83 S. 2nd St., San Jose CA 95113
The cabana bar, cantina style menu and tropically themed drinks are only a few things that make Tres Gringos a unique venue for live music. With a great reputation for hosting an assortment of local bands and DJs, this downtown bar has helped bring the live music scene back to life in San Jose. Call for live music schedules and upcoming shows.
173 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose CA 95113
A classic neighborhood pub atmosphere, more than enough TVs airing sports of every ilk, fun and friendly bartenders, yummy pub fare and all the libations that any aspiring drunk could need, it's no wonder that Britannia Arms can take credit for regularly corralling local scenesters. But what really makes the Brit stand out is the commitment to offering something for everyone by also offering live music. The bands are typically of a local status, but they're always crowd pleasers that fill the joint—and the huge outside patio—with pop tunes that most folks can nod their heads to.
420 South First St., San Jose CA 95113
With a full bar, a great menu of food, a chill lounge, 29 pool tables and musical entertainment ranging from DJs to live local bands to karaoke, South First Billiards has raised the proverbial bar on pool halls. More than just a San Jose billiards bar, this downtown nightlife spot keeps crowds happy with 14,000 square feet of prime SoFA space, a rotating art show and an atmosphere that can at once be both intimate for smaller groups and lively for anyone aching for a killer nightlife scene.
5027 Almaden Expressway, San Jose CA 95118
With live entertainment five nights a week, the Britannia Arms Almaden has the rhythm and soul to keep the night going long into the morning. Live San Jose music and bands play Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and DJ's keep the dance floor grooving every Wednesday and Sunday. From ’90s throwback tunes to the latest pop and hip-hop jams, the music at the Britannia Arms Almaden livens up the late-night scene and offers a diverse calendar of events for music enthusiasts of various tastes.
90 S. 2nd St., San Jose CA 95113
Free live jazz every Thursday night at the Loft Bar and Bistro in Downtown San Jose. Enjoy tasty cocktails in the downstairs lounge or reserve a table in their upstairs dining room and relax to the smooth sounds of local jazz musicians. What a great place for a casual Thursday night date.
399 S. 1st St., San Jose CA 95113; Tel. 408.380.3042
Agenda in downtown has a reputation for hosting talented musical acts including legendary jazz, rock and hip-hop artists. On occasion people enjoy two shows at the same time at Agenda because of their unique multi-level location. VIP guest list is available and large groups get special deals compliments of SanJose.com.
44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose CA 95113; Tel. 408.292.5265
A showcase for all manner of rebellious rock groups, the Blank Club is one of the only places in San Jose that's rock and roll through and through, baby - it's all about the music here. This die-hard live music venue features acts on most nights in the form of both locally and nationally recognized talent, all of which are generally met by hard-drinking rabblerousing patrons. The Blank also sports a great list of DJs who fill up the nights when the music isn't live, spinning everything from goth/industrial to the classics. Not only is this probably our favorite place in San Jose to catch a live rock show, it's also our favorite spot to show off our punk rock skills at Monday night karaoke.
Hedley Club in the Hotel De Anza
233 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose CA 95113; Tel. 408.286.1000
Located in the historic Hotel De Anza in downtown San Jose, the Hedley Club regularly draws in a refined set of patrons with its posh, art-deco environs and stellar list of custom seasonal cocktails. Mediterranean influenced appetizers and a fantastic selection of wines are also available to sate the cravings of discerning palates. Friday and Saturday nights feature live jazz with occasional Latin, soul, blues or R&B influences.
3439 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose CA 95117; Tel. 408.243.6441
A San Jose live music institution for decades, JJ's Blues is one of the South Bay's only destinations for blues music and draws crowds of music lovers from across the Bay Area. With live blues every night by local Bay Area musicians as well as big-name national blues bands, this San Jose club and bar offers a comfortable, come-as-you-are atmosphere for blues fans of all types. With a staff of skilled bartenders to keep the drinks flowing and several resident blues historians, JJ's Blues is one of the Bay Area's best places to enjoy and learn about this truly American art form.
Poor House Bistro
91 S. Autumn St., San Jose CA 95110; Tel. 408.292.5837
In true New Orleans style, Poor House Bistro hosts live music every day of the week. From Zydeco to blues to reggae to funk, this San Jose music club has all the musical bases covered and is child- and dog-friendly during the day. Layer on a mouthwatering menu of Creole cuisine, including muffaletta sandwiches and seafood gumbo, and this San Jose music venue is a destination for lovers of the good life.
42011 Boscell Rd., Fremont CA 94538; Tel. 510.979.0477
Best known as the only South Bay location with a mechanical bull, where many a drunk cowgirl or boy has been thrown, the Saddle Rack is also a haven for music fans. This South Bay live music venue draws national live country music acts along with the occasional rock group and Chippendales revue. Whether the music's live, or a DJ's spinning, folks at the Saddle Rack like to dance, and the club hosts a variety of country-style dance classes for those that want to learn how to shake and spin like the pros do.
South Side Café
7028 Santa Teresa Blvd., San Jose CA 95139; Tel. 408.226.5424
Miles from the downtown scene, this San Jose bar draws a rough and ready crowd with live music on weekends and cheap drinks and food every night of the week. Regulars with a particular sense of territory crowd the South Side Café during the week, but on weekends the regulars are joined by music fans who crowd in for ear-splitting rock and roll, pool, darts and general mayhem.