BALTIMORE (Hoodline) — Wondering where to find the best music venues around town?
Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to hear live music in Baltimore, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to go for everything from jazz and indie acts to punk and hip-hop.
1. The Elk Room
Topping the list is The Elk Room, a speakeasy tucked between Italian Disco and Tagliata. It features live music three days a week, typically jazz. Located at 1010 Fleet St. in the Inner Harbor, it’s the highest rated music venue in Baltimore, boasting 4.5 stars out of 97 reviews on Yelp.
The food mostly includes high-end small plates like charcuterie, venison tartare, house-cured salmon and cream cheese, and fondue. There is also an extensive list of handcrafted cocktails.
Next up is Ottobar, situated at 2549 N. Howard St. in Charles Village. It books local and touring acts, from punk to hip-hop to comedy. An upstairs bar area hosts DJs, karaoke and trivia. Some craft beers on tap complement the shelf liquor and canned beer options. With four stars out of 133 reviews on Yelp, Ottobar has proven to be a local favorite.
Federal Hill’s 8X10, located at 10 E. Cross St., is another top choice, with Yelpers giving it 4.5 stars out of 34 reviews. It’s an intimate venue with an upstairs balcony that books mostly local bands, including bluegrass, jam bands, hip-hop and rock groups. It’s generally all ages, though there are exceptions. A wide selection of beer is also available.
4. The Sidebar Tavern
The Sidebar Tavern is another go-to, with four stars out of 31 Yelp reviews. Live punk is on tap almost every night of the week. There’s a full bar, and the drinks are strong, but its shows are all ages, all the time. Head over to 218 E. Lexington St. downtown to see for yourself.
5. The Metro Gallery
Finally, over in Charles North, check out The Metro Gallery. As a music venue, it has hosted touring acts like Wye Oak and Sharon Van Etten. It’s also an art gallery and space for other types of performances, like burlesque. It pours a lot of craft beer, emphasizing local producers, and there’s a full bar. It has earned four stars out of 28 reviews on Yelp. You can find it at 1700 N. Charles St.