10 Best Live Music Venues in San Diego

When the mood strikes, live music is almost always an option. This list of 10 best live music venues in San Diego is comprised of options that are very different from one another. They're all pretty casual experiences which is in line with the coastal ambiance. Which you choose also depends on if you'd like to dance or just listen to music.

For times you want to laugh and enjoy a high-energy experience, the dueling pianos at the Shout House are sure to please. The show is interactive, with requests from the crowd common, and often features holiday themes.

Serious jazz lovers will want to head to Dizzy's in Pacific Beach where music is the emphasis. Sure, there's wine and cocktails but it's a really cool experience that's perfect for date night. Those looking for a bar scene though won't find it here.

And, then there's the Belly Up which has been a North County favorite for decades. Big names have played here like Maroon 5 and regional bands like Common Sense still make frequent appearances.

Though a majority of options are clustered in the Gaslamp Quarter, these venues are also in Pacific Beach, Solana Beach and inland Del Mar. 

Without further delay, here's where you should groove to live music in San Diego.

Club M


By day, Club M is a place to enjoy casual fare with friends but on the weekends is the place to be seen in North County. The crowd skews more toward baby boomers and Gen Xers than other options on this list. A live band plays festive music...  Read More



This venue focuses on the performances, yet also has fine wine selections and a little bit of food though you might be better off filling up at a nearby PB restaurant. Guests love Dizzy's for this very quality. There are jazz jams on Friday...  Read More

Brick By Brick


After a refurb, this formerly dive-y hole-in-the-wall is now sort of a stylish hole-in-the-wall. Regardless of the decor, it's a good place to catch a show and has been for years, thanks to decent acoustics and a pretty good sound system. The...  Read More



Each summer, the Humphrey's resort complex on Shelter Island hosts a fantastic series of concerts at the outdoor arena. The season includes performances from comedians such as past performers Bill Cosby, Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes and Craig...  Read More

The Shout! House


Self-proclaimed as the place that sells fun, this lively joint features dueling pianos like you've never heard them before. The shows are interactive so guests get to participate too. Customer requests and lively prepared acts make for plenty of...  Read More



The San Diego Symphony gave its first performance in 1910 and now gives over 100 performances a year including the Masterworks series, the Winter Pops series, annual holiday programs, a Family Festival series, the Light Bulb Series and now a...  Read More

Pacific Beach


710 Beach Club is an awesome sports bar by day but when the sun sets, out comes the live music virtually every night of the week. The club also hosts weekly open mic night as well as Sunday Funday Karaoke. Rock Out Karaoke plays there on...  Read More



If underground alternative rock is your thing, head to Casbah. It's the prime spot to hear up-and-coming bands perform before they're a who's who; think names like Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Alanis Morissette. In addition to listening to...  Read More



An outstanding music venue and top-notch restaurant make this the place of choice for both visitors and residents of San Diego. From its legendary Sunday Gospel Brunch to its roster of libations and great musical lineup, this spot definitely has...  Read More

Belly Up Tavern


An award-winning nightspot, Belly Up is a live music venue that's caught the eye of Rolling Stone magazine though is anything but pretentious. It's also extremely popular, winning 'best of" votes time and again. Tasty eats are available at the...  Read More


Meet Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as...  More About Katie