Best Bars With Live Music in San Juan, Puerto Rico

A bar | © Beer by BART/ Flickr
A bar | © Beer by BART/ Flickr
Photo of Mariela Santos
10 May 2017

Music can make or break a night out, but it can sometimes be a rarity to find bars which take its importance seriously. Places which host live bands are often hard to find, but they usually play vital parts in the local community and the area’s cultural scene. You can’t go wrong when visiting one of the following San Juan venues with live music. They cover different musical genres and each provides a different atmosphere. Sip on your drink and get ready to have a good time.

El Local

Music Venue
Map View
El Local is open from 8pm to 2am, helping visitors keep the party going into the wee hours of the morning. Founded in 2008, it’s a dive bar mixed with an art gallery and features live music regularly. Keep up with El Local’s events through their Instagram account, where they post announcing fun times like karaoke nights and when local, live music acts will be performing.

Nuyorican Cafe

Bar, Cafe, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Many notable Puerto Rican musicians have graced the stage at the Nuyorican Cafe including singer-songwriter Roy Brown, musician Bobby Valentín, and the band Cultura Profética. The musical genres played most at the location are bohemia and salsa. Even Sir Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones has been seen dancing and enjoying the atmosphere there, according to the cafe’s official website. In addition, because of the café teatro(theater café) component of the place, visitors can watch some productions. The venue is based on San Francisco Street, the capital’s historic and walkable district.

La Junta

A restaurant and bar in the Santurce, San Juan area, La Junta was established in 2015 and is a lively spot to get lunch, dinner and drinks. Key menu items are their signature hamburgers, fried appetizers and desserts like cake and flan. Live music is an important component of the place, visit on Thursdays—it’s jazz night.

The Red Monkey bar in Old San Juan | © Lee Cannon/ Flickr

El Barril

Open until 2am Monday through Saturday in Condado, San Juan, El Barril is a restaurant and bar with big screen televisions, live music and a DJ booth. There is plenty of space at the 28-foot bar, it’s a good option for big and small groups, and has a sister location right next door called Bar Gitano.

1302 Ashford Avenue, San Juan, 00907

La Placita del Mercado de Santurce

Although not strictly a bar, you should visit this marketplace at night because it is one of the most popular places to go in San Juan for a drink, dance, and an overall fun time. During the day, this area is a good location to buy food supplies, and at night-time the setting around the produce building is a party destination with bars, live music, and places to eat. Eateries to check out at the placita include Fat Tuesday and Tasca El Pescador.

The Vaselines performance | © Aurelien Guichard/ Flickr