Heart and Crown live music

9 of the best live music spots in Ottawa

From the sounds of saxophones in smooth jazz to the electrifying performances of rock bands and everything in between, experience Ottawa’s live music nightlife scene at these nine unbeatable bars and music venues. Whether you want to dance all night or listen to live music while enjoying a bite to eat, these Ottawa hot spots have it all. Here are the best places for a night out enjoying live music.

House of Targ

Take a step back in time at Ottawa’s House of Targ. Found in Old Ottawa South on Bank Street, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a time machine back to the 80s with a variety of vintage pin ball machines and classic arcade games to choose from. With live shows taking place every Wednesday to Sunday, you can enjoy an array of punk, indie and 80s music. Don’t forget to try their Ottawa-famous perogies with flavours like perogi poutine and bruschetta perogies.

LIVE! On Elgin

Aptly named LIVE! On Elgin because of its location on Ottawa’s vibrant Elgin Street, this popular venue hosts live music, comedy acts, spoken word, imrpov, drag shows and more. With an intimate setting and welcoming atmosphere, every visit here is one to remember.

Montgomery Scotch Lounge

Montgomery Scotch Lounge aims to be “Earth’s most laid-back Scotch Lounge” found in Ottawa’s bustling Centretown neighbourhood. Known for its diverse collection of premium Scotch whiskies that span 80 different single malts, there’s a Scotch with your name on it. With a live music event almost every night between Wednesday-Saturday, you can sit back, relax and enjoy a drink or two while listening to impeccable live music.

Irene’s Pub

Head to Ottawa’s beloved Glebe neighbouhood to catch a live band at Irene’s Pub. Here, you’ll find a cozy and unpretentious atmosphere, incredible food, a couple of pool tables, artwork by local artists and a hidden patio adorned with twinkling lights (during the summer months). Enjoy folk, blues, rock and jazz music as you sip on a cold beer and memories with friends and family.

Heart & Crown

There are three Heart & Crown locations around Canada’s capital city, one in the historic ByWard Market, one in Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood and one in Ottawa’s west end, Barrhaven. Dancing to live music has never been easier! The spacious dance floors leave plenty of room to bust a move and the bands always bring an energy that keeps you going all night long. Here, you can enjoy live music every night of the week.


Located 25 minutes east of downtown Ottawa in Orleans is Taproom260. Enjoy an extensive menu that goes beyond the typical pub fare alongside a list of wine beer and cocktails. With live music events taking place regularly throughout the week, you can enjoy quality entertainment with your meal and drinks.

The Rainbow Bistro

Established in 1984, The Rainbow Bistro is “Ottawa’s legendary home of live music.” Located in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, stop by to listen to musical acts both big and small from around the world. Iconic Canadian performers The Tragically Hip and Amanda Marshall have both performed here! The two -storey venue is perfect for both those who like to be close to the stage and those who want to experience the action from afar.

Red Bird

Situated in the Old Ottawa South neighbbourhood, the Red Bird venue is dedicated to live music. It’s packed with 80 seats and features The Snack Café where you can grab locally sourced snack foods like soft pretzels and pastries. Enjoy Bluegrass Mondays, Open Stage Tuesdays and Afternoon Jam on Fridays.

Overflow Brewing Company

This spacious spot near the Bank and Heron intersection is perfect to rock out to live music. With events taking place most days, you can enjoy Overflow Brewing Company’s premium craft beer while taking in the tunes. A patio decorated with twinkling lights is the perfect spot to spend summer nights while the inside is the perfect spot to perch anytime of year.

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