Best jazz clubs in Hong Kong: Where to see live performances of big band and blue note, bebop to bossa nova

Photo: Foxglove

If the boom boom EDM and bottle service scene isn’t your kind of thing, then you might want to check out one of the city’s jazz clubs. We searched high and low to find the good spots — those places in the city that are perfect for a chill night to tipple and sway to some solid live music.

But if you’re gonna walk out of the club snapping your fingers and/or wearing a beret, then yeah… we’re gonna pretend we don’t know you.

Cafe Sausalito

Photo: Sausalito
Photo: Sausalito

Located in quiet Sham Shui Po Street next to a bunch of leather shops and garages is this cozy little coffee shop that gets a little bit cooler at the end of the weekend. Every Sunday afternoon, from 3pm-5pm, it hosts a number of local jazz musicians performing everything from Fats Waller to Cole Porter. Seating is very limited and it can get a bit crowded, so remember to arrive an hour or so early to nab your seat, maybe grab a BLT bagel and coffee while you wait. The banoffee pie is known to be a killer dessert, too.

G/F 201 Tai Nan St.
Sham Shui Po
 +852 3689 3292

Foxglove

Photo: Foxglove
Photo: Foxglove

This speakeasy has style to spare, so if you’ve got a waistcoat and bowtie at home, then here’s one of the few places to pull it out. With upscale cocktails and a classy crowd, this place focuses on the details — from the jazz (with a focus on modern and free form) to the style to the sips. They also have a full menu and quieter tables available if you want something more intimate than the front row.

2/F Printing House, 6 Duddell Street and
18 Ice House Street, Central
+852 2116 8949

 

Tiffany’s New York Bar

Photo: Tiffany's New York
Photo: Tiffany’s New York

For those of you who want something with a bit more of a prohibition-era vibe, the Intercontinental Hotel’s whisky bar is the place for you. Decked out in comfortable leather chairs and dark wood, this is the perfect place to play incognito in a corner while you watch the crowd from behind a fine glass of spirit. Speaking of fine spirits, this place is known as much for the jazz as whisky — they are said to have the premier collection of the stuff in the city and also host the annual whisky festival.

Intercontinental Hotel
70 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
+852 2721 5161

 

Peel Fresco Music Lounge

Photo: Peel Fresco
Photo: Peel Fresco

A friendly place that’s more about the jazz than the scene, regulars say it has a real New York vibe and most recommend the Tuesday night open mic jam where you can play or watch many different styles of jazz. Fans of the place rave about the good drinks, helpful staff, and say that it’s one of the rare places in the Kong where you won’t be considered a freak if you make small talk with a stranger. We love that.

49 Peel Street, Soho, Sheung Wan
+852 2540 2046

 

BB Jazz Lounge

Photo: BB
Photo: BB

Those who have lived in Hong Kong for a while may recognize the BB Jazz Lounge as the former home of the Orange Peel club. After a re-brand, they are still home to high-quality blues and jazz acts. But now they market themselves as being upscale and indulgent, so expect a place that’s as much about the appearance as the music. The food and drinks are champagne and wagyu-style and fans call out the place for its “beautiful people” and “classic jazz lounge” vibe.

2/F Ho Lee Commercial Building
38-44 D’Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
+852 2641 2880

 

Hong Kong Fringe Club

Photo: Hong Kong Fringe Club
Photo: Hong Kong Fringe Club

An arts center with regular big band jazz nights, this spot is all about the full band and live dancing, so wear your most comfortable shoes. The style is Gatsby and the crowd gets as big as the sounds. This is the spot for a crazy night out, and when you want to burn some energy on the dance floor but repetitive dance beats ain’t gonna cut it. The dance nights here have been going since the 1980s and are supposedly just as cool now as they were back then. Don’t know the moves? A friendly regular is bound to take you under his or her wing.

2 Lower Albert Road, Central
+852 2521 7251

 

Ned Kelly’s Last Stand

Photo: Ned Kelly's Last Stand/Facebook
Photo: Ned Kelly’s Last Stand/Facebook

This 45-year-old club is an oldie but still a goodie and the place to go for reliably great dixieland, swing, and ragtime jazz varieties. It’s a little unpretentious place with a full pub menu, so think fish and chips, burgers, and the like. Ned Kelly’s is a place where locals, expats, and tourists alike can feel at home and come together for a pure love of music.

11A Ashley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
 +852 2376 0562

 

Blue Bar

Photo: Blue Bar
Photo: Blue Bar

Located inside The Four Seasons, this upmarket bar and lounge is known for amazing desserts all week but they host jazz singers on Friday and Saturday night, when the crowd descends. Expect soulful renditions of jazz classics and standards as well as the occasional original tune mixed in.

8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong
+852 3196 8888

 

Gecko HK

Photo: Gecko HK
Photo: Gecko HK

Aside from getting up close and personal with experienced jazz bands, this place is known for two things — a long whisky list and a predominantly French crowd. Slide in among the crowd — mostly expats from all over the globe here — and bop along to the beat at this jazz and blues outlet. Which night should you go? Any night, really — they have live jazz seven nights a week.

15 Hollywood Rd., Central
+852 2855 9533

 

Grappa’s Cellar

Photo: Grappa's Cellar
Photo: Grappa’s Cellar

Consider this little hideaway hidden beneath street level in Central a respite from the city and place to get cozy. Known for their full Italian menu, comfortable vibe and, of course, jazz, they feature a recurring lineup of acts, each of which has a slightly different following. Check them all out and see which one becomes your new favorite.

1 Connaught Pl., Central
+852 2521 2322

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