tater tots, sandwiches, and more. Grab a musically-inspired specialty cocktail like the Hound Dog, Rebel Rebel, or Pimper’s Paradise at the bar.

Musicians performing at Pearl Street Warehouse.
Pearl Street Warehouse/Facebook

Union Stage

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Wharf newcomer Union Stage features nightly ticketed shows in a variety of musical genres along with a menu of pizzas and 16 beers on draft. There’s a separate tap room in addition to the main venue, with the full menu available in both rooms.

Musicians performing at Union Stage.
Rami S./Yelp

Fat Tuesday's

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Get into the Mardi Gras spirit any time of year at this New Orleans-themed bar. Live music goes on multiple nights of the week, including each Friday and Saturday night. Find shrimp po’boys, gumbo, and other Cajun favorites plus cold Abita beers.

A packed house at Fat Tuesday’s.
Fat Tuesday’s/Facebook

Songbyrd

Performers playing live at Songbyrd.
Songbyrd/Facebook

Songbyrd offers a combination of a coffee house, cafe, and music space. While some shows do sell out in advance, many are conducive to last-minute plans. In addition to the normal menu, there are weekly food and drink specials, including half-priced burgers on Sundays, “Tinder Tuesdays,” and wing Wednesdays.

Performers playing live at Songbyrd.
Songbyrd/Facebook

Madam's Organ

A singer on stage at Madam’s Organ.
Madam’s Organ/Facebook

Blues takes top billing at this Adams Morgan mainstay, which bills itself as the place “where the beautiful people go to get ugly.” Find cheese fries, Buffalo shrimp, jalapeno poppers, and other bar fare on the menu. There’s a fairly consistent pool of musicians, making it easy to return to see a favorite performer.

A singer on stage at Madam’s Organ.
Madam’s Organ/Facebook

Columbia Station

Jazz musicians playing inside Columbia Station.
Dee M./Yelp

Columbia Station hosts live jazz music on Tuesday through Sunday with no cover charge. Hungry spectators can order from the Italian-leaning menu of pastas and pizzas or choose from American-style entree such as meatloaf or roasted chicken. There’s a lengthy list of martinis and specilaty cocktails, too.

Jazz musicians playing inside Columbia Station.
Dee M./Yelp

Jojo

Jazz musicians performing at Jojo.
Jojo/Facebook

Since opening in 2003, Jojo has been providing Washingtonians with regular (and free) jazz, funk and soul concerts on U Street NW. Its menu trends Southern with plenty of Creole and Cajun flavors. Most cocktails are under $10 and there are two happy hours nightly — one from from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and another from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Jazz musicians performing at Jojo.
Jojo/Facebook

DC9

This multi-level Shaw club is known for its high-quality musical acts and DJ-led parties. It’s also got a kitchen turning out items like burgers, sandwiches, and fried pickles until the late hours (especially on Fridays and Saturdays). The rooftop bar is a good location to grab a craft beer or mixed drink with views of U Street and the surrounding area.

Gypsy Sally's

Musicians performing at Gypsy Sally’s.
Gypsy Sally’s/Facebook

This hidden gem in Georgetown radiates feel-good vibes with its slate of jam bands, folk-rock reformers, and regular Grateful Dead tribute bands. Its menu of dips, flatbreads, appetizers, and sandwiches rotates seasonally. The main concert area has great sightlines as well as table service. Or, opt to hang out for a beer or snack in the adjacent vinyl lounge before or after a show.

Musicians performing at Gypsy Sally’s.
Gypsy Sally’s/Facebook

Rock and Roll Hotel

Musician Father John Misty performing at Rock and Roll Hotel.
Rock and Roll Hotel/Facebook

Despite its name, there are no guest rooms at this Atlas District dive bar. Instead, expect lively acts from D.C. and around the world along with pub grub and craft beer. The small stage is an excellent showcase for the up-and-coming talent that plays here.

Musician Father John Misty performing at Rock and Roll Hotel.
Rock and Roll Hotel/Facebook

The Hamilton

Musicians playing at Hamilton Live.
Hamilton/Facebook

In addition to ticketed concerts at subterranean Hamilton Live, this multi-purpose restaurant brings in free late-night music in its loft on most Fridays and Saturdays. The kitchen offers snacks ranging from charcuterie boards to chicken wings with mumbo sauce. There’s always the option to dine in the main restaurant before heading up for a cocktail and tunes.

Musicians playing at Hamilton Live.
Hamilton/Facebook

Hill Country

Live band karaoke packs ‘em in at Hill Country.
Hill Country/Facebook

The Texas-style barbecue remains the main draw at this Penn Quarter hangout. But the packed music calendar, which is often free (not to mention local), is an added bonus. Stop in for some brisket with a side of folk, blues or live band karaoke.

Live band karaoke packs ‘em in at Hill Country.
Hill Country/Facebook

Pearl Street Warehouse

Musicians performing at Pearl Street Warehouse.
Pearl Street Warehouse/Facebook

A new addition at the Wharf, Pearl Street Warehouse serves food all day long, including breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Find burgers, loaded tater tots, sandwiches, and more. Grab a musically-inspired specialty cocktail like the Hound Dog, Rebel Rebel, or Pimper’s Paradise at the bar.

Musicians performing at Pearl Street Warehouse.
Pearl Street Warehouse/Facebook

Union Stage

Musicians performing at Union Stage.
Rami S./Yelp

Wharf newcomer Union Stage features nightly ticketed shows in a variety of musical genres along with a menu of pizzas and 16 beers on draft. There’s a separate tap room in addition to the main venue, with the full menu available in both rooms.

Musicians performing at Union Stage.
Rami S./Yelp

Fat Tuesday's

A packed house at Fat Tuesday’s.
Fat Tuesday’s/Facebook

Get into the Mardi Gras spirit any time of year at this New Orleans-themed bar. Live music goes on multiple nights of the week, including each Friday and Saturday night. Find shrimp po’boys, gumbo, and other Cajun favorites plus cold Abita beers.

A packed house at Fat Tuesday’s.
Fat Tuesday’s/Facebook

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