11 Best Singapore Bars and Cafes to Catch Note-Worthy Live Music Gigs

Sure, there are many restaurants and bars out there that frequently offer live music performances. But which ones actually stage quality acts? Well, probably just a handful. If you’re not sure which they are, plan your nights out with this list of cafes, bars and restaurants that have been known to set themselves apart from the rest when it comes to music.

Thanks to our friends from SG Magazine, we have compiled the top 11 best bars and cafes to catch note-worthy live music gigs! So take a seat and enjoy!

Acid Bar 

(Photo via Acid Bar’s Facebook page)

First on our list is a place that’s no stranger in the local music scene. Newly renovated, this quaint shophouse at Peranakan Place provides an intimate ambience for budding singer-songwriters and cover bands to perform—in fact, Acid Bar is the place that first saw Jack and Rai perform 14 years ago.

Live music is on from 5pm till late everyday, with different artists every night. Catch live acoustic performances from local bands like Kollective, Pam & OBB, and Sugarlove here in the heart of town along Emerald Hill. 180 Orchard Rd.

Blu Jaz

(Photo via Blu Jaz’s Facebook page)

One of the most iconic home-grown jazz venues in Singapore, we’ve been going to Blu Jaz for years now.

Whether it’s for live music, comedy, poetry slams or DJ nights, the standard is always top notch. This established platform has groomed many local talents such as hearthrob musician Charlie Lim and comedian Fakkah Fuzz, and they continue to do so with their open mics and promoting the occasional fresh faced band.

With well-known local musicians like the Jordan Wei Trio, Nicol Dufell Quartet and Havana Social Club performing weekly, you really can’t help but want a slice of the action. Unfortunately, they’re currently in the midst of having their entertainment license revoked due to noise and overcrowding issues. Take a look, and if you would be so kind, sign their petition—don’t let the music die. 11 Bali Ln.

Cool Cats

(Photo via Cool Cat’s Facebook page)

This chic speakeasy bar has made its way into the hearts of dedicated jazz musicians and avid listeners with their world-class international acts, including soul singer Anita Spring, Brazilian saxophonist Leo Gandelman, and unique French-Caribbean singer Tricia Evy.

Whether you’re a fan of Bossa Nova, Funk or Latin jazz, swing by Cool Cats for an all-immersive lush experience. Don’t forget to try their inventive cocktails, which were featured in our list of best unique drinking spots in Singapore32 Beach Rd.

Crazy Elephant

(Photo via Crazy Elephant’s Facebook page)

Good music doesn’t always necessarily spell fancy and exclusive. Unpretentious and authentic, Crazy Elephant invites anyone and everyone to come in to enjoy their extensive list of local and international acts every night.

Aside from getting your daily dose of blues and rock & roll from resident US bands Bob Sauler and The Blues Machine, they’re also home to Singapore’s longest running jam session held every Sunday from 8pm. So feel free to get a little crazy, if you will.  #01-03/04, 3E River Valley Rd.

Going Om

(Image via Going Om)

The next time you’re out exploring the uber-hip Haji Lane, be sure to drop by Going Om. A self-proclaimed sanctuary, this vibrant cafe is tucked away in one of the many refurbished shophouses along the street. It’s truly a place to kick back and relax/groove to the live acoustic renditions by local bands or singer-songwriters such as Hidhir and the Jukuleles as well as Iris Judotter. 63 Haji Ln.

Hard Rock Cafe

(photo via Hard Rock Cafe Singapore’s Facebook page)

You probably already know why they’re on the list, but we’re just here to remind you this American franchise hasn’t lost their mojo just yet. Known for their signature decor and fantastic burgers, their center stage is regularly graced by high energy acts like the talented reggae band Bushmen and local rock/alternative band The Marisol.

Look out also for a major throwback to a grand display of rock and roll oldies every Friday at Jive Talkin’. Besides these, Hard Rock Cafe features stripped down acoustic performances as well—so start loading up on some nachos. 50 Cuscaden Rd.

Hood Bar and Cafe

(Photo via Hood Bar and Cafe’s Facebook page)

Recently reopened, this music bar adorned with funky art has given opportunities to countless aspiring local bands and continues to promote some of the best local talents.

If you’re more into mando/canto pop, make this your new hood with bilingual pop rock band 吃喝玩乐 E.D.M, while R&B or soul enthusiasts can have their ears blessed by Yayabananas and Ariane Goh. We’re already thinking of dedications for them to croon back to us. #05-07 Bugis+, 201 Victoria St.

Lulu’s Lounge

(Photo via Lulu’s Bar ‘s Facebook page)

Retro DJs and burlesque dancers? Consider us intrigued. Reminiscent of a 1960’s New York backstreet club, Lulu’s Lounge combines music and entertainment in this animated hideout with an open display of live performances of jazz, funk, disco, house—you name it, they have it. A truly memorable experience for a night out if you’re looking to party hard. Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Blvd.

The Beast Cafe & Bar

(Photo via The Beat Cafe & Bar’s Facebook page)

If you’re scouting for some good open mics, come by The Beast Cafe & Bar on Thursdays to have a listen while you chomp down on some classic comfort food—think southern fried chicken, BBQ wings and steak. Between seasoned performers and enthusiastic first timers, we promise you’re in for a wild ride.17 Jalan Klapa

The Black Swan Patio

(Photo via The Black Swan’s Facebook page)

Set under fairy lights at a gorgeous alfresco garden patio, your cure to mid-week work blues can be found here (in the CBD, no less). Every Wednesday from 8pm, join Aarika Lee and her band, The Next Movement at The Black Swan patio as they perform their take on the top 40s, indie favs and pop hits. You’ll want to come early in order to chope a seat. 19 Cecil St.

Barber Shop by Timbre

(Photo via Barber Shop’s Facebook page)

Chances are, somebody you know has performed here before. Part of the Timbre group, Barber Shop has housed many new and existing local acts, and regularly partners with schools and interest groups as well to form their weekly set list.

Jam out to jazz, funk soul and blues-rock at this cosy whisky bar with classic vinyl covers as their artistic backdrop. The other Timbre venues (which require no introduction) are worth a visit too. Check them out here#01-03, 1 Old Parliament Ln.