The 5 best music venues in Philadelphia

Union Transfer. | Photo: Chels C./Yelp

Looking to check out the best music venues in town?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to listen to live music in Philadelphia, using both Yelp data and our own special tuning to produce a ranked list of where to venture for live entertainment.

1. Union Transfer

Photo: Michelle P./Yelp

Topping the list is Union Transfer. Located at 1026 Spring Garden St. in Callowhill, the music venue and bar is the highest rated in Philadelphia, boasting 4.5 stars out of 275 reviews on Yelp.

The event space's high ceilings, gothic chandeliers, ornate balcony railings and large arched wooden beams resemble an old church. It's within walking distance to bars and restaurants, and music fans regularly congregate in front of bands like The Jesus Lizard, Belly, Charlie Musselwhite, Ben Harper, New Found Glory and more.

2. Johnny Brenda's

Photo: Johnny brenda's/Yelp

Next up is Fishtown's Johnny Brenda's, situated at 1201 Frankford Ave. With four stars out of 499 reviews on Yelp, the gastropub has proven to be a local favorite and features live bands upstairs. Patrons can expect to see acts like Mesmeric Haze, Drugdealer, Echo Courts and Alice Bag.

On the menu, look for chilled peach soup, cheeseburgers, deep-fried cheese balls, fried bologna sandwiches and raw oysters. A rotating selection of local craft brews are also on offer.

3. Time

Photo: Dasom K./Yelp

Center City's Time, located at 1315 Sansom St., is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the cocktail bar and New American spot four stars out of 480 reviews. It features live music, primarily jazz, everyday. See the lineup here.

"This is such a cool bar," Yelper Chris W. said. "It's literally split in half. If you want to listen to some fantastic live music and have a glass of wine -- turn left. If you want a lively bar experience -- turn right. The bartenders know their stuff. They can make anything. This is such a great bar with a great concept and a great team. I can't recommend enough."

4. World Cafe Live

Photo: sari marissa g./Yelp
World Cafe Live, a legendary music spot in University City, is another go-to, with four stars out of 312 Yelp reviews. Head over to 3025 Walnut St. to see for yourself.

Philadelphia's WXPN hosts the World Cafe radio program that has been running since 1991, and partners with this venue to feature live concerts with acts like Jonny Lang, Gin Blossoms, Book of Love and The Parsnip Revolt. Come hungry and check out eats like Philly cheesesteaks, shrimp and grits, nachos, fried chicken sandwiches, and tuna over rice.

5. Raven Lounge

Photo: seung l./Yelp

Last but not least is Raven Lounge, a Rittenhouse favorite that has earned four stars out of 194 reviews on Yelp. You can find this joint at 1718 Sansom St.

"This place has it all," Yelper Meghan B. said. "Good vibes all around -- classic dive bar, burlesque shows, board games, nightclub, comedy shows. What don't they have?"
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