Best of Boston

2003 Best Bar for Live Music

Wally’s Café

Nowhere else in this town are you more apt to find pink Izods and gangsta colors in such proximity. This joint, nestled between the gentrified South End and Roxbury and opened in 1947 by Joseph “Wally” Walcott, is a classic treasure. And nowhere else in New England will you find finer jazz in a venue with more soul. Bands gather in the corner of the bar each night—from national acts to aspiring stars still studying at Berklee. The music is played loud enough that you can hear every seductive note, but not too loud for conversation. Don’t like jazz? Check out an Afro-Cuban band. If you don’t find yourself tapping your foot, it’s time to check your pulse.

427 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-424-1408,