Update: Amid concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Berks Jazz Fest has been officially postponed until 2021. Some events may still occur. Please check with individual venues for all events listed. This page will be updated with 2021 events as soon as they are announced.

The 30th annual Berks Jazz Fest returns to Greater Reading March 27 through April 5, 2020, and nothing goes better with live music than great food. Here is Berks County Eats’ guide to where to eat during Berks Jazz Fest:

Dinner with Live Music

Many of Berks County’s top restaurants also double as live music venues, and during Berks Jazz Fest, you can enjoy some of the most talented artists – both musical and in the kitchen – at these restaurants.

Crowne Plaza Reading – Prime Steak & Wine

The Crowne Plaza Reading is one of the premier venues for Jazz Fest and hosts several events throughout the week, in both the Goodnites Lounge and the ballroom. Grab dinner before or after the show at Prime Steak & Wine, the Crowne’s signature restaurant.

Tip: The Crowne Plaza is also hosting pre-Jazz Fest concerts starting Tuesday, March 10.

DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Reading – Cheer’s American Bistro
Read Review

Downtown Reading’s DoubleTree Hotel features one of the city’s best restaurants, Cheer’s American Bistro. With multiple venues, the DoubleTree is going to be a busy place, and a great place for dinner if you can snag a table.

Tip: The Bistro offers a delicious brunch buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, for those who are doing a Jazz Fest weekend.

The Inn at Reading – The Publick House

Another hotel that will feature live music throughout Jazz Fest, the Inn at Reading is also home to the Publick House Restaurant which offers a varied menu, including bar bites and steaks.

Tip: Right down the street from the Inn at Reading is Willoughby’s on Park, Berks County’s premier steakhouse.

Jimmie Kramer’s Peanut Bar
Read Review

Reading’s most famous restaurant, the Peanut Bar hosts the traditional kick-off event for Jazz Fest, a lunchtime concert (this year on Saturday, March 27).

Tip: The Peanut Bar has its own parking lot behind the restaurant on Cherry Street – no need for a parking meter.

The exterior of Canal Street Pub features a large sign with their logo: a bridge over the Schuylkill River

Canal Street Pub & Restaurant
Read Review

Canal Street is a favorite for craft beer lovers. During Jazz Fest, it’s also a favorite of jazz lovers with four concerts over the course of 10 days.

Tip: Canal Street is also hosting the John Elder Visual Jazz Exhibition during the festival with an opening night reception on March 27.

Saucony Creek Brewing Company + Gastropub

One of Berks County’s premier craft breweries, Saucony Creek Brewing Company is hosting the Jazzin’ Jazz Kickoff: Kutztown on Friday, March 27.

Tip: Kutztown University’s Schaeffer Auditorium is also hosting the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra on Thursday, April 2.

Saucony Creek Franklin Station Brewpub Interior

Saucony Creek Franklin Station Brewpub
Read Review

Saucony Creek’s Reading outpost will be busy during Jazz Fest with nine concerts in 10 days, including Jazz brunches and jazz dinners.

Tip: Saucony has a private parking lot with limited spaces, but guests are also able to park in the adjacent garage and have their parking validated.

Gracie’s 21st Century Cafe
Pine Forge

Located just outside Boyertown, Gracie’s 21st Century Cafe is hosting Jazz Dinners on March 27 and 28 and April 3 and 4. Additionally, they are hosting lunchtime concerts on Sundays March 29 and April 5.

Tip: Be sure to make a side trip to Boyertown for shopping and historical attractions (and more great restaurants).

Hidden River Brewing Company

Hidden River Brewing Company is located in the historic Brinton Lodge in Douglassville. Though the kitchen is closed Sundays, the bar is open and Hidden River is hosting an Afternoon of Swinging Jazz on March 29.

Tip: If you like the beer and want to come back for a meal, Hidden River’s kitchen is open Wednesdays through Saturdays starting at 4 p.m.

The Greenery Restaurant at Boscov’s East
Exeter Township

The Greenery Restaurant at Boscov’s North
Muhlenberg Township

Boscov’s is the presenting sponsor for the Berks Jazz Fest so it’s only right that its two Berks County restaurants are also venues.

Tip: Boscov’s restaurants are among the few places hosting music during lunchtime on weekdays.

The West Reading Motor Club will open in fall 2019 in the former A to Z Vacuum in West Reading

The Nitro Bar
West Reading

The Nitro Bar is one of the new venues for this year’s Berks Jazz Fest, having opened in 2019. The second floor bar on Penn Avenue in West Reading is hosting late-night concerts on March 31 and April 1.

Tip: The Nitro Bar has limited off-street parking in a garage located next to the building.

Mimmo’s Restaurant
Read Review

Mimmo’s Restaurant, an Italian eatery on Reading’s south side, is hosting local favorite Erich Cawalla during a Jazz Dinner on Thursday, April 2.

Tip: Mimmo’s is just a few blocks from Alvernia University, host of a pre-fest concert on March 11.

Sweet Ride Ice Cream
West Reading
Read Review

If you would rather enjoy your jazz with dessert, Sweet Ride Ice Cream in West Reading will host the Reading Musical Foundation Guitar Club on Friday, April 3.

Tip: In addition to making their own ice cream, Sweet Ride bakes their own cookies – perfect for an ice cream sandwich.

A view of the open kitchen, surrounded by a bar with stools at Judy's on Cherry

Judy’s on Cherry
Read Review

Judy’s on Cherry, one of Reading’s premier finer dining spots, is hosting a Jazz Brunch with the Soul Brothers on Saturday, April 4.

Tip: Judy’s and its sister restaurant, the Speckled Hen Cottage & Pub, are great for dinner and drinks before or after concerts at the city’s venues.

More Recommendations

If you’re coming for the music, stay for the food. There are great dining options throughout Reading and Berks County. (Hours vary. Check each restaurant’s webpage and social media for current hours).

TomCat Cafe, Sinking Spring: Berks County’s most unique breakfast menu. Read Review

Park Road Cafe, Wyomissing: A great neighborhood spot with good food and personal service. Read Review

Gourmand Cafe, West Reading and Wyomissing: Two unique cafes with creative breakfast and lunch menus. Read Review

Willoughby’s on Park, Wyomissing: Berks County’s premier steakhouse. Read Review 

Dans at Green Hills, Flying Hills: Just south of the city, an excellent fine dining restaurant. Read Review

Emily’s, Mohnton: Another finer dining option a few miles south of Reading. Read Review

Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe, Reading: A staple of downtown Reading featuring authentic Caribbean cuisine. Read Review

Wild Sage Coffee and Kitchen, Reading: A great place to grab breakfast or lunch in downtown Reading. Read Review

Lang Restaurant, Reading: Authentic Vietnamese food in Reading. Read Review

Mom Chaffe’s Cellarette, West Reading: An old-school Italian restaurant (reservations recommended). Read Review

Cafe Sweet Street, Reading: Home of Sweet Street desserts – the breakfast and lunch are worth the trip, too. Read Review

Check out our Berks County Restaurant Directory to see all 550 local dining options in Reading and Berks County, Pa.