Best of Boston

2019 Best Jazz Club

Wally’s Café

This basement hole in the wall has been the cradle of some of Boston’s most killer jam sessions since it opened as New England’s first African-American–owned nightclub in 1947. Walk through its famous red door and you can feel the history: Generations of soon-to-be stars from the New England Conservatory and Berklee (such as a young Esperanza Spalding) have tested their chops before this discerning crowd. You never know who you might see before they become the next big thing.

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