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Where to Find a Piece of the American South in London
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Where to Find a Piece of the American South in London

Picture of Celeste Allen
Updated: 11 May 2017
In a city where culture has no boundaries, a lively Southern food and music scene is bustling in London. Whether you’re a live music lover or Cajun-craving foodie, you don’t have to travel to the Deep South to get your fix. These restaurants and bars are in your borough’s backyard.
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Ain’t Nothin But Blues Bar

In the heart of Soho, this snug bar packs in as much soul as its walls can contain every night of the week. The small stage at Ain’t Nothin But Blues Bar is slightly off the ground, inviting the crowd to dance as close to the band as the instruments will allow. If you go before 8:30pm on the weekends, you can hear the roaring horns, drums and strings for free.

20 Kingly St, Carnaby, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7287 0514

Pedazo de noche resultó ser Londres!

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Servant Jazz Quarters

As Southerners love their cocktails as much as their music, so too does the Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston. The small performance space hosts jazz singers and blues bands as well as up-and-coming DJs and artists. Its 1940s flare and modern approach to mixology gives its guests a delightful taste of now and then.

10A Bradbury Street, Dalston, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7684 8411

An Old Fashioned cocktail | © Johnn/Flickr

An Old Fashioned cocktail | © Johnn / Flickr

The Blues Kitchen – Camden, Shoreditch, Brixton

There’s no excuse for not trying jambalaya, gumbo or Southern fried chicken in the mother country with three Blues Kitchen locations to choose from. Their live music shows and slow-cooked BBQ are equally divine, set in a cool, colourful venue with paintings of the baddest blues musicians in history – Freddie King, Lead Belly, Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters.

111-113 Camden High St, Camden Town, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7387 5277

134-146 Curtain Rd, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7729 7216

40 Acre Ln, Brixton, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7274 0591

Southern fried buttermilk chicken at The Blues Kitchen | © The Blues Kitchen
Southern fried buttermilk chicken at The Blues Kitchen | © The Blues Kitchen

The Jazz Cafe

Music Venue
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The Jazz Cafe

This is where you’ll catch some of the funkiest acts from New Orleans to Houston, up to North Carolina. With bands like Royal Southern Brotherhood, The Suffers and Jocelyn Brown, The Jazz Cafe is soulful to its core. You can also get your groove on at one of their regular music events like “Live Renditions of Classic Jazz Albums” or “R’n’B Club Night.” To make it a full evening out, check out their Southern-infused restaurant.

5 Parkway, Camden Town, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7485 6834

#tbt to when @porticomusic blew us away in the opening week of our relaunch… 🎷

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Vortex Jazz Club

Opened in the ’80s by former taxi driver David Mossman and businessman Irving Kinnersley, this music institution started as an art gallery on Church Street. The Vortex Jazz Club is now a full-fledged jazz venue in Dalston, dedicated to spreading traditional and offbeat interpretations of the New Orleans-born genre. As a host of the London Jazz Festival and blues masterclasses, this avant-garde spot is the real deal.

11 Gillett Square, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7254 4097

Lionel Loueke Trio | © ataelw/Flickr

Lionel Loueke Trio | © ataelw / Flickr

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Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Originally a place where locals could go and jam together, this cozy club in Soho has become a world stage for some of the biggest jazz players in the business. Blues greats like Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald have performed at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, but new Southern sounds from Marcia Ball to Booker T. Jones bring down the house routinely. Don’t forget to check out the upstairs where they host their “Funky Nation!” and “Viva Cuba!” nights.

47 Frith St, Soho, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7439 0747

Ronnie Scott's | © Valerie Lawson/Flickr

Ronnie Scott’s | © Valerie Lawson / Flickr

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Want a little bit of everything? Hideaway is the place to seek. It’s not only a music bar and restaurant, but also a good spot for some stand-up comedy. An intimate space with an easy-going atmosphere, it draws in funk and jazz lovers alike. Head to SW16 if you need more laughter and loud music in your life.

2 Empire Mews, Stanthorpe Rd, Streatham, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 8835 7070

The Jive Aces | © Phil Richards/Flickr

The Jive Aces | © Phil Richards / Flickr

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Alleycat Bar & Club

Jam sessions and late-night shows at the Alleycat Bar & Club are perfect for soaking in the laid-back, laissez-faire vibes of the South. It’s also a dream destination for those who bask in the glory of musical greatness – the Rolling Stones recorded their first album here. This basement venue has been cranking out famous tunes since the ’60s and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

4 Denmark St, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 20 7836 1451