The 10 Best Places for Live Music in Minneapolis

Photo of Michelle Schmid
9 February 2017

The Twin Cities are renowned for being a hub for up-and-coming music. With knowledge of the hottest new bands to hit the scene, Minneapolis is home to some of the liveliest bars and venues for live music. The following are ones that are simply not to be missed.

Lightning Bolt performing at Triple Rock Social | © Marc Kjerland/Flickr

Triple Rock Social Club

Offering food, drinks and live music almost every night of the week, this club is definitely a music must. Perhaps the name is familiar, as Triple Rock Social has made it into the songs of various musicians. In any case, the club features a separate room for its concerts, which allows minors to attend most of the shows, while the bar showcases a number of international beers as well as a great selection of microbrews. While most of the shows are played by new bands, nationally known artists make an appearance on occasion.

Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 333 7399

Icehouse MPLS

In the two-story industrial setting of Icehouse, visitors get the chance to sink their teeth into some fantastic new American cuisine and music. The brick building originally was the loading dock for the Cedar Fuel and Ice before becoming incorporated into Icehouse Studios, a recording venue for both video and audio mediums. Now this chic space is great for high-quality food and hearing new music acts. Many release parties are held for bands celebrating their first album here, and on a regular basis, guests will encounter new musicians.

Icehouse MPLS, 2528 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 276 6523

First Avenue & 7th Street Entry

Committed to promoting the arts and being a place perfect for entertainments, First Avenue & 7th Street Entry is the place to go for the best music in the city. This music club is a stepping stone for helping new musicians start off, such as Soul Asylum, and for furthering more well-known musicians like Eminem and U2 in their careers. Almost every night of the week, local artists can be heard playing up a storm, and, on a regular basis, the club hosts nationally known bands. Historically a Greyhound bus depot, the legacy of First Avenue has seeped into the music culture of the city and is now a veritable institution.

First Avenue & 7th Street Entry, 701 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 338 8388

Hexagon Bar

A bar from the 1930s, this venue is the place to hear what’s happening in music worldwide. Guests can tune in to local and foreign bands that are just making a break into the music scene while hanging out with friends, playing darts or pool, or just having a fun night out. Hexagon Bar gives its visitors a quaint and friendly atmosphere to get in touch with the best music coming to the stage. With cold beer and trivia nights, this is a great little community spot to enjoy while in town.

Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 722 3454

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Fast Food, American, $$$
Brit’s Pub
Brit’s Pub | © Tony Webster/Flickr
Featuring world-class music seven nights a week and a delicious menu of fantastically prepared food, Dakota Jazz Club is a fabulous music venue to visit while in Minneapolis. While serving as an important milestone in many bands’ music careers, the club also holds a philanthropy of preserving and continuing the jazz tradition. This contribution to the community has helped make the classy restaurant a pivotal part of the music scene in the Twin Cities.

Acadia Cafe

A professed haven for those looking for the best beer, Acadia Cafe hosts live music seven nights a week within its sleek yet cozy setting. The bar features 30 rotating taps to appease any hops head, and guests will find a pleasant menu to sate any hunger that might arise. Music here focuses on providing guests with a cultural connection to what used to be the landmark New Riverside Cafe. The combination of beer, food and good tunes makes this a fun, fantastic place for live music in Minneapolis.

Acadia Cafe, 329 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 874 8702

Lee’s Liquor Lounge

In a relaxed and cozy setting that ties back into the grass-roots origins of the club, music lovers will discover the comfortable charm of Lee’s Liquor Lounge. The atmosphere is very intimate, and the saloon feel of this bar really makes for a fun experience. Lee’s hosts musicians of all varieties, from local and national artists, to international, and there’s always a rotation of fun dancing events, including swing and country on different nights of the week.

Lee’s Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 338 9491

331 Club

A presence in Minneapolis’ art district since 1899, this club has undergone a massive transformation, becoming a prime social community for artists and musicians. Every night of the week the events here feature some medium of live entertainment, from music to trivia to bingo. After being remodeled, the bar’s original tin ceiling is now exposed and the seating is expansive and comfortable. In 331’s sleek atmosphere, visitors can enjoy tasty drinks while snacking on affordable food as local music fills the air.

331 Club, 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 331 1746

Flashback Cafe and Cocktail Lounge

Flashback Cafe is located inside Memory Lanes, a lively bowling alley. With delicious food options that are surprisingly different from the typical bowling alley, as well as live music on selected evenings, Flashback is a great venue to not just have a good time but also enjoy some new tunes from the Twin Cities. Don’t miss the annual block party that sets this bowling alley apart from all the others!

Flashback Cafe, Memory Lanes, 2520 26th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 721 6211

Nomad World Pub

An international bar with cocktails and beers from around the world, Nomad World Pub offers an atmosphere that encourages a diverse and lively community. The little brick building crams itself full of TVs for streaming soccer, pinball machines, dance floors and live music stages. Depending on the scheduling, visitors can encounter both excellent DJs and an invigorating line-up of local bands and musicians.

Nomad World Pub, 501 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 338 6424

By Michelle Schmid

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