Best of Boston

BEST Jazz Club

2013 BEST Jazz Club
photo by Alex Lau

Wally’s Cafe

Boston

Jazz is inherently cool—but Wally’s makes it even cooler. Maybe it’s the club’s 66 years of history? The weekend jam sessions? The diverse and friendly clientele? Or maybe it’s just the musicians, both young and old, whose performances here will… read more»

2012 BEST Jazz Club, Casual

Wally’s Cafe

Boston

The South End has risen and fallen as Boston’s jazz center, but 65 years after Joseph Walcott originally opened Wally’s, the place still grooves. Every evening of the year, the tiny club crams in a diverse crowd of music lovers… read more»

2012 BEST Jazz Club, Upscale
Photo by Bob O'Connor

The Beehive Cafe

Boston

One part jazz club, one part restaurant, the Beehive is our go-to spot for a laid-back night out on the town. The stellar list of libations (we’re fans of the champagne cocktails and the “Apparatus,” a Scotch and cognac concoction)… read more»

2011 BEST Jazz Club

Wally’s Café

Boston

With a hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, raw jazz, and bartenders who bust ass, Wally’s is an institution unto itself. A conglomerate of Berklee students, longtime barflies, and twentysomethings keep the narrow bar crowded, while early birds get a shot at one of… read more»

2011 BEST Jazz Club, Upscale

Regattabar

Cambridge

Jazz in its live form requires a venue that does it justice. With a slew of world-class acts ranging from timbale guru Eguie Castrillo to prog-funk trio Garage à Trois, this 220-seat space packs in the tables but leaves room… read more»

2010 BEST Jazz Club
2010-jazzbar3

Regattabar

Cambridge

The tasteful Regattabar may not have the indie cred of the crowded, noisy neighborhood jazz joints around town; it’s in the Charles Hotel, after all. But there’s no beating the club’s serious and seriously varied lineup, which features local talents… read more»

2009 BEST Jazz Club
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Regattabar

Cambridge

With all that energy and spontaneity rippling off the stage, hearing jazz live is always best. Less clear-cut is the choice between the atmospheric, loosey-goosey neighborhood haunt or the more polished concert venue, with the Hub having sterling examples of… read more»

2008 BEST Jazz Club
2008-jazzclub3

Wally’s Café

Boston

Jazz is a music born of small spaces, of packed New Orleans clubs and speakeasies. Around here, no destination captures that better than Wally’s. The 61-year-old sliver of a South End bar feels much like a place Louis Armstrong might… read more»

2007 BEST Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

A knack for luring the top names in the biz has elevated the Regattabar to its rank among the very best in the East. Far from the popular conception of a jazz club (sweaty, smoky), the venue is flush with… read more»

2006 BEST Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

What this third-floor space lacks in atmospher—it’s more cruise-ship quarterdeck than smoky back-alley haunt—is more than overcome by the quality of its acoustics and the pedigrees of its bookings. The club has been the site of countless memorable jams by… read more»