Portland has long been a live music city, and that tradition lives on at decades-old haunts and newer spots on the scene. Jazz bars with Italian food and stiff drinks serve as the setting for quartets and trios, while bars with burgers and wings welcome DJs and rappers to their small stages. Those with fantasies of live indie bands and rock shows will find performances in back rooms of bars and during patio shows on warm summer evenings, while those who are really looking for dinner and a show can pop into one of the city’s steakhouses or old school restaurants. Although a number of restaurants and bars in Portland host the occasional event with a band in the corner, this map specifically focuses on spots regularly hosting musicians and bands. For drag shows, this map may be a better fit.Read More
Portland Restaurants and Bars Where You Can See Live Music
From pizzerias hosting jazz trios to dive bars with hip-hop shows
The Fixin' To
This beloved St. Johns dive bar regularly hosts Portland rock bands and rappers in its back room — including ones who grew up in the neighborhood. On the patio, customers can sit out on picnic tables over Frito pie and a beer before shows start. Check out the website for a list of shows, which range from Brooklyn native Carlos Truly to noise rock like the Art Gray Noizz Quintet.
The famous Kenton Club has been hosting shows consistently on the back patio during the pandemic, making the show’s music available for all of downtown Kenton’s enjoyment. But now that COVID restrictions have eased up, shows happen both indoors and out consistently on Fridays and Saturdays. The bar and restaurant’s menu is short but varied, boasting things like zucchini sticks, two-for-$5 corn dogs, and fish and chips.
Alberta Street Pub
Previously known as Love Train and then Alberta Street Public House, Alberta Street Pub has been a stalwart for food and brews for more than 30 years. Soul, jazz, and R&B hold significant real estate on the calendar typically, and drummer Tyrone Hendrix often makes appearances here; in addition to hosting live local music in a small venue space, the pub boasts a great patio, 21 rotating taps, craft cocktails, and a menu of vegan burgers, Cajun fried pickles, and shrimp sandwiches.
Wandering down Mississippi, Portlanders will often find a place to listen to music, whether it’s a touring act at Mississippi Studios, a singer-songwriter outside Stem wine bar, or a local folk band at Mississippi Pizza Pub. But jazz fans generally turn right off the main drag to visit the 1905, the place where you can stroll in, grab a pizza, and listen to some serious jazz. In a glitzy, polished dining room, customers sit at tables over Manhattans and listen to acts like the Ron Steen Jam, Portland jazz pianist Matt Sazima, or the LeAnna Simmons Quintet. Check out the website for reservations and a current schedule.
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Owned and operated by local musicians, one of Portland’s most popular venues is definitely Mississippi Studios, which conveniently shares an entrance with Bar Bar, and a no-brainer for after-show festivities — Bar Bar’s deep-fried ravioli, juicy burgers and fries, plentiful plant-based options, and spacious patio appeal to just about everyone. Touring bands often flock to Mississippi Studios — in the coming months, bands like U.S. Girls and Dengue Fever will be making appearances — but local bands like Reptaliens also land onstage here.
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Amalfi's Italian Restaurant
This longstanding Portland Italian restaurant hosts live musicians regularly, including regular sessions with sultry soul singer Tahirah Memory and other jazz-funk bands like Bourbon Renewal. On a sprawling outdoor patio, diners twirl pasta and sip glasses of prosecco with view of a small stage; it’s a prime summer activity, especially around sunset.
Clyde's Prime Rib Restaurant and Bar
For decades, Rose City’s old-school steakhouse was one of those places where people would sip Old Fashioneds and watch jazz in the adjacent lounge. That hasn’t changed: Clyde’s still regularly hosts musicians like the Grammy-nominated bassist and composer Kirk Green and the “godfather of the Portland jazz jam” Ron Steen. Grab a slab of prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes beforehand, heading to the dance floor with an after-dinner cocktail.
Wilf's Restaurant & Jazz Bar at Union Station
Located at Portland’s Union Station, Wilf’s is some old school realness when it comes to jazz bars and restaurants. Sitting at red velvet chairs, diners sip sparkling wine or pinot noir over dishes like shrimp cocktail and steak diane, while musicians tap snares and croon into microphones in the corner. It’s best to get a reservation to guarantee a spot during the show; find the live music calendar here.
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For Portland twenty- and thirtysomethings, Rontoms Sunday Sessions are the stuff of legend: Every Sunday, the East Burnside cocktail bar hosts free concerts on its lush, sprawling back patio, which can get absolutely packed with people under the stage’s angular awning. Shows start at 8 p.m., but it’s best to arrive early to scope out a table; you can kill time snacking on burrata and sipping sours. The bands here tend to live in the alt rock, indie pop territory, with a few exceptions — check out the lineup online.
Downtown Portland bar Kelly’s Olympian is a favorite among motorcyclists, with several motorcycle parking spots right out front, lots of bike-themed decor, and even some bikes hanging from the ceiling. Many folks probably wouldn’t guess that there’s another side to Kelly’s — a door to the left of the entrance leads to a room just behind the back of the main bar, where Kelly’s hosts everyone from rappers to comedians to indie alt pop acts. Kelly’s is also home to one of Portland’s most reliable hip-hop concert series, The Thesis. Kelly’s regulars know the bar has a solid selection of drafts and cider, a seriously tasty chicken strip basket, tots (of course), as well as fried mac ‘n cheese balls.
The Goodfoot | Music, DJs, Art, and Food since 2001
With vibes straight out of the 1970s, the Goodfoot is known as one of the prime spots in Portland to dance to funk and soul. Portland jazz-funk-etc. bands regularly take the stage here, including acts like greaterkind, Fox Walker, and Scott Pemberton O Theory. The kitchen churns out specials like stuffed potato skins, mini chicken chimichangas, smoked mushroom and Swiss burgers, pork schnitzel sandwiches, and more.
The Jack London Revue
Jack London Revue is the basement jazz bar venue underneath the Rialto Poolroom Bar and Cafe in the historic Alder Building in downtown. Head to the back of the bar and down the stairs, and you’ll find this speakeasy-style, warmly lit room that books anything from jazz to R&B, hip-hop to cabaret-style shows. Upcoming shows feature musicians like B-Side Players, Cool Breeze, and Eddie Martinez.
The space once home to Dig a Pony is now Lollipop Shoppe, from the team behind Lose Yr Mind Fest. Visitors inhale fried chicken sandwiches and knock back Sazeracs before heading into shows that range from visiting DJs from LA to Portland indie art rock bands. The calendar at Lollipop Shoppe is usually packed with consistently strong up-and-coming acts, mixed in with a few surprises from the peak-2007 Indie Portland era — if you look carefully.
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Tavern on Kruse
Lake Oswego’s Tavern on Kruse is one of the ritzier spots to catch a live band, with its sleek fountain, lengthy list of pinot noir, and menu of dry-aged ribeyes and foie gras burgers. Tavern on Kruse perhaps has the most consistent live music offerings of any restaurant in the area, with shows almost every evening in the summers. Acts range from regulars like Michael Raynor and Luke Broadbent to people like Randy Porter. Check out the calendar here.