Most bars and restaurants feature some kind of music, whether it’s eardrum-rattling Top 40 hits or melodies carefully picked out by the management. Music and eating just seem to go together, and anyone who’s been in a restaurant when the playlist runs out knows why: Suddenly, even the quietest question or cutlery clink feels like pulling the trigger on an airhorn.
But sometimes, music at restaurants is more than cover for loud conversations and chewing. At these restaurants and bars, the music is the point, whether that means making a stop at Organ Stop Pizza for a slice and some organ music, or toasting the geriatric jazz maestros at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai. These 12 joints make up a global symphony of melodic machines, jazz in every venue imaginable, and a whole lot of Broadway balladeers. All that, and a side of fries.