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The Best Places for Live Music in Alexandria, Virginia

In Alexandria, Virginia, located on the waterfront just minutes from Washington, D.C., there’s live music around every corner. From buskers at the waterfront in Old Town to the world-renowned Birchmere: America’s Legendary Music Hall in Arlandria, there are many ways to enjoy a night on the town. Whether you’re looking to catch big names in music or hit the stage yourself for a set of karaoke or dance, we’ve got you covered with our favorite places to catch live music, from bars and pubs to concert venues and everything in between.

Please verify with each location the latest live music schedule before visiting.

Concert Spots

Pictured: The Birchmere

The Birchmere is known as “America’s Legendary Music Hall.” This intimate venue is a great spot to indulge your nostalgia with beloved musicians like Arlo Guthrie and Suzanne Vega as well as other famous names like Kevin Bacon (the Bacon Brothers), Charles Esten and Jeff Daniels. The world-famous Birchmere has hosted iconic acts in its storied history like Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Ray Charles and more. Check out their calendar for artists and bands coming to Alexandria.

For more classical performances, The Schlesinger Concert Hall is a 1,000-seat theater with state-of-the-art acoustics and striking architecture with wood paneling. The stunning space is worth the trip alone, with a stellar music lineup to keep music lovers coming back for show after show. Check their event calendar for a full list of performances, including renowned orchestras like the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra plus concerts and recitals.


Pictured: Schlesinger Music Hall; Image Credit: U.S. Navy

Bars and Pubs

Pictured: Murphy’s Irish Pub

Murphy’s is the go-to spot for locals looking for live music any night of the week inside a cozy and classic pub setting. Seven nights a week, you can catch live sets from Irish acoustic musicians, plus bluegrass, rock, cover bands and more, and choose from an extensive craft beer selection and a tempting menu of American favorites and Irish specialties. Just a few blocks away, located near the waterfront at the foot of King Street, Daniel O’Connell’s is another popular gathering spot with some of the best live Irish music in the region. Catch traditional Irish sessions, live cover bands plus additional performances throughout the month. Check out their event calendar for upcoming sets.

For American fare, Augie’s Mussel House and Beer Garden is a staple for fresh mussels, modern pub food and a wide selection of craft beer, wine and seltzer. Enjoy live music every weekday outside on their dog-friendly patio or dine inside Augie’s multi-level dining room space.


Pictured: Blackwall Hitch

Who doesn’t love dinner and a show? Alexandria’s lively restaurant scene loves serving up live music whenever they can. Located at the Old Town waterfront, Blackwall Hitch has a steady lineup of local musicians on an intimate stage conveniently located at the bustling marina. In addition to creative cocktails and fantastic food options, they have live music on weekends plus jazz performances during brunch. It’s an ideal spot for late-night eats and entertainment. For a weeknight wind-down, Brabo Brasserie serves up classic French-inspired fare with a compendium of drinks highlighting French aperitifs and spirits. Catch live music in their courtyard as you enjoy a nice cocktail, glass of wine or appetizer. Afterward, head over to Southside 815, a casual bar and restaurant serving southern cuisine and hosting live music.

On the West End, Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant is serving signature Ethiopian dishes like their doro wot and Tuna Kitfo alongside weekly live jazz performances. In the Del Ray neighborhood, featuring authentic Neapolitan pizzas and wood-burning ovens, Lena’s Wood-Fire Pizza & Tap has live music in their dog-friendly beer garden amongst the hedges and weekly jazz cozily tucked away upstairs in The Loft at Lena’s.

So You Like Jazz?

Pictured: Laporta’s Restaurant

Laporta’s Restaurant has been one of the best places in Alexandria for local jazz for over 20 years. The intimate setting is a cozy place to have a drink and catch late-night jazz performances seven nights a week with phenomenal bebop, scat vocals, big band, classical, fusion and bluegrass artists. If you’re not much of a night owl, try their brunch—it’s a local favorite offering both indoor and outdoor seating.

219 Restaurant in Old Town is one of the ultimate spots for a romantic date night, with live music every night upstairs at the Basin St. Lounge featuring classic jazz and blues. For a more fast-paced evening, head downstairs at 219 to the Bayou Room for live DJ sets multiple times a week. Upstairs at Del Ray’s neighborhood gem Evening Star Cafe, visitors can find The No. 9 Lounge, a swanky and funky space filled with vintage furniture and sofas. You can find live music in the lounge every month, plus southern-inspired craft cocktails and small bites.

Karaoke and Dance

Pictured: Rock It Grill; Image Credit: Christine Halsey Photography

If you’re looking to make your own music, Rock It Grill on King Street is the place to go to belt it out. Rock It Grill is the only spot in town to offer top-notch karaoke seven nights a week, particularly entertaining on weekend nights. How many people can say they sang on the same stage as Kevin Bacon? He performed karaoke at the bar in 2017, a tradition locals know well. For more fun, the bar upstairs at The Light Horse Restaurant is an ideal late-night destination for groups with karaoke twice a week and live music every weekend. They also have fun games like darts and shuffleboard seven nights a week.

For more live music events in Alexandria, click here.


Header Image Credit: Matt Smith for Visit Alexandria; Pictured: Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant

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