Looking for live music in San Diego? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re looking for a chill acoustic spot or something with a bit more of an edge, this guide will show you where to find the best places in San Diego to hear live music.
So grab your friends, put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to rock out!
Does San Diego Have Good Nightlife?
San Diego is a beautiful city with great weather and plenty to do during the day. But what about at night? Does San Diego have a good nightlife?
- There are definitely some great options for nightlife in San Diego.
- For example, downtown San Diego has a great selection of bars and clubs, perfect for dancing the night away.
- And if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, there are plenty of places to get a drink and relax with friends.
- There’s also a lively music scene, with plenty of live shows to enjoy.
So, does San Diego have good nightlife? Yes, definitely! There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking to party hard or just enjoy a few drinks with friends. So come on down and check it out for yourself!
And if you’re a musician looking to expand your repertoire by adding some new San Diego music venues to your list, be sure to ask your music teacher for tips on booking a gig. In your music lessons, you’ll need everything you need to know to put on a memorable show – plus what you see in the video below:
Best Bars With Live Music in San Diego
Looking for live music in San Diego? Whether you’re looking for a grungy bar with a ’90s rocker feel, a speakeasy with a secret entrance, or maybe you’d like to enjoy a live Irish band while enjoying a pint of Guinness, San Diego has tons of live music opportunities all throughout the nightlife scene.
If you’re ready to dive into the scene, here are our top 10 picks for bars with live music in San Diego.
1. Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub
428 F Street San Diego, CA 92101
Opened during the Prohibition in 1933, this pub has been in Downtown San Diego since the inception of the Gaslamp Quarter, and was the only place in the downtown area that had live music. Known as “the premier Blues and Live Music Club,” the venue features music every night of the week starting at 9pm. With a casual vibe, reasonably-priced drinks, and great on-stage talent nightly, it’s an excellent place to visit with a group of friends. There is no dress code, so you can enjoy the best of San Diego talent without getting dressed up.
2. The Casbah
2501 Kettner Blvd, San Diego Ca 92102
With a reputation as one of the best concert venues in town, the Casbah is actually not a very large concert venue. In fact, it is a fairly small and relatively divey one. Hosting nationally recognized bands and little-known local bands, the Casbah runs the gambit. For the music lover looking for a night out, the Casbah is one of the top bars with live music in San Diego, boasting decent prices and a small setting. With standing room only, you can practically reach out and touch the performers. This venue is all ages for some shows, and 21+ for others, with prices ranging from free to top dollar for national acts. Check the concert calendar for upcoming shows, prices, and age restrictions.
548 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
If you’re looking to get dressed up and step back to a time of moonshiners and bathtub distilleries, then Prohibition is the place for you. Open Thursday through Saturday, they have a dress code and house rules for you to review before visiting. They offer live jazz, blues, or soul music depending on the night you visit, starting at 9:30pm; you can check their music calendar to see who is performing each night. If you are looking to impress your friends or date, take them to this hidden speakeasy bar. Located behind a law office door, visitors need to push the buzzer to be let in, then descend a set of red-light-lit stairs into the bar. Tip: show up early to avoid the line!
4. The Shout House
Ready for a raucous night out at one of our favorite San Diego bars with live music? If you’ve never seen dueling pianos before, the Shout House is quite an experience. This place is all about the music. The audience can place requests for the performers, who sit at face-to-face grand pianos and perform classic rock all night long. Open Tuesday through Sunday, the doors open at different times depending on the night of the week, with performers starting about an hour after doors open. There is no cover Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. There are varying covers the other nights of the week, ranging from $5-$10 depending on your time of arrival and the night of the week.
5. Trisler’s Wine Bar
8555 Station Village Ln, San Diego CA 92108
Joining our list of San Diego bars with live music is this wine bar near Escala San Diego – Mission Valley. Trisler’s has musicians most nights starting at 7pm, with a list of performers available on their website. The bar has an intimate vibe, enhanced by rich dark woods and candles set out on tables, making this is a great place for a romantic date. With great happy hour prices around $5 per pour and a rotating selection of wines on the menu, this is an excellent spot for the music and wine lover.
6. The Field
544 5th Ave, San Diego CA. 92101
San Diego has a vibrant Irish bar scene, with bars hosting live music most nights and frequently accompanied by Irish dancers. Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, the Field hosts live music by Eamon Carroll on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday starting at 8:30pm. On Fridays, they host different bands (usually leaning toward the Irish-punk rock variety) that typically start at 9pm. They have no cover charge, maintain music levels that allow you to converse with your companion, and have great live performances.
7. Seven Grand
3054 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Seven Grand sets the bar high for upscale whiskey bars. Boasting an eclectic array of musicians on various nights, we recommend checking out their events calendar to see what musicians will be playing when you’re planning to visit.
8. Bar Pink
3829 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
If you are looking for a bar with cheap drinks, good music, and a laid-back atmosphere, Bar Pink fits the bill. With live music every night at 9pm except Sundays, and no cover, this is a great spot to catch some of San Diego’s best local bands. While a bit of a glammed-up dive, this bar has excellent cocktails, great music, and a casual vibe.
9. Soda Bar
3615 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego CA 92104
With a small stage and a small venue, you can often lose sound quality – but at Soda Bar the sound maintains its quality. With local bands opening for touring bands, this venue offers a great opportunity for new acts to get heard. This 21+ venue hosts live music every night of the week, so be sure to leave the kiddies at home. With cover charges ranging from free to $20, this is a great small venue to check out a local band or a touring band.
Winston’s is one of Ocean Beach’s most beloved music venues. This bar/restaurant hybrid serves up some tasty pub grub and also hosts a variety of musical acts each week. From local bands to touring ones, Winston’s always has something fun going on. Plus, the outdoor patio is the perfect way to enjoy some fresh air while listening to some tunes.
11. Brick by Brick
If you’re looking for something heavier than what Winston’s has to offer, then check out Brick by Brick. This popular spot is known for hosting metal bands from all over the world as well as local favorites like Kill Devil Hill and Stone Horseman. With its large stage and state-of-the-art sound system, it’s no wonder why this club is so popular with headbangers everywhere!
12. The Merrow
For those who prefer their music a bit softer (but still rockin’), The Merrow should be your next stop. This cozy venue offers an eclectic mix of folk, soul, country, jazz, blues and more all within its intimate walls. It also boasts one of the best sound systems around (not to mention awesome décor). So grab a craft beer at the bar and settle in for an evening of great tunes!
Best Restaurants With Live Music in San Diego
If you’re looking for a fun and unique dining experience in San Diego, then you should check out one of the many restaurants that offer live music. Not only will you be able to enjoy delicious food, but you can also take part in an entertaining night of singing along to some of your favorite songs! Read on to learn about some of the best restaurants with live music in San Diego.
The Kraken Bar & Grill
If you’re looking for a bar and grill atmosphere with a side of karaoke, then The Kraken Bar & Grill is the place for you. From Tuesday through Saturday, this establishment hosts live music events that range from local acts to national headliners. Plus, if you’re feeling brave, there are plenty of opportunities to join in on some karaoke!
Yet again on our list, this club has been around since 1989 and has hosted some legendary acts like Nirvana and Radiohead. The Casbah is an intimate venue that offers an intimate atmosphere perfect for enjoying some great live music while eating delicious food. With two stages and nightly shows featuring local artists as well as touring bands, there’s sure to be something for everyone!
The Belly Up Tavern
Located in Solana Beach, this 500-seat club offers a variety of musical genres from rock to reggae. The Belly Up Tavern consistently books big names like Bob Dylan, Jane’s Addiction, and Gorillaz—so it’s no wonder why it’s one of San Diego’s most popular venues for live music. In addition to its amazing lineup of musicians, patrons can also enjoy drinks from the fully-stocked bar and a delicious menu of pub fare.
Best Live Blues Music in San Diego
If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned blues music in San Diego, you’ve come to the right place. Live blue music can be found all over the city from downtown clubs and restaurants to outdoor festivals and live concert venues. Whether you’re an experienced blues fan or a novice just getting into the scene, here are some of our favorite hot spots for discovering great live blue music in San Diego.
Sick of us talking about the Casbah yet?
As one of the most well-known blues bars in town, it is a go-to destination for local and national acts alike. On any given night, you can find some of San Diego’s best blues musicians playing on its stage.
The Belly Up Tavern
Again, just steps away from The Casbah lies The Belly Up Tavern, another favorite on this list and another top spot for catching live blue music performances in San Diego. This classic venue hosts not only local talent but also touring bands from across the country and around the world.
San Diego Blues Festival
Every year, thousands flock to Balboa Park for this two-day event that celebrates all things blues. From traditional acoustic tunes to modern electric sounds, this festival has something for everyone who loves live blue music. Headliners vary from year to year but always bring a crowd!
Where to Find Live Country Music in San Diego
Ah, the sweet sounds of country music—the twang of a steel guitar, the soulful croon of a vocalist, and the steady rhythm of a drumbeat. If you’re looking for live country music in San Diego, you’ve come to the right place! From dive bars to fancy clubs, we’ve got all the best spots where you can listen to some good ol’ honky-tonk tunes.
The Tumbleweed Saloon
If you’re looking for a true taste of the Wild West here in San Diego, then look no further than The Tumbleweed Saloon. This dive bar serves up cold beer, greasy food, and plenty of boot-stompin’ country music throughout the week. Whether it’s a band playing their own originals or an open mic night where local singers can share their talents with an audience, this is definitely one spot that won’t disappoint any country music fan. Even better? It’s free entry every night – so there’s no excuse not to check it out!
The Rockin’ Rodeo Bar & Grill
For something a little more upscale (but still just as lively), try The Rockin’ Rodeo Bar & Grill. This swanky spot offers delicious cocktails and tasty bar food alongside some good old-fashioned honky tonk dancing. They’ve got a full schedule of live bands playing classic country hits plus some fresh new takes on the genre too – so there’s something for everyone! Plus with its huge dance floor, you’ll have plenty of room to practice those two-step moves.
The Whiskey Barrel Saloon
The Whiskey Barrel Saloon is another great spot for lovers of live country music in San Diego. Featuring both local bands and touring acts from all over the US, this saloon always delivers on entertainment value. The drinks are strong and plentiful (remember to drink responsibly!) and if you get hungry while you’re there, they’ve got some delicious Southern comfort food options available too – think fried chicken sandwiches and jalapeno poppers. Yum!
Looking for Free Live Music in San Diego? The Options are Endless!
Hopefully, this list of live music bars in San Diego has been helpful to you as you plan your evening.
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor concert or an intimate club experience, San Diego has no shortage of options when it comes to finding free live music.
From beachfront jam sessions to open mic nights at neighborhood bars, there are plenty of opportunities for music lovers on any budget! So grab your friends and get ready for some toe-tapping tunes this summer—San Diego style!
Photo by peyri