Explore the vibrant music scene of Dallas-Fort Worth through our curated list of the best small live music venues in town! From intimate settings to electrifying atmospheres, these venues showcase the heartbeat of the local music culture. Whether you're a seasoned music enthusiast or a newcomer eager to discover hidden gems, this guide will lead you to unforgettable nights filled with exceptional tunes and the unique charm that defines each venue. Join us on a journey through the top small live music spots, where the soulful melodies and energetic beats of the DFW Metroplex come alive.
1. Scat Jazz Lounge
Down a back alley and then down an elevator you go to the best jazz bar in North Texas. Like the great old clubs, both real and fictional, Scat Jazz Lounge has the vibe that only exists in our dreams or maybe the movies. Set in the basement of the historic Woolworth building, Scat carries on the New York tradition of the coolest clubs being underground and off the beaten. It somehow finds a way to be both tested by time and a real IYKYK venue.
2. The Rustic
The Rustic is a super-cute Texas-themed Uptown bar and venue that we are absolutely in love with. The menu offers 40 beers on draft which, should be taken outside for a spot on the patio. Also known as “Pat’s Backyard,” The Rustic’s outdoor space, which is named after country singer and part-owner Pat Green, comes fully equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, a grassy hill, and an outdoor concert space. Stop by on a weekday for a relaxing and family-friendly experience, or on the weekends for live music while hanging out in a space that fully celebrates everything Texas.
3. Reveler's Hall
Tell me you love New Orleans without telling me you love New Orleans. That's what spending a glorious evening at Reveler's Hall in Oak Cliff feels like. Let's start with the bar program. You can get everything under the sun here, from a Sazerac to an amazing aperol spritz to our personal favorite, quite possibly the best daiquiri in Dallas. Next let's talk about their music program. They have live music seven days a week that fills the streets of Bishop Arts with sunny sounds!
4. Twilite Lounge
Deep Ellum's Twilite Lounge is a neighborhood bar featuring great local live music throughout the week. If you enjoy a horn section and a cozy ambiance, this place is for you! This casually elegant haunt featuring New Orleans-inspired cocktails, live music nights & a cozy patio is also the home bar for New Orleans Saints football watch parties.
5. Pete's Dueling Piano Bar
You're a key part of each night's raucous performance when you visit either of the Pete's Piano Bar locations in town. Sing along at the top of your drunken lungs to the dueling piano show where your tips decide the next song! Pete's Dueling Piano Bar has locations at The Star in Frisco and near Sundance Square in Fort Worth, and it is a TON of fun, every time. Whether you’re making fun weekend plans or celebrating a special occasion, you’ll have a blast at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar!
Lola’s Saloon, located in the booming Cultural District of Fort Worth, is here to fill the void left when the Fort Worth live music staple The Wreck closed, and also to introduce a new platform for local, regional and national bands. A short visit is all that’s needed to see what sets Lola’s Trailer Park apart from its older neighbor, Lola’s Saloon, but we love both spots more than we probably should. The Trailer Park’s vast outdoor seating area contrasts sharply with the Saloon’s darker vibe. The Trailer Park is always family- and pet-friendly.
7. Cowboys Red River
"If your hair ain't movin' like this, he ain't dippin' you right!" If you're after a honky-tonkin' good time for your 21st birthday or any other occasion that makes you want to dance, few places make the scene quite like Cowboys does.
8. The Fort Worth Stockyards
One of our favorite places to be in general is the Fort Worth Stockyards, live music or no live music! But in recent years, the venerated cultural area north of downtown Fort Worth has undergone a reawakening, and with it have come several new music venues. We love these new spots almost as much as we love the more established venues like Billy Bob's and PR's. Take a deeper look into the Stockyards music scene by continuing to read our separate blog, "The Best Spots for Live Music in the Stockyards!"