The closure of the St James and the mighty Rakino's may have left you wondering where you would go for a night out. That's why we bring you our top spots for a night out, and to watch a show or a DJ play if you are heading out in Auckland. 

And the best news is there are plenty of regular gigs and one-off events on over the next few weeks if you are interested in getting out for a drink or to discover some new music. 

Tuning Fork (pictured right) is Vector's baby venue on the side where you can enjoy the musical stylings of a star in an intimate setting. And with full bar service at this venue you can always expect quick service. Tuning Fork is also available for functions. Serving up American diner food, consisting of pizza, fries, fish and chips as well as dessert; the menu changes regularly. The bar is soundproofed and has drapes and is quite the little hotspot. The first performer in the newly-opened venue was Molly Ringwald with two nights of jazz.

Cassette Nine has regular gigs from international and local musical acts. Head up the staircase on Vulcan Lane to one of the booths where you can enjoy some of the Southern American inspired food or enjoy a boogie on the dancefloor to one of the DJs or support acts. 

Frankies (pictured below) is a new bar in Auckland with a focus on jazz, and its own house band. Head there for the Sunday night jazz jam sessions and enjoy the atmosphere as well as the oppportunity to join in if you're that way inclined. There is a keyboard, drum kit, vocal mic and bass amp provided and opportunity to join the rotating members of the regular group musicians. 

The Roxy (pictured below) is the place for a dance and to enjoy food and drinks off a plentiful menu in the Imperial Building. The gigs often include house and dance inspired beats. Check out this bar in the late evenings when it becomes a nightclub to be part of the action in the Fort Lane. And enjoy the new public artwork by David Svensson in the laneway as you queue in Jean Batten Place.

Orleans (pictured below) in Britomart's is the place to be if you are looking to combine your experience with a fine tasting meal and some of that old fashioned hospitality? The menu is regularly updated and you can enjoy live performers every night of the week in jam sessions and in a variety of combinations. Head along to hear covers and jazz from local musicians. 

Tyler Street Garage - this multi-level bar has all the trimmings of a fine establishment and packs out for evening gigs so come early for a table or to enjoy the general chatter. With the high stud you can expect the acoustics to make this a loud one. It's a bar, bistro, roof terrace and a live music venue with so much to offer.

Britomart FM is the place to go if you want the music without leaving your office building, car or other spot lucky enough with frequency. Check out this inner-city frequency for all the jams from local DJs including Bobby Brazuka, Murry Sweetpants, and Peter Urlich. And until March 30, between 12-3pm, every Thursday-Sunday (and 8.30am-12pm on Saturdays for the City Farmers' Market at Britomart) you can catch a live music set at Takutai Square. Pull up a bean bag and enjoy the tunes. Find the audio stream online. 

Montecristo Room and Bacco Room are underground and a watering hole for the masses. Many occasions during the year; including sports games, and more have an opportunity to party at the venue with after parties and even a New Year's event. It is a great place to hide out on a rainy night or just to slip into a good gig and move on 

to other central city bars once the gig finishes up. And being part of Italian restaurant Toto you are well-situated to have a nice Italian meal before the gig. Famous for its clubnights like the Turnaround which were held here; this is a great place to be for a dance into the early morning hours.

Libertine in Victoria Park is on our radar and continues to serve up some really good gigs and local DJs including Andrew Tidball who was instrumental in starting Quay Street Social Club and also a bevy of local DJs. Enjoy the outdoor deck area and great bar food including corn and small plates.

Besos Latinos has started up concerts of live piano music on Thursday nights from 7.30pm with mexican pianist Jose Juan Quiroz to accompany the Carribean and Spanish inspired meals. The low-key Elliott Stables restaurant has always got something on and we love the idea of combining the food with the music.

Last updated: 21 August 2020