Best Club in Boston

2011 Best Club for Live Music, Large

Paradise Rock Club

Boston

Rare is the venue that manages to comfortably fit a mass of fans while also allowing them to make come-hither eyes at the talent. The ‘Dise does just that. With…Read More

2011 Best Club for Live Music, Small

T. T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

With so many excellent options—Great Scott, the Lizard Lounge, Middlesex—identifying the city’s best live-music venue isn’t easy. But T. T.’s tops our list thanks to the variety of acts (local…Read More

2009 Best Club for Live Music

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

Somewhere between a band’s first roadie and their first rider, they play T.T.’s, a beer-soaked cranny in Central Square now in its third decade. For about 10 bucks a night,…Read More

2008 Best Club for Live Music, Large

Paradise Rock Club

Boston

Avalon is dead; long live the ‘Dise. As Lansdowne Street is being tamed for Red Sox fans, Comm. Ave. continues to keep it real, thanks in large part to this…Read More

2008 Best Club for Live Music, Small

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

Boston has no shortage of excellent small music venues, but T.T.’s just keeps edging out the competition. Perhaps it’s because former Clash guitarist Mick Jones chose this Central Square nook…Read More

2008 Best Club for Live Music, Small

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

Boston has no shortage of excellent small music venues, but T.T.’s just keeps edging out the competition. Perhaps it’s because former Clash guitarist Mick Jones chose this Central Square nook…Read More

2007 Best Club for Live Music, Large

Paradise Rock Club

Boston

No venue in town outdoes the ‘Dise, where stellar acoustics and a wide-open layout ensure that music lovers get both an earful and an eyeful from just about anywhere on…Read More

2007 Best Club for Live Music, Small

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

With a capacity of only 270, this Central Square haunt has an oversize personality that defies its small scale (and always sticky floor). The volume’s appropriately loud, the drinks (served…Read More

2007 Best Club, DJ Music

River Gods

Cambridge

Venture into this fancifully cluttered hole in the wall and you’re just as likely to hear early ’80s hip-hop set to a break-dance movie as you are a Bloc Party…Read More

2007 Best Club, General

The Enormous Room

Cambridge

While college kids and out-of-towners wait in line downtown for their overpriced martinis and bland playlists, hipsters hit Central Square for a much more appealing kind of scene. The Enormous…Read More

2006 Best Club for Live Music, Large

Paradise Rock Club

Boston

The Police and U2 are tough acts to follow. But night after night at the Paradise, musicians take the very same stage where those greats once played. The three-level venue…Read More

2006 Best Club for Live Music, Small

Lizard Lounge

Cambridge

It is with good reason that the Lizard Lounge consistently tops our live-venue list: It’s still the favorite choice for established rock acts, and, for all its renown, is still…Read More

2005 Best Club for Live Music, Large

Paradise Rock Club

Boston

This legendary live-music venue might be a quarter-century old, but its state-of-the-art sound system delivers crystal-clear beats and fuzz-free acoustic sets. Fans love being within mere feet of their favorite…Read More

2005 Best Club for Live Music, Small

Lizard Lounge

Cambridge

The Lizard Lounge has a mellow vibe, with a quality sound system, friendly bartenders, and plenty of personality. Scattered cocktail tables, well-worn (read: ratty) area rugs, kitschy memorabilia, and standing…Read More

2004 Best Club for Live Music, Large

Avalon Ballroom

Boston

In Boston, the “mists of Avalon” refer not to the foggy shores hiding King Arthur’s final resting place, but the dry ice curling around the feet of the club’s performers….Read More

2004 Best Club for Live Music, Small

The Paradise Rock Club

Boston

You wouldn’t usually think of a rock club as the place for poetry. But the Paradise’s regular habit of mixing literary readings with hard-rocking indie bands adds a welcome bit…Read More

2003 Best Club for Live Music, Small

The Paradise Rock Club

Boston

Who says rock is dead? With a club like the Paradise offering its stage to the kinds of acts that will never, ever get air time on MTV (and that’s…Read More

2003 Best Club for Live Music

Avalon

Boston

Big venues usually mean small performers—not in terms of musical stature, but because you’re so far away the act looks like a dot with a guitar. So thank God and…Read More

2002 Best Club for Live Music, Small

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

If you follow the Boston music scene, you already know you can find your favorite up-and-coming rock stars on an almost weekly basis at T.T.’s, the intimate, gargoyle-adorned Central Square…Read More

2002 Best Club for Live Music

Avalon

Boston

You probably think of Avalon as a dance club. Well, okay, it is a dance club. But it’s also the perfect venue for live music, large enough to lend an…Read More

2001 Best Club for Live Music

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

Even after 25 years in business, you can’t do much better than T.T.’s, where the music is always good, you can get as close to the bands as you want,…Read More

2000 Best Club, Low-End

Phoenix Landing

Cambridge

You’re only as old as you feel, so throw on some track pants and a baby-tee and join the high-energy kids at this “alternative Irish bar.” After midnight, the Phoenix…Read More

1999 Best Club, New Scene

Venu

Boston

With city club kids being the jet setters they are, it was only a matter of time before the cross-pollination yielded a scene straight out of South Beach. Now Venu—with…Read More

1995 Best Club, Rock

Mama Kin

The Aerosmith-inspired Lansdowne Street club is the latest addition to the Lyons empire. A word of advice—it’s loud in here…Read More

1993 Best Club, Blues

The Yard Rock Cafe

Quincy

That’s right—with a Y. It’s in Joe’s Pub, across form the Quincy Shipyard’s main gate, and its regulars describe it as an “excellent little hideaway,” a “wicked great bar,” and…Read More

1993 Best Club, Twentysomething

Generation X, Thursday nights only, at Quest

Boston

Stupid name, but otherwise the hot scene for the postcollege sub-boomer. Three levels of dancing, plus a roof deck where attractive waitrons serve sundaes, hot dogs, and other patio food….Read More

1991 Best Club, Folk

Passim

Cambridge

A little slice of history, with a consistent lineup of fine folksingers. It still does its best…Read More

1990 Best Club for Live Music

Johnny D’s Uptown

Somerville

Here’s a place that has it all: good food, cheap drinks, friendly surroundings, and a knack for booking the great, the near-great and the soon-to-be-great…Read More

1990 Best Club, Folk

Passim

Cambridge

Not merely the best folk club in Boston—or New England or the East—but very possibly the world. Passim has broken in dozens of greats, gives breaks to would-be greats, and…Read More

1990 Best Club, Neighbhorhood

Ed Burke’s

Boston

Soul, blues, and R&B keep this cozy club cranking in Mission Hill—Boston’s most maligned neighborhood…Read More

1990 Best Club, Blues

Harper’s Ferry

Allston

The South Side of Chicago meets the west side of Boston in a relaxed club where the covers are merciful, the drinks are cheap, and the best local and national…Read More

1989 Best Club, Theme

Boston Beach Club

Boston

Well, it’s the themiest. Surfing videos, a bar made from surfboards, et cetera. If you can, like, flow with the energy. It also helps to look (or be the same…Read More

1989 Best Club, Socially Progressive

Venus de Milo

Boston

Integration comes to Boston nightlife about 20 years later. Still, better late than never…Read More

1988 Best Club, New

The Roxy

Boston

On the huge dance floor of this elegant new club, the fifties (swing) and eighties (top 40) live in musical harmony. And its patronized by the spiffiest crowd in town…Read More

1988 Best Club, New Theme

Zanzibar

Boston

This new dance club is a Banana Republic fantasy, complete with palm fronds, wicker settees, and waitresses in khaki hot pants. The music is numbingly dumb disco for white people…Read More

1988 Best Club

Nightstage

Cambridge

Other clubs wow ’em with ambiance: plastic tropics or Beyond Thunderdome desolation. Nightstage relies on the real thing: music. With acts including Wynton Marsalis, Varl Perkins, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and…Read More

1986 Best Club

Nightstage

<p>The life span of most nightclubs is short, largely because crowd loyalties tend to change about as often as the Republican candidate for governor. Fortunately, however, that fact has always…Read More

1974 Best Club, Men's, Private

The Tavern Club

The Tavern Club, which is so exclusive it once turned down President Eisenhower’s brother…Read More

Most Viewed Winners of Arts & Entertainment

  • Spoke, 2015 Best Wine Bar
  • Fuzz at the Alley, 2015 Best Gay Night
  • Warren Anatomical Museum, 2015 Best Overlooked Tourist Attraction

Most Viewed Winners

  • Neptune Oyster, 2015 Best Seafood Restaurant
  • Ostra, 2014 Best Seafood Restaurant
  • La Morra, 2015 Best Italian Restaurant