10 Best Bars and Entertainment Venues for Live Music in Buffalo

The power of live music to unite people is undeniable and its draw is universal. Some cities like Austin, Nashville and New Orleans are known for live music, and while Buffalo may not be in the same category with larger cities, its music scene certainly comes out on top when listed among smaller cities the United States. On weekends, you'll find live music at almost every bar, several outstanding indoor venues draw big-name acts, and in the summer its outdoor concerts at three major public spaces are flooded with people enjoying the weather, the culture, and the vibes. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that Buffalo does things right. Year round, you can check out what's happening at the Town Ballroom or the Waiting Room, two indoor venues that offer both national and local acts. During the summer, Artpark, Larkin Square, and Canalside all offer a concert series and a laid back, festival-like atmosphere.

While many venues on the local music scene are clustered in the Downtown area, know that terrific places to hear live music can be found throughout Buffalo. Here are our 10 favorite venues that offer a variety of live music options in the Queen City.



Founded in the 1930s, this second-floor club served as a haven for African-American music lovers and is an ideal place to relax with a drink and enjoy local music. Today folks still congregate here to enjoy live blues and jazz bands, including...  Read More

Broadway Joe's


Fantastic live performances by emerging local musicians draw a discriminating clientele to this popular bar. Don't expect anything fancy: it's a dive with dart boards, a small stage and cheap drinks (think $6 pitchers of beer). As far as the...  Read More



For Buffalo's trendy culture and entertainment scene, The Waiting Room is the place to be. Indie bands and a clean, modern motif with private parking make this an easy choice. There is a dance floor area in front of the stage, and a wide variety...  Read More



This is the ultimate hipster bar; it's dark, slightly smelly and grungy. If you moved a Brooklyn bar to Buffalo, this would be it. That being said, it's not unusual to hear an emerging musician on the piano, or other folk, indie, and rock bands...  Read More



While bars across the street seem overflowing with attempts at being trendy, Allen Street is genuine version of the bohemian-meets hipster neighborhood hangout. This intriguing coffeehouse (by day) features savory bites, a full bar and frequent...  Read More



For a true local vibe and music that you won't find anywhere else, head to Sportsmen's Tavern. The lower level feels like a rustic pub, and upstairs there is a patio with great views of the city. The owner is a musician who also owns a recording...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Visit Buffalo Niagara and Buffalo Place


In 2005, the Canalside district was reclaimed for restoration. Now, the city is continuing a $315 million development that has already transformed the 23-acre waterfront area into a thriving attraction. Throughout the summer, more than 100...  Read More



This beloved music club draws outstanding artists, often rock or jazz, and more than decent cover bands. Show patrons love the cozy atmosphere and may enhance their experience with a stop at the bar, which provides a long list of beers on tap,...  Read More



Located outside of Lewiston, Artpark encompasses more than 200 acres solely devoted to nature and the arts, both visual and performing. During the summer, a full schedule of events includes world-class musical and theatrical performances (like...  Read More



During its heyday, this venue was home to show girls, gamblers, and musical legends. In 2005 the Town Ballroom was restored to her original glory, and today is one of Buffalo's premier entertainment venues. There is no seating inside, so either...  Read More


Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber