Jazz Cafe information

At the Jazz Cafe you will find a diverse range of live music from hip hop to folk and jazz to rock. An extensive drinks list is available including wines, aperitifs and cocktails.

Ranked #32 of 225 clubs in London

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Jazz Cafe reviews

By Andrew M.

What is the obsession with the Jazz Cafe toilets? I, like others before me, arrived with intrepidation expecting to have to cross my legs all night and they aren't that bad! However, the venue is great! Despite arriving early the atmosphere soon hotted up.

The DJ played some great music both before and after the gig and Ron Ayers was brilliant. The bars are really efficient and not that expensive and everyone was very friendly and keen to have a great time. Ignore all the toilet comments and give Jazz Cafe a go!

By Andrew M.

Only been to Jazz Cafe once but really enjoyed what I saw! Combined bar and concert vibe, not at all pretentious as I thought it would be. Laid back and fun. The only thing that let the Jazz Cafe down were the toilets...a nasty affair indeed!

By Michael S.

Enjoyed a fabulous night here last Friday. Service was excellent, the vibe was good and the music was outstanding. This is a legendary venue in a chaotic part of town.

By LM B.

I went here yesterday 14/9/12 for supadupafly and whilst the venue was smaller than I expected there was enough space for everyone to dance and the djs were brilliant. My negatives are drinks seemed pricey (friend bought a white wine and lemonade for £9) for what the venue was and the ground floor bar staff (bar facing closest to the door) are rude and ignore you. We went as a party of four it was very clear we were all together as we were laughing and joking and were stood together. Myself and my friend were served but then the bartender walked around to the bar facing the dancefloor and started serving there, several other members of staff looked at us and still ignored us, in particular there was a mixed raced female bartender with ginger/red hair who looked at us several times as she seemingly had no one to serve and was looking busy before going down to the other end of the bar and finding someone to serve. My two friends who remained unserved went to speak to the manager who told them " well go upstairs" and even after my other friend who was served with me went into the bar area and spoke to a bartender we still had to wait another 10 mins before we were served. It was very apparent that we were being ignored on purpose as there was an Asian gentleman who was working on the floor before going behind the bar who came straight over to us and asked "if someone had finally come to serve us?". By this time, the gentleman my friend has spoke to in the bar area was in the process of serving my other two friends. Needless to say, by the time we left the bar my vodka and lemonade and my friend's brandy and lemonade were warm, flat and diluted by the melted ice!! We waited about 35 mins for my friends to be served and that is not excusable. Great night out, decent venue but rude bar staff.

By Jeni G.

A good night out

I went the Camden Jazz Cafe to see Roy Ayres - Roy Ayres was as brilliant as ever but I wanted to give the security men - yep the security a big shout - what amazing men no attitude or bully like behaviour and made the whole queuing experience a joy. Only negative is the price of the drinks - bit over-priced and you need more bar staff and an extra ladies loo

By Scarlet B.

Honest review. Please note this is my interpretation of a dinner and show I went to see yesterday. Food is overpriced and not pleasant. Starters oozing oil, lamb main had more fat on it than meat and 45 minute wait for desert of 3 chocolate truffles to be be served. On top of that I was presented with the bill that had items on it we never ordered or had. Female toilets were disgusting. Doesn't anyone check them? A working lock on the door would be a nice touch too. Feel very sorry for the artists that perform there. Quality of the venue and staff lets them down badly. You have to wonder who would actually want to be assciated with it. Never returning. Good luck to them.

By Jeremy H.

Having read the previous reviews of this venue I nearly decided not to go to see Ben E King last night. I'm glad I did go though and my wife and I had a fantastic evening. To see Ben E King in such an intimate venue was something special. He may be passed his best but still has a lot of charisma and really got the crowd going. More importantly though I must say I found the other comments about this venue unfounded. We ate in the restaurant upstairs and found it to be very comfortable and clean. The staff were very friendly, the food was good and my beer was nice and cold. Food and drink may be a little expensive but you tend to expect that in music venues, it's how they survive and too many venues are closing due to the extortionate rates they have to pay. Yes there was a man holding paper towel in the toilets but he was pleasant and in no way were you made to feel you have to tip. I would certainly visit this venue again and I'd say to others visit at least once and make your own mind up. I could have missed a great night if I'd read some of the other reviews before I'd bought my tickets.

By P G.

My latest visit was to see the great Ben E King on 12th April. Sound quality - good as usual. Prices - £5.10 for tepid Guinness or cider with a head! Or you could go for whisky in a chipped glass. Toilets - dirty, unpleasant and with a now obligatory beggar holding back the paper towel until you tip/pay him. Venue - Looks like it has been patched up a few too many times. a Mean fiddler indeed Vince. It appears that the management have changed and have also chosen to turn off the cellar cooling/multicirc early in the week to save costs. The amount of wasted beer really outweighs that and the staff sneakily trying to top up frothy beer from the waste was foul. I haven't seen such amateurish bar management for quite a while. Basically it's a shabeen that thinks it's a class venue. Sad. Paul Graham

By Larraine P.

Well, well well, what a shocker of a place, went to see Andrew Roachford who was fantastic, unlike the awful venue, food and staff, i have never encountered such rude staff anywhere as i did at the Jazz Cafe, over priced disgusting food, honey glazed parsnips! ha ha limp parsnips in a sea of watery juice, the only thing glazed must have been the chef, as it was possibly the worst food i have ever tried to eat, sent back the cold starter twice, as it was meant to be hot ribs, when i complained about this, i was told, and i quote, unbelievable as this may sound,"its 1 degree outside, the food has a long way to travel from the kitchen to the table " unquote, naturally i was almost lost for words, other than saying, we have had takeaways in a 4 mile trip get to us hotter,that's the calibre of brain matter with the staff, rude waitress, who wouldn't know customer service if it was served to her on a plate, we had a task when paying for what we thought the food was worth, but we did just that, so if you do read this review don't eat there or if you have to just to get yourself a seat for the gig, only pay what you feel its worth, they cant do a thing about it, other than be rude which they had been doing all night anyway! so there you have it, the toilets are a disgrace, never seen anything like it, you would not think we were in 2011, everything so so poor, i did not want to give it any star rating but had to to write this.

By Charles T.

Surprised to see so many people complaining about the sound quality at the Jazz Cafe. I've always found the acoustics really good. I saw George Clinton at the Forum in June and the sound was the worst I've ever heard at any gig. Saw him twice this week at the Jazz Cafe and it was brilliant. Unsurprised by the complaints about the toilets. The men's downstairs toilet doesn't actually have a toilet, just a urinal, so anybody needing number two is a bit stuffed. There might be a toilet in the upstairs men's toilet but the only time I've ever gone up there, I was stopped immediately by a security guard who asked me whether I had an upstairs ticket, then sent me straight back downstairs. I do think they sell too many tickets on the sold out nights. The club's capacity is probably set at a certain level on the basis of however many people per square metre, but clearly doesn't take into account that the vast majority of those people will all be stood in the standing pit. At this week's second George Clinton gig I elected to stand at the back, thinking it'd be less stressful than trying to stake out a spot at the front. I had no idea the venue would end up literally jam-packed from the stage to the back wall. I ended up getting barged and trodden on all night. This venue does offer an intimacy that is rare in London. As I mentioned before, the last time I saw George Clinton was in the Forum. The opportunity to see him in a far smaller and more intimate venue was a rare treat. The Jazz Cafe allows you to get up close and personal with your favourite acts. If they were to spruce up the toilets and sell about 50 less tickets per gig, it'd be perfect. NB: I write as someone who goes to the Jazz Cafe regularly, but only ever with standing tickets. Can't comment on the dining experience.

By O M.

I have visited this venue about twice a year for about 12 years and have now come to the realisation that the management must have either apathy or contempt towards the patrons. The loos are vile, on a recent night when Loose Ends were playing the three bars could only take cash and not credit or debit cards, with no warning on the door, plus the sound was dreadful, with the band adding an extra hour to their set by coming on late and because the entire set was just an extended soundcheck. If you were there, you will know what I mean. George Clinton is playing in a few weeks and sadly, I will not be there. I would rather pay more to see my favourite acts at a better venue.

By Gill S.

I dont normally leave reviews but seeing my Dad get so upset prompted me to leave some feedback just so others can be aware. We opted to dine in the balcony area so we had seats and could view the stage. Two of our party couldn't attend so we asked whether we could swap their mains for another dish (given it was paid for already) and we were told no, - as they dont do refunds, - we explained we were not asking for a refund just wanted what we had paid for, eventually after much discussion, we got a couple of side orders - but it was extremely stressful! The staff are so very rude, our bill was calcuated incorrectly and I asked three times before it was changed (overcharging by £20). I overheard the person in front of me also had problems with their bill -so my advice is to check your bill! The toilets leave a lot to be desired as well! Overall the music was great, but shame about the staff's attitude, being overcharged and the venue. We wont be going back.

By Graeme Y.

I disagree with the previous reviewer. I found the acoustics in The Jazz Cafe were excellent. During the recent Terry Reid gig I could quite clearly hear every piece of cutlery smashing into the basin as the retard bitch masquerading as a waitress washed them throughout Terry's performance. It was well worth the price of the tickets, the revolting meal, the hotel room and the flights to and from the other end of the country to hear her enjoying her work. Music Venue? Give it a wide wide berth. Its a dump staffed by idiots.

By John S.

The Jazz Cafe has been a shambles for many years! It is disliked by serious music lovers and journalists alike. The staff and management are quite possibly the rudest human beings in London, the sound quality is abysmal and the actual venue are an insult to patrons who pay money to walk through the doors. The location and venue size has been its saving grace. Fortunately many established musicians now play elsewhere as they have also grown tired of staff outdated attitude and venue poor sound quality. As the song says… “A Change is gonna come”… Many music lovers and journalists have been praying for change at this venue for many years. They splashed some fresh paint on the walls a few years ago, but the venue really needs to be completely gutted (including the management)!

By Brian E.

Attempted to see Tony Joe White there last week, paid £53 for tickets. Shocking, shocking venue, vile beer, dear drinks, pushed and shoved all night, lousy acoustics and had to stand in a stairwell to get any kind if glimpse of the artist. Never again. If the management gave a xxxx they'd hang their collective heads in shame rather than count the money for far too many tickets sold. Aviod..

By Rob S.

i went to that gig, i couldn't agree more about the price tag and what we got for it, absolute shambles, although i have to say the jazz cafe weren't responsible for anything that evening apart from providing the venue, the gig itself was run by classic rock promotions who intern hired out the jazz cafe, they set the price of tickets, and more or less ran the show. i know this because a friend of mine helped promote it. I've been plenty of times to the jazz cafe and i have no problem with the venue, in-fact i find it to be one of the best in London. such a shame that one gig they were not responsible for could change peoples opinions.

By Ben R.

'Jazz Cafe camden'. Well.1 - This is not a Jazz Club2 - This is not a cafe3 - Ok, it is located in Camden.1 out of 3, though!

By Edwige J.

Went there twice in the last 2 weeks to experience a club night and a concert night. The 80's night is worth checking out for the atmosphere and choice of music although the DJ on had a strange way of mixing tracks... The concert was fabulous for the music, amazing performance! Although I must say, a little longer would have been better (only 1 hour). Prices for drinks are affordable and service at the bar is great. The main aspect that really stands out as negative is the poor state of the setting in general including the toilets. I just wonder how come a venue with so many sold out nights with quite a high pricing policy cannot afford to just change locks on doors. I obviously come for the quality of music and atmosphere, but still, just to respect the audience a little more.

By Ole Lund A.

I paid 60£ for a concert with Ginger Baker and special guests. I got 50 minutes of music and one special guest.

We saw the bands set list and it matched the numbers played, so The Jazz Café must have known that this was a minor gig, and still they demand 60£ entrance.

Jazz Café could ...have arranged additional music or lowered the price. The band didn't even give the audience a chance for an encore as they left stage without a: Thank you and goodnight.

This experince borders a scam, and I can't recommend this place to anybody!

Unfortunately I have to give the place one star, can't proceed with this review any other way, but actually I would give it none! - SAVE YOUR MONEY DON'T GO TO THE SHOW!!

By S B.

Went there for dinner and concert on a Saturday and were very disappointed. Definitely cannot recommend for dinner.

The food is horrible and overprices. Starters were very small, completely tasteless and all came with the same bleak salad.

Main courses were not much better, the fish was overcooked and came with a plate full of celeriac and the pork was lots of grease and only a little meat.

We were completely disappointed. Music was alright, although finished very early after just 1 hour playing.

If you pay only 10 pounds entry, it's probably worth going for the music, but avoid the dinner at all costs, it's probably one of the worst restaurants I've been in London !

By Be K.

I heard so much good about this jazz cafe,that decided to check it out...but for me it was nothing great at all...

..firstly we paid 25 pound for entry so we were expecting very good concert..

i can tell u sometimes i hear much better concerts in the streets...it was written that concert starts at 7 pm.

ok i understand to wait hour or two if its cosy and nice..but there were just cold dark place..food was terible..

so we were waiting 3 hours...and after all the music was nothing special at all...the money I spent i could have very nice evening somewhere else..

i was expecting much more from this"one of the most popular Jazz bar in London"...

By Tom T.

I haven't been to the loo @ the Jazz Cafe since at least 2007 and am looking forward to this experience of unadulterated luxury when I go to see Lee Ritenour on the 22nd of July

Indeed, it should be a great experience as 2007 was the last time I went to the loo ... period!!

By Hshsd A.

i toOK my girlfriend to the jazz cafe to see amadou and mariam.

we booked a table and the service was great, really friendly waitress. the food was delicious and the music superb.

definitely a great date venue, the only problem being the toilets. they were generally ok, with good lighting and soft loo roll, but the condom machine only took £1 coins and I much prefer my condom machines to take 5p coins as I like to use up my spare change.

By Shanice W.

Jazz Cafe has so much to offer but lets itself down with badly designed restaurant poor food way overpriced and slow service.

The bar is always hard to get to and they should spend a little refurbishing this as if in restaurant and you have to go down to very grim toilets (ladies its true they are awful!)

for such a venue ceilings are low and one sink that's seen better days toilet roll strewn everywhere and none to use so make sure you have tissues even better wet wipes, but getting back to the point its really hard to get past everyone standing who assumes wrongly (I would too LOL) that you're pushing in .

.. but just trying to retrieve your seat back upstairs in restaurant, should they have toilets upstairs too?

The music is great and the choice of music is also excellent but I try not to drink so that I dont have to use the toilets which are in basement and down steep stairs so how do they cater to disabled people in wheelchairs or for that matter do wheelchair users get to use restaurant or do they not get a choice .

.. yes we know you have area to the right of stage for disabled customers and few tables for them to sit at but dont wheelchair users or disabled ever want to use restaurant? bit unfair or use toilets for that matter!!I am not disabled but its a thought!

By M W.

Great music, but food poor and over priced. Went for a friends birthday and management refused to allow us to cut/eat his cake (unless we paid £6 a slice), never had that before in london. Would only go for the music.....

By Jane P.

Thanx!! Had a FAB first (and long-overdue) night at The Jazz Cafe. Sly and Robbie & Co and the sound system as well as a friendly, chilled ambience means I'll be back....and def not to check out the toilet facilities!

By P.

We got tired of waiting to be served and went to the famous loos. Yes they do have a quality all of their own and the seats are a good tight fit. The paper's nice and rolls off easily and the flush is definitely as good as the Toronto Jazz cafe. We found it an enjoyable and rewarding day out and I will take my new girlfriend to look at the Jazz Cafe loos. That should impress her.

By I.

On a positive note, the music at the Jazz Cafe was fantastic, however my overall experience certainly was not. Firstly, I bought a 15 pound ticket online just to find out that the door tickets were only 10 pounds.

Secondly, there were only two incredibly slow, unmotivated bar tenders serving the entire venue, so after 25 minutes of waiting for a drink I gave up, as did many other disgruntled show goers! Such a disappointement for a potentially great night out at the Jazz Cafe!

By B.

As most people regard the Jazz Cafe toilets as a visit in themselves, me and my wife had a look at our respective loos. Good facilities and reasonably clean, but we wouldn't want to eat our dinners off the floor. Perhaps the taps could have been more visitor friendly too. The flush was as good as Ronnie Scotts but not as good as Kaseys Jazz bar.

The Jazz Cafe gets a good score though.

By D.

Well, I went to the Jazz Cafe toilets and me and my buddy both examined them to see the standard that they were. The paper was quite good, strong and thick and pretty absorbent. The seats were strongly fixed to the lavatory bowls and there was good flow of water into the cistern.

All in all, a good result and we were delighted to find there was live music at the Jazz Cafe as well.

By V.

Jazz Cafe is good. I have been three times but it lacks human comforts. There are dark grainy areas that seem okay, but when you see the toilets which are grim, you wonder what is happening elsewhere in the place. Jazz Cafe sort out your toilets, it is 2007 not 0007!

By H.

Having read some of the reviews of the Jazz Cafe, I was really nervous about booking tickets for my boyfriend's Christmas present. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised! Even though the act we booked to see was cancelled the live band we saw were fantastic and the place had a wonderful vibe.

As for the toilets, I went in expecting a rotting hole having read some of the reviews but there was nothing wrong with them. OK, so they're not to the standard of the Ritz by any means, but I didn't leave feeling like I'd caught anything! If you want a fun night with fantastic music, you really should go to the Jazz Cafe.

By A.

Jazz Cafe is class but why would someone go there to just to check on the toilets? Just stay home instead. Why bother?!

By D.

We went to the Jazz Cafe, had a good look at the toilets and agree that they were not as nice as they should be, but we have seen worse. The soap needed to be replenished. The seats were quite warm and comfortable and the paper was sufficient. But I would like to see the hand dryers at the Jazz Cafe more efficient.

By J.

The toilets at the Jazz Cafe were very poor and the water on the floor was flooding them. The paper in the toilets was not nice and the colour of the toilets is not nice either. The people using the toilets were very unhelpful and I was scared to use them. The music at the Jazz Cafe was good though.

By V.

My boyfriend took me to the Jazz Cafe on the 12th September for my birthday as a surprise. Lemar was there and it was fantastic - such an intimate gig. I had such a fantastic evening, and we are looking at going back to the Jazz Cafe for New Years eve hopefully!

By R.

Went to the Jazz Cafe last night to see Candy Staton. Having read the latest reviews of the venue I was expecting a very poor, low class venue, but this was most definately not the case. The door staff were friendly and efficient. Ok so the food at Jazz Cafe was a little on the cold side and was probably a bit overpriced, but this is London, so paying £18 for a steak while you watch an amazing gig is not that big a deal. Candy was fantastic. The club is small, but this is definately a positive. You are so much closer to the artists and the sound system. The crowd were a mix of all kinds of people and the vibe was incredible.

Ok the toilets are a bit of a trek and not that inviting, but how much time do you really want to spend in them anyway! I would certainly visit the club again. Hopefully in Feb to see de la soul. Dont believe what these other people have said, sounds to me like they're a buch of miserable g*ts!!!

By S.

The toilets at the Jazz Cafe were totally prehistoric with water on the floor, outside the main building, with no hand drier. I didn't know whether to hold my trousers off the floor or try and squat without touching the seat.

My food was luke warm and I had to pay a £4.00 service charge when I had already paid for the meal, and the entry fee. The sound guy needs shooting. It was my second time at the Jazz Cafe and you can only hear the instruments not the vocals.

The main act was not on for very long and I didn't pay £29.50 for that. It was double the price of last show and half the duration! The tickets promoted a show that was on until 11pm, I was at home in bed at that time watching TV!!

By H.

The landlord of the Jazz Cafe should invest so as not to shame the name of "Jazz". When I went to the gents, I thought I was in a punk rock club, it was so garbage. Then there's the fact that everything is over priced. It should have been called : "Punk Cafe".

I say "NO", you can spend £40 for a performance and be treated like that in an East London pub. I don't care about the programme, I'm not reviewing the artists but the place. Jazz Cafe is just marketing. Lots of ads, that's all, the customer service is bad as well. At least, you should hire hooter girls or hire very very friendly people to make us accept the price of your drinks.

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