Live music and theater with a memorable meal are easy to find in NW Philly

Photo: The Lock in Manayunk courtesy of Brad Maule of Mt Airy USA

Photo: The Lock in Manayunk courtesy of Brad Maule of Mt Airy USA

If you’re looking for more than just a cozy dinner or a lively brunch, look no further than Northwest Philadelphia for jazz, indie, classical and more musical tones, plus theatre in a historic setting, to enjoy while you dine, or make it dinner or lunch and a show and get a short stroll in between.

Bourbon Blue

Manayunk

Nestled along the Manayunk Towpath is Bourbon Blue, a staple in the neighborhood offering new American cuisine with a cajun twist. The New Orleans-esque restaurant and bar books live music most nights, and even has a resident musician, Tim Williams, every Sunday night at 8PM. Stop by for their signature filet tip sandwich, southern fried chicken, or one of their many cocktails.

Bourbon Blue (2 Rector Street)

Germantown Espresso Bar

Germantown

This community space and espresso bar offers live music in their upstairs venue, The Listening Room, an intimate and welcoming space. Downstairs they serve coffee from local roaster Quaker City Coffee, as well as others from around the city and country, plus healthy breakfast options and creative sandwiches.

Germantown Espresso Bar (26 Maplewood Mall)

The Grape Room

Manayunk

Since 2010, The Grape Room has cultivated an atmosphere that supports performance, expanding their offerings to include multiple open mics, in addition to booked talent, for artists to come and play. The small stage allows for an intimate atmosphere and up-close-and-personal interaction with some of their favorite local musicians on a nightly basis.

The Grape Room (105 Grape Street)

La Rose Jazz Club

Germantown

At this community-focused entertainment venue in Germantown, Tony Williams and the Giants of Jazz take the stage on Monday nights and it is truly a communal affair. They never turn away a willing performer, whether a youngster from the community or a walk-in looking for fun. The first Thursday of the month also brings in the Jack Saint Clair Orchestra. Full bar and dinner menu, reservations recommended for groups.

La Rose Jazz Club (5531 Germantown Ave)

Malelani Cafe

Mt. Airy

This welcoming and friendly cafe offers a great selection of coffees and teas, cafe food and regular live music, including both performances and open mic nights if you’d like to be part of the show. The menu is casual Greek with a ton of veggie options, all served with lots of love.

Malelani Cafe (6734 Germantown Avenue)

Manayunk Brewing Company

Manayunk

If you’re looking for all-you-can-eat brunch and live entertainment, look no further than the Manayunk Brewing Company’s weekly live jazz brunch on Sunday mornings. The buffet-style brunch offers everything from omelets to french toast and everything in between. Sip a mimosa by the river to the sounds of a live jazz quartet to rid those Sunday scaries every weekend!

Manayunk Brewing Company (4120 Main Street)

Mermaid Inn

Chestnut Hill

With live acoustic, blues, Irish, folk, fusion and more almost every night of the week, it truly is the good old days for music fans at the Mermaid Inn. And with the occasional visiting food truck and a literal embarrassment of riches for dining options on the Hill, you’ll find whatever you’re craving just a few minutes away.

Mermaid Inn (7673 Germantown Avenue)

Paris Bistro & Jazz Café

Chestnut Hill

This '30s-style French bistro offers a mini trip to Paris without leaving Philadelphia’s city limits. Grab a seat at the bar or a table in the dining room and enjoy their classic bistro fare, then head downstairs and enjoy some of Philadelphia’s best jazz musicians playing the standards and other favorites of the Jazz Era. Sip on a cocktail or after dinner drink, or just have dinner in the cafe – the full bistro menu is available down there too.

Paris Bistro & Jazz Café (8229 Germantown Avenue)

The Locks at Sona

Manayunk

There’s a new music venue in town! Point Entertainment has partnered with the founders of Tin Angel for a new listening experience on the top floor of Sona Pub and Kitchen. The second story venue holds 125 guests with acts such as Scot Sax Philly Soul Revue, Cori Massi, and Michael McDermott slated to take the stage this fall.

The Locks at Sona (4417 Main Street)

Philadelphia Folk Society

Roxborough

This wonderful unique music venue by the masters of folk music can be attributed to the thoughtful preservation of its original details while facilitating a stage, sound system and comfortable space for audiences for their folk performances. For a quick dinner before your show try Yiro Yiro at 6024 Ridge Ave or Dream House Asian Bistro at 6127 - both are BYOB, but with the Foodery on the same block there’s an easy stop for craft beers to pair with your Greek or Asian eats.

Philadelphia Folk Society (6156 Ridge Ave)

Quintessence Theatre Group at the Sedgwick Theatre

Mt. Airy

The Quintessence Theatre Group is dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of classic literature and drama for the contemporary stage, which truly come alive at the historic Sedgwick Theatre. If you’re looking for some holiday entertainment, their production of the Dickens-via-Bart classic Oliver! has extended through December 30. And with the theater just steps from almost a dozen cafes, bars and restaurants you’ll find plenty of pre-and-post show nourishment.

Quintessence Theatre Group at the Sedgwick Theatre (7137 Germantown Avenue)

Relish

West Oak Lane

For modern southern cuisine and live entertainment by some of the area’s top jazz musicians, head to Relish on Ogontz Avenue. Their Jazz Café is reminiscent of the intimate jazz clubs of the 50’s, with a small corner stage, long oak wood bar and enlarged sepia photographs of Ella and Louie - a perfect way to end a satisfying soul food meal.

Relish (7152 Ogontz Avenue)

Rittenhouse Soundworks

Germantown

Originally built by the Chrysler Corporation in the early 1900’s, the space alone is worth a visit, featuring a main open space with a classic wooden “A” roof construction that creates a warm resonance especially for woodwinds, brass and vocals. Their regular music series called "Musicians Gathering" is affordable and fun, and pairs perfectly with an early dinner at nearby All the Way Live (https://www.alllivefood.com/), specializing in vegan and raw foods.  

Rittenhouse Soundworks (219 W Rittenhouse Street)

Tavern on the Hill

Chestnut Hill

With live music every Friday night, this charming and cozy village pub is a perfect spot to wind down from a long work week, or start off a fun weekend! Their bar offers a great selection of beers, wines and spirits, and serves up bar snacks, soups, salads and full entrees for a heartier meal.

Tavern on the Hill (8636 Germantown Avenue)