The Best Jazz Bars in Toronto
Here are the best jazz bars in Toronto.
This corner stop on Queen West is a certified institution. The Rex hosts 80 shows monthly and has been around for more than 40 years, making it the longest-running jazz haunt in the city. They’ve also got a hotel upstairs if you live, eat, and sleep jazz.
Tucked away in the basement of an historic building near St. Lawrence Market is this cozy little lounge, considerd a premium destination for swing. They have different bands playing daily, plus the seven-piece swing band Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm twice a week.
This jazz club near Yonge Dundas Square is the place to watch some acclaimed acts bang it out on their Steinway Piano, aka the Red Pops. In the summer months you can even soak in the sounds while sitting on their large patio.
This Chinatown venue is a total dive—as it should be. Operating since 1943 (it’s one of the oldest music venues in town), you’ll find the likes of The Rattles playing for the room (and the occasional swing practice), cover-free, like always.
Poetry Jazz Cafe
Kensington’s hip stowaway takes over an old garage to give a stage to the next generation of artists. It can get really experimental, which is refreshing for anyone trying to get away from your typical bebop and into stuff like afrolatin drumming or trap jazz every tuesday.
It’s more than tacos at the Mexican cantina La Rev, located in the Junction. Get into the revolutionary spirit of this creative space for live jazz nearly every day of the week. There’s piano and horn duos, funky quartets, and open mic Saturdays, coupled with some homestyle cooking.
This cute neighbourhood fixture in Roncesvalles offers up cocktails, a sweet back patio, and some amazing local acts gracing the front of their little space, all year long. You’ll be graced with a variety of styles, from foot-tappin’ classics to some more instrumental stuff.
Alchemy Food & Drink
The best spot in Little Italy for some live tunes is definitely this pared down restaurant that used to be Fat City Blues. It’s rustic without being outdated, and comes equipped with a piano for their smooth sax tributes and weekly jazz brunches on Sundays.